Eating out at restaurants doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve put together some ways for you to save money at restaurants that don’t require you to order less.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, this blog isn’t about saving money and living a completely frugal lifestyle. This blog is about saving money while you enjoy life and life’s conveniences. My boyfriend and I eat out all the time. I prefer not to cook when I come home from work. But instead of going out to eat every night and spending a fortune, I try to find ways for us to eat out cheaper. And that’s exactly what these tips are–ways to save money eating out.
Ways to Save Money Eating at Restaurants
Upromise is a free program that lets you earn cashback at restaurants with their dining cashback program. Basically, when you eat out at participating local restaurants a percentage of your bill will be deposited in your Upromise account. Upromise puts the money in a college saving account (it’s run by Sallie Mae) or you can request a check for your cashback. Find out the Upromise restaurants in your area and then check out my guide to saving money with Upromise for more information to maximize your Upromise experience!
Save Money at Restaurants with Restaurant.com
You can buy discounted restaurant gift certificates at Restaurant.com. Restaurant.com gift certificates work like a restaurant coupon because you have to spend a certain amount to use it. For example, you have to spend $35 to use your $25 restaurant gift certificate. But, a couple times a month Restaurant.com releases coupon codes, and you will be able to buy $25 restaurant gift certificates for $2 (I post these coupon codes on S$WM). Since you will only pay $2 for your $25 gift certificate, it will be like getting a $35 meal for $12–an easy $23 of savings! The restaurants featured on Restaurant.com are always changing, so it’s a good idea to check which ones are available in your area every month or so, so you will know when a favorite of yours is featured.
Another great way to save money on restaurants is by being aware of your favorite restaurants’ specials and going there on nights when they have them. You can learn about your favorite restaurants’ specials by signing up for their email list, liking them on facebook or following them on twitter. Then you will know if they have a night where they have a special prix fixe menu, or drink specials, or half priced appetizers, or any other kind of special. You will save money by knowing when to go to which restaurants in your town. Some of our favorite restaurant specials to go to are half-priced sushi night at the local sushi restaurant and $5 burger night at the steakhouse down the road.
You can save money at restaurants by buying half-priced (or less!) restaurant gift certificates through daily deal sites. Daily deal sites frequently feature discounted restaurant vouchers. For example, pay $10 for a $20 restaurant voucher to local restaurant XYZ. Groupon and Living Social are two of the best daily deal sites that constantly feature restaurant deals. Check out this daily deal site list to see if there are any other sites that have deals in your area.
Local coupon books are another way you can save money at restaurants. One example of a local coupon book is the Entertainment book. These books have coupons for movie theaters, family activities, and restaurants. Using one or two coupons will cover the cost of the book. You can look at the Entertainment book website to see what restaurant coupons are included in your local Entertainment coupon book.
You can save money eating out by booking your restaurant reservations with Savored. Savored is a restaurant reservation booking site that will save you a certain percentage off your reservation. Savored has restaurants that give you 30% off your entire bill just for booking through them. Most of the restaurants featured on Savored are high-end. They do charge $10 for a booking, but it’s normally way worth it. This is a great way to save money on special occasion dinners! Savored is only available in a couple cities right now.
I also post discounted gift card deals on S$WM, which is another great way to save money eating out. To make sure you don’t miss any of these deals you can either keep checking back here or you might want to subscribe to Save Money with Me by Email or RSS.
I hope these programs can help you save some money eating out at restaurants. Do you know of any other easy ways to save money at restaurants?