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Looking for some cheap eats? Dining out tastes even better these days when it’s a deal! The dollar isn’t going as far as it used to, and with the spike in gas prices…many of us are cutting back…whether that means booking the cheaper hotel room on a vacation, eating out a little less or opting to bike or walk instead of drive when possible…every little bit counts in stretching our budgets! When dining out or ordering food, we all need a break sometimes, and I’ve got a number of ideas to help you stretch your take out and dining out budget even further, read on!

Cheap Eats to Read Next: 13 Quick Meals Using Rotisserie Chicken or 8 Easy Meal Ideas Using Frozen Meatballs

We know eating out is expensive, but sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking…but there are ways to save! Here are my tips to save money on restaurants, dining out and beyond!

My top 7 Cheap Eats for 2022

  • Costco Food Court
    • Costco Food Courts are infamous for their $1.50 hot dog and drink combo – and for a good reason – it’s pretty good, it’s pretty big, and it’s a steal! You’ll also find slices of pizza, ice cream sundaes, churros, and more all for just a few bucks each. The dining tables are open again so you can eat there or grab it to go. Skip the table service here and there and grab a quick meal out at Costco Food Court to save money on dining out! Note: you will need a Costco Membership to purchase food at the Costco Food Court.
  • Sam’s Club Cafe
    • The Sam’s Club Cafe offers super budget friendly food options including pizza, soft pretzels, ice cream sundaes, churros, hot dogs and salads. Although you don’t hear as much about it as you do the Costco Food Court, it’s a pretty solid rival IMO. If you don’t have a Sam’s Club Membership you can grab one for $45 and Sam’s Club will give you $45 to spend (which nets out to free!).
  • IKEA Restaurant
    • IKEA is more than budget friendly furniture and home decor..it also offers a very budget friendly IKEA Restaurant! Plus IKEA Family members can get 15% off in the IKEA restaurant in July and August AND IKEA Family members get up to two kid’s entrees free when they buy any adult entrée at the IKEA Restaurant.
  • Many large chain restaurants offer gift card deals at major wholesale clubs, as well as right on their websites. You’ll usually find the physical cards available in-stores around the holidays, but you can find the deals on their websites all year long. For example:
  • Subway BOGO Free Footlong Deal
    • Subway is offering a Buy One Get One deal on Footlong subs – our family loves these when we’re on a road trip (much less upset stomachs than at the burger drive thrus!) and when you enter “FREEFOOTLONG” in the coupon code you’ll get a free footlong with the purchase of any footlong. Sandwiches for 4 for around $10-$12. Order it ahead and pick it up, no wait. Deal!
  • Family Meal Deals
    • There are many restaurants that offer a family meal deal. Some offer it all the time and others offer it on a certain night. From Panda Express to Chick-fil-a to local restaurants, many family oriented restaurants offer them. Also try to run a search in UberEats (like this one for family meal deals in Los Angeles). Tip: Ordering your food for pick up is free on UberEats!
    • Stack the meal deal with the discount restaurant gift cards (see #4) to save even more. See below for some examples!

Stacking Meal Deals with Discounted Gift Cards to Save Money

Bucca Di Beppo gift cards are 20% off face value at Sam’s Club, and members can buy 4 $25 gift cards for $79.99 (that’s 20% off). Plus Bucca Di Beppo offers daily family meal deals to go which include a salad, bread, and entree for $33 (feeds 3) or $50 (feeds 5). That shakes out to a gift of a complete dinner for 5 for under $40. Bucca is known for generous portions, and their leftovers are YUM! 

Boston Market gift cards are also 20% face value at Sam’s Club, and members can buy 2 $25 gift cards for $39.99 (or 20% off). Boston Market offers a wide variety of family meals. Prices vary slightly by location, but for example…a Chicken & Ribs Family Meal Deal including a whole rotisserie chicken, a full order of baby back ribs, 4 pieces of cornbread and choice of 4 large side orders costs $45-$50 depending on location. 

Panera Bread offers gift cards on their website for 20% off, plus they have a variety of family meals deals starting around $24.

Bertucci’s offers family meal deals for delivery or pick-up and you can grab $100 in gift cards for $80 at Sam’s Club!

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Surprise your kids with Dessert before Dinner with Half Off Shakes Happy Hour at Steak n Shake using gift cards from Sam’s Club where you can grab $50 in cards for $37.50!

All opinions expressed on CostContessa are our own. Content and information provided on our site is provided for free and is only for informational purposes. Our content is not intended as a substitute for medical counseling or reading packaging yourself. Please always see actual package information yourself (it can and does change!) and consult your doctor.