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Dinner Deals 101

Dinner Deals on a Budget

When funds are limited, budgets are an important factor in making sure you don’t spend more than you bring in. Budgets also help you build self-discipline and are really just a plan so you know that you aren’t spending more than you should. But unless you absolutely have to be on an austerity budget due to job loss or massive credit card debt, being on a budget doesn’t mean that you need to lock yourself in your house and avoid all luxuries like eating out, going to the movies or getting your hair cut. Instead of abstaining, find ways to make such items fit into your budget. Here are a few smart ways to incorporate wallet-friendly luxuries into your budget.

Coupon and Groupon

Dinner Deals, The Colonial RestaurantLocal papers and online Groupon alerts offer consistent Dinner Deals.

You can often get two-for-one promotions and half-off coupons just by paying attention to the media that surrounds you. This is also a great way of discovering new places while saving money and planning ahead for your expenditures rather than spur of the moment spending.

Search for Dinner Deals On-line

Google has gotten smarter and now knows where you live based on your IP address. So if you do a local search you can find restaurants near you that are offering deals. You might try searching for terms like “local restaurant coupons”, “Boston restaurant deals” or “Chicago restaurant deals” or “cheap food in San Francisco” depending on your location.


There’s no need to order two burritos the size of your and your spouse’s heads. Instead, share an entree and order more if you’re still hungry. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll be completely satiated and you’ll have spent half as much as your usual bill. If you have kids, try ordering one adult entree for them to share instead of multiple kids meals. This will often be less expensive.

Drink Water

To avoid spending a lot of money on carbonation and sugar, go without soda. You’ll drink more water, which is not only easier on your pocketbook, but also on your waistline.

Coordinate with Credit Card Rebates and Points

You probably get emails from your credit card company advertising ways to get extra points at local restaurants. Instead of flippantly tossing that email into your trash box, pay attention and double up on points that lead to cash back rewards. Often credit card companies will offer a percentage of the meal back or many travel credit cards will even allow you to pay for your meal with points.

Gift Card Promotions

Local stores often carry gift card sets that offer extra money beyond what they’re asking. For example, Costco often sells a steakhouse restaurant coupon worth $100 for $80. That’s $20 savings just for buying the coupon ahead of time.

Dinner Deals from Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is a membership program where you can get dinner deals for half price (or less). You can search through their list of 18,000 different restaurants find one close to you and then buy a deal on dinner. For instance you might be able to buy a coupon worth $25 for only $10. However, they usually come with restrictions such as having to spend at least $35 or $50 in order to use the $25 certificate.

Instead of Dinner- Go Out For Lunch

If you need your dining-out fix, and just can’t handle the dinner inflation, go out for lunch. Commonly, restaurants charge less for lunch and often you’ll find lunch specials at even the most high-end locations.

Book a Dinner Deal

When you book with a third-party agent such as OpenTable, they’ll often offer rebates and promotions to entice you to use their services again. For instance if you make Dinner reservations with OpenTable you earn points toward a free meal. This is a great way to save money.

Order In

Ordering food delivered to your door can be a less expensive way to enjoy food prepared by others. Avoid the cost of drinks and expensive restaurants by having food delivered in.

Next time you’re thinking of skimping on your time dining out or in, consider these ways of living luxurious life for less. Your budget doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying the finer things in life.