How to Dine Out on a Student's Budget

Going out to eat on your meager college budget may seem out of reach. But if you know where to go to find deals, you can enjoy being off campus for a bit and hanging with your friends. Continue reading to learn about several deal websites that can help you save money when dining out.

restaurant

Resources That Let You Eat Big by Spending Little

Everyone enjoys going out to eat, especially with friends. However, food can be pricey (especially after you add on drinks, tax and tip). As a student, your purse strings are likely tight. So, how can you eat out at swanky restaurants with your friends but limit your spending? The following are a few solutions that can keep your wallet plump without starving your social life.

Restaurant.com

On any budget, you can eat at local restaurants using this valuable website. Its purpose is to promote small local businesses by offering gift certificates at extremely reduced rates (sometimes as low as three dollars for a $25 certificate). Typically, you'll need to spend at least $35 to use the certificate - but split two or more ways, you can create huge savings. Plus, you can enjoy supporting local restaurants and eating at upscale establishments.

Coupon Books

Let's face it! If you want to dine out often, you need to use discounts. Many books, such as the Entertainment book and the Enjoy the City book, offer location-specific coupons. Consider investing a little bit now for a book like this and you'll save big later. These coupons give you discounts for food, travel and entertainment. While restaurant chains are prevalent in the books, there are local establishments that can give you a unique experience and flavors. If you want to try something new, this is your chance - take a friend to one of the Indian or Thai restaurants you find in there.

Livingsocial.com

This website can provide opportunities for more than just dining. Livingsocial.com offers deals for discounted prices on products, dining and services. You'll need to check back often, because deals expire after a certain amount of time and new deals creep up each day. Not only can you find cheap restaurant gift cards, but Livingsocial.com has been known to offer deals on movie tickets, hotels and adventure packages. Through these packages, local businesses combine deals to offer a great night on the town.

Happy Hour

Created with the purpose of providing cheap drinks and appetizers to workers after long days at the office, happy hour can be beneficial for the student also (if you're over 21, of course). Gather your friends together to go to a pub, sports bar or restaurant that offers half-price food. Some restaurants may offer deals on specials. Yes, some of the options may be limited, and you may need to go out early, but the savings are worth it. If you're not sure where to go, check out happy-hour.com to search local establishments.

Reward Sites

Reward sites pay you points for completing offers, answering surveys and buying their products. With MyCokeRewards.com you'll enter codes from the soda that you purchase. The same goes for Swagbucks.com and Mypoints.com. With Swagbucks.com, you download their SwagBucks button (browser extension) to accumulate points as you do regular Web surfing. As points accumulate, you can turn them into gift cards to use at retailers like Walmart and Amazon.com.

Deciding to stay in? See how you can cook easy and cheap meals in the dorm!

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Lincoln Tech

    Lincoln Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Lincoln Tech:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Tulane University

    Tulane University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »