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En-duhl-jer: The one who indulges

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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fun With Coupons: Restaurant.com + Retailmenot.com

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Today I’m going to talk about Restaurant.com and how using Retailmenot.com can save you a crapload.  Restaurant.com is a gift card site for local restaurants. It’s pretty simple, you enter in where you live and participating restaurants pop-up with offers. Now the selection isn’t fantastic, but if you like finding non-franchised restaurants to eat at for cheap, this is the best way you’re going to be able to do it.

Here’s what you do:
Find a restaurant you want to eat at. Let’s use this restaurant as an example:

To maximize your savings you want to look for the following things:

  1. Lowest forced gratuity
  2. Lowest purchase price of Gift Card
  3. Lowest minimum purchase

This example is nice because we can buy a $25 Gift Card and only have to spend $35. OK, but, I bet you’re saying, “Yeah so…but I have to pay $10 for that! What’s so great—“. Let me cut you off and explain. Once you’ve found a restaurant you’re interested in, now you go to Retailmenot.com.

You will almost always be able to find a coupon code that takes at least 80% off. If you don’t find one, come back in a few days and it’ll be there. Highest I’ve seen is 90% off. Do you get it yet? You are able to buy Gift Cards for 80-90% off! Of course, there are still a few things that drag this down, but in the end you’re going to be saving money when you go out to eat.

Let’s breakdown an example:
You pay $2 for a $25 Gift Card. To use it you need to spend at least $35, and with a forced 18% gratuity the minimum you will need to spend is $41.30. Subtract $23 from that and it comes out to $18.30 minimum to use this with a $25 Gift card. Now unless you’re a big eater, you’re probably going to be out with someone to eat. Split that three ways and you’re paying 6 bucks for a meal. Not too bad. The deal is still pretty good if you get a $10 Gift Card too, but I normally use the $25 version because it scales better. Big parties can opt for the $50-$100 cards, but you’re going to need to buy a ton of food (unless the place is expensive, I guess). If you have a team or something, this is one way to save a bunch of money taking out a lot of people to eat!

So what are the catches?

  • Alcohol doesn’t apply to overall purchase accumulation
  • Doesn’t apply to “special” or other promotions
  • Only can use one coupon, per restaurant, per month

What else should I know?
To “exercise” this coupon. The restaurant is supposed to dial in to authorize a confirmation code, but to be honest, no one ever does it. So, the “one coupon per month” thing never really happens. They also don’t normally force a gratuity on you (but don’t be a cheapass and not pay it…). This is all “your mileage may vary”.

I never went out to eat because I couldn’t stand how expensive it can get. With this, it lowers my pain threshold to an acceptable level. This really does work! All you need is a computer and a printer, and the understanding that your favorite restaurants probably aren’t going to be on this list. However, this really lets you try restaurants around your area you’ve probably never heard of, and I guess the intent is that you’ll find one and you’ll go there again and again. This is also great when you’re traveling and unfamiliar with the area.

Again, your best deal is going to be to find something that has either a low differential between the Gift Card and the minimum purchase ($10 is the best I’ve seen; $25 for $35; $10 for $20) or has a really high cost of Gift Card; example would be $20 for a $25 card. With 90% off that is going to cost $2. Normally, these restaurants have much lower minimum purchase prices, so they sort of go hand-in-hand.

Retailmenot.com is pretty much the goto place for getting the latest coupon codes for any website on the Internet. It’s quickly become the most reliable, easiest, and quickest way to save money by doing…nothing. Simply type “-websitename- retailmenot” into Google, click on the link and scan for current codes. It’s just that simple. This Restaurant.com trick is easily one of my favorites though. You can’t beat 80-90% coupons!

Hopefully, you can utilize this, otherwise, if you read this far, you sure did just waste a lot of your time!

Filed under Deals
May 7, 2011

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