Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eat AND Save Money!

Years ago, when my boys were in Cub Scouts, the Pack's big fundraiser was selling Entertainment and Gold C coupon books. I started out buying the Gold C book, which had more fast-food and family-friendly offers, then switched over to the Entertainment book a few years later. Cub Scouts is now a distant memory, but I still buy the book every year. Although the book's coupon savings are nice, we also use it to find restaurants that we're not familiar with. Today I explored a new way to find unique restaurants when I bought certificates from is a Website that offers discounted certificates to restaurants. A $25 gift certificate normally costs $10. However, I got an e-mail from a reward program I belong to that they were having a sale on the certificates; they would cost even less than the normal discount price. That was enough to incent me to buy.

The site was very easy to navigate. I entered my zip code, chose to search for restaurants within 15 miles of my house, and seconds later I found out there were 47 restaurants that participated in the program. A few clicks revealed basic information about the restaurant, directions, and a menu. I chose certificates for a Bosnian and an Italian restaurant, I completed the purchase process, and printed the certificates.

There are a few conditions for using the certificates. Most of them aren't good on the weekend (when I'm sure the restaurants don't have trouble filling their tables). Each restaurant has a minimum purchase amount listed, which is more than the face value of the certificate. Some restaurants automatically add a tip when a certificate is used. However, the certificates are good for a year, so we'll be able to enjoy some inexpensive mid-week treats.


  1. That's an interesting way to get people in the door. I'm sure restaurants are struggling in these tougher economic times. I've noticed all sorts of restaurants [from fast food to high end] offering reduced prices and other deals. However, things do seem to be just as busy. And yet, the grocery bill keeps's almost becoming cheaper to eat out!

  2. I keep toying with the idea of joining First I need to get over my irrational discomfort with using coupons.