Even when you’re eating out on a student’s budget, you don’t have to settle for cafeteria food. With these five apps for saving on dining, you can find local deals on meals that you won’t forget. From deep discounts on a silver platter to the cheapest happy hour in town, it’s all here. There’s even an app that lets you cut the check without looking like a cheapskate for those dates when you suddenly realize how far over-budget you’ve gone this month!
Savored is maybe the smartest thing ever. This app gets you last-minute reservations coupled with deep discounts at fine dining restaurants. How does this magic work? The app is built on “proprietary technology” that somehow finds out which restaurants have last minute cancellations, then creates coupons that entice you and your party to fill them. Don’t you wish you thought of that?
Foursquare is way more than a food app offering a lot of sweet deals; it’s a social network built around communicating with your friends about where you like to go. Foursquare can help you find nearby restaurants, nightclubs and shopping destinations, tell you how popular they are and what your friends think of them, and make recommendations based on your personal taste. Oh, and it saves you money with deals!
Scoutmob offers 50 percent off discounts at restaurants in 20 major U.S. cities. You just use your smart phone to show the coupon to your server and voila, your meal is half-off (within a reasonable limit, usually $40 to $50). It’s simple to use, and the discounts are deep, which makes it hard to beat. There are also a bunch of other cool things you can do with it, like get discounts on clothes and weird artsy stuff.
4. Daily Gobble
There are those of us who take pride in our thrift, and those of us who like to be a little more discreet — after all, taking your sweetheart out for dinner just doesn’t have the same connotation when he knows his meal was the “free” portion in “buy one, get one free.” Daily Gobble allows you to save discreetly by taking a picture of your check and receiving a Paypal reimbursement — just make sure you check the time frame on the coupon before choosing your restaurant!
OK, so this one won’t actually help you save on food, but for many students, alcohol budgeting is an even bigger challenge. Drink specials will let you know about all the happy hours and all-night discounts in your neighborhood. If you drink strategically, you might just save enough to buy dinner — which you should do, because we all know how the night will end if it begins with drinking on an empty stomach.
This is a guest post from Erica Moss. Erica is the community manager for Nursing@Georgetown, which offers online graduate nursing programs in midwifery and more. She also loves exploring NYC, photography and meeting new people in her free time.