Five Ways to Dine Out for Cheap in a College Town

| August 2, 2012

food truck logoYou can only eat so much cafeteria food. But dining out at restaurants gets expensive, especially for a college student. Use these five ways to eat out for cheap to get your fill without emptying your wallet.

1. Hit happy hour if 21 or older.

Restaurants both basic and fancy offer happy hours, during which you can get discounted drinks and appetizer-size dishes in the bar.

2. Use deals.

Odds are, there are at least a dozen group-buying sites offering daily or multi-day deals in your college town. Sign up for them all, and then divert them into a mail folder to check once a day so they don’t flood your inbox. These sites typically offer around 20 to 50 percent off a set amount of food and drink. Be sure to read the find details on the deal before you buy, as many are valid for only certain days of the week. You don’t want to find out you must pay full price because you ate at the restaurant on a Friday instead of a Wednesday.

3. Clip coupons.

DexKnows allows you to sort by restaurant listings that include coupons. Do so and find savings opportunities, as well as new restaurants you may not have thought to try.

4. Split a dish.

For the meals not during happy hour and for which you don’t have a deal or coupon, split a dish or order appetizers to share with your dining partner or partners. The amount of food heaped on a typical plate in most American restaurants could feed multiple people eating healthily. Avoid restaurants that charge a plate-splitting fee.

5. Go mobile.

Food trucks no longer simply serve construction workers. Restaurants frequented by foodies have decided to hit the streets, as well. In a college town, you might find everything from tacos and grilled cheese to cupcakes and gelato served from food trucks on campus. Since the portions must be smaller to eat on the street, the prices tend to be lower. However, be warned, while some food trucks offer great deals, other gourmet trucks might be harder on the wallet.

Find a variety of options through DexKnows restaurant listings, where you can search by coupons offered or food truck. You can even search for restaurants in your college town that offer a student discount. Take advantage of any discounts you can find to stay on budget!

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Category: College Life, Food & Dining, Services

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.