Special Restaurant Savings for 'GMA' Viewers

May 31, 2006 — -- Americans spend up to 40 percent of their food dollar outside the home, and that can put a real bite in anyone's budget. With the summer months approaching, take advantage of restaurant coupons and savings tricks to get more for less every time you eat out.

Get an Entertainment Book for Your City

Each book has hundreds of coupons for fast food, casual and upscale restaurants. Typical offers are "buy one, get one free" and savings can be as high as $25 per coupon. The book's coupons last from August through the following October (15 months) and each book costs between $25 to $35 plus $5 shipping.

"GMA" viewers can get the 2006 book on sale, by clicking here.

Once you receive your book, register at entertainment.com*

Registering your book will also allow you to buy discounted gift cards for national restaurant chains like Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones (10 percent off a $50 gift card). These gift cards can be combined with coupons to save even more.

Get Free/Discounted Restaurant Gift Certificates

Get free restaurant gift certificates using United Airlines miles. You can get one $25 restaurant.com gift certificate with 1,000 United miles or a $100 gift certificate with 2,500 United miles. Go to United's Web site to learn more at www.united.com/diningcertificates*.If you don't have United miles, you can earn them when you buy groceries at participating Safeway chains through www.grocerymiles.com*. The average family's grocery spending would earn four free $25 restaurant certificates a year.

You can also buy restaurant.com certificates at a discount with a special coupon code for GMA viewers. Diners typically pay $10 for a $25 restaurant.com gift certificate.

Special Savings for "GMA" viewers: GMA viewers can enter the code "GMA" in the promotion code box on the checkout page at www.restaurant.com* to save 50 percent, paying only $5 for the $25 certificate. This promotion is effective May 31, 2006 to June 4, 2006, and there is no other discount code available during this time period.

Certificates are limited to participating restaurants, and inventories are limited. Shop early in the month to get the best selection. The most popular certificates sell out quickly. The trick to getting certificates for your favorite restaurants is to visit the site on the first day of the month when certificate inventory is restocked. Once certificates are printed, they are good for one year.

* External links are provided for reference purposes. ABC News is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Utilize Reservations

Use restaurant reservation services to earn free meals and get discounts automatically without having to use a coupon. Services like www.opentable.com* and www.dinnerbroker.com* reward diners with free points when they make reservations through their sites. Points can be redeemed for free restaurant gift certificates.

Get up to 30 percent discounts automatically at selected restaurants listed on the Dinner Broker site by eating during off-peak hours or days. Your savings will be deducted from your bill automatically without having to show a coupon. Many upscale restaurants are listed, so your savings can be significant. Opentable.com does not offer discounts.

Refer your friends and family to Dinner Broker to earn more points. Each referral earns as many points as each reservation made.

You can buy discounted gift certificates (10 percent off) for selected restaurants at Dinner Broker's site.

Use Restaurant Rebate Programs

Restaurant rebate programs are automatic and do not require a coupon. The Rewards Network program provides rebates of up to 20 percent at participating restaurants, including tax and tip. You can get your rebates in cash via www.rewardsnetwork.com*, in college savings earnings via www.upromise.com*, or in United airline miles via www.united.com in their MileagePlus section. You need to register your credit card to earn the rebates (up to five cards per account).

Your earnings are automatically tracked with a registered credit card, so you do not need to use a coupon or tell the server that you have a discount.

The Upromise and United Mileage rebates programs are free to join, however, the cash rebate program via the Rewards Network site typically has a $49 annual fee.

Special Savings for "GMA" viewers: GMA viewers can get a free three- month membership by visiting www.rewardsnetwork.com/friends* and using the code "GMA" in the Enrollment Code box. If you like the trial, GMA viewers can get an annual membership after the three-month trial for only $19 with the same "GMA" code.

The United mileage program is currently running a special mileage bonus program (through June 30, 2006). You can use your United miles to buy a free restaurant.com certificate!

Ask restaurants if they offer special discounts like "Kids Eat Free" nights, which are usually Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Some restaurants offer Senior Discounts starting as early as age 50, so it's worth asking.

* External links are provided for reference purposes. ABC News is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Get Free Coupons for Your Favorite Restaurants

Go to restaurant Web sites to get free coupons. Most restaurants have their own Web sites and many of them have e-mail newsletters that send out generous coupons. After you sign up for their e-mail newsletter, you may receive a "thank you" coupon immediately, more coupons over the course of the year in each newsletter, and even a "free entree" coupon on your birthday if you share that information when filling out the newsletter form. Every family member with their own e-mail address is entitled to subscribe to each newsletter, which will increase your family's savings at your favorite restaurants.

Look for links that say "E-mail newsletter," "E-club," "Birthday Club," "Kids Club,", etc. Some sites will tell you what you will receive when you sign up. For example, Friday's site says you will be sent a coupon for a free appetizer immediately (value $8) when you sign up for their E-club.

Examples of other popular restaurants that send out coupons are Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Houlihans, Bennigans, Quizno's Subs, On the Border Cantina, Boston Market, Blimpie Subs, Maggiano's, Macaroni Grill, Austin Grill, Ponderosa, Bonanza, Champps, Dairy Queen, Baskin Robbins and many more. Find your favorite restaurants' Web sites with a search engine and start saving!

Check the grocery coupon circulars in the Sunday newspaper for restaurant coupons. These are a great source for fast food and casual restaurant coupons.

Check the coupon packets mailed to your home for local restaurant coupons. Also print free restaurant coupons from sites like www.valpak.com* and www.Hotcoupons.com*. Look for local coupon Web sites with a search engine to find little-known sites that have good restaurant coupons for your area. Enter the terms "restaurant coupons" and the name of your city, suburb or state to uncover local sites.

Look for your favorite restaurants in all of the programs, and combine savings program if your restaurants participate in more than one program.

* External links are provided for reference purposes. ABC News is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events