How to Eat Well and Pay Less

Everybody loves to go out and explore new ways to enjoy food especially in nice restaurants. In Singapore, food is our national past time. While most of us love our food courts, there is a world of great cuisines that can be found in the hundreds of restaurants for you to try. Here is what you need to know to get the best deals.

  • Apart from discounts on petrol, most credit cards offer rotating deals on restaurant dining. Many offer one-for-one or discounts that can save you quite a bit. Restaurants especially new ones use these promotions to get you to try them. Some more pricey restaurants use these offers during off peak and weekdays. Premium credit cards probably offer better dining and pricier deals. Best way to avail yourself of these deals is to download credit card app on your smart phone and check for deals regularly.
  • If you are not keen on applying for another credit card just to get more dining deals, try dining apps such as Entertainer or Burple – both available from your Android or Apple store. These apps are 100% about food with reviews and offers. Some of the deals are free but the best deals require a paid subscription. If you even use the paid subscription at least twice, you may have already recovered your investment. Remember to read the terms and conditions carefully before heading to the restaurant – every deal is different.
  • Some restaurants offer loyalty cards and their benefits do stack up quickly. If you are a coffee fan, this is a must. The deals normally offer a free dish or drink after a few visits. Loyalty card works well in Singapore especially if it works across different restaurants in the same franchise. My favorite deal in a Japanese restaurant that we frequent is 50% off your bill when you accumulate 10 stamps – great time to pig out on your favorite sashimi! Loyalty is such a big part of marketing that even global chains like Marriott offer discounts to members dining at their hotels even though they are not a hotel guest.
  • If none of the above appeals to you, most restaurants also offer very good deals for off-peak dining without the need for loyalty programs or credit cards. Many offer special menus or 30-50% off if you dine during the slow period between lunch and dinner. If you are retired or you have the flexibility to avoid the busy lunch hour – this is a great way to eat on the cheap.

A good friend who loves food said to me – eat well, eat smart and eat often. Well said.

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