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How to Make Dining Out Cost Less

If you're on a tight budget, but staying in night after night has got you wanting to pull your hair out, get out on the town with these dollar-stretching dining tips.


  • Step 1: Clip coupons Root through newspapers, circulars, coupon mailers, and advertisements put out by tourist information centers and hotels to find savings coupons for area restaurants.
  • TIP: Visit a favorite restaurant's website and look for a link to subscribe to its mailing list to receive coupons and special offers.
  • Step 2: Split the meal Choose a restaurant that serves up huge portions so you can split a single meal with your dining companion.
  • TIP: Don't be shy when asking for freebies, such as more bread or chips with your meal.
  • Step 3: Drink water Avoid overpaying for beverages by skipping the alcohol and soda and enjoying a refreshing, free glass of water instead.
  • Step 4: Sniff out free meals Get familiar with restaurants that offer "kids eat free" specials if you have a family of mouths to feed.
  • Step 5: Show your ID Inquire about seniors' discounts if you qualify, and dine when the discount applies, such as on Tuesdays or before 6:00 P.M.
  • Step 6: Eat early Opt for a lunch out rather than a dinner out to save dough. Many restaurants slash their lunch entree prices while still offering satisfying fare.
  • Step 7: Join the club Sign up for a credit card that earns rewards points for purchases and redeem them for restaurant gift certificates. That way, eating pays for itself!
  • FACT: New York City offers more than 20,000 restaurant choices.

You Will Need

  • Coupons
  • Large portions
  • Specials
  • Discounts
  • Lunches
  • Credit card

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