Ways to cut your dining bill in half

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Kendal Perez from CouponSherpa.com gives us some advice.

Take advantage of those special offers

  • Buy one, take one at Olive Garden offers two entrees, unlimited salad and breadsticks for $12.99 to $16.50. I took advantage of this and the portion size was so huge, I ate leftovers for four days!
  • Applebee’s offers half-price appetizers during the early afternoons and late evenings, while Monday night’s “burger night” offers any burger on their menu plus endless fries for $6.99 (compared to regular price of up to $10.99).


Use coupons, daily deals and other specials

  • Groupon and LivingSocial are well-known outlets for restaurant vouchers, but Yelp is also a great deal-seeking tool. Use their app to filter results by available deals for purchase like $5 for $10 or $10 for $20.
  • Use the Coupon Sherpa mobile app for access to hundreds of chain and local restaurant deals, like BOGO free signature sandwiches from Spicy Pickle or free chips and drink with regular sub purchase from Jersey Mikes.


Purchase gift cards as currency.

  • Restaurant.com offers half-price vouchers for local restaurants. Hold off until sale time and you’ll get up to 80% off the price of these coupons!
  • You can also buy gift cards to restaurants for less than face value through GiftCardGranny.com -- example savings include up to 30% off at Burger King, up to 23% off at Macaroni Grill and up to 21% off at Smashburger.


Opt for lunch over dinner.

  • At some restaurants, portion sizes are similar at lunchtime but prices are one-third to one-half less than dinner.
  • For example, a Chang’s Spicy Chicken entree from PF Chang’s costs $9.25 for lunch compared to $15.50 for dinner.


Literally split the meal in half.

  • Portion sizes have tripled over the past 20 years -- trust me, you won’t go hungry if you split an entree with your dining partner!
  • The super frugal can split menu specials for even more value. Splitting the Olive Garden take-home special or three-course lunch at Macaroni Grill for $10 makes for cheap fare.


Schedule family outings according to “kids eat free” promotions.

  • Lots of restaurants offer free meals for kids with adult entree purchase, representing savings of up to $6 per child.
  • Go to DenverBucketList.com for a scheduled list of restaurants, and always call ahead to verify the promotion.


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