If eating out is something you don’t really have money for but would like to do once in a while, you can apply money saving strategies to “find” extra money that may make it possible to dine out every once in a while.

I am a big proponent of gift cards.  You can buy gift cards to make general purchases through gift card sites such as Gift Card Granny.  At Gift Card Granny, you can find all sorts of gift cards.  Say you are heading out to Kohl’s to buy the kids some back to school clothes.  First, go to Gift Card Granny and you will find a Kohl’s gift card with a value of $29.03 going for $22.26.  Automatically you have saved more than $6.  Do this a few times a month for purchases you have already planned to make, and you will find yourself with an extra $20 to $30 at the end of the month, which is money you could use to dine out guilt free.

Another great strategy is to search for discount codes online.  Say you were buying something from Red Envelope.  Simply type in “red envelope discount code” and you will find codes for up to 15% off.  That is more savings you could reserve to splurge and dine out. Coupon codes can be used for everything from online deals to Home Insurance.

Don’t forget once you have saved the money to dine out to look for restaurant deals and use coupons so you can save even more of your money.  There is no need to pay full price at the restaurant either.

Contrary to what our society believes, dining out should be viewed as a treat, not a daily occurrence.  If you don’t have much money in your budget to dine out, but you would like to once in awhile, try to use numerous money savings strategies.  With the money you save, treat you and your family to a meal out once every few months.

Melissa Batai

Melissa Batai

Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1), blogs at both Mom’s Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and paying down debt, and Fiscal Phoenix where she writes about rising from the ashes of your financial mistakes.