The Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Discount Meals You Can Order at Popular Chain Restaurants Like Applebee’s

Forget what you heard: Millennials haven’t killed chain restaurants (yet). And while it’s exciting to expand your culinary horizons by dining at unique new spots, there are some nights where you want predictable fare at reasonable prices. That’s when a chain restaurant is just perfect.

A step up from fast food but a hipster sneer down from fine dining, chain restaurants had their heyday in the 1990s. As customers dwindle, chain restaurant owners are trying everything to keep people coming back. One way they’re convincing you to stick around? Irresistible deals and cheap prices.

If you want to save money on a decent meal, check out these excellent bang-for-your-buck chain restaurant deals that you can’t get anywhere else.

1. Olive Garden’s unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks

Olive Garden breadsticks

Olive Garden breadsticks | Olive Garden via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $6.99

The pasta at Olive Garden is fine, but many people go there solely for the beloved breadsticks. Long, cylindrical, and drenched in butter and garlic, they’re exactly what your carb-fueled dreams are made of. That’s why the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks meal could be just enough food to satisfy your appetite — especially at lunchtime.

Next: Head here for cheap burgers.

2. Red Robin’s $6.99 tavern burgers

Red Robin burger

Red Robin burger | Red Robin via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $5.99

Quick, check your local fast food menu — chances are their burger options cost close to $7 and they don’t taste anywhere near as good as the gourmet options at Red Robin. Right now the casual dining king of burgers is offering five of their tasty, loaded burgers for just $5.99. Plus, they all come with bottomless steak fries. Yum.

Next: You’ll be eatin’ good in the neighborhood.

3. Applebee’s two for $20

Applebee's pasta

Applebee’s pasta | Applebee’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $20

One of the most popular and delicious deals on the list comes from one of the most well-known casual dining restaurants — Applebee’s. When dining as a pair, the both of you can choose either two salads or one appetizer to share and two entrees with sides. It’s cheap and delicious.

Next: There’s a special menu at this place where you can save some money.

4. Cracker Barrel’s breakfast all day

  • Approximate cost: varies

There’s nothing quite like a country breakfast — even when you’re enjoying that plate of eggs and bacon at 7 p.m. Since breakfast fare is typically cheaper, you can save a bunch of money by ordering an omelet at Cracker Barrel instead of the meatloaf dinner. Just request the breakfast menu when you’re being seated.

Next: Everything at this chain restaurant is made from scratch.

5. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen’s entrees under $10

Cheddar's sandwich

Cheddar’s sandwich | Cheddar’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $10

If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen wasn’t really a chain restaurant. After all, everything is — you guessed it — made from scratch, and you can really taste the difference. But one nice thing they do is keep the prices low so everyone can afford to eat there. Check out their daily “Under $10” entrees and keep your meal cheap and delicious.

Next: Feed the whole family for less.

6. Carrabba’s family bundles

Carrabba's Chickencotti

Carrabba’s Chickencotti | Carrabba’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: varies

Have a lot of mouths to feed? You can feed a family of five for $7 per person at Carrabba’s. Some people call it the more upscale version of Olive Garden, but in this case, it’s not more expensive.

Next: Late night diners can score some great deals.

7. Applebee’s half-price appetizers after 9 p.m.

applebee's apps

Applebee’s apps | Applebee’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: varies

If you’re not into dining with the early birds, you can save some serious cash ordering from Applebee’s appetizer menu after the dinner rush. All the appetizers are discounted by half after 9 p.m., making the restaurant a popular hangout for starving college students and savvy adult diners who like saving money.

Next: Enjoy smaller portions and cheaper prices here.

8. Cheesecake Factory’s smaller portion sizes

Cheesecake Factory pasta

Cheesecake Factory pasta | Cheesecake Factory via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: varies

It’s not in your head — restaurant portions are often comically oversized, and you’ll pay a premium for all those leftovers that will most likely end up in next week’s trash. Cheesecake Factory has a genius solution for anyone looking to save money (and calories) with their smaller portion sized options for entrees. Go home sated but not overly full and spend way less, too.

Next: Get cheap dinner and entertainment.

9. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s Movie and a Meal and Half-Off Pizza Mondays

BJ's pizza

BJ’s pizza | BJ’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $20

On Monday nights at BJ’s, you can order a large deep dish or tavern-cut pizza for half price and get a discounted movie ticket to go with it. It’s the perfect way to go on a date for cheap (plus, Monday’s won’t be nearly so crowded).

Next: Happy hour has never been so happy.

10. P.F. Chang’s happy hour

P.F. Chang’s food

P.F. Chang’s food | P.F. Chang’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $6

There aren’t too many places you can get a decent amount of food for $6 anymore — at least not if you’re trying to avoid places where your dinner comes in a greasy paper bag. But at P.F. Chang’s on weekdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., happy hour deals include $6 and under food and drink options that will make you glad you skipped the drive-thru.

Next: This is where to go for wings.

11. Buffalo Wild Wings’ Boneless Thursdays

  • Approximate cost: varies

BWW, as they’re affectionately known, is a unique chain that focuses on wings. But even this inexpensive meal can add up — except on one special day of the week. As a replacement to their extremely popular Wing Tuesdays, which they killed in the summer of 2017 thanks to the high price of wings, they’re currently promoting boneless wings on Thursdays with special pricing for boneless wings.

Next: Here’s where to take your next date.

12. Chili’s two for $22 dinner menu

Chili's food

Chili’s food | Chili’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $22

Are you willing to settle for fewer menu options? Are you dining as a duo? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then the two for $22 at Chili’s is exactly what you need to make both your stomach and your wallet happy. Similar to Applebee’s two for $20, the deal allows patrons to select an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert for just $22. It’s a true bargain.

Next: Just a question — how much shrimp can you handle?

13. Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp fest

Red Lobster shrimp

Red Lobster shrimp | Red Lobster via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $15.99

So much shrimp… so little time. At Red Lobster, you can get the taste of seafood for such a small fee when you opt for the endless shrimp for $15.99. Balance out all those tasty crustaceans with basketfuls of complimentary Cheddar Bay Biscuits and boom — you’ve got yourself a cheap and delicious dinner.

Next: Go here when you’re craving cheap pizza.

14. Domino’s choose two for $5.99 each

Domino's pizza

Domino’s pizza | Domino’s via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $5.99

When you can’t agree on pizza toppings, this deal is just too perfect to pass up. Get exactly what you want fresh, hot, and fast for less money than you’d pay for a single frozen pizza at the grocery store.

Next: There is a way to get discount steak that still tastes good.

15. Outback Steakhouse’s Walkabout Wednesdays

Outback steak

Outback steak | Outback via Instagram

  • Approximate cost: $9.99

There’s nothing cheap about steak, even if you prepare it yourself. But if you’re dining at an Outback mid-week, you can get a drink plus meal (your choice of steak or chicken and fries) for a mere $9.99. That’s fairly amazing.

Read more: The Top 16 Best Chain Restaurants in America

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