Dining on a Dime

Save Eating OutIf you are like me you enjoy eating.  Not just because you are greedy, but because of the interaction with family and friends, socialization with others, and the opportunity to explore new taste, smells, and textures.  From trying the exotic and extreme to finding the best burger in town, I love to eat, but participating in some dining experiences can be pretty pricey and can easily send you dipping into your savings or spending hundreds of dollars a week, if you don’t have a plan.  Because I love to eat, I had to develop a way to save some money so I could do it as often as I like.  Here are some tips to help you enjoy dining out while not going broke.

  1. Download apps on your phone to help you identify restaurants that have discounts.  Some of these apps can even show you deals based on your location.  Some to check out include: Scoutmob, BiteHunter, Coupon Sherpa, and BlackboardEats.
  2.  Check restaurants for “Happy Hour Specials.”  Happy Hour Specials are those specials that are usually offered between 5-7 pm and typically offer significantly reduced prices on meals and drinks.  Meals may be up to 90% off.  Check out McCormick & Schmick’s for items ranging from $2.99-$5.99.
  3. Try restaurants that offer Tapas.  If you are a person who likes trying a number of different dishes, Tapas are for you!  They are usually only a couple of dollars and you and your party can each order 2 or 3 and then share with one another.
  4. Dine out during lunch.  I know this is simple, but you can save tons of money by choosing to dine out during lunch verses dinner.  Many times the items on the dinner menu are exactly the same with a higher price tag.
  5. Share a meal.  Most restaurant portions are actually 2-3 savings. By dining out and splitting a meal, you can save not only money, but save calories as well and who doesn’t want that!
  6. Check your favorite restaurant for specials on certain nights of the week, i.e. “Ladies Night.”  Some restaurants offer specials on certain nights of the week where the traffic is typically slower and meals may be 50% or more discounted.
  7. Take advantage of restaurants that let kids eat free.  If you have a couple of kids, this alone can save you money by not having to pay for their meals.
  8. Follow the your favorite restaurants on social media and join their email lists in order to be privy to special deals and discounts not given to the general public.
  9. Ask your servers are “Bar Menus.”  A Bar Menu is typically offered only at the bar and the prices are discounted from the rest of the menu.  Some bar menus offer the same items, some do not.  Check with your server for details.
  10. Save and budget for that 5-Star experience.  If you know there is a particular restaurant you want to go to then opt not to go to some less expensive restaurants for a while in favor of saving the money to go to the one you really want to go to.  Be willing to make short term sacrifices for long term rewards.

For additional savings tips, deals, and discounts, check out “Discount Diva’s 30 Tips to Having the Best for Less” and learn tips on saving on everything from travel to buying a designer bag, shopping for life insurance to investing in the market, and saving on car buying to setting financial goals.  Get the book here at: bit.ly/19y3YaE .


Also, stay tuned for the opening of Discount Diva’s Consignment Thriftique…



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