When you’re scrolling through articles on budgeting and saving, one piece of advice that’ll pop up frequently is to stop eating out and start cooking more at home. We’ve given you that very same advice ourselves. But even when you’re living on a tight budget, there might be instances when you can’t or don’t want to cook at home. If you’re an avid traveler, a foodie, or you’re sometimes just too tired to cook, there should be a rewards and savings app out there to help you save money on dining out.
You’ll find that these apps can help you in a lot of different ways. Some will give you rewards points to cash in for discounts, some will give you access to food vouchers that you can buy at a discount, and some will even give you free food. Some may have partnered with larger chains around the country while some may have struck deals with local restaurants. Find the savings app that’s right for you, and ease some of the stress you may feel the next time you want to treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant!
This savings app will reward you just for dining out. Start by browsing through their curated list of restaurants in your area. You can search by your food preferences or also by things like date spots, power lunches, and happy hour drinks. Make a reservation through the app at a partnered restaurant, take a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app. You’ll then get up to 30 percent off your meal. The restaurants that Seated is partnered with are at a slightly higher than average price point, so this can be a great tool if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion and don’t want to pay full price.
When you think of Yelp, you may just think about a review aggregator that you use to find the best restaurants in your area. But it can also help you earn cashback when you dine out. Start by linking your credit card to your Yelp account, and then pick a partnered restaurant to eat at. You’ll have the option to filter your restaurant search to show which restaurants are offering cash back deals at the time of your search. Claim the deal, pay your bill with the card you’ve linked to your account, and you’ll be refunded the appropriate amount on your card.
Groupon is a trove for savings on nearly everything, from group outings to apparel. This savings app also has plenty of discounts if you’re looking to eat out. You can find fixed-price discounts where you pay ahead of time and can get perks like a free menu item, wine tasting, or a certain amount of money off your bill. You’ll also be able to receive cashback offers. To do this, all you need to do is link a credit or debit car to your Groupon account, claim an offer that appeals to you (for example, 25 percent off at a nearby Italian restaurant), and pay your bill with the card you’ve linked to your account. You won’t need to show a voucher, and the amount you saved will be reimbursed on that card. One thing to keep in mind is that these cashback offers are first come, first served, so if you see a great deal, grab it while it’s still there.
If you’ve come across OpenTable before, there’s a good chance you’ve used it to book reservations at a restaurant. But this savings app does more than just reserve you a table. It also rewards diners for booking through them. You can collect rewards points when you make and honor your reservation and can redeem these points for meals at restaurants that OpenTable has partnered with. You can also redeem points for hotel rooms and Amazon gift cards.
How many points you earn for each reservation is dependent on the specific restaurant you’ve made reservations with, and the date and time it’s made. You can even earn extra points by keeping an eye out for restaurants offering bonus points for your reservation. When it comes time to cash your points in for a free meal, you just need to redeem them on the app and show your voucher to your server.
If you travel and fly often, this might be the savings app for you. Hooch has partnered up with a number of different companies, like In-N-Out Burger, ShakeShack, and Starbucks, and gives you rewards for making purchases with these companies. All you need to do is link your credit card to the app, travel and dine as you normally would, and collect your rewards points. These points can be put towards gift cards for retailers, hotels, and food and drinks at partnered restaurants. Hooch is free to download, but also offers a paid version for $9.99 a month. With this upgraded membership, you can get a free drink every day at partnered bars and restaurants.
Restaurant.com is a great savings app if you want to find instant discounts and vouchers for nearby restaurants. You won’t need to print off any vouchers, as you can redeem these offers straight from your phone.
To use this savings app, you’ll buy a voucher from the site before visiting the restaurant. For example, you might see a $30 gift certificate for a nearby restaurant on sale for only $15. If you’re looking for a night out at restaurant, why not save 50 percent on your bill?
If you go out for food frequently, they also have a Dining Discount Pass. Pay $25 (and sometimes less if they’re having a sale) and for six months you’ll get discounts and even free items at over 170,000 restaurants all over the country. Some of these chains include Burger King, Papa John’s, and McDonald’s. You’ll also find discounts at local restaurants.
Dining out can be expensive, and if you’re living on a tight budget, it might seem like a luxury you can’t afford. But if you want to go out for the occasional meal, a savings app on this list might be able to help you save just enough to squeeze this purchase into your budget.
Do you have a favorite savings app that you use when you dine out? Share below!