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Dig in for online dining deals

February 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Just about everyone is into saving money these days. And that includes cutting costs while eating out. There are several ways to slash your dining bill by 10 percent, 50 percent, even 70 percent. Here's how to eat out for less.Like many businesses, restaurants are getting hit hard by the sour economy. But if you look in the right places, you can save a lot on your dining bill, even at high-end restaurants that are offering some incredible dining deals.

The Champagne French Bakery Cafe has 13 locations in Southern California. It serves a variety of breakfasts, crepes, sandwiches, soups and salads. Simply show your Triple-A auto club card when ordering, and you'll save 10 percent off your bill. It's a discount even longtime customers know nothing about.

The Tam O'Shanter Inn is a landmark in Southern California. The 87-year-old restaurant is a member of OpenTable.com, a free online reservations site.

Reserve a table thru OpenTable at Tam O'Shanter and you'll receive 100 rewards points. Some restaurants earn you more points.

Earn 2,000 points and OpenTable sends you a check for $20 that you can redeem at any restaurant in their network.

Tam O'Shanter also has their own VIP program that rewards frequent diners.

"You get a point per dollar that you spend and every time that you hit 250 points, you get a rewards certificate for $25 to come back and use," said Gina Doyle, Tam O'Shanter manager.

Here's another way to get as much as half-off on restaurants: The Entertainment Book. It costs $20, but it has hundreds of dining coupons worth a lot more, from fast-food restaurants to fine-dining establishments offering two-for-one meals. Order two $20 entrees, pay for just one.

Go online and you can save even more.

On eBay, type in "restaurant gift cards," and you can buy the cards for a fraction of their retail price.

Another site with great deals: Restaurant.com, which sells dining certificates that can save you more than two-thirds eating out. For example, a $50-off certificate cost you $20.

At Pig'N Whistle in Hollywood, and at other restaurants, you can save even more by typing in a promotional code at Restaurant.com.

Here's how that works: type in "Restaurant.com" and "promotional code" in a Google search and you'll find links for the code. Then, when you order your certificate online, type in that code, and save up to 70 percent off the price of the already discounted coupon.

Let's say you spend $35 for dinner for two at the Pig'N Whistle. You can buy a $25-off certificate for as little as $3, a $22 savings. The total price for a $35 meal: $13, a 63-percent discount.

These deals are good for you and the restaurant.

Promotional code discounts change all the time, so your savings may fluctuate depending on when you search for these codes.

Promotional code Web sites:


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