1. make a list of your favourite restaurants
Make a list of restaurants in your area that offer Kids Eat Free nights, and notate what day that is. When making the choice about where to go, consult the list first. I keep mine in my Household Binder in the kitchen. Make a note of your favourite restaurants if they have any other regular offers on, like set lunch menus.
Make a list of restaurants that offer Early Bird Specials, and keep that in your binder, making sure to notate time restrictions. We can often meet just after work to catch the specials!
2. become a fan of your favourite restaurant & sign up to their newsletters
Become a fan of your favourite places on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter, to get access to additional exclusive coupons, discounts, specials, and promotions.
Sign up for rewards programs and emails from places you like. You’ll be surprised how many offers will start pouring through your inbox. Restaurants are really good about sending out Kids Eat Free and Free Starters or Dessert coupons, practically weekly, so it could be much cheaper to visit when you have your coupons off with you and you want to take the whole family.
3. Swap dinner for lunch
Most people prefer to have their main meal in the evening, after work. Restaurants know, that they don’t need to worry about their evening trade, but they also know that at lunch time their restaurant can be pretty empty. That is why most restaurants (and pubs) will have a set menus or lunch menus, with a much smaller selection of food dishes, but a very good fixed price. These offers are available mainly Monday to Friday and usually, finish before the be big evening rush or when the lunch time finishes (around 2.30pm).
If you can eat out at lunch time instead of evening and you’d be pleasantly surprised how much you can save. This is also a great way to try out pricey restaurants, which would normally be out of your price range.
4. swap a restaurant for a pub
Long are the days when pubs were just places to pop in for a drink after work. A lot of pubs these days focus not just on drinks but on food too. After 2007 (the smoke ban in UK) lot of pubs choose to add food to their offerings, as they suddenly needed to offer their punters something more than just drinks. A lot of pubs have now become brilliant at serving good honest food, where you can expect a good portion, unpretentious serving and great prices. Check your local pub next time when you are thinking of going out to eat and you might well be surprised at what you find!
5. swap alcohol for water
I’m not advising you to be totally stingy when you going out, but since a large glass of wine can cost as much as a good pudding or a starter, I know which one I’d prefer! Ask for tap water, which should be free with your meal and keep your money in your pocket.