** THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED. CLICK HERE FOR THE SECOND EDITION OF THIS MONEY SAVING GUIDE. **
(Second part in a series on how to save even more money on happy hour and dining out. Read part one here.)
Everybody enjoys happy hour and eating out. But everybody enjoys it a little more when it's almost half off.
It's called Half Off Sacramento, Frugal Fridays, Sacramento Perks, etc. Different TV/radio stations and Web sites have different names for it, but this is basically how it works. They want to sell ads. Restaurants or other retailers don't always have a lot of cash, but they do have gift certificates. They pay in gift certificates and the TV/radio stations/Web sites sell them to us for cash.
Generally, they sell a $50 gift certificate for $25, plus $4 in shipping and handling. Other sites do $30 gift certificates for $15. Sometimes, they'll go on sale and give you an even larger percentage off.
I've purchased a number of these and used them at Iron Steaks, Sofia, L Wine Lounge, Sapporo Grill, Enotria and Mix, just to name a few. The different sites have different restrictions. Some don't let you use it on alcohol. Others don't let you use it at lunch or during happy hour. But as long as you've read the restrictions and are comfortable with them, they work.
This also requires a little planning. It usually takes a week or so to receive the gift certificate and because there are a limited number of gift certificates, these deals are always subject to availability. The best deals can last hours.
Here are the various sites in that cover the greater Sacramento region, including Folsom, Davis and Roseville:
- The Zone's Half Prize Zone
- KGBY's Half Price Deals
- News 10's Half Price Hot Deals
- Fox 40's Frugal Fridays
- Entercom Radio Group's Sacramento Perks
- KSFM Half Price Hookup
- KHTK Half Price Stuff
- KNCI 50% Off Deals
- Mix 96 Mark Downs
- Sac Dine's Dining Deals
- KQCA's Half Price Deals
Clearance Section - More than 50 percent off
I'll also start a weekly feature highlighting some of the best restaurant deals. Follow me on twitter to get deals immediately.
Here are a couple that are available as of noon on Tuesday.
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Iron Steaks.
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Mix Downtown (not good during happy hour and for food only)
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Ten 22
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Ma Jong's (except during weekday lunch)
- $15 for a $50 gift certificate to MVP Sports Grill
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Redrum Burger in Davis
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Pearl on the River
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Riverside Clubhouse
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to My BBQ Spot
- $25 for a $50 gift certificate to Ruben's Original House of Soul
Did I leave a site off? Have you used one of these? Let us know how it went in the comments.
* Updated 3/4/2010