Coupon Tip: Saving Money at Restaurants
Sometimes you just need a break. After making breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, there comes a time when I just want to do something easy like eat out or order in. Of course, I also want to save money and stick to our budget when we do this so I keep quite a few coupons, deals, weekly special lists and ideas of where we can go that will be relatively inexpensive. I wanted to share a few of my tips with you and would love to hear yours as well!
Ideas to save money at restaurants:
- Pick up coupons at the restaurant. Many restaurants offer discounts to customers. Several of our local pizza places have “newsletters” (it’s really just pictures of pizza and weekly deals) that contain coupons for eating in or taking out. New restaurants often offer discounts to returning customers as well. It never hurts to ask if they have any coupons available!
- Frequent diner cards are great! Some restaurants have punch cards or even more advanced rewards cards that you scan each time you go in to earn discounts or gift cards. We love Lettuce Entertain You Frequent Dining program because you get free gift certificates on your birthday or when you earn enough points. We also have a local sandwich place where you get a free sandwich when you earn ten punches on a punch card. Many local places have these types of incentive programs!
- Eat at restaurants where kids eat free. Our favorite restaurant to do this is Flat Top Grill. They have a pretty high age for kids to eat free (up to 5 years old) and on Mondays, kids even older eat free! Chili’s often has a Kids Eat Free night as well and kids get one free entree with an adult entree purchase.
- Look for restaurant certificates on deal sites. The thing with deal sites is that it only saves you money if you use them so make sure you stay on top of your vouchers after you buy them!
- Look for coupons in local neighborhood coupons books, entertainment books or other venues where you can find coupons for your local restaurants.
- Eat out on nights when the restaurants you frequent has weekly specials- 1/2 price burgers, three course fixe prix meal, happy hour, etc. This is an easy way to save money without coupons!
- Be on the lookout for “deal days”. My son loves McDonald’s but we rarely go. For a special treat, if they are having some really great deal, like $0.39 cheeseburgers, we might go for lunch to the location with the play space. It’s so inexpensive and since we don’t have it often it’s a treat and super cheap!
- Order online. Websites like Grub Hub and Seamless offer discounts and earn you loyalty points that can mean a free meal! It’s an easy way to track your purchases and you don’t need to keep track of a card.