Tip #12: How I’m saving $2,000+ on eating out in 2009
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This is Tip #12 of the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge.
Today’s tip is to save money on eating out using services that offer incredibly steep discounts. I eat out a lot, so this one is saving me tons of money.
You can get big discounts on eating out if you plan ahead and are willing to use coupons at a restaurant. If you live in a city and restaurants tend to be more expensive, saving 10% or 25% or 50% per meal — even once a week — can add up quickly. Here are the tips I’ve started using for a huge drop in my monthly spending on eating out.
1. Restaurant.com is offering 80% (!!) off its gift certificates. Note: This expires on
- Get $25 Restaurant.com gift certificates for $2 (no joke)
- Get a 12-month Dinner of the Month Club membership for $24
Remember, those deals expire on 11/24. Use code “SURPRISE” to get the discounts.
2. The 2009 Entertainment Book
Remember these from elementary school? They used to cost $40 and seemed unreasonably expensive…until I started having to buy my own food. I bought a copy of this a couple days ago after checking out the site to make sure their coupons were good for my area. I’m forcing myself to use at least two coupons per month — so if I’m planning to grab dinner with someone, I’ll consciously grab a coupon from this book (which I’m going to keep on my desk) and try to pick a restaurant that applies. Note: This works if you already eat out, but if you buy the book and then force yourself to use it — spending more than you normally would have — that’s probably not the best way to save money. Duh. These are $25, so check the coupons to see what it will take for you to save money.
I ordered mine a couple days ago.
Check out the Entertainment book site.
3. Along the lines of involving your friends in the 30 Day Challenge, here’s a tip I’m using to save money on eating out. The other day, one of my friends was talking about she loves to cook, but hates cleaning up. My eyes lit up because I don’t mind washing dishes, but I’m horrible at cooking. Could there be a win-win situation here?
Everybody wins: We all get to hang out, eat food instead of letting it go rotten, and my friend doesn’t have to worry about cleaning up. If each meal saves a $20 dinner out and you do that three times/month, that’s $60/month.
There are also a bunch of other coupon / eating services out there, so if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments. It depends how much you eat out, but to share my friends’ biggest expense, it’s eating out by far, so this tip alone will save most of them over $1,000 over the next year. If you eat out a lot, it’s even more.
Total saved: $50 to $3,000
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Last thing to do
1. Check out the other tips in the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge
2. Leave a comment on this post describing how much you’re saving with this tip and any unusual techniques you use to make this tip work.
If you liked this tip, check out my Premium tips — one long, tactical tip per week. Save money or get a 100% refund.
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