When you're looking for ways to trim your budget, the first thing cut is usually dining out. But with several websites offering half-priced gift certificates to local restaurants, you can go out to eat just as often, but cut your dining bill in half. Below are five sites offering exclusive deals at St. Louis area restaurants. Check them out before going out and save enough money to go out again next week!
KMOX Advantage always lists a couple of dozen restaurant deals, as well as discounted certificates to shops and other St. Louis area services. The restaurant certificates are always at least half off (you get a $50 certificate for $25, for example), but there are often even better deals, such as $25 certificates for $10. For each deal, you can see how many certificates are still available, as well as any specific restrictions. Most restaurants allow you to use only one certificate per visit, and usually won't give you cash back if you don't spend the entire amount. However, most certificates are good for any time or day of the week. Certificates are purchased online, and arrive via mail approximately 7 to 10 days after purchase.
Twice a week, KSDK Channel 5 puts a discounted certificate on sale through its website. Like KMOX, all are at least 50 percent off, but many are for larger discounts. KSDK tends to have fewer restaurant offers, but has lots of deals on spas, golf and local shops. KSDK does charge a shipping and handling fee of $3.75, and certificates arrive in the mail 7 to 10 later.
Restaurant.com is a national site, but it has, by far, the most local restaurant deals. The best thing about the site is the variety. While KMOX and KSDK add a deal or two each week, Restaurant.com always has dozens of offers (I pulled up 90 within the metropolitan region). However, there's a trade-off for that variety. The deals offered on Restaurant.com aren't just simple gift certificates. Most have restrictions, such as a minimum purchase requirement of $35 when you use a $25 gift certificate. Still, if you pay $10 for a $25 gift certificate, and use it on a $35 meal, your out-of-pocket cost is $20 versus $35. Restaurant.com also offers something the other sites don't - the option to print and use your certificates immediately (versus waiting 7 to 10 days for them to arrive in the mail). You can even email them to friends and family as gifts.
Most people are familiar with the Entertainment Book. It goes on sale every fall and includes hundreds of coupons for restaurants, shops, travel and local attractions. The cost for the book is about $30, but this book can truly claim to be well worth the investment. The coupons are for places you actually want to visit, there's plenty of variety and the value of the coupons are significant. For example, coupons to sit down restaurants are usually "buy one entree, get one free." And even if you only use a few of the restaurant coupons, there are enough coupons on things like oil changes, eye glasses, electronics and car rentals, to easily cover the book's cost. It's also a great resource when you're struggling to decide where to go for dinner. Most of the fine dining ads include the restaurant's menu, so you browse by cuisine and by who's offering the best deal.