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Deals Fri Jan 28 2011

Hungry for a Deal?

ce.jpgIf there is one thing I love more than food (gasp!) it's scoring a good deal. I get a natural high from clipping coupons and looking for a discount all in the name of saving a few dollars. It's true - I'm a closet cheapo.

But, what really whets my appetite? Eating great Chicago food on the cheap.

Now I'm not talking about taking your girlfriend out to McDonald's and letting her get one of everything on the Dollar Menu (although that does sound quite fabulous). I'm talking great Chicago food at even better prices.

With a few clicks of your mouse you too can eat like royalty, and not just once a year when Grandma cuts you that oh-so fabulous $50 birthday check.

Here's just a handful of some of my favorite ways to save a few Benjamins:

Restaurant.com:
Hungry, but don't feel like eating away at your paycheck? Restaurant.com offers discounted certificates to some of the most popular restaurants in the city, such as the Drawing Room and Sabor Saveur. The site makes it as easy as logging on, picking a restaurant, purchasing and printing - for certificates you can use immediately.

OpenTable:
With OpenTable, there's no need to steal your reservation from the Frohmans. Through the site you can easily make reservations to hundreds of restaurants in the Chicagoland area, like Girl & the Goat, directly from your computer. With every reservation you earn points that you can use towards free restaurant certificates - starting at 2,000 points for a $20 certificate. Most reservations get you 100 points each, but eat a restaurant during off hours and you could earn up to 1,000 points a reservation.

Groupon:
If you have yet to hear of Groupon, you're probably living under a log. Inside a cave. In 2007. This site, one of the fastest growing ever, offers not only a deal a day but multiple deals a day - and a good percentage of the time those deals are for local area restaurants. Luckily for us consumers, with every great idea comes a few followers...

DealRadar:
There are dozens of other Groupon like sites catering to Chicago and it's outlying suburbs. Because I like a full stomach but not a full inbox I head on over to this site aggregator to get a quick snapshot of all the deals offered for the day. The site is sorted by category so if you're like me you'll scroll straight down to the Food & Drink section while just as consciously ignoring the Fitness & Nutrition section.

iDine:
Register your credit or debit card with this site and you'll earn a percentage back on your entire bill (tax and tip) anytime you dine out at a participating restaurant. Follow up wih a quick survey and you'll be on your way to earning American Express Rewards cards.

CenterStage Chicago:
Feel like wings? On a Friday? On the northside? Head on over to this site to quickly and easily search deals on food and drink at local area bars and restaurants. And if you do feel like wings on a Friday on the northside then head on over to Lion Head from 4-7pm for free wings with the purchase of a drink.

The above sites are just a few of my favorite places to go when I want to save a few dollars and I'm always on the lookout for new ones.

Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch sure as hell never met this girl.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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