This is a good one:

>> 1.06.2011

Like they say, it's as easy as entering "PLATE" at checkout.

Nate and I go out to eat once a week as part of our monthly budget. We spend no more than $30 per week on dinner (we also have a dessert budget, but that's another story!) by limiting our restaurant selections to those that have coupons or promotions available. We've found that Groupon usually has the best deals in our area, but this Restaurant.com promo might have them beat.

Here's how to decide if you'll get a good deal on Restaurant.com:
1. Determine if the restaurant is one that you would want to go to. It's not a good deal if you hate the food!
2. Take a close look at the restrictions. Do you have to spend your coupon on certain days of the week or times of the day? Is there a minimum purchase?
3. Find out what the price range is for the restaurant's menu. Will you need to spend over the minimum purchase restriction to eat  meal?
3. Calculate the actual savings. If Restaurant A costs $15 for a $25 certificate, it will end up at $4.50 after the 70% promotion. If you can enjoy a meal at $35 (the minimum purchase for Restaurant A), then your total meal cost will be $35- $25 certificate = $10 (in restaurant) + $4.50 (paid up front on Restaurant.com). A dinner for two for $14.50 is a good deal based on my budget... but if you end up needing to spend $60, the total cost would be $39.50 or over my weekly budget.

 What's your favorite way to save at restaurants?

ETA: As of Monday, January 10th, you can use 'SPOON' to get 80% off.

6 comments:

Amanda- Hip House Girl January 6, 2011 at 11:02 AM  

We were using restaurant.com a lot for a while- need to get back in the habit! Stan also donated to the local public radio station, which in turn gave him a book full of 50% off deals, many of them at restaurants we already love. Yeah, he had to donate, but that's out of the "donate" budget not the "restaurant" budget. :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards January 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM  

I've never really tried this. I need to check out these sights. Seems like a great deal.

Gaby January 7, 2011 at 10:30 AM  

Holy smokes Batman!

Restaurant.com offers a coupon for the only Cuban restaurant in our area. I've bought a $25 certificate for $15 before from restaurant.com, but using this promotion I only paid $3.60 for a $25 certificate.

It should have been $4.50, but if you link to restaurant.com through Discover Card's ShopDiscover program you get 20% cashback credited to your credit card statement. The only catch is you have to have a Discover card.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 7, 2011 at 11:04 AM  

Good tip Gaby! No Discover Card here, but I love using rewards cards for extra savings!!

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife January 8, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

Ok- I bought to certificates for the first time! Can't wait to try this out! = )

We also have a one meal/week out budget!

Gaby January 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM  

Oh and speaking of Groupon! Discover card's ShopDiscover also does 15% cashback for Groupon purchases. I just snagged a $25 certificate to a restaurant we've been wanting to try for $10.20 (the Groupon price was $12). I love saving money!

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