Saving Money

Dining on a Dime: Let the Holiday Deals Begin!

photo: Julian Stallabrass

Cooking at home is the best way to save cash, but it’s nice to go out sometimes, too. Check out Frugal Foodie every Friday for a selection of the latest coupons for casual and fancy fare.

The holiday season is upon us, and with it, the shopping frenzy. As usual, restaurant establishments large and small alike are getting into the game, too, sweetening up their dining deals with bonus gift certificates, free meals, and a host of countdown-to-Christmas promotions. We feature 10 of those this week.

1. Whataburger

Sign up for “12 Days of Whataburger” to get an emailed print out coupon every other day through December 22. The first was for a free breakfast taquito – no purchase necessary – to visitors at participating locations on Dec. 1 between 6 and 10 a.m.

2. Starbucks

The coffee giant’s “12 days of Sharing” promotion launched December 1, offering a different deal each day. On December 2, each pound of its Starbucks Christmas Blend purchase got you one for free!

3. Restaurant.com

Give free $10 local restaurant gift certificates to friends, family and others you know through the site’s Feed It Forward deal. Give up to 40 per day, each day through Dec. 31. Each restaurant sets conditions regarding the number of diners, days and menu items a certificate can be used for, so check the fine print before you send – or redeem. Most require a purchase of at least $20 to redeem.

4. Chili’s

Check the holiday calendar through December 24 for special daily deals. On Dec. 6, that’s a print out coupon for free chips and queso, and on Dec. 7, a free brownie sundae. Participating locations only. Coupons are good only for that calendar date.

5. Pizzeria Venti

The Atlanta, Ga., pizzeria will celebrate its second anniversary on Dec. 3 with a free one-topping slice per customer between the hours of 11a.m. and 10 p.m.

6. Denny’s

Facebook fans who create a holiday card get a print out coupon for a free order of gingerbread pancake puppies with the purchase of an entrée. Participating locations only. Good through December 28.

7. South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa

The Las Vegas hotel is offering $2 drinks at all its property bars from December 13 to 24, in honor of its five-year anniversary.

8. Fleming’s

Make a reservation online for a table and dine before December 30 to receive a $25 credit per table. Main dining room only; cannot be used toward promotional items. Participating locations only.

9. Chewpons.com

A new Baltimore-based deals site offers daily opportunities to buy restaurant vouchers at discounts of 50% to 90%. Unlike other sites offering deals, Chewpons.com features only dining deals – and the coupons can be used right away.

10. Ruby Tuesday

Facebook fans get a print out coupon good for a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée. Participating locations only. Deal expires December 9.

Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.