With food costs only getting higher, how much we end up spending on food takes up a lot of our budget. We like to eat good, healthy food also, so that can cost even more sometimes. But, healthy food doesn’t always have to cost more. Luckily, there are quite a few places to get a great deal on food, which helps keep our food budget low.
First and foremost when on the hunt for good deals on food is always the grocery store. A lot of grocery stores have deals weekly on tons of products, but that doesn’t mean those products are actually good for you. And when you consistently eat food that has sub-par quality, your health will suffer. Which then increases your health care bills, possibly your health insurance too, and reduces your quality of life. Nobody wants that! So keeping your diet full of healthy foods can only benefit you greatly, both in quality of life and your wallet.
Therefore, look for grocery stores that specialize in more local products and/or products from other countries. Since other countries usually have better quality standards with their food than we do (sadly!), it would benefit you to look for those items. Also, these items tend to cost less a lot of the time too.
Some of the grocery stores that can get you a good deal on food are:
Start with these if you can find them. But don’t forget to look for your smaller, independent grocery stores that specialize in specific cuisine. In fact, I get my rice from a local Asian market at a fraction of what I pay for it at any of these stores. And they have a much larger selection, including red, pink, purple, Jade Pearl and black rice. If that isn’t a reason to check out your smaller stores, then I don’t know what is!
Restaurants can be pretty easy to find deals and coupons for these days. A lot of them even have apps that will send you regular coupons or specials. A lot of them will send you a coupon for something free on or around your birthday, so that is a great time to take advantage.
Some of the best deals at chain restaurants are:
- Applebee’s – They do a 2 meals for $20 deal, which includes 1 appetizer or 2 salads plus 2 main dishes.
- Buffalo Wild Wings – They have Wing Tuesday every week, where you can get half off their traditional wings.
- Chili’s – They have one of the best deals around, besides Domino’s, with their Three for Me deal, which lets you choose and appetizer, a main and a dessert all for only $10. They also have a 2 meals for $22 deal, which is similar to the Applebee’s deal.
- Domino’s Pizza – They have a choose two pizzas for $5.99 each, which is a phenomenal deal!
- Olive Garden – Their unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks can really help you stretch your money.
- Outback Steakhouse – They have a Walkabout Wednesday which lets you choose between steak or chicken and pairs it with fries and a drink for $9.99.
- PF Chang’s – They have a $5 happy hour M-F from 3 – 6pm.
- Red Lobster – They do an endless shrimp and biscuits dish with sides for $15.99.
However, finding restaurants that serve really great food and get a good deal can be trickier. The best ways we have found to do it are to try the smaller local independent restaurants. Sometimes they will offer you a deal just to try their restaurant. Other times, the food you are getting is of much greater quality and is authentic, which you don’t really get at the chain restaurants. Quite a few of the independent restaurants that are off the beaten path will have even better pricing also. So don’t be afraid to look outside your normal comfort zone to see what you may have been missing near you.
There are a ton of websites to find deals on restaurants and food these days. Most of these sites make looking for coupons so much easier than the old school days of clipping coupons or waiting for them to show up in your mailbox.
But which sites usually have the best deals? Well, we asked the same question and here is what we found:
- Groupon – one of the largest growing deal websites in the world, they always have a plethora of choices to choose from. And you can get a deal while you are at the restaurant and then show the code to your server when it is time to pay, which is pretty awesome!
- Living Social – this is the rival site to Groupon. While they don’t have as many deals as Groupon does, they always have a lot and they are usually the competitors to the Groupon listings. So we like to check both just to see who is offering the better deal in similar genres.
- LocalFlavor.com – this site operates the same way as Groupon and Living Social, but it is geared more towards local restaurants. Plus, you get 25% off your first purchase when you sign up for their daily email with deals.
- Restaurant.com – this site has deals that never expire, which is one of my favorite things. You can go on there and search by genre or specific restaurant to see what they have. A lot of the deals are similar to paying $10 for $25 worth of food so that savings can really add up!
Overall, there are a lot of great places that you can find a good deal on food. But it’s always best to start with the grocery stores since those will ultimately cost you less. When you do want to go out to eat, there are a ton of options that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And don’t forget to check out the deal websites to stretch your money even further!
Where have you found some of the best deals on food to be?