Reagan and I try to have lunch with Jordan once a week. We usually just pack a big lunch and eat it at his office. However, last week we decided to switch things up a bit so we headed to Einstein for lunch.
We primarily only eat out when we have a free deal or a coupon of some kind. We have a pretty good system for keeping our dining out cheap. Here's our system:
1. We have an email address that we use just for stores (and you know, all the junk emails they send...). We use this email to sign up with all of our favorite restaurants. We are often surprised at some of the deals they send (just last week Buca di Beppo sent an email with a $15 gift card... no purchase necessary. Awesome!) Often, our dining choices revolve around our email deals. If we don't have any good ones at the moment we turn to....
2. Our Entertainment Book. This is a great resource especially if you want to try somewhere new. Jordan's mom usually gives us an Entertainment Book for Christmas. The coupons are good for 1 year, so we try to use as many as we can before they expire. If nothing in there is sounding good, we'll try our third trick.
3. Regular old coupons. You know, the ones from the newspaper or mail? We always look through the Valpak, in particular, and save any coupons for places that sound good. We also look through RedPlum or SmartSource for restaurants we like as well.
If we have no deals at this point we'll usually try to eat at home, or pack a lunch.
We did recently hear about another great resource though. Groupon Coupons. (Have you ever heard of Groupon Coupon? I knew about Groupon, but not Groupon Coupon...) They're great! They have a super friendly mobile site, where you can browse or search through all of their offers, while you're on the go. And their deals are really good! So we have definitely added this to our cheap eats system.
We noticed that Einstein had two really great Groupon Coupons (and we learned that at Einstein you are allowed to combine coupons, if one is a free-with-purchase and the other a percentage off. Score!) so we used both coupons, and ended up with a great lunch for an even better price.
Reagan was mostly in it for the drink, like always (we seriously have to hide our drinks or she won't eat anything the whole time). It was a great little lunch date. I know some people aren't into coupons, they say they're a hassle. We try to keep our eating out to under $50/month, so coupons allow us to maximize our restaurant budget. Just curious, how do you feel about coupons? Do you like using them?
[This post is brought to you by Groupon Coupons, but the content and opinions expressed above are my own.]