Eating out on the cheap

Caroline Cassidy
Eating out on the cheap
Eating out on the cheap

Pic: Getty

Since the recession hit, many Brits have cut back on meals out and takeaway dinners in a bid to save money quickly, but there are plenty of deals on offer that can slash the cost of dining out, as long as you know where to look.

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Money Saving Expert
For a super quick and easy look at all the latest discounts and voucher offers, Money Saving Expert has an entire page dedicated to cheap restaurant deals. As well as pointing the way to printable online vouchers to big name chains like Pizza Express, Ask and Burger King, the site also flags up meal deals such as a £10 meal deal at Harvester, £5 pizzas from Pizza Hut, and freebies included when you eat out at the likes of Carluccio's, Azurro and Toby Carvery.

Voucher sites
Sites such as Vouchercodes and Vouchercloud are excellent places to search for a cheap night out. Once again, you're likely to find that it's the big chains that are offering deals, but there are plenty to choose from. Vouchercodes, for example, highlight offers such as 25 per cent off your food bill at Pizza Express, two course for £10.95 at Ask, and 30 per cent of main courses at Fayre & Square.

If you prefer a more upmarket dining experience, you might just get a great deal by signing up to the likes of Groupon or Wowcher. Just sign up and you'll get new offers daily on all manner of days out, activities and services, and there are plenty of bargains available on the restaurant front. For instance, with Groupon you could bag yourself a night at Silk in London, enjoying the taster menu with champagne for just £29 (normally £65.50), or a three-course meal and champagne for two at the Hilton Green Park for just £59. What's available changes on a daily basis, but they're always worth a look if you fancy a night out.

Restaurant rewards sites
Foodies who like to dine out on a regular basis could save a bundle by registering with reward sites such as Toptable. It enables you to book a table online and enjoy savings at the restaurant as a result, including free drinks, discounted set menus and up to 50 per cent off your food bill. As an extra bonus, every time you book through the site you'll earn reward points, which can later be exchanged for a free meal at selected restaurants. The site includes a wide range of eateries, from everyday to fine dining, and it's free to book via the site so what have you got to lose?

In a similar vein but specifically for those impromptu meals out, Tablepouncer allows you to book spare tables at restaurants on the day or the following evening. The restaurant will then discount the price of your meal by up to 70 per cent. There is, however, a £2.50 per person booking charge that you'll need to pay to the website in order to enjoy the savings.
Join the club
Another one for those who make a regular thing of eating out, diner's clubs such as Tastecard offer two-for-one meals and 50 per cent discounts at participating restaurants, of which there are over 6,700. Tastecard charges £79.99 for a 12-month membership, but it's certainly worth it if you're the type to eat out frequently, and the site is currently offering a 30-day free trial so you can try before you buy.

Have you tried any of the above and eaten out on the cheap? Tell us about your experience below...