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August 6, 2010 | Posted By: Duncan
If my memory serves me correctly there was something of a financial issue that affected a few people over the past couple of years, I think it was referred to as a recession. I don’t remember the details of what happened because it was hardly mentioned by the press. Oh wait, yes it was, it was mentioned in every bloody newspaper and on every TV channel that exists on earth! And I for one got a little sick of it. We were repeatedly told that we would have to change our ‘excessive’ lifestyles and instead sit at home every weekend with no lights or heating, eating baked beans out of the tin. This is of course rubbish, and whilst we have to be a little more careful with our money, there are ways to live just as well in this financial climate and even make the recession work to our advantage. Here is one example to demonstrate using the "luxury" of eating out.
As restaurants began to struggle for custom and hunt around for ways to get an edge over their competitors, it was inevitable that vouchers for eating out would start popping up. Originating in the retail sector, online and offline vouchers further incentivised eating at a certain establishment and offered diners anything from 10% off their meals, to free drinks all night. Before you pick somewhere to eat, take a look in the local papers for coupons or better yet run a search online for restaurants in your area offering discount codes.
Another way in which you can use the weak economy to your advantage is by haggling with restaurant owners. This doesn’t mean that you barter for the price of your meal before or after you get served, but instead ring around for the best offer before you head out. Eateries are really struggling to fill seats currently and often have days when their restaurant is nearly empty, thus they are open to offers as they would prefer to make less money than no money at all. Ring up a few places you like the look of and be honest with them. Tell them that you’re looking around for a good deal and ask if they can offer you some movement on their menu prices. I've used this technique a few times and I would say that around 50% of restaurants are more than happy to give you a deal, especially if you take a big table.
Offer Your Services
You can always offer to do the washing up for a free meal, but that’s not the most enjoyable task at the end of a romantic meal. Believe it or not most people have more services to offer a restaurant than they think. Bear in mind that food is a relatively cheap commodity for restaurants so if you can offer them something worthwhile they’ll happily provide you with some grub. Perhaps you have a blog that you could promote the restaurant on or provide a link from? Perhaps you can distribute flyers amongst your work colleagues or even just around town. Fill just one table for the restaurant using whatever technique you have at your disposal and they can afford to feed you no problem.
Guest Blogger Duncan is an amateur money saver and blogs about all things frugal. He represents a credit card company specialising in bad credit history clients.
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