Eating out at restuarants can be quite costly, especially if you are like me and want to try new places all the time! Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, there are lots of great ways to save money at some of the best restaurants in your city! Here are some of my favourite money saving tips for eating out:


1) Check The Daily Specials


Many restaurants offer specials to attract customers to them on the slower days of the week. This can be anything from 1/2 price deals, no corkage fees, specific item sales, drink specials and other promotions. Finding these deals can be time consuming as you need to check each restaurants’ website for their individual specials, but fortunately my friend Tiffany has made this easier on her site If you look in the top right corner of her site you will see a restaurant specials search field that will list all of the daily specials for restaurants in a specific area of the city. Her site is exclusive to Toronto, so if you are reading this from another city in Canada you will need to actually check the website for each of the restaurants you are considering. Here is a screenshot of what you will find on She’s So Savvy:

ShesSoSavvy Example Screenshot

2) Group Deals


This strategy takes some planning as you have to keep your eye out for deals at specific restaurants. Basically the best way to monitor these kinds of deals is to use a group deal aggregator (this one is from to view all of the deals from the various group buying sites in one place. When you find a restaurant you want to try, buy the deal and save around 50% off on your bill!

3) Time-Sensitive Deals


If you don’t like planning in advance for your meals, there is a cool new way for you to save money on a restaurant you plan to visit within a few hours: Now Deals. Many of the sites that offer group deals (as metioned above) have started to offer time-sensitive deals that must be used typically within 12 hours in a specific window of time. My favourite site for these kind of deals is Groupon (click the NOW DEALS on their site) because they have the largest selection of these kinds of deals. Restaurants offer these deals as a way to attract new customers on a day or time where they typically are not busy. The deals typically range anywhere from $5-$20 and usually will get you around 50% off your meal. I have used these before and have found some restaurants that I would never have tried otherwise (see my Chefydrews review). Here is a screenshot of a few of these kinds of deals:

Groupon Now Deals Example

4) Foursquare


Another great way to get exclusive specials at restaurants is with Foursquare. For those not familiar, Foursquare is a location based application that runs on your smartphone that allows you to notify your friends where you are at any given moment. This may sound creepy to you, but you can even create an account on Foursquare just to get specials offered by restauarants. For example, my friend Mackenzie has a restaurant called Fuel House and they offer a free order of fries to all new customers that check-in using Foursquare. Not all restaurants offer Foursquare specials so you will need to look around on their site for restaurants that have an orange SPECIAL icon listed under their name like this:

Foursquare Special

5) Social Media


Twitter and Facebook are both great places for restaurants to notify their customers about their specials or run limited time promotions. By following your favourite places on Twitter or Facebook you will often learn about promotions that are limited to social media. The restaurants also use social media as a way to notify their customers about special events where you will sometimes receive some free items just for showing up!


6) Read Money Saving Forums


Lastly, there are various online discussion groups (forums) where people talk about ways to save money. My favourite site, and the biggest in Canada, for this is On their site they have a special section of their HOT DEALS forum which is dedicated entirely to food deals. You need to check back often though as many of these deals are time-sensitive and are often only posted on the day they become active.


7) Foodie Money Saving Clubs


Finally there are a few clubs where you can join to save money on food at certain restaurants. The two biggest that I know about in Toronto are called Dining Date Night (a link to a review of their site from my friend Stella) and Tuesday Foodie (which I have but have still yet to try). With these clubs you typically pay a small upfront fee which in return will get you around 30% off your entire bill at certain restaurants.


I hope you found this article interesting and learned something from it. If you did and think someone you know might benefit from it simply click the social sharing buttons below and share this on your favourite social network. If you aren’t on a social network then leave me a comment below :)