Go out to eat for less
Julia Scott, aka Bargain Babe, is a cheapskate by nature and journalist by training who now runs the fiscally savvy blog by the same name. The now-L.A. based Scott lived in New York for 10 years, and shares some tips for saving dough when you go out to eat:
1)Look beyond the mainstream. New York has plenty of good hole-in-the-wall places where prices are low but quality is high.
2)If youre going out with another person, split an appetizer and an entrÃ©e instead of ordering two entrees. It will be cheaper, and since appetizers are often large, there will be plenty of food.3) Eat out for lunch instead of dinner. Even if you foot the bill, its a much more affordable option.
4)Buy discounted gift certificates at Restaurant.com, which offers certificates to various restaurant at much-discounted rates (a $25 gift certificate is $10; a $50 gift certificate is $20). Scott says to keep in mind that there are a lot of restrictions, though (like having to spend a certain amount first), so read the rules carefully.
5)The site HalfOffDeals.com has fewer restrictions and offers gift certificates too.
6)Buy the Entertainment book. The book (which is $15 online at entertainment.com) has lots of coupon for 50 percent off or buy one get one free deals. Flip through the latest version at a bookstore so you can see if it has the restaurants you like.
7) Lots of mid-level chain restaurants like IHOP and Applebees have deals where kids can eat free on certain nights.