Dining out is a fun treat that can easily break your wallet and your budget! Hubby and I have always had a hard time giving up our dining out habit, but now that we are trying to live a little bit more frugally and save up for our house, we’ve had to take a hard look at our dining habits. Some nights when you are beat and tired, it’s just so much easier to go out to eat, but after a while that gets to be really expensive. If you are a diner like we are, then you are going to love these cheap dining out tips that will help you to save money when you eat out! Tons of great ideas that we have used over the years to allow us to still eat at our favorite restaurants and save money too!
9 Cheap Dining Out Tips That Save You Money
Check out Rewards Programs: Sometimes you can find really good dining out coupons. A great place to start is Coupons.com to see if they have any printable coupons you can use. The next best place is places like Groupon, and then the restaurants websites! Here are some of our favorite dining places that offer coupons from time to time
- Red Robin
- T.G.I.Fridays Give Me More Stripes
- My Panera Rewards
- Red Lobster:Fresh Catch Club
- My Starbucks Rewards
- Dunkin Donuts Rewards
- Caribou Coffee Perks (my favoritest)
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Rainforest Cafe Select Club
Restaurants dot com: This is a great site where you can buy gift certificates for your favorite local restaurants for way below retail! The always have coupon codes out that make their already lower prices even cheaper. I have used them to score $30 in certificates for only $2. No, I am not kidding! I love this program! Want to see what local restaurants around you participate? Check it out here! Check back at CF from time to time, as I list their promotional codes all the time to save you even more!
Early Bird Baby: Lots of restaurants have early bird specials. Our favorite hibachi restaurants have early bird specials if you dine before 4pm. We often get the same meal for almost half off by eating during their early bird dinner hours. It saves us over $100 bucks on our meal just for eating a few hours earlier.
Happy Hour: Happy Hour is a great time to head to restaurants if you are looking for drinks and a quick bite. Split appetizers with your friends and family for even more savings. When I go out with my girlfriends, I usually order a happy hour drink and one appetizer. They do the same, so we each end up spending less than $10 and leave with more than enough food in our bellies.
Skip the Drinks: Drinks are where most restaurants make the most profit. The cost of drinks are going up as well. Skip them. Order water instead and for a family of five you could save up to $15 on your tab.
Split Dinners: Restaurant portions are huge. That’s why my 16 year old and I love splitting a meal. It saves us money, plus we don’t end up over stuffing ourselves. It’s even been kind of a bonding thing because we always split meals.
Printable Coupons: From time to time sites like Coupons.com have printable coupons that you can print out that are good for local restaurants.
Groupon: Groupon is another way we love saving money. A lot of the time you can find local deals on new restaurants and they can offer up to 50% off. We’ve done this for several restaurants that are here in our area. It let’s us try new cuisine, and it we usually save at least 30% off.
Take the Survey: If you are like me most of the time, you don’t even think about the survey that sometimes shows up on the end of your receipt. Most of the time if you take the survey you will get a coupon good for money off your next meal. Sometimes you can even win big bucks towards that restaurant. It’s definitely worth it.
There’s my cheap dining out tips, what are your favorite ways to save money when you are eating out on the town?