Welcome to 31 Days:The No Spend Month. If you are just joining me for the first time, you may want to start on Day 1.
For us, No Spend Month is about saving money – not about the discipline to eat at home every day (although that would be a great goal, as well).
I like to eat out, however because our goal is to eliminate all spending on eating out this month (except for our designated night’s out), these are a few ideas to do it at no added cost:
Use Gift Cards
Anyone else have a bunch of gift cards tucked in their wallet that they always forget to use? This month, I’ve dug them out and made a point to know exactly which ones I have. I’ve also written the value of the card in permanent marker on each.
I signed up for a few mystery shopping companies a year ago and have frequently received free meals. We get a free pizza at least once a month and we’ll be enjoying it on a Friday night this month.
Restaurants often have promotions where you can get a free meal for yourself or your entire family. IHOP has a free pancake day every year and IKEA often has free breakfast or free lunch for the kids. While we don’t have either of these nearby, I’m keeping my ears open for local promotions.
Coffee used to be a huge chunk of our ‘eating out’ budget. We have since purchased a great French press for home brewed coffee but we do like to go out to a coffee shop once in awhile. Here are a few options to get free coffee:
- turn in Starbucks coffee bags for a free coffee at Starbucks
- use our Starbucks Rewards – especially on our birthdays (which both happen to be this month!)
- use gift cards tucked away in our wallets (see above)
- use Groupon, Plum District, and other Daily Deal purchases made in the past
- get a free IKEA Family account and get free tea or coffee anytime
- coupons and freebies such as this one from Pilot
Having two birthdays during No Spend Month has been great because our Inbox and our mail box has been blessing us with discounts and freebies. My husband got a coupon for a free meal at a local Italian restaurant and I got a free burger at Red Robin. I also scored free dessert at one of our outings last weekend. Here’s a list of other restaurants that offer freebies on your birthday.
How do save money on eating out? Any other ideas for eating out for free?