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How To Save On Dining Out (So you never have to skip date night)

This post is sponsored by MySavings.

How To Save On Dining OutI love going out to eat. It’s usually my go to idea when we are trying to figure out what to do for date night. As soon as Pete asks, my favorite French onion soup pops into my head and I start to crave it.

But the truth is, dining out can get really expensive if you do it often. Oh sure, there are fast food joints and dollar menus. And while I do eat there in a pinch, it’s not quite the atmosphere you want on date night. And if you are having date night, you don’t want to look the menu up and down so you can order the cheapest item. You want to enjoy whatever you’re having and not worry about prying a lock off your wallet when the bill comes.

You can make a few conscious decisions before you go out to eat so you can save when you are there. And if you thought about these beforehand, you won’t have to worry about them when you’re looking at the menu.

How To Save On Dining Out (So you never have to skip date night)

Look for coupons.
If you’re heading to a chain restaurant, you can easily check a restaurant’s Facebook page or website to see if there are any offers available. They’re easily advertised and can save a bunch off your bill. Like right now, you can get a coupon to save 20% at Macaroni Grill. When you’re walking in the door, you already know that you’re saving 20% … which means you can have dessert. And really, isn’t the point of dinner just to get to dessert?

Buy certificates.
Have you ever tried It’s fantastic. You can search by zip code and find participating restaurants in your area. Pick the one you want, then buy a discounted voucher. You can purchase ones like a $25 certificate for $5. That’s a huge savings. They will have stipulations that vary by restaurant (some have a minimum purchase requirement, others won’t let you use the voucher on alcohol, etc.) What’s better is that you can purchase them when they’re on sale and you can use them any time you feel like eating out.

Go during happy hour.
One of our favorite restaurants to bring guests to has a tapas hour. If you sit in the bar area, you can get discounted tapas. And the tapas are just as great when they’re full price or discounted. Another restaurant that is at the top of our list of restaurants to bring guests to has a half-priced appetizer menu before a specific time. You just have to order them by that time, not be checked out by then. If you can time your meal accordingly, you’ll save a bunch. If you have your mind set on a restaurant, see if it offers a similar deal. 

Skip the drinks.
I only ever drink water, so I never have to worry about paying for drinks. If you like water too, go with that. You can always drink your soda at home, where it is far less expensive. But if you do want alcohol, try somewhere that has deals. “It’s always happy hour at Chili’s,” we were told once, meaning drinks are always 2-for-1 there. So you’re only paying for half your drinks that way. That’s a lot better than full price.

What other tips do you have to save on dining out?