Increase Font Size Option 5 Reset Font Size Option 5 Decrease Font Size Option 5
Home | Food | Restaurants | Deal or No Deal
Got Opinions? facebook_16 Facebook twitter_16 Twitter RSSRSS Deal or No Deal Print E-mail
(14 votes, average 4.57 out of 5)
Food - Restaurants
Written by Cheapo Momma   
Friday, 02 October 2009 12:59
Article Index Deal or No Deal
The Bad
The Ugly
All Pages

These days, the economy being what it is, my husband and I don't have tons of spare cash to squander on full fare dinner tabs. So there's nothing I love more than getting a good deal on dining out. Anytime we get turned on to a good deal at a modest restaurant, we never hesitate to cancel our Saturday night reservations ast McDonald's.

About a year ago, we stumbled on and tried it out to see if we could save some money. Well we sure did, and generally we like it, but there are some drawbacks that every consumer should be aware of. If you understand the drawbacks, can be a great deal and we still use them in addition to just going to great dirt cheap restaurants.

The Good:


In my area, many restaurants are listed on The best restaurants don't come up, but some pretty decent ones do. Newly opened places show up quite a bit, even if they do tend to be on the higher end. Trying to find a specific type of restaurant can be challenging. One time, I spent over an hour searching for a good Thai food place and the best I could come up with had a three star rating. changes their inventory quite a bit. That great Italian restaurant you liked so much may be listed one week and gone the next. So it's worth checking up on their latest offerings. If you are looking to head out with friends to grab some cheap eats in the next hour, it’s probably not going to work for you. Overall, I would say in my city they have a pretty good selection of second tier restaurants and a couple of really good ones.


Typically, the way works is that they sell you a $25 gift certificate for $10. But some of the listed Restaurants offer multiple denominations where you can buy a $10 certificate for $4 or a $50 certificate for $20.00. High end Restaurants might even have $75 and $100 certificates. It's a simple formula - the certificates go for 40% of face value.

You can often get an even better deal because frequently discount the price of their certificates by 50% or more. Which means that instead of paying ten dollars for that $25 certificate - it only costs you only five dollars. Over the last year, I managed to score a couple of 80% and 90% discounts. LiveCheap will often list some of the best ones. It's hard to beat a deal where you pay a buck or two for something that has a $25 value. When they do heavily discount their coupons, I've that their inventory of good restaurants suddenly shrinks.

Add New RSS
Write comment
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
cluescookies |2011-08-03 18:23:09
Not impressed when an 18% gratuity is added at a restaurant that does not have table service. Do you tip at a sub shop? Not a deal.
jambajojo  - Great Idea |2009-10-21 10:55:34
For my birthday I just received a gift certificate from a friend. I thought it was a great gift idea. (And btw, it wasn't to that pizzeria I had mentioned in my earlier posting!)
Omiewon  - Very Good Experience |2009-10-14 14:34:31
I used one of the $25 certificates for a place called the Kitchen we really like last night. $35 minimum and we spent about $46. We walked out the door for $33 which was pretty darn good for 3 entrees an appetizer and 3 drinks. Our service was very good and worth the 18% tip on the full amount. Giving the certificate at the beginning was no big deal and considering how few people were in the restaurant on a Tuesday night, I think they were more than happy to have us. The waitresses shouldn't care from their end, they get the 18% instead of nothing which is exactly how much they would have gotten if we didn't have the certificate.

Very good experience, I would recommend.
Omiewon  - Tip even in places where there's no tip |2009-10-11 07:51:36
The 15%/18% tip differential is not that big, but there are a couple places that serve food without any tip that with get the automatic 18% anyway. That I just don't get. Having said that, there are a couple places that we normally go where they only have $35 minimum and we usually spend almost exactly that.
The 80% off is pretty good but you have to act quickly otherwise all the good restaurants only have the $10 certificate which isn't any better than a coupon.
Also, I looked to see if there were restaurants where I grew up and there are very few. Major cities there are tons of restaurants, small towns, there are few options.
Tim  - Restaurant Owner |2012-01-14 10:56:58
The reason these Restaurants add the 18% is to recoup some of their loses when cheap asses come in there, buy 2 waters, a shrimp dinner and just barely make it to $35. Then want to take stuff ToGo if they don't meet the minimum in the dining area. The restaurants get NOTHING in return for the redemption of these "Gift Certs." In most cases the only way the person would come back is if they could use another coupon. And they can, in a month. In the in between time, they will go to the other restaurants in the area that participate in
elle  - Cheap asses? |2012-02-05 13:38:04
Perhaps you should have listed your restaurant name here as we wouldnt want to do that to you...whats crazy is that my husband and I have done this "shrimp dinner and water" thing, told our friends about the place and now they go more than us and guess what??? They dont use certificates...if your servers and if your +menu is on top of their games this sounds like really good word of mouth advertising for a cheap ass..
jambajojo  - Minimum Food Purchase |2009-10-10 21:57:49
When has their 80% discount, we'll usually take advantage of it. I just couldn't believe that one local pizzeria had a minimum food purchase of $50. Considering it was a chain restaurant (yes, chain) where the most expensive LARGE specialty pizza is about $20, I thought the only way I would buy this certificate would be when I had to feed a small army. But for my young family of five, it just wouldn't make sense. I like leftover pizza... but not that much.
Joomla Templates by Joomlashack