Tuesday’s Treat – How to Save on Eating Out

The Grocery Thief has written this post on how to save when it comes to dining out!

Being the Grocery Thief that I am, I love to save money at the grocery store!  I am all about saving money on things my family needs so that I can spend more of it on enjoyable things, that we want!
After I learned how to save 40%-70% at the grocery store I was looking for other ways that I could save even more money.  We seem to eat out a LOT.  More then we should.  However this is a reality and I wanted to know how I could save money while eating out.

I have a date night with my husband once a week.  We go out to dinner and then do an activity.  I am a stay at home mom and I go crazy if we are home all day.  I tend to do an activity with the kids about three – four times a week.  That can add up fast!

I did cut the occasional Olive Garden coupon in the Sunday Coupon Inserts but I knew there was a way that I could save more.  I also cut any coupons that were for activities but I felt like I was a very beginner couponer that is just saving $5.00-$10.00 a week instead of 40%-70%!

City Deals
Screamin’ Deals
Deals That Matter

I post about these deals (listed above) all the time, almost daily.   However I don’t know if you really know how to use the deals and make them save you 40%-70% on eating out and activities. Really it is very simple.  You will read over and over again in my post that the way I save 40%-70% on my groceries is that I have built a grocery store in my basement.  When the items go on sale at the grocery store (most of the time I have a coupon to match with that sale) I can get the items for pennies or sometimes even free, and I get as many as I can.  Why do I do that?  I do that so when I need something I am going to MY grocery store in my basement and getting what I need for  practically nothing instead of going to the grocery store and paying full price.

This is the same concept to eating out and activities!  I tell you that when you first start using coupons to not expect your budget to go down right away.  However you will notice that you are bringing home a whole lot more  for just about the same amount of money.  About two-three months into using coupon you can expect to start seeing some major savings at the cash register as well as bring home more item then you ever have before.  This is because you have started to build YOUR grocery store at home and can start shopping from that and not shopping and paying full price for the things you need.  The best part about eating out and activities is that you don’t have to go out to eat or go on an activities- but you do have to feed your family ; )

If you want to see saving right away cut back on your eating out and activities for a few weeks and just start your stockpile now.  If you are like my family that really was not an options for us.  It took me about four-five weeks to start saving 40%-70%.  I did make some slight changes.  We did have a budget and we were already hitting it each month with all the eating out and activities we were doing.  For about three weeks I took away one of the activity I went on with the kids and one of the nights we ate out and used that money to start our stockpile.

Of course, just as every week when I go to the grocery store (to stock MY grocery store) there are items that I get to feed my family that week.  I have almost everything that I need in MY grocery store or freezer at home however I grab eggs, fresh fruits and veggies etc.  That is going to happen with your eating out and activities.  Do you very best to use what you have and just keep adding to your eating out and activate stockpile.  I say that 75% of my weekly budget for groceries goes to stockpiling MY grocery store at home and 25% goes to the ‘fresh’ food that are going to go into my meals that feed my family that week.  I have the same rule for our eating out and activities budget.  75% goes to buying great deals that I post about daily (of course ones that my family will use) and 25% goes to activities that do not have a deal for them or unplanned activities.

I recommend signing up to get these deals sent to your email.  I use to think that it just made me want to buy things that I would not buy… that is how I felt about coupons before I learned how to save 40%-70% using them!  I do not buy anything my family would not eat (example-India restaurants) or do (example-Speedcart Racing).  Some weeks are better then others on deals my family will use.  If there is a bad week I just save that portion of our budget for the next week when there are deals that I know we will use and I buy as many as I can.

Her are some tips before purchasing these deals:

  • Check for expirations dates
  • Locations (some have a specific location that it can only be used at)
  • Can it be combined with other offers

You can even save more money when combining them with coupons!  I have two really good examples.   The first, City Deals had a Buca di BEPPO’s gift card.  I got a $20.00 gift card for just $10.00 that was already 50% savings!  I then had a coupon out of the Sunday Smart Source Insert for $10.00 off a $20.00 or more purchase.  I love their salad- Apple Gorgonzola! Anyways- our total was about $32.00.  I used my $10.00 off coupon making it about $22.00 and then used my $20.00 gift card that I got for just $10.00 : ) For a $32.00 dinner I paid just about $12.00!  About a 63% savings!  My second  example, City Deals had a gift card to Classic Fun Center for 65% off.  I got a $20.00 gift card for $7.50.  Classic has coupons online that you can print off- so I did.  One coupon was when admission was purchased you got a free lunch combo.  I went on a day they were offering a special (Tuesday $2.00 admission).  I paid $6.00 to get in (me and my two kids) and we all got free lunch.  I was able to make that one gift card for $20.00 that I paid $7.50 last three visits to Classic Fun Center!

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