BOGO Combo Meal at Chevy's Fresh Mex
Happy Hour at Iron Steaks

Cowtown Eats Guide to Saving Almost 50 Percent at Good Restaurants





(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:

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.

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


I use these sites all the time.Thanks for an updated list. Sometimes they go obsolete and you have to find the new site.

your certificated were updated 3/4/2010 and most are not valid now. Also the Happy Hour details are no always what the establishment now offers, e.g. Paragary.
What is your policy?


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