On average Americans spend more than $3,000 a year eating out! When you make a habit of dining out most nights, you can see it really put a strain on your finances. However, we all need to treat ourselves here and there, and that is where these money saving hacks come in handy! You can dine out, and not spend an arm and a leg, you just have to be savvy about it.
Eating Out is Fun with these Money Saving Hacks
Try and eat out at lunch time, that is one of the best times to find great deals. You can take advantage of special sales like a soup and sandwich, buy 1 get 1 free deals, and more. Lunch specials and even buffets are generally a few dollars cheaper than dining out at dinner time.
Groupon and LivingSocial are great ways to buy vouchers to save anywhere from 50% to 90% off your meals at restaurants in your area. This is one you have to plan ahead just a little to utilize. Just search restaurants in your area for special deals. Restaurants.com is another great one, you can buy discounted gift vouchers for select restaurants in your area. These two sites are a great way to cut your dining out bill in half!
Discounted Gift Cards
Cardpool and Raise are two great sites to consider shopping at. You can order gifts cards at a discounted price. Say you want a gift card to Jamba Juice. By buying at Raise, you can get one for around 10% off retail price. The gift cards do vary, and prices do change, so shop around and see what deals you can score.
Sign up for the newsletter or clubs to some of your favorite places to dine at. Restaurants and fast food chains often will email you free coupons for deals or even freebies, especially on your birthday!
You can use this website to make reservations for restaurants in your area, and then you earn points for each reservation you make, which you can then cash in for gift vouchers. This is a way to earn a little back at restaurants if you are going to dine somewhere pretty nice.
Bring Leftovers Home
Sadly most places give you such huge portions that a lot can go to waste. Ask for a to-go box and bring it home and eat it the next day. This is a great way to make the most of going out for a meal.
If you like to eat fast food consider eating off the dollar menu. You can find items for $1 to enjoy. Create your own meal with fries, hamburger and a drink for around $3. A lot of fast foods also offer 2 for $10 deals or $5 meal deals. So make sure to look at all the deals they have going on.
Kids Eat Free Nights
When eating out with the kids, take advantage of kids eat free nights or discounted kid’s nights. Restaurants like IHOP, Denny’s, Applebees, and Rainforest Cafe all offer free or discounted nights. So enjoy!
Coupons in Sunday Paper
Sometimes fast food places will have a coupon booklet in the Sunday paper. We get them from time to time for Wendy’s, Sonic, that have around 6-10 coupons for deals. If you get the newspaper consider looking through to see if you find any coupons.
Consider drinking water with your meal, that can save anywhere from $2-$3. Plus if they charge for refills on soda, you will save even more.
Skip Dessert and Appetizers
Skip the desserts and appetizers, as they are extra add-ons that can really rack up your bill. You can grab an ice cream cone or eat a piece of cake at home for much less.
These money saving hacks are a great way to enjoy eating out at your favorite restaurants, or even saving money at your favorite fast food spot. These are tried and true ways to score a more affordable dining out experience.