May 14, 2008

Is there such a thing as eating out frugally?

My husband and I don't eat out often -- perhaps twice a month at the most and many months, not at all -- mostly because we're hard to part with our money. A middle-of-the-road restaurant -- Red Lobster, Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden - costs us $40 to $50 for dinner for two, including a drink or two for Jeff and a decent tip for the server. That's a lot of money for one meal! But I've discovered a way to eat out for a reasonable price and at a discounted rate! I go to Restaurant.com , put in my zip code, and find participating restaurants in my area. I buy a certificate for the restaurant of my choice -- often paying as little as $10 for a $25 gift certificate -- and print it off right then and there. We go out to eat to a nice restaurant and when the bill comes, I hand them the certificate and most of our meal is paid for! I save at least 50% and sometimes as much as 75%, depending on what specials Restaurant.com is offering. I'm always amazed at the number of local restaurants that participate. I've also used this service when we travel. In fact (don't tell my son!), when we hosted my son and daughter-in-law's wedding rehearsal dinner, I purchased a $50 gift certificate (for $20) to apply to the bill! Shhhhh...don't tell! If you're watching your dollars, this is a great way to still enjoy yourself but at a discounted rate. If you go out to eat anyway, why not save money doing so!!

1 comment:

Karen said...

hey Joan,
My dad has been using this service for a long long time. He loves it!
Karen :)