1. Use credit cards
When used properly, credit cards can help you save money on purchases. Several companies now offer cash back when you use their cards at restaurants. For example, the Discover IT and Chase Freedom cards both have deals in the second quarter where customers receive 5% cash back on restaurant spending. Meanwhile, the Citi ThankYou Preferred card earns double points at restaurants all year long. All three cards have no annual fee.
Potentially leading to even greater savings, some cards allow you to redeem cash back rewards for discounted restaurant gift cards. Discover currently offers $50 gift cards for places like Applebee’s, Panera Bread, Boston Market, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Outback Steakhouse, and more for $45 in cash back rewards. Just remember to pay off your credit card each month, as the interest charges would negate any savings. And of course, don’t eat out just because you’ll earn 5% cash back.