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1/30/13

8 Tips to Save on Dining Out

We 'rarely' eat out. We just do not have the money to do so.  However if you do and need some help in wondering if you can continue. Here are 8 Tips to Save on Dining Out! 


Residents and visitors of New York and Los Angeles are currently enjoying Restaurant Week; the annual event when high-end restaurants open their doors to people of all incomes with specials on prix fixe menu items. If you're lucky enough to be in these cities during the festivities, you can enjoy the crème de la crème of cuisine without the typical price tag.

But what about the rest of us? Living in other parts of the country can leave you feeling a little left out of the gourmet experience. Happily, there are many ways to save on dining, whether it's at your favorite diner or the best restaurant in town. Read on for tips to enjoy a tasty evening without overindulging your financial appetite.
1. Tune Your Radar
Since celebrity chefs congregate in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, you may assume Restaurant Week is only available in those locations. Wrong! If you live in or near cities such as Denver, Chicago, Charleston, Ann Arbor and San Diego, you have access to great food for less, too. A quick Google search should educate you on the timeframe and participating restaurants in your area.

2. Get Rewarded for Research
By now you know to never enter a new restaurant without first reading reviews. Sites like Yelp.com dominate restaurant review resources, but sometimes you can also find a voucher for additional savings. This is especially true for new restaurants hoping to build a customer base.

3. Facebook It
Social media enables you to get personalized recommendations from people you trust the most -- your family and friends! Before trying a new restaurant or selecting one in your city, ask friends for advice. You may discover a new favorite spot or know to avoid an overhyped establishment.

4. Use Tech to Save
FourSquare is a popular app for restaurant deals, but be sure to broaden your technological horizons for extra savings. The Coupon Sherpa mobile app has coupons to popular chain restaurants, while BiteHunter aggregates local restaurant deals by cuisine and/or location.

5. Fill Up During Happy Hour
Happy hour is a great opportunity to try a new place you've been curious about, or afford a high-end restaurant you wouldn't otherwise try. Drinks and appetizers often fill you up before the main course anyway, leaving the rest of the evening to take in a movie or hit up your favorite ice-cream joint for dessert.

6. Get Free Meals for Kids
Dining as a twosome can be expensive; add in a child or two and you're looking at a hefty dinner check. Thankfully, most chain restaurants offer free meals for kids under a certain age on particular days. Consult this list for the when and where, and schedule your family date night accordingly.

7. Share for Savings
The easiest way to cut down on your dining bill is to order only one appetizer, entree and dessert. You can enjoy a three or four-course meal on the cheap by splitting it with your dining partner. Thanks to enormous portion sizes, you'll leave the restaurant with a slimmer waistline and heavier pockets.

8. Don't Forget Daily Deals
While you may be suffering from daily deal fatigue, sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial are still great resources for trying new restaurants for less. Typically, new companies partner with daily-deal sites to drive traffic and build a customer base. That means drink and appetizer specials, 50-percent off entrees and more big savings.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.
For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email andrea@andreaworoch.com.


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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26 comments :

  1. Those are great ideas! We also read the Friday section of our newspaper for reviews on local restaurants.

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  2. We prefer to dine out when the kids can eat for free, it definitely helps the pocketbook!

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  3. Great tips, especially the one about happy hour. I am always full after my appetizer and would be happy to just go out for drinks and appetizers and leave.

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  4. Thanks for the tips! We don't have kids, so we tend to avoid places that offer Kids eat free nights!

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  5. We love kids eat free night. I always eat the salad and rolls when at a restaurant and usually am so full I bring home my meal for lunch/dinner the next day.

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    1. Thank you Jen!
      That is a great idea!

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  6. These are wonderful tips... Thank you

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  7. Great tips! We used to eat out a lot, but stopped as soon as we noticed just how much was going to dining out. It was actually pretty appalling and since then, we have agreed to only go out to eat for special occasions--plus, we are guaranteed to eat healthier at home, which is always a huge plus. So, for those special occasions when we go out to eat, I will definitely be utilizing some of your tips to save as much as we can!

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    Replies
    1. You are a wise woman!
      So glad these will come in handy!

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  8. I recently started using apps to find coupons when dining out. Great suggestions!

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    1. Another reason I can't wait to have a smartphone , which might be never!

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  9. I use some of those techniques, they are certainly are good tips.

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  10. I love dining out and those are some great tips to remember. Thanks

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  11. I agree with the share meals tip. Something else our family does is actually skip the kids meals and share our meals with the kids as it's much healthier and more variety for the kids!

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  12. These are great tips. We do the two for twenty thing at Applebee's once in awhile. It's a good price for two meals and an appetizer.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Rosey.

      I'd like to visit AppleBee's sometime.

      Delete

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