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How to Dine Out Without Breaking the Bank

Getting Great Deals on Restaurants

Most of us love to eat out. The pleasure of eating a meal prepared by the skilled hands of others and served to us while we relax is one of the last things we want to give up, even when money is tight.

But it is possible to get great deals on restaurant meals even on a budget. There are several things you can do to save money while still enjoying a nice meal out. Here a few ideas.

Know Your Local Gems

Great deals on restaurantsLearn about the restaurants in your area that serve superior food for affordable prices. While they may not be as luxurious, you can often find delicious, high-quality meals for reasonable prices at these establishments. Check out www.yelp.com for suggestions of local gems that offer the food you love at a price you can afford. Another way to find out about great restaurants you haven’t tried yet is…

Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com partners with thousands of restaurants nationwide to offer significant savings when you purchase one of their coupons.   They often have deals where you can buy a voucher for $25 at a restaurant that you can purchase for $10.

Groupon.com

Groupon offers time-sensitive coupons that you can purchase for local restaurants that will save you a significant percentage on any given offer. Typical offers: purchase a $12 coupon for a $25 value at a nearby restaurant, or a $23 coupon worth $47. One of the perks of redeeming a Groupon coupon at a restaurant is that there is no minimum purchase required, unlike other coupons which often specify a minimum purchase amount for the coupon to be valid.

Support the Children!

Lots of restaurants work with local schools to help them fundraise, so you’ll often see kids in the neighborhood going door to door selling discount cards that offer a discount off your meal or a “buy one get one free” offer. If you or friends have any children, check into what savings you can find there.

Time Your Tummy Grumblings

Restaurants will often have “Happy Hour”, times when you can get discounts off the regular menu, or evenings where kids eat free. Do a Google search for “Happy Hour” with restaurants and your city and then try to coordinate your dining out with times for these reduced prices.

Cut Back On Frills

An easy way to save money is to skip on special drinks, appetizers, and desserts during the meal. Order a filling entrée instead.

Visit Restaurants For Lunch

It’s quite common for restaurant menus to have a lunch menu that is considerably cheaper than the dinner menu. The portions are slightly smaller but usually still generous, and you may be able to eat out and still stick to your diet since most dinner portions are considerable more than the average person should eat.

Reduce Your Portions

Reducing the amount of food you eat can be an effective way to save your wallet and your midline. Consider splitting a meal with a friend, or just eat until you are satisfied, rather than full, and take a doggy bag to go.

Have A Budget

This isn’t in itself a way to save, but it can motivate you to look for good deals. If you know how much you are willing to spend each week, you will be more driven to find ways to maximize your savings by following all the above tips.

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