Saturday, August 24th, 2013
With the hustle and bustle of school followed by after school activities, sometimes it’s easier to grab dinner out before extreme hunger hits and while going out can be more expensive than eating at home, it doesn’t have to be. But how do you know where the deals are? Surprisingly, there’s doesn’t seem to be a great iOS or Android app to help parents but tech savvy families can stick to their household budget by doing these four things to save money when dining out.
Get email alerts for daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social for restaurant deals. While the selection varies from day to day, email alerts help you stay on top of what restaurants are offering deals like half off on dining certificates.
Look for kids eat free days. Often restaurants advertise their kids eat free days and others are happy to offer up the information when asked. Another great resource is MyKidsEatFree.com that allows you to do a search based on your city and state for participating kids eat free restaurants. Since it can be hard to remember which restaurants offer free meals on various days, make a list on your smartphone to give your family some options when you need to grab a bite on the go.
Check Restaurant.com to see what area restaurants participate. Just by entering your zip code, Restaurant.com will find local eateries and you select the gift certificate amount you’d like to purchase at a heavily discounted rate. Often times $25 gift certificates to a restaurant cost $10 out of pocket. There are sometimes restrictrictions such as days of the week the certificate can be used or a minimum purchase amount but generally Restaurant.com is a great way to save a ton of money as long as you enjoy the fare at the participating restaurants in your area.
Shop for gift cards for favorite restaurants at warehouse clubs. Our local Costco has a wide variety of gift cards for restaurants in our area and while it’s a significant outlay of cash at first, generally a purchase of $80 comes with a $20 bonus gift card for a total of $100. If you easily tire of the same restaurant, purchase gift cards to one restaurant and have a friend purchase gift cards to another then split them for variety’s sake.
Daughter enjoying meal with her mother via Shutterstock
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