On TV! (WSVN-TV 7 (Miami) Aired 3-15-07: https://www1.wsvn.com/features/articles/bangforyourbuck/MI41991/
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Eat Out Without Going Broke
(Air Date: Thursday, March 15, 2007)
Miami’s packed with trendy, exciting and let’s face it, expensive places to eat. On tonight’s More Bang For Your Buck, Seven’s Tom Haynes shows us that there are still ways to save if you’re trying to dine on a budget.
WSVN — Eating out in the magic city can put a dent in anyone’s wallet, and based on statistics, we are eating out more and more. On average, we spend about a hundred bucks a week eating out. Restaurant Patron: “My sister only dines out three times a week. I’m about 100 percent.” Another Restaurant Patron: “Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we eat out between five to seven times a week.”
Restaurant critic Ken Spahn says if you eat out more than you dine in, there are ways to get more bang for your buck when grabbing a bite. First, your chain restaurants will often cost you more. Instead, try out the mom and pop place around the corner. Spahn:”Not only can you find the best bargains there, but a lot of times you can find the best food, and that’s just as important.” Ken says that because the small family-run businesses don’t have the commercial expenses of larger chains, “You can pick up lunch for five, six, seven bucks. You can usually pick up dinner for $12, under $15, for a good meal.” Another option is to look for restaurants that offer discounts at specific times of day. Like Spris on South Beach. Spahn: “If you order by 5:30, your meal only costs you $5.30. Order by 5:40, the meal’s $5.40. Order by 6:00, it’s six bucks, etcetera.”
And for those tech-savvy diners, you can also log on to save big on your next meal. Sites like restaurant.com and mydining.com allow you to purchase advance coupons to eat at your favorite places. Spahn: “You can buy a head-of-time discount coupons. So, for 25 bucks you get $50 worth of coupons.”Another option is to book your next dinner date at opentable.com where you can make your dinner reservations online. It’ll earn you a meal and other savings. Spahn:”You build up frequency points, which, at the end of the month or the end of the year, they send you a nice check, and it’s usually enough for a free dinner.” Haynes: “One more tip, if you’re a fast food junkie, keep an eye out for coupons. They are often in the paper or in the weekly fliers you get in the mail.”
More Bang For Your Buck – Ken Spahn interviewed