Gift cards are a popular gift choice. You may have received some during the recent holiday season.
They’re convenient for the giver, since you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect gift, and they’re convenient for the receiver, because they get to shop at their leisure and pick out something out they really want.
It’s especially nice to receive a restaurant gift card because you can use it for a fun social night, or date night. These gifts cards are always a favorite, because who doesn’t like to take a night off from cooking for themselves?
Restaurants are well aware of this, and have come up with a way to sweeten the pot just a little more, in hopes of getting people through the door. Many restaurants now offer a bonus gift card when you buy one as a gift.
If you want to save money on going to restaurants by using gift cards, here’s how it works.
You buy a $25 gift card for a loved one, and in return get a bonus $5 gift card to keep for yourself. I’ve taken advantage of offers like this several times, including one recently during my holiday shopping.
As I was completing the transaction, I wondered why I don’t take advantage of opportunities like this by keeping both gift cards? I could buy the $25 gift card, get the $5 gift card for free then be seated and dine at the restaurant essentially getting a $5 discount on my meal.
I began making notes in my cell phone each time I encountered the bonus gift card scenario. Here’s a list of restaurants and eateries that offer bonus cards when you purchase a gift card.
- Outback Steakhouse: The popular steakhouse will run a promotion a couple times a year of buy a $100 gift card, get a $20 gift card for free.
- Red Lobster: If you like seafood, they too periodically run the buy a $100 gift card, get a $20 gift card for free. I could eat their cheddar bay biscuits until I explode.
- Buffalo Wild Wings: Ah, my favorite sports bar! When I first started making notes about this eating out discount idea, they were the business I was thinking of. They’re a little smarter, though, as you typically cannot use the bonus gift card until a few weeks later.
- Local Restaurants: At Costco, I found $100 of gift cards to a group of local restaurants prices at $80. I wonder if other Costco locations would have similar promotions but for business local to the area.
- Nickelodeon Universe: The Mall Of America is just an hour north of my home. In the middle of the mall is the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park. Unlimited ride wristbands cost $32.99 at the park, but at Costco you can buy them 2 for $40. While it’s not a restaurant gift card, I thought the savings was so significant that I had to mention it.
If you’re on a budget, eating out and entertainment are usually the first expenses that get cut. But with these ideas you can see that great deals are all around — if you’re paying attention!
Have you run into a great gift card deal? What’s another way you save money when eating out?
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Several of my friends signed up and they are able to eat at home more because the instructions are easy to follow, making everything convenient. The deal also comes with grocery shopping lists, which saves them so much time. Check it out yourself by clicking here and you too may be able to save more and become healthier at the same time.