An article by Money Smart Life about 10 Ways to Cut Your Restaurant Bill provoked some thoughts of my own. I whole-heartedly agree with all of his statements and have been practicing them all for a few years now.
I’d like to add a few of my own.
1. Entertainment Book – This year, we purchased 2 books for $27 TOTAL from the entertainment.com website. That’s less than the price of one book, and I only used their standard discounting methods. I got one book for $10 off (original $32), then an additional $5 off for doing the automatic renewal plan. I then got a second book for $15 and $5 off for the renewal program. They notify you at least 30 days before they send you another book, and cancelling the plan is very simple.
The entertainment book offers Buy 1, Get 1 Free coupons on many local restaurants, depending on the regional book you buy. Unfortunately, if you’re in a non-metropolitan area, you might be out of lluck with the book. The Maryland/D.C. and Northern VA/D.C. book have MANY excellent deals at restaurants that would normally be out of our price range. However, having this book does provoke us to go out to eat slightly more than we normally would, but we only eat out on weekends. The books expire at year-end, so you have a good bit of time to use it.
2. Cause Marketing Solutions (CMS) Coupon Books – Apparently CMS is now selling these books from their website. We’ve had to rely on door-to-door salespeople for the last 3 years to get this book. This book has even better deals than the Entertainment Book, but far fewer restaurant options.
The deals are BUY 2, GET 2 FREE on meals (it also has auto and entertainment deals)! For the Rockville area of Maryland, we get 4 coupons per restaurant, PLUS birthday deals and free appetizer deals. The books expire in August, so get the book now to get the most out of it.
Important Note for the CMS Website: If you get a 404 Not Found error, see if there’s a “%5c” in the URL and change it to a slash “/”. I’ve contacted their webmaster about the problem and they’re working on fixing in the flash.
3. Have the server box half your meal before it even reaches the table. Most servers will understand why you’re asking this and will comply easily. However, certain things just don’t reheat or store well like french fries or Caesar salad. This method will also help reduce your waistline.
For the coupon books, obviously you’re spending money to “save money”, but if you’re going to dine out, and you like the restaurants listed in each, then it’s worth the extra expense.