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Cheap eats: 3 cost-saving tips

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Savvy diners can easily trim their restaurant bills by 50% or more without forgoing the filet mignon in favor of a cheap pasta dish. Try these three tips to spend less:

1. Reserve a table. Making a reservation through a site such as can put money back in your wallet. Earn 100 to 1,000 points for each reservation. Redeem 2,000 points for a $20 gift check to use at any of the site’s 8,000-plus partner restaurants.

2. Clip coupons. Scan your local Sunday newspaper, pick up the free penny-saver publication and sort through the coupon packs in your mailbox, advises Mary Hunt, founder of Debt-Proof Living. Another tip: Purchase entertainment books, often sold as school fundraisers, for deals like two-for-one pizzas at Domino’s. You recoup the cost quickly.

3. Join the club. Snag extra deals and coupons by signing up for restaurant e-mail lists and reward programs. Example: Sign up for T.G.I. Friday’s e-club, and receive a coupon for an appetizer on the house.

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