Though I have mentioned in previous posts about how to get babysitters free and have given resources that list cheap things to do on dates, I have not addressed how to have a less expensive date if you do have a bit of money to spend. There is a not-well-kept secret I am about to let you in on. I really love eating out. Even with all the weight loss I have experienced over the last year, I still love it, maybe even more. Now I love going online to search the menu and look up nutrition info so I can choose the best dish for me, & then I daydream about that food all day. 🙂 The more children we have and the more God grows us with our stewardship, the less we find ourselves in a restaurant. So I kind of feel like eating out is a “must” for our dates out.
There are a few ways you can save some bucks doing this. One is to follow a coupon blog or two. These blogs don’t just benefit huge couponers but have something for everyone. They will often list when restaurants have some big mark-downs (many of these happen on holidays & birthdays) or offers they give to facebook fans, for instance. We will frequently go to a restaurant with at least a $5 off coupon for orders of $20 or more, not terrible for a “sit-down” restaurant. A few I follow are:
Another great resource is “The Entertainment Book.” These are put out every year, and you request ones that are in your area. They are full of huge discounts on restaurants, amusements, movies, shopping, etc. where you live. They are fairly expensive if you buy them in the beginning of the year ($35.00), but considering there are many “buy one get one free” entrees, you could quickly make that money back. Also, the longer you wait in the year, the more the price of the book goes down.
Don’t forget to take advantage of restaurants.com. You can often get a $25 gift card for $2 if you use a coupon code. We are sitting on four restaurant.com coupons right now and just used one at the end of last year to go to a restaurant we love, love, loved! It’s especially a great opportunity to try out local restaurants.
Most of you probably know about Groupon, but if not, you should sign up. You get a daily email with the deal for that day, often this is half off a purchase, and it’s mainly for local establishments. You have to sign up for the groupon the day it’s advertised, but the groupon often doesn’t expire for a year or so.
Finally, date at times that are not typical. Because of our babysitter’s schedule, we almost always go out around lunch time on Saturdays instead of the evening. Often, you can eat off the lunch menu for cheaper and still get huge portions. If you do go at night, many restaurants will let you have lunch-size portions for the lunch price if you request. You just have to ask.