Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to Save Money when Dining Out

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. If you're planning to take Mom out for lunch, there are ways you can treat her to a special meal without breaking the bank. Here are my top 10 ways to save when dining out.
(Originally posted on Simply Cy-Fair)
Set a budget before you go – Know what you can spend before you go and stick to it. I always scan the menu for all of the options available under a certain price, then shop from those.
Share a meal or save half for a second meal – Not only is this a good choice for your wallet, but also for your waistline. You’re saving half right off the top! Restaurant portions are often 2-3 times the amount of a healthy portion. Share a meal with your dining companion or box up the other half for a yummy lunch at the office the following day.
Order adult meal for kids to share – You will often get more food for much less. Now that children’s meals are running around $5. Sharing a $10 adult meal, I can typically feed my three little ones, and they get more than enough to eat.
Order water – Drinks can significantly increase your dining bill with soda/tea running upwards of $3.
Kids Eat Free – Many restaurants offer one day when kids can eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. This can save a family a lot when dining out.
Home mailers – Magazines, coupon mailers, and flyers can be a great source for coupons and special offers to local restaurants.
Online - Check the restaurant’s website for special offers before you go.
Email - Sign up for your favorite restaurants’ email lists. You will often receive coupons, free birthday meals, and special offers.
Facebook – Local and national restaurants have jumped on the social media wagon to offer special fan-only deals when you follow them
Restaurant.com – You can buy $25 gift certificates for $10 or less, giving you a significant discount on your dining experience. Don't forget all $25 certificates are only $2 right now, plus you can get a $15 ProFlowers.com promo code! Go here for more details!

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