16 Little Known Ways to Dine Out for Less Money

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

In spite of the recession being over, many of us feel the pain in the wallet at the pump and grocery store. Americans are shifting spending from groceries to gasoline to stay within budget. At BASC Expertise we like to have fun, go out to eat and offer these 16 little known ways to dine out for less money.

  1. Restaurant.com offers $25 gift certificates to a variety of restaurants for $10 or less. While there are restrictions, for those on a budget this is a great way to dine away from home and stay on budget.
  2. Cut your costs by eating half your meal at the restaurant and the other half for another meal. You turn your $14 dinner into two $7 meals.
  3. Order water instead of other options will save $2-10 per meal or more!  It’s like treating yourself to an extra meal.
  4. Share your meal with a friend and split the cost. $10 of delicious lunch is now $5 each.
  5. The Entertainment Book is a good investment if you are going to save more than you spend on the book. It contains hundreds of coupons to area restaurants.
  6. Junk mail is a great resource for restaurant and other coupons. A friend and her husband dine at their favorite restaurant with a BOGO dinner coupon found in a junk mail mini-magazine. Combine the coupon with water to drink and they can dine out more often!
  7. Kids Eat Free is a promotion offered by many restaurants. Restrictions such as the day of the week and age of the children may apply. If you plan it out you may be able to take your kids to dinner for free on every night of the week!
  8. Local restaurants often have lunch and dinner specials. Hungry Howie’s has $5 pizzas every night of the week. Submarinos of Glendale offers a variety of family, lunch and dinner specials every day.
  9. No dessert for you! For a couple to go to dinner and each order dessert could add $10 or more to the bill. Just say no. Your wallet and waistline will thank you later.
  10. Skip the appetizer unless it’s free. Not only will you reduce your calorie intake, you will have more money in your wallet at the end of the meal. Opt for restaurants that offer free appetizers like chips and salsa. You can enjoy a bit before your meal without paying for it.
  11. Use mobile coupon apps to find deals on meals. GeoQpons is FREE to consumers and offers deals within ten miles of your location. Perhaps the best perks of this app are the inclusion of local and national businesses. Yelp provides pricing as well as customer reviews for a variety of locations. The downfall? It’s only available for major metropolitan areas. The best might be Foursquare. This app allows users to “check-in” at locations offering discounts or free items. Checking in with three people could get you a free appetizer or chips and salsa for two people. It’s a great way to get a little something for nothing or close to nothing!
  12. Happy Birthday! Visit freebirthdaytreats.com to see vendors offering FREE stuff on your birthday.
  13. Early Bird Special: Many restaurants offer lunch menus that last well into the afternoon. Visit your favorite place before 5pm and you might get dinner from the lunch menu.
  14. Eat in the bar and order off the happy hour menu can save lots of money.
  15. Pick up, please! Ordering from your favorite restaurant and picking up your meal is good for your waistline and your wallet. You won’t be tempted by extra cash & calorie items like appetizers, desserts and drinks.
  16. Groupon & Deal Chicken are your friend. Subscribing to these and other coupon websites to receive alerts of deals in your area.

We hope you and your family can enjoy a night out using our tips. Please let us know what you did and how much you saved!


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