Think it’s Impossible to Save Money Eating Out? Think again

Use these 9 tips to save money when eating out

If you think it’s impossible to save money eating out, think again. There are many ways to save money and many discounts and coupons to take advantage of. Here are a few money-saving tips to get you started.

Tip #1 — Clip coupons

You can find coupons for local restaurants easily by checking your newspaper and taking care when going through all that “junk” mail. Some valuable coupons are hidden in all that.

Tip #2 — Get email alerts

Go to the website of your favorite restaurants and sign up for email alerts When the restaurant is having a special, you’ll get an email letting you know in advance, and most restaurants give discounts for your birthday once you register. Sign up for all your favorites and enjoy free desserts, $5 discounts, and in some cases up to 20% discounts.

Tip #3 — Shop for bargains

Always be on the lookout for bargains. When you go to a restaurant, ask your server what specials they have that aren’t advertised. You’ll find plenty such as buy-one-get-one-free appetizers; discount prices for smaller portions; low-cost upgrades; even free food.

Tip #4 — Take advantage of senior discounts

This is one time to be proud of your age. Seniors, ages 55 and up, are eligible for all kinds of discounts the most common being free coffee and a 20% discount on the meal.

Tip #5 — Fill out survey forms

To improve their service, restaurants offer discounts if you will take the time to fill out a survey.

Tip #6 — Order takeout

Consider ordering your food to go. Most restaurants offer call-ahead and curb-side service now. By ordering your food and taking it home, you save the cost of the tip and drinks and can eat in the peace and comfort of your own home.

Tip #7 — Drink water

Drinks are one of the biggest markup items on the menu. By drinking water instead of soda, you can save big time. If you must have wine with your meal, plan your visit during happy hour.

Tip #8 — Happy hour specials

Hit happy hour for all kinds of specials. Not only are the drinks discounted, many places serve complimentary snacks.

Tip #9 — Find “kids eat free” specials

A big savings to your dining bill is finding the “kids eat free” specials. Check the restaurants in your area and online. Most will have one designated night per week where kids under the age of 12 eat free from the kid’s menu.

So start clipping those coupons and taking a little time to check out the places you eat. You’ll be amazed at how you save money eating out by paying attention to these 9 tips.