Great question! As a matter of fact, I RARELY go out without some kind of a deal.
*Look for coupons on your receipts when you go places! I’ve gotten several free sandwiches from Chick-fil-a this way (totally free, no purchase necessary) and all I had to do was take an online survey. I’ve gotten free cookies from Jason’s Deli this way as well (I’ve also gotten free cookies from them from little cards they had set up by the table tents). I’ve also gotten dollar-off coupons from places like Olive Garden from my receipt. No harm in checking it out before tossing!
*Sign up for email lists from your favorite retailers.
*”Like” your favorite places on Facebook for great deals.
*See if your favorite places tweet deals!
*Network with others to see what good deals are available locally.
*Join Groupon and check out the deals daily! (Also, refer friends for free credits!)
My favorite place to look every single day is Groupon (this is my referral link, just an FYI 🙂 ) There are always great deals and a lot of times they are deals just MADE for using on a playdate or date with the hubby. For example, last week we scored a deal from a local pizza place near my house for less than half price! I purchased it using a few referral credits (I had $2 left) and spent $5 of my own. I’ll get $15 worth of anything from their menu just for buying through Groupon! Woohoo! They have all sorts of deals and a lot of times they will post a deal that is available nationwide (through some kind of online merchant). I check all the deal blogs often for this kind of promotion. My very first ever Groupon deal was purchasing from an online retailer. (I REALLY DO! haha)
Other ideas are to look for coupon deals for the restaurants you want to go to! We often go to Texas Roadhouse when they have coupon deals. Just for signing up for their newsletter, you get a free appetizer and they also mail out goodies on your birthday and on your newsletter sign up anniversary. 🙂 If you combine that with their dining early $7.99 special and drink water, you can be a cheap date. I will give you a warning, though – don’t sign up for coupon deals 10 minutes before you want to leave. A LOT of times it can take up to 24 hours to receive an email with coupons. 🙂
Other restaurants that have coupons through their email list that we go to:
*Dairy Queen (B1G1F coupons a few times a year)
*Chili’s (Usually a free appetizer)
*IHOP (Free meal for joining, on your birthday, and on your sign up anniversary)
*Denny’s (I think I got a 20% off coupon and they offer a free meal on your birthday as well…..I also like going to Denny’s because you can get unlimited refills on cappuccinos and hot chocolates for FREE! Under $2! YUM)
*Chuck E Cheese (Their best coupons are usually through their email list, but lately they have been putting up some decent specials directly on the website. While you’re on CEC’s website, don’t forget to check out their Ticket Blaster game! “Catch” the tickets before time runs out and you will be able to print out a certificate for up to 30 FREE tickets to redeem when you go in! 🙂 )
Another idea is to look around your local area for specials.
Our local Drive In Theater has poor man days on Wednesdays… That’s half price! Kids 5 and under are FREE and adults are normally $6 each… This makes for a FABULOUS deal, especially since all 5 of us going to the movies would cost at LEAST $40 at the regular theater but only $6 on Wednesday at the drive in! Woohoo
You might also think about joining a mom’s group (if you’re a mom, of course). I’m a member of Moms Club and really enjoy that! When you’re part of a group like that, it’s likely that they’ll go on field trips throughout the year and you could be eligible for some wonderful group discounts that way. It’s also possible that you’ll get to network with other bargain-finders (like yourself!) and find out about some awesome deals where YOU are. I have truly enjoyed having a diverse group of friends to exchange ideas, deals, tips, hints, and freebies with. I encourage you to do the same.
OH and my favorite bargain of all? CHICK-FIL-A!! My local Chick-fil-a (and from what I understand, almost every single other CFA nationwide) will accept expired coupons AND let you use as many as you want as long as you make the purchase(s) required on the coupon(s). For example, I have torn out tons of coupon pages from past phone books *our local CFA doesn’t advertise in the phone book and hasn’t for about 3 years now* and keep them in my purse. They’re usually a buy a combo, get a sandwich free coupon. I also have tons of expired coupons from past Cowlendars. The newer calendars are better because they’re outright free items, but some of my several year old ones were something like buy a large Coke, get a medium fries free. I also collect coupons from a locally published coupon/calendar flyer. They are usually B1G1F. My normal scenario looks like this: Purchase 1 combo, get a sandwich free (with coupon), get another sandwich or other item free (with coupons), pay less than $8 and all of the family is fed. haha
Going out on the town doesn’t have to be expensive if you’re willing to do a little digging for a deal or two. 🙂
What are some of your favorite deals?