College Central®

Ask around. The Network works.®

Personal Finance
Dining For Le$$

James H. Dimmitt -- If you take your clients out for a business lunch or dinner, it doesn't have to cost you an "arm and a leg" to do it. You can save anywhere from 10%, 20%, 30% -- even as much as 50% on the cost of your meals. And the best part is you can do it discreetly!

Fancy restaurants around the nation are clamoring for business these days. Why not enjoy a great meal but at a discounted price? And best of all you can do it simply and discreetly. Your dining associates won't even know you're getting a great deal. It will be your "little secret."

One way to enjoy a great discount of 10-30% is to make a reservation using a service such as Dinnerbroker.com. Your discount is automatically deducted before you get your check. They have over 250 upscale restaurants in their network.

Another dining discount service is offered by Restaurant.com which sells "gift certificates" toward your meal for a 50% discount. In other words a $40 coupon will cost you just $20. The only negative here is that your discount is not automatic -- you'll have to slip the coupon in with your payment.

By the way, this discount is not just for businesses. You can save on your next family outing as well. Last Christmas we bought our boss a gift certificate for a fancy seafood restaurant using this method. He was very impressed that we gave him such a valuable gift certificate. What he didn't know is that we were able to do it at half price!

Perhaps the most impressive and discreet dining discount is offered by IDine.com. Their service offers up to 20% discounts and has 8,000 participating restaurants. They do charge an annual membership fee of $49.

You have to register a credit card with them in order to use this service. When you dine out you will need to use that registered credit card when making your payment. However, your bill will not reflect the discounted amount.

Instead, your credit card company will deduct the 20% discount from your bill, including the tax and tip amounts!

Although they are geared more toward businesses, families can also benefit from several of the programs offered.

These are just a few examples of services and discounts available. Check the Internet for other resources available to make your dining experience more enjoyable as well as less expensive.

James is editor of "To Your Credit," a free weekly newsletter with tips to help you manage your personal finances. Subscribe today and receive his ebook Identity Theft -- How To Avoid Becoming the Next Victim! and other free bonuses by visiting http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com.

© 2006 James Dimmitt"

Return to top

The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal or medical professional.