Sunday, December 14, 2008

Restaurant Coupons

Economists label me "price sensitive" as I have a particular "window of cost" that I intend to pay for various products and services. This is especially true when it comes to eating out. The other day I realized that my wallet was so bloated that I could no longer sit down comfortably. Unfortunately it wasn't a stack of hundreds that raised my rear, but receipts that I tend to slip in my wallet for later disposal.

Prior to tossing out, I reviewed each receipt to determine if it needed to be retained for possible returns or what not. I noticed that most were restaurant receipts, and that in all but one case did I receive a discount of one kind or another. Amy and I don't eat out much anymore. In fact, with me at home cooking my famous spaghetti, tacos, hot dogs or steaks week in and week out, we generally only order out a day or two on weekends.

After being overwhelmed with so many choices after we first moved to Roseville (both chains and one-of-a-kind mom/pop), we seem to have narrowed down our choices to a handful of eateries. Not surprisingly all but one have discounts coupons, 2 for 1's etc. If we want steak, we go to Tahoe Joe's for the rib eye which we split and order an extra salad (we use the clipper cash). If we want Mexican, it's On the Border which also has $ off coupons.

What about pizza? Well, we go take-n-back with Papa Murphy's which allow discount coupons (mailed) on EVERY pizza your purchase. If the craving is for pasta or an outstanding build your own salad, it's Pasta Village (locally owned) which until recently offered "kids eat free" on Saturday, but in talking to the owner he indicated that more special offers are coming out soon..............

The best restaurant coupons are the straight "2 fors" buy one, get one free meals. I can't stand the buy one entree + 2 drinks and then get the second entree free. This insults my intelligence and irks my turtle. I rarely order a drink anymore unless its a breakfast coffee....why pay $2.49 for a diet coke? When I want a "drink", then I'll get a "drink" (e.g. gin and tonic). Again, not ordering a soft drink (huge restaurant profit margin) automatically cuts 20% off your bill.

Forget about the dinner for two coupon as well. Black Angus simply can't get this through its thick head. I don't want to pay $42.99 for a dinner for two with appetizer, salad, entree and dessert! I'm not interested in the stamp card either in which you get a freebie on the "nth" visit.....this is another undesirable wallet fatener, and I forget...give me the deal today!

We just paid $23.99 for the entertainer booklet that contains deals on everything from Avis to the Zoo, but I was a bit disappointed in the values for my area and many of the places I had never heard of. True these places want me to sample their food, but I generally go by word of mouth. When I find a place I like, I'm loyal as H-E-L-L.

In concluding, especially with this economy I don't see any reason to patronize any eatery without receiving sometime of deal. I always check to see if a restaurant has a AAA discount. Even at mighty Starbucks, I purchased $100 worth of gift cards for $80 at Costco. I did mention that there is one exception to my discount rule...a place I NEVER see any kind of discount, but I'm addicted and can't stop. Drum roll's the Japanese restaurant Mikuni which is simply the best and worth every cent.

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