The post today is a guest post from Brenda Stokes. If you would like to write a guest post check out the guest post guidelines. Brenda Stokes writes for Billeater.com, offering tips and advice to help you save money on your bills. You can read more dining tips at Billeater.com.
If you’ve been through any drive-thru lately, you know that it isn’t cheap anymore. A meal of burgers, fries and soda now costs $20-$25 for a family of four. And sure, it’s fast and easy, but if it’s possible to use those dining-out dollars for more nutritious food, why not go for it?
Use Coupons to Save Money Dining Out
There’s no shame in using a coupon while dining out. Restaurants offer coupons to lure customers in, with the hopes of earning repeat business. Look for coupons and offers in the newspaper, Sunday coupon circulars, mailers and even on the restaurant’s Web site. Many Web sites allow you to sign up for coupons and other offers, such as a free meal on your birthday. Other restaurants may not offer coupons, yet set aside one night a week for a “kids eat free” offer. If you’ve got two children, that sort of deal will save $8 to $10 off your dining bill every visit.
Scouting groups, your own church and other organizations may offer fundraiser coupon books. These generally provide Buy One, Get One Free offers (BOGO) or “kids eat free” deals. For those who live in a larger metro area, one of the best buys available is the Entertainment © Book (www.entertainment.com). For roughly $35, this book provides hundreds of free meals and other discounts, making it possible to save hundreds of dollars in dining expenses each year.
Dining coupons are a great thing to use, and for many reasons:
- Depending on the offer, it’s possible to save $5 to $20 per restaurant visit;
- It gives your family the opportunity to try new places;
- If you tried a place and didn’t like it, at least you didn’t pay full price, and you’ll know not to revisit;
- It stretches the budget a little further, so it’s OK to order the appetizer or dessert that might have been passed up, due to the cost;
- Your family will find some great new restaurants to add to your lists of favorites;
- Eat “real” food instead of the inevitable fast food burgers or tacos.
Using coupons for discounts, free foods, BOGO offers and kids eat free deals is just plain smart. If your family dines out once a week, and uses a coupon of some sort each time, it’s possible to save $300 to $500 a year. According to the National Restaurant Association, the average American household spends more than $2,600 on dining away from home each year. Use coupons to stretch those dollars even further.
You probably know other sources of coupons. Maybe you got a really great deal at a restaurant near you that serves healthy meals.
What’s the best coupon you ever found for eating out with the family?