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Save money while dining out

Save money while dining out

by JODY MACE / Cheap and Free Contributor
E-mail Jody:

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 11:01 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Going out to eat at one of Charlotte's great restaurants may be a guilty pleasure, but the guilt should come from calories, not from how much money you spend. There are many ways to indulge without breaking the budget.

Queen's Feast: Charlotte's Restaurant Week is a perfect time to try out restaurants that you normally can't afford.

Get a three-course dinner for $30 at dozens of upscale restaurants.

Restaurant Week goes through July 25, so look through the list of restaurants and make your reservations now.

If it's not Restaurant Week and you want to dine for less, never venture out before first searching for a coupon. offers gift certificates to restaurants at steep discounts.

For instance, right now you can get a $25 gift certificate for just three dollars. You need to use the promo code TASTY.

Thursday, July 22 is the last day for this deal but it will be replaced with a new one tomorrow.

To find the current deal and promo code, visit Charlotte on the Cheap, and look for the advertisement.

Many people are familiar with Entertainment Books, but not everyone knows that they are dirt cheap this time of year.

Since the months of 2010 are dwindling away, the books are marked down.

Through August 2, you can get two books for just $10.

They don't have to both be for Charlotte, so if you're planning to vacation, pick up a book for that location too.

Even if you use just one coupon, it will more than pay for itself.

Another thing that many people don't know is that you're not limited to the coupons in the book. Once you buy a book you'll get occasional emails with links to online coupons to print out.

One more place to look for a coupon is Just search for the restaurant you'd like to visit and you may find a coupon to print out.

Finally, more and more "daily deal" offers are coming to Charlotte.

With daily deals you are offered one big discount and you usually have to buy it that day. The deals aren't always on restaurants. Typically the coupon you receive is good for at least six months, and sometimes a year.

You can subscribe to each of the "daily deal" operators and get an email each day with a link to the deal.

Some of the "daily deal" choices in Charlotte are Groupon, LivingSocial, and HalfOffDepot.