July 15, 2008

Specifics on some restaurant birthday freebies

Previously I wrote about Saving at restaurants #2- birthday & email club discounts In that article I talked about joining clubs at restaurants that give you freebies for your birthday.

McCormick and Schmick : Free dinner entrée up to $40. I got this one as part of their rewards club. It came in postal mail and I think they mailed it 1-2 weeks before my birthday and it was good for 6 months.

Black Angus : Free steak dinner up to $18.99 with an entrée. They sent it about 2 weeks before my birthday and its valid for 30 days.

Red Lobster : $5 off of two dinner entrées. They sent it a week before my birthday. You have to go to their website to print it out. I think it expires 2 weeks after you print it.

Buffalo Wild Wings: One free desert with a $5 purchase. They sent it a week before my birthday and it expired a week after my birthday.

The meal at Mccormicks and the free steak at Black Angus are both good deals. The other offers are kinda wimpy in my opinion.

If you're considering these type of deals keep in mind what your total costs are and make sure you're not over spending to try and get a bargain. Getting a free entrée at McCormicks is a high value freebie but the overall check might be much more than other restaurants. For example : two entrées, two salads, two drinks and two deserts at McCormicks could easily run you around to $80 or $90-95 with a tip. Even if with one of the entrée's is free you'd still end up spending $60-70. By comparison if using Restaurant.com gift certificates I can get a similar meal for two down to $40-55 range at our local steak house. I happen to love McCormicks so I'll pay a bit more to eat there and saving money when doing so helps. But you ought to make sure you know what you're spending with and without freebies.

Also if you're going to use free deals like this then try to maximize your value. Order the most expensive item you can get up to their maximum. If you're dining with someone else then try and get items of similar value so you don't get a cheap item for free and pay for an expensive item.

For more ways to save at restaurants see my previous series:

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