Part 10: How to Live on Less ~ Eating Out On The Cheap

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As some of you may know, Lisa and I had to close our primary business about a year ago and had to tighten our belts. One of the first areas to get cut was eating out. We didn’t completely give up eating out though.  We just didn’t eat out as much and found ways to take the kids out or enjoy a date night cheaper. How did we do it?

1. Always be on the lookout for coupons, many places such as Arby’s and Subway will frequently run coupons for buy one get one free. Our local Chick-fil-A runs coupons all the time for Free sandwiches with no purchase required. In fact, last summer Arby’s was running a deal on Wednesday’s where you could get a Free sandwich with the purchase of a small soda.

2. Look for opportunities for Free food or cheap food such as the Free Orange Chicken at Panda Express, the Free Spicy Chicken at Chick-fil-A, or the BOGO at Dairy Queen. Another  great idea is to always keep an eye out at your local fast food restaurant for the days they run $.99 sandwiches or $1.99 kids meals.

3. Sign up for the Entertainment book, there are many coupons in it for BOGO at many restaurants in your local market. Well worth the investment!

4. Get Restaurant gift cards by asking for them for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, etc.. You can also sign up with My Survey (taking brief surveys) and earn gift cards to your favorite restaurants.

5. Sign up for your favorite restaurants email club. They are more than willing to give out Free food and not just once a year. Many send you free food coupons immediately upon signing up, for your birthday, on your anniversary with them or just because. It’s not just national chains such as: Outback, Macaroni Grill or Carrabba’s that offer this program, we just signed up with one of our local favorite restaurants and immediately received a coupon for free food.

Lisa and I just joined the Outback steakhouse email club and immediately received a coupon for a Free appetizer which we took advantage of and ordered a Free Bloomin’ Onion. We combined this with our My Survey gift card and a gift card from Christmas and ate for $1 out of pocket!

Remember, if you are getting an appetizer or dessert for free, you won’t need as big of an entree. If you’re not sure, wait to order your entree until you are half way through your appetizer.

6. Be aware of the nights your local restaurants run Kids Eat Free deals. This used to be a huge thing in our home (most of our kids are too old now). We especially loved the ones that would allow 2 kids to eat free per adult – and we frequented those the most!

How about you? What are some ways you save when eating out?

Did you miss a part of the series?

Part 1: How to Live on Less ~ Starting Point
Part 2: How to Live on Less ~  Lingo, Coupons and Organizing Them
Part 3: How to Live on Less ~ Grocery & Drug Stores
Part 4: How to Live on Less ~ Stockpiling
Part 5: How to Live on Less ~ Shop Seasonally
Part 6: How to Live on Less ~ Buying Clothes
Part 7: How to Live on Less ~ Garage Sales
Part 8: How to Live on Less ~ Frugal Foods
Part 9: How to Live on Less ~ Free Samples, Surveys & Swagbucks

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  1. brenda says

    We save a ton of money at restaurants by ordering water,usually free, w/ extra sugar & lemon juice on the side.Lots of times on the table,so no need to ask.
    We than make our own lemonade.
    No charge for those expensive drinks that are mostly ICE CUBES!

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