Last updated on August 30th, 2021 at 02:00 pm
My husband and I both agree that the most important element to keeping our marriage strong is making time to regularly date each other. A date night classic of course includes dinner. Dinner dates can get expensive but they don’t have to be.
Here are 10 ways my husband and I keep the cost of dinner dates within our budget.
10 Ways Thrifty People Dinner Date
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1. Use Coupons
2. Use Discounted Gift Cards
We frequent certain restaurants over and over again that offer great prices and coupons, I sweeten the savings by checking Cardpool for gift cards at reduced prices for these restaurants.
3. Use Pointed Earned Gift Cards
I cash points from various point-earning programs for $10 gift cards to restaurants we frequent.
Here are 3 great point reward programs
- Swagbucks: I have had readers tell me they have earned $100 a month using Swagbucks
- InstaGC: I love that InstaGC gift cards are instant, here are 4 of my favorite ways to earn with InstaGc
- PrizeRebel: With 9 ways to earn it doesn’t take long to earn a gift card through PrizeRebel.
- For more point programs check out my list of 18+ point programs to help you earn $50 or more in gift cards each month.
4. Go For Breakfast or Lunch Instead
Dinner tends to be the most expensive meal to eat out. If it can be arranged try eating out for breakfast or lunch instead.
There are still great coupons out there for these meals too. If you decided to try breakfast dates be sure to sign up for Bob Evan’s email club as they send out 2 for 1 breakfast coupons frequently.
5. Order Water
Save yourself easily $5 or more by both ordering water to drink.
6. Share an Entree
Most restaurants are very generous with their portion sizes, rather than let that generosity land on your hips share your meal. My husband and I do this often at a Mexican restaurant we love.
7. Use Daily Deal Sites
8. Eat At Home Without The Kids
Do a kids swap with friends and when it is your night off, go back to your empty home for dinner. Make it a simple dinner of meat on the grill, salad from the deli section, and store-bought french bread.
9. Eat At Home With The Children (sort of)
This worked like a charm for us when our kids were ages 5 and up. We set up a movie in their room about an hour or so before their regular bedtime. We gave them a special snack and then told them Mommy and Daddy were having couple time downstairs and they were not to interrupt.
We then placed a row of quarters on the top step and if they did not interrupt they got to keep their quarters. Each time they interrupted for something silly they lost a quarter. In the three or so years we did this no one ever lost a quarter.
We got an extended evening all to ourselves, in which we would enjoy either a simple home-cooked meal or take out just the two of us. The children got the thrill of watching a movie in their room with snacks (something only done on Mommy and Daddy nights).
10. Try Out Restaurant.com
My husband and I have not had any luck with Restaurant.com for the restaurants we love but I know other thrifty couples who use it all the time so I thought I would mention it.
PLEASE NOTE: Although my husband and I use all these tips to save money on eating out we always make sure to tip the servers according to what the meal would have cost full price with drinks. Be thrifty but don’t be stingy.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.