How to dine for less on vacation

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Feeding our family of five, two of whom are teenage boys, on vacation can be pricey! In earlier posts I shared the cost savings and convenience of packing food for a road trip. Here are some money-saving tips to dine for less at your destination.
Dine for less and have money left over for dessert! Oh yeah!

6 tips to save on dining during travel


Groupon may be the easiest way to save money on dining, locally or when you travel. You have to create an account to use Groupon, but the site offers up to 70% savings on food, entertainment, spa treatments and sometimes even on lodging.

Read the fine print for exclusions and expiration dates.

Entertainment books

You may know about Entertainment Books from school fundraisers. These coupon books have been around forever!

Today, you can purchase the traditional coupon book or upgrade to the mobile version. Simply log in to the region you’ll be visiting to discover restaurant, shopping and attraction coupon offers.

When you create an account online, you have access to all Entertainment Book discounts available in the US and Canada, saving you up to 50%! There is a membership fee to join, but it can be worth it. Check out the list of restaurants before you decide. is another website that offers discount coupons to restaurants throughout the United States. Simply enter the zip code where you’ll be staying and search restaurant options to discover new places to eat for less. Purchase a $25 meal value coupon for $10 and you’ll save $15 on your meal.
I like best for last minute dining savings. I check the site before heading out, because the deals change often.
To make the most of
  • Read the fine print before you buy. Some coupons restrict time of use, not on weekends or for dinner only, while others expire (usually at least six months out).
  • Some restaurants factor the tip when you use the coupon. Check your receipt to see if the tip is already included. If not, DO TIP your server on the FULL PRICE of your dinner. You may be saving money, but they are working based on the full order.

Living Social

Living Social works much like Groupon, offering dining, activities, shopping and vacation deals throughout the world. Create an account. Search the city or type of deal that interests you and purchase savings vouchers. I don’t see as many restaurant discounts here as I used to, but it never hurts to check. Savings can be as much as 75%.
Search for Coupons Online. A quick search, such as “restaurants coupons” might result in a list of coupons you can use. Add the city you’re interested in to your search parameters and you might discover something good.

Meal Packages. Amusement parks offer meal plans like the Seaworld All Day Dining plan to save you money. If you plan to eat all or most of your meals at amusement park restaurants this option might save you money.

With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can save 10-50% and dine for less! That’s a great money stretcher for a budget friendly family vacation or even when you’re at home!