A dinner date can be great fun and exciting, especially if it is for a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day or an anniversary. Maybe you wish you could do them more often, but because of money, you don’t. It doesn’t have to be that way! Below are some tips for saving on a dinner date.
How to Save Money on a Dinner Date
Before you even head out, you should see if there are any online coupons available at your destination restaurant. Look everywhere! This includes online deal sites like Groupon, Amazon Local, and LivingSocial.
Consider buying discounted gift cards. There are a websites out there like Restaurant.com that sell gift cards at discounted rates. You can save 20-30% off or more.
Dine in for lunch rather than dinner. Lunch entrees are often almost the same size for less price and many establishments have lunch specials on dinner items.
Eat at home and go gourmet for dessert. If you are really strapped for cash, you can eat a meal at home and simply go out for coffee and dessert at a fine dining place.
Be extra romantic and get a large plate to share. Pasta dishes work well for this and with portion sizes being pretty huge these days, you will most likely have plenty to share.
Change up the day you go. Celebrate your anniversary or Valentine ’s Day on a time when restaurants have a slower period. They will be more willing to offer discounts on slower days. Weekends are high traffic days. Try going on a Monday or Tuesday night.
Make yourself a regular somewhere or sign up for frequent diner cards. Some restaurants now offer in-store gift cards people can get with “points” they accumulate through dining at a place often. Some establishments have special VIP clubs that send coupons for free meals or appetizers on special dates like birthdays or anniversaries.
Buy a discount local coupon book. Many High Schools and colleges sell discount coupon books as fundraisers and they usually include pretty high value coupons for local eateries.
Skip some extras and frills that you don’t need. This means drinks, dessert and an expensive appetizer. Instead, have a couple drinks when you get home or make plans to eat a special dessert somewhere cheaper. If alcohol is not your thing, skip the soda and go for water. Most places charge you over $2 for a soda and it costs them mere cents. This is a huge mark-up!
Be willing to try new places. You would be amazed at some places that you thought were too expensive or not nice enough if you just give them a shot. Some of the best places are those little hidden gems no one really talks about.
Skip the big tip. This may sound really bad, but you can often order a meal to go at most places. Now, just because it is to go does not mean you skip the tip entirely, but it will often mean you don’t have to tip as much because you are not being given full service, and can instead tip the take out rate of slightly less. Take your meal to a nice park or back home.
More Frugal Date Ideas
This post was shared with Thrifty Thursday.