In the last couple of years, many families are turning to a budget for the first time due to the economic conditions, either due to a loss of jobs or a reduction in salary from the current job they have.
If your family has been used to eating out a lot due to time constraints, no one in the family cooks, or because you simply like to eat out as a family, it can very difficult trying to switch back to cooking meals at home.
Here are some ways to save money so you can still continue to eat out even if you are on a budget.
1. Get Social – the rise of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have led to many companies adding this to their branding aresenal. By following restaurants on Twitter or liking them on Facebook, you can often times get coupons and weekly discounts that lead to some great savings.
2. Discount Cards - many places will offer stamp or punch cards where after you buy five or ten items or meals you can get a free meal. Make sure you understand which restaurants offer these programs and keep your card with you at all times so it can get updated.
3. Register on the website - most companies will have a website where you can register to be notified for specials as well as discounts and coupon offers. Some restaurants will offer a free meal on your birthday as well so it pays to connect to the websites of the restaurants you like as much as possible.
4. Kids Eat Free - you may be surprised to see how many different restaurants have kids eat free days of the week, with some establishments even offering them on weekends. If you check the local paper or do a search online, you are likely to find several different offerings for eateries where kids are at no charge. If you have two or three kids, that can be a savings of $10 t0 $15 per meal.
5. Look for Coupons - there are quite a few sites that offer coupons, that are not affiliated with the restaurant. This is a great way to get discounts and savings of $5, $10 or $20 per meal. If you do a search online for printable olive garden coupons or printable applebees coupons you will find some great offerings.