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Cooking meals at home for the family is enjoyable, but it is not as enjoyable as visiting a public establishment and having someone serve a delicious entrée. The following are some good ideas for frugal dining with the family:
Free Kids Night
A multitude of restaurant establishments offers free meals to children under a certain age. Parents can choose from a least 50 establishments. Examples of some dining establishments that have the free kids night feature are Denny’s, Cici’s Pizza, Fuddruckers, Bennigan’s and Lonestar Steakhouse. The ages of children who can eat free range from three-years-old and under to 12-years-old and under.
Coupons and Discount Codes
The Internet is a wonderful device for finding discounts on meals. A person who is looking to provide his or her family with a frugal meal can conduct an online search for “restaurant coupons.” Printable coupons are available online from a wide variety of reputable institutions such as Applebee’s, Chili’s and IHOP. Frugal diners can enjoy benefits such as one free meal with the purchase of another entrée or item. Some coupons provide free appetizers, and other coupons supply the diners with a monetary deduction or discount on anything they order.
Free Birthday Meals
Another way to get a free meal for at least one member of the family is by waiting for his or her birthday. Several restaurants will give a birthday person a free entrée to enjoy on his or her special day. Examples of restaurants that offer this treat are Black Angus Steakhouse, Jack in the Box, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. A few desert establishments such as Dairy Queen and Krispy Krème will treat their customers to a delicious donut or ice cream item on their birthdays.
Credit Cards and Special Memberships
Credit cards and special memberships such as Triple A memberships can lead a family into a discounted breakfast, lunch or dinner. Triple A membership provides members with the ability to use their cards at certain restaurant establishments. Denny’s and Kingfish Grill are two establishments that accept AAA membership for discounts.
Credit cards sometimes have rewards programs from which cardholders can earn points. They can convert their points into a convenient discount at an eating establishment. Additionally, search engines such as the Bing search engine reward people who use their search engines with discount cards and other special rewards.
A family can enjoy a nice frugal meal by using one of the aforementioned strategies.
Even though this question sounds odd and easy to answer, think about it for just a minute when talking about your financial acumen.
Are your credit cards in your wallet or stashed away somewhere for emergencies only?
The answer to that inquiry could be the difference between how you're using your credit cards but more specifically if you're using them wisely. Financial gurus and experts argue that the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality works well when it comes to these pesky, high interest cards, and if you're not prone to carrying them around in your wallet all the time, then chances are you won't be using them, either.
That doesn't mean you can't remember where you hid them from yourself and start going crazy with the spending at any moment. Not toting around your credit cards is more about making smart decisions on the spot or at the spur of the moment.
If you think you need to buy something and you don't have your credit card with you, there's a good chance you won't want to use your “own money” to make that purchase. The credit card is way too easy of an out for you financially. The money isn't coming out of your hard earned paycheck or years of savings account dollars set aside but rather being charged to a card that you won't worry about until the bill comes about a month or so later.
All of this translates into a simple mantra of using your credit cards correctly versus haphazardly spending with little or no thought toward the repercussions associated with credit card usage. In a perfect financial world, credit cards should be rechristened in case cards because that's really all their good for essentially.
Credit cards come into play if you have a flat tire on the highway, need to rent a hotel room or desperately need a new washer, dryer or stove and you don't have hundreds of dollars at your expense. What credit cards should never be is a clothing shopping partner at a department store or, worse yet, an avenue to pay bills when you're behind on the cable, phone or electric. Keep in mind that while you believe that paying utility bills with a credit card isn't going to cost you consider that you still owe the amount due, just now you have to pay someone else for it (i.e. the creditor).
If you can't afford cable, cut the cord.
If your cell phone bill is too high, cancel that contract and go pre-paid.
But the last thing you want to do is pay bills with a credit card or use that plastic for products, services or even expenses that aren't emergency buys or must have items. If your dishwasher breaks, replace it with a credit card if you absolutely have to do so. You need your dishwasher, but you'd be hard pressed to get much sympathy if you take that same approach with buying yourself 10 new outfits for work, when what you have is perfectly fine for now.
The real downside to credit cards is that really anyone can get them, even if your rate isn't really something all that remarkable. Credit cards should be used in moderation and as a financial get out of jail free card in the event you can't afford to replace that is an absolute must.
When they're used for anything except that is when you find yourself in some serious trouble.