Going out for a family dinner can be a pleasant break from the norm. However, if you’re on a budget, eating out can get expensive. This doesn’t have to put a damper on all the fun. You can still go out to eat as long as you plan ahead of time and use various promotions, discounts and specials, offered by local restaurants. Knowing how to find these money-saving deals and how to use them can make it so you can still have a fun family night without going over your budget.
Check the mail thoroughly, because often restaurants will advertise in the neighborhood to increase their clientele. They might be part of a coupon distribution promo where a booklet or sheet of coupons for various discounts gets delivered throughout the area. These coupons can be for anything from a buy one, get one free deal to a free entree or dessert. Some coupons will give you a certain percentage of the total cost of the dinner, while other coupons require you to spend a certain amount in order to get a certain discount. Clip the coupons that come in the mail, keep them in your wallet, and when you visit the restaurant of your choice, hand them to the server to make sure you get the discount. Always check the expiration date on the coupons to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Visit Restaurant Websites
If you have a bunch of favorite restaurants, it’s worth it to visit their websites regularly. You might find information on upcoming or ongoing specials and discounts. You can also find out whether they offer discounts on food items on certain days or during certain parts of the day. Holidays, happy hour, and kids-eat-free promos come to mind. Sometimes the discounts only apply to certain foods, or they can only be honored if you spend a certain amount of money. Some restaurant websites have areas where you can register for their email list. Doing this often instantly gets you some kind of discount, and on your birthday, you might also get a free dessert or other gift. The emails you receive will keep you updated on new food items and special promos.
An online search can quickly result in a bunch of websites that offer restaurant discounts. Valpak.com and Restaurant.com are some examples. Valpak.com offers printable coupons that give up to $10 off your meal, or honor a free entrée. You can print these coupons, cut them out and redeem them in the restaurant during checkout. Restaurant.com provides a different type of discount. This website offers gift certificates from various restaurants in your area at a discounted price. You can, for instance, buy a $10 gift certificate to a restaurant for $4.