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We can all use a night off from cooking meals and doing dishes every now and then, but it can be expensive!

Don’t let an expensive check at the end of your favorite restaurant meals ruin your night off.

We’ve paid almost half of our grocery costs for the week on a meal out a few times. And then I feel guilty for having spent so much on something we could’ve made cheaper at home.

While eating out will most likely never be as cheap as making things yourself, there are tons of ways to save on your restaurant bill.

Because you need to learn how to save on restaurant meals because you will be eating at them for the rest or your life.

And, when you save money at restaurants you can put more towards your savings.

Plus, when you learn how to save money dining out, you’ll be able to keep more of your money where it should be – in your account.

So start to save money eating out today with these tips!

I’ll going to share with you just a few ways to save money when you eat out.

Because, a little bit of planning ahead will allow you to enjoy the food you didn’t have to cook, AND the savings!

 

10 Ways To Save Money On Your Favorite Restaurant Meals:

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1. Use Coupons

Restaurant coupons are really easy to find. Check for available coupons before you decide which restaurant you’ll go to.

This is often how our family decides the restaurant we will visit and the biggest way we learned how to save on restaurant meals.

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2. Loyalty Cards, Apps & Emails

If you frequently go to ANY restaurant for meals you should be signed up for their email list, loyalty card and smartphone app, if they have one.

I am signed up for the loyalty card program with Chili’s and I constantly get offers for extra points. Sometimes those points can get you a free appetizer, dessert, or kid’s meal so you can save money at restaurants.

If I wasn’t signed up for Outback’s email list, I wouldn’t get all of their free bloomin’ onion alerts or 15% off coupons.

Some loyalty cards won’t pay off until after you’ve visited a few times, but when I used the Steak and Shake loyalty card app I got a free milkshake the same day. {Score!}

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3. Snack Before Your Meal

I know your Mom probably advised against this, but a high protein snack (like a boiled egg or a handful of nuts) before heading out the door can curb your appetite and keep you from over-ordering.

It’s one way on how to save money dining out. By eating a little something before hand, you won’t be tempted to order an appetizer which can cost you anywhere from $8-$15 or more if you have a large family like I do.

Save yourself the money and grab a little something so you don’t get to the hangry or starving stage.

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4. Order Water

Restaurants usually have a huge price markup on drinks (not just the alcoholic ones, either)!

A glass of soda can cost $2.50 or more. A family of 5 can save $12.50 off their dining bill by just choosing water.

Add a little flavor to your free beverage by asking for fresh lemon or lime wedges. You can even add a little sweetener if you’d like (which is usually available for free right on the table).

This tip to save money eating out is the best one yet, because water is FREE! Don’t get caught in the temptation that you must have a soda. We always discuss before we walk into the restaurant that we are all drinking water. This way there are no complaints at the table.

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5. Share Your Restaurant Meals

Many restaurant meals are very large portions. Does everyone need their own take-home a box of leftovers?

Try ordering an appetizer and one meal to share. Not only will this help you save money at restaurants, but it will save you some calories, too!

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6. Know When To Go

Restaurants tend to offer promotions at times they are not very busy.

Going out for lunch instead of dinner, taking note of Early Bird Specials (usually offered before 6pm), and dining on Kids Eat Free Nights can all save you as much as 50% off your restaurant meals!

Keep these tricks on how to save on restaurant meals up your sleeve the next time you want to dine out!

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7. Pay With Discounted Gift Cards

You’ll feel really “stealth” when you use a Gift Card to pay that you bought for less than face value!

For example, buy a $50 Outback Gift Card for $43 by purchasing a Discounted Gift Card. I usually buy the eGiftCard option so that I can get it emailed to me asap. Then, simply show the bar code to the server and they’ll use it to pay, just like cash.

The best part is that since Gift Cards are simply an alternative form of payment, you can use them along with any coupons or discounts.

Also, often near a Holiday (such as Mother’s Day or Christmas) restaurants will offer bonus gift cards. Deals such as buy a $50 gift card, get a bonus $10 gift card (to be used the next week or so) is an easy way to get FREE money to spend at your favorite restaurant!

This is my favorite way to save money eating out!

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8. Save With Social Media

See if your favorite restaurant is on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Just by “liking” your favorite restaurant on Facebook, or following them on Twitter, you can gain access to exclusive coupons and specials that may not be available any other place.

When you save money at restaurants, you’re saving your hard earned dough!

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9. Purchase Discounts From A Daily Deal Site

Check out places like Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com and more for dining discounts.

You’ll find offers for nationally-known favorites and undiscovered new restaurants, too. Be sure to read the offer carefully before purchasing your discount voucher checking for any restrictions and the expiration date.

(NOTE: Many of these discount vouchers are still good past their expiration date for the price you purchased them for, so don’t throw them out if they have expired!)

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD

Feel Less Stress While Paying Off Debt

 

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meals

10. Sign Up for Birthday FREEbies

When you register to receive offers from a restaurant, you’ll usually get a FREEbie on your birthday and/or anniversary.

Check out our huge list of Birthday FREEbies and sign up before your month starts so you’ll be ready!

One last tip, is to make sure you check your receipt before you leave the restaurant. Not only are you checking for any errors on your receipt (which happens to my family almost every time we eat out), but to look for surveys or discounts off your next purchase. Taking a 5 minute survey online could save you up to 20% Off the next time you eat out!

So as you can see, I hope you learned how to save on restaurant meals since you will be eating at them for the rest or your life.

And, when you save money at restaurants you can put more towards your savings.

Plus, when you learn how to save money dining out, you’ll be able to keep more of your money where it should be – in your account.

So start to save money eating out today with these tips!

\If you use smart spending strategies then you’ll have no guilt when you eat out!

 

YOUR TURN: What ways do you save on your family restaurant meals when you eat out? Comment below and share with us!

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10 Ways To Save Money When Eating Out
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