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Dining on a Budget

Updated on April 13, 2012

Eating Out = $40-70 a night


Search for reputable dining sites that might allow you to purchase $50's worth of food for $25. Make sure you pay attention to the details of the coupon because some places have restrictions that almost cause you to spend more money than save so beware. I'm not a fan of restaurant.com for the simple fact of too many restrictions on the days you can/cannot use the coupons. They also have stipulations often that require you to purchase a certain dollar amount of food which causes you to use more than you might have intended. Perhaps this works better if you have more people present at dinner. For me it does no good to pay $10 for $25 worth of food and I can't use my coupon on the weekend AND I must spend $35 or more on food.


I have purchased discount restaurant deals from places such as creativeloafing.com and been happy with their deals. You pay $25 for $50 worth of food and that's it. If creative loafing is available in your city, simply google creative loafing. At the top of the menu for your city you will find a heading that says "CL Deals" - click on that. You should see a section for food discounts and you should be able to determine if there are any food coupons that you might want to purchase.


Happy hour is your friend. Happy hours are fun and an opportunity to experience good food at discounted prices. You would be surprised who has happy hour. Take for instance McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant has a fantastic happy hour with great food. If you don't believe me, google it. Another location that has a good happy hour: P.F. Changs. Don't be afraid to research some of your favorite restaurants online for happy hour. There is nothing wrong with sitting down and asking: "Do you have anything special going on today/tonight?" Your waiters or servers usually know that you are asking if they have any food or drink specials.


Learn to utilize discounts or specials that restaurants offer. If you love cocktails, drink before you go to reduce the amount of alcohol you order at the restaurant. Reframe from having three course meals; you can skip appetizers (unnecessary) and dessert (you have oreo’s at home).

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