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Internet Appetizers

By Margaret Combs

When you think of using the internet to save money on food items you generally consider coupons to be the only options. Although you can find amazing coupons online don't fool yourself and lose money-saving opportunities. There are many ways to use the internet to bring you big savings at local restaurants. Although many restaurants do have coupons or vouchers available online this is not the only way to score discounts to your favorite eateries.

As far as restaurant-related coupons go they are not to be forgotten. If you take the time to visit a restaurants website you will more than likely be gifted for visiting. Not only do restaurants use online promotions to boost sales, but these types of promos generally entail giveaways and gift certificate discounts. So when you drop by online take a quick peek at the 'Promotions' page to see what offers others may have missed by not looking.

Gift certificate discounts can be found online for almost every restaurant. This is not just a seasonal promotion; most restaurants keep some form of gift certificate deal running year-round. The idea is to boost restaurants online-certificate sales; you are the one who benefits. The savings can range anywhere from 25-75% off a regularly ticketed meal price. I once purchased 15$ restaurant gift certificates for 3$ each, just for purchasing online. You can also find great gifts associated with surveys provided on restaurant receipts. Sometimes a simple three-minute online survey can provide you with anything from a free desert to 10% off your next meal. v

Visiting a restaurants site can be very beneficial. Not only can you find online specials, but by simply signing up to receive the newsletter, or becoming part of the email-list, you can receive a free gift for your time. The gift can vary from place to place but it usually includes a free desert or appetizer on certain days, and you can receive free perks on your birthday. Many well-known restaurants provide these perks even after you unsubscribe from the actual newsletter.

Recently there was an online announcement posted on the 'Notice Board' of my local paper's website. The post described an elegant new restaurant opening in the downtown district and free dinners were being offered to the first 75 couples who responded to the post. After I had received my printable invitation I searched for more offers similar to this one. Amazingly I found that this offer was not an exclusive happening. Most upscale restaurants have a pre-opening event for the public to boost word-of-mouth advertisement for the .official opening.. So take a moment to scavenge your local area online; keep a fresh eye open for new restaurants to appear, and take advantage of online goodies that may go with it.

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