Dining Discounts

     Many of us view eating out as a treat and escape from our own Kitchens but we do not want to spend as much as our electric bills on a dining experience. It is possible to enjoy our fine dining and casual eateries without spending a bundle or sacrificing appetizers and even dessert.  The question is how to save money yet still enjoy the finer things in life. The answers are amazingly simple and most require little time investment.  Saving money can be quick and simple! Try some of the suggestions listed below and watch your palate be satisfied without breaking your budget!

1.  Visit the establishment’s website and join any reward club or membership offered.  Ensure you check the box to be notified of savings and special offers.  Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse just emailed me the Summer special which includes a choice of three starters,entrees, sides, and preselected dessert for only $39.95 per person.  These deals are almost always available for many fine dining establishments.Remain informed via club memberships to include Hard Rock Cafe, Chilis, TGI Fridays, Macaroni Grill and so on.  The list is limitless, just think of your desired location and search them on the web.  You have the option of subscribing to their email club to stay informed of specials.  Provide your birthday and anniversary and watch the certificates for free appetizers or desserts add up.  When you make the reservation ensure you read the options and indicate if there is a special celebration.  You can also discreetly mention to your server if you are celebrating a special event, often they will bring a unique dessert to help you celebrate.  This allows you to enjoy dessert and save another ten or so dollars on your bill! 

2.  Join any and all reward clubs offered by your favorite restaurants!  Often they send appetizer or BOGO, buy one get one offers. Also check to see if your visa card offers reward points or even certificates for national chain restaurants.  Ensure you pay the bill in full to avoid interest charges which can eliminate any savings!

3.  Your local television and radio stations often offer deals to local restaurants via their websites.  The restaurant gets discounted or free advertising and you get half price dining certificates.  Usually there are little or no restrictions on the use and minimum purchase requirements associated with these certificates!  To locate the deals check the websites of local stations or just listen to the radio or watch your local news. 

4.  Restaurant.com and other discount dining certificate sites are an a good value.  If you live in a large city you will enjoy more of these options but ensure you read the minimum purchase requirement and view the menu to ensure this is a good deal.  Often the minimum purchase required makes the value lower than you might desire.  For example a $25 gift certificate may only cost $10 but the minimum of two entrees may drive the cost fairly high or the minimum purchase will run from $35 to $50.  Check the menu and requirements prior to purchase. 

5.  When planning a trip visit chamber of commerce or tourism websites to print coupon offers.  Many will mail you a coupon book for local activities to include local favorites eateries.  The discount may be for BOGO, percentage discounts or free items!  There is little time invested and the savings can add up!

     Saving money while enjoying both fine, casual and local specialty dining can be as simple as doing a little research and joining a few frequent diner clubs. The small amount of time invested can add up to substantial savings.  Enjoy your dinner and remember to save room for dessert!