Do you love to eat out, but don’t have room for it in your budget? I suggest you the join email clubs for your favorite restaurants. Many restaurant websites have email lists you can sign up for. They’ll send you emails about special offers, often only available to email club members. Some places will send you thank you gifts, like a coupon for a free dessert or appetizer, just for signing up. You may also receive coupons for free food for your birthday or wedding anniversary.

I receive emails from places like Pei Wei, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Tijuana Flats, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Boston Market, Cold Stone Creamery and Cody’s Original Roadhouse. Signing up is so easy. They usually just ask for your name, address, email and birthday. I get emails about once a week (sometimes less often) from these restaurants alerting me of their special offers, new menu items and events. For example, Pei Wei sent me a Buy One Entrée Get One Free on Mother’s Day. Cold Stone Creamery sent me a coupon for a free small ice cream for my birthday. Boston Market often sends me emails letting me know when my kids can eat for free and so does Cody’s. I’m a stay at home mom and I make just enough money, working from home, to help pay our bills. Most of my family’s meals are made and eaten at home, but it’s nice to let someone else cook from time to time. I’m always looking for ways to stretch a dollar and these email clubs help me do just that. Visit your favorite restaurants’ websites and sign up now!

Facebook and Twitter are great ways to find out about your favorite place’s best deals. Remember, when Starbucks gave free coffee to people who voted and Ben & Jerry’s gave you ice cream? I heard about those from Facebook. Just the other day I learned from Twitter that Starbucks is selling frappuccinos for half price from 3-5 p.m.until May 16th. Hurray for Frappy Hour! Don’t forget to share this secret with your friends and family.