Everyone likes a deal. Whether you’re a new student strapped for cash after purchasing textbooks, a family saving up for a big purchase or just someone who enjoys the thrill of saving a dollar, there are plenty of ways to save money when it comes to dining in Oxford.
1. Take advantage of happy hours and lunch prices. If you want to try a new restaurant, but the dinner menu is out of your price range, look up the lunch menu and ask about happy hour specials. Many restaurants will offer smaller portions at lunch or happy hour at a lower cost.
2. Monitor social media for specials and contests. Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to saving you money on your dining bill. Restaurants all over Oxford run specials that you may only find out about on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you’re following your favorite restaurants and check their pages frequently to find out about specials and contests.
3. Look at your receipts. Did you ever notice that there are restaurant coupons on the back of your Kroger receipt? You can get up to $7 off with one of them. Some restaurants also include survey coupons (these can be random) on their own receipts, so don’t throw those receipts away before checking them (examples include Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Starbucks, McAlister’s and McDonald’s).
4. Join the club. Practically every restaurant in town has a loyalty club. They don’t always promote the club, so ask. You can get free meals, percentages off of your bill and more.
5. Attend free and low-cost events. When you’re walking around The Square, stop and take a look at the flyers promoting events around Oxford. You’ll see things like the Oxford Arts Crawl, which happens once a month and always has free beer, wine and food laid out. Other low-cost events, many of which have entrance fees that go toward a worthy cause, also usually include food and drink.
6. Split the check. If you normally take half of your lunch or dinner to go anyway, why not split a meal with your dining partner? You’ll both save money.
7. Skip the tea and/or appetizers. If you usually order a drink, consider water instead; you can save up to $3 off of your bill. Same with appetizers; if you’re ordering a meal, most appetizers just fill you up and rack up more costs.
8. Use a coupon. If you have a coupon, use it. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’m guilty of finding restaurant coupons and then forgetting to use them. You can save $5 to $10 off of your total bill with coupons. Leave them in your purse or car so they’re always nearby.
Liz Barrett Foster is an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com from 2009 to 2015.HERE!