I love dining out, but lately I feel like my dollar is not buying what it used to. Add in tip and tax and you are probably spending more than you planned on, if you are the planning type. Here are a few ways to help you save some money on your next dining out experience.
Use Online Reservation Systems
Opentable.com awards you points for every reservation made once dining is complete. Each reservation is worth 100 points, with special 1000 point reservations. You can redeem your points when you reach 2000 and get a $20 towards your bill at any participating Opentable restaurant. This service is available in cities throughout the world.
Find Online Discounts
Restaurant.com offers discounted certificates at participating restaurants. $25 for $2 is the best deal I found by seeking out a coupon code. The best deal I can find today is $25 for $6 with coupon code HUNT. NOTE that there may be limitations with these certificates so read the fine print. For example you may need to spend a certain amount or you are limited to the days you can dine using that certificate.
Gilt City, Groupon, Living Social plus many more all have deals for restaurants. A word of caution to review the deal and make sure that truly a good deal for you. If it includes wine and you are not a wine drinker, it may not be the deal for you. I may get in trouble for saying this, but if you have four people dining, you may not need four desserts. (ducking to avoid the shoe being thrown at me)
Take Advantage of “Restaurant Week”
Los Angeles seems to have a “Restaurant Week” every other month, not that there is anything wrong with that. The deals are usually good, lunch from $16 and dinner from $24 for a 3 course set menu (app, main, dessert) with 2 to 4 choices per course. The menus are usually available beforehand so find a restaurant with a menu that suits your taste buds.
Check out restaurants in your neighborhood. Maybe you can find a new restaurant to ride your bike or walk to and work off some of your meal. By dining out near your home, you are helping your economy and keeping your tax dollars at home.
Don’t be afraid to use any of these savings tactics on a date, that should impress’em. As always, try and support restaurants that offer you a choice of local and/or organic food when possible. Please share your tricks and tips for saving money on dining out.
– GreenUp! Guy