Posh Living on Petty Pennies: Dine More, Spend Less

Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” and I believe this to be true! But how can we dine well without spending a lot? It's easier than you think! In this installment of Posh Living on Petty Pennies, I will share with you some helpful ways to save and even earn money when dining!

Cash Back Rewards

Many of us are already paying for food with our debit and credit cards anyhow. Now we just need to find out what programs your bank offers for cash back rewards. Most will provide you with a list of participating restaurants that may offer up to 5% cash back, which is great for you because you'll be able to save money with every restaurant visit

Dining Clubs

Exclusivity can get you so many perks! By joining a restaurant group or dining club, you will become an exclusive member that receives dining credits, invitations to special private events, and member-only discounts to all the restaurants in the group. I am a member of Lettuce Entertain You which is primarily based in Chicago and has a select handful of restaurants across the United States. I always receive emails for cooking classes, events, discounts, and I always receive money for my birthday! So next time you're dining out and your server invites you to join their group, strongly consider their offerings

Yelp Cash Back

Many people only know Yelp as a platform to blast restaurants for bad service and researching reviews on a prospective gym or hot salon, but Yelp has much more to offer! I am currently enrolled in their cash back program where participating establishments offer a percentage of your bill as a cash back refund. All you need to do to reap the benefits is sync your primary debit card with the app so that every time you use the card at the select locations you get your refund automatically! This way you can indulge in your fave places while knowing you'll get some of your money back! There are many other cool perks like, the “Hot and New” feature which alerts you of any new restaurants opening in your area and “Welcome to” feature which works with your location settings  to suggest the top rated restaurants in the city you are in.

Restaurant Weeks

Almost every major city has a Restaurant Week where a large selection of restaurants in the area curate a three (or more) course meal menu for lunch or dinner, all for a discounted rate. This gives diners a chance to try a new restaurant without paying the full rate. I know I use opportunities like this to the fullest! Many times you can find a pre-fixed menu starting at $22 which is a steal in most cases! This week (April 16, 2018-April 29, 2018) in Houston is Black Restaurant Week where over twenty-five Black Owned Restaurants are offering some of their most popular dishes in a 2 week dining experience and I already have my list ready!

Instagram

How much time do we spend on Instagram daily? Well, I don't have time for math problems but I know that it's probably a lot! Instagram is more than likely the easiest way to discover new restaurants and follow the ones you want to try! This has also been a practice of mine. Trust me, by following restaurants on Social Media, I've been able to see when their next event will be held and when they'll be offering specials. Some smaller places may even offer discounts for posting pictures of their food and drinks on Instagram and thats clutch because you probably were going to do that anyway.

Festivals

The summer is approaching and what better way to "dine more and spend less" than to go to a Foodie Festival! Whether it be a Food Truck fest or the Taste of (Insert city), get out there and enjoy! Many of these festivals offer tasting portions that may end up saving you money if you realize that a particular dish isn't your speed! Check your areas events publications to find out about fests in your area!

Happy Hours

If you're an avid reader of my articles, than you know how much I loooove Happy Hour! Often times it's what gets me in the door to try a new place! It's a great way to dibble and dabble in a restaurants menu and spend half the money doing it! You're able to try more, spend less, and who knows you might even order from the main menu because the food is so good!

Open Table

I’ve been using Open Table for a while now, even before they had an app and it’s come in handy many times. By making your reservations within the app, you are able to accumulate points that are redeemable for things such as gift cards and dining credits. It can also be linked to your calendar so that at the time you confirm your reservation, it is automatically added to your calendar. Be advised, your points will expire after 12 months so be sure to keep an eye on the date so you can cash out on a discounted dining experience!

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