Food & Recipes

4 Smart Tips for Saving Money While Dining Out

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Love trying out new restaurants or visiting your old favorites? Unfortunately, those bills at the end of your meal can add up pretty quickly — especially when the whole family joins in. Here are the easy ways to spend less while enjoying delicious food.

1. Jump on “flash” food sales.

There’s a new trend in restaurants: limited and one-day sales. And if you miss them, you could be losing out on big savings. Fortunately, finding them is as easy as visiting RetailMeNot. This free coupon website compiles the latest “flash” sales from restaurants in your area every day.

2. Get cash back from Yelp.

The popular online website Yelp isn’t just a handy place to read reviews about restaurants you want to visit — it also offers up to 10 percent back when you pick one of the thousands of eateries that participate in its cash-back program! Simply link up one of your credit cards to Yelp’s Cash Back program, then use the filter to find “cash back” restaurants — and you’ll get up to 10 percent of your bill returned!

3. Ask about discounts!

Most restaurants offer discounts to certain groups of people, such as seniors, former and current military members and their families, teachers, and AAA card holders — which can typically save you about 10 percent on your meal. So, before you head out, call around to restaurants and ask about all the discounts they offer to see if you qualify.

4. Earn restaurant rewards.

To compete for your business, more restaurants (including Carrabba’s, Dave & Busters, Red Lobster, and TGIFridays) are offering their own rewards programs. Sign up for free, and you could be earning points with every purchase that can be used toward free food, a percentage off your bill after a certain number of visits, or other money-saving benefits.

Now you don’t have to worry about splurging on a night out with the whole family. Eat up!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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