Whenever I see a write-up of a “money makeover,” I read it in the hopes of learning something new about saving. I am struck by one similarity in all of these scenarios: the financial experts go after dining out as the first line item to be reduced or eliminated.
In theory, this is a good idea. Certainly restaurant lunches and dinners cost more than home-cooked meals. But in actuality, these experiences do more than satisfy our hunger; they make us feel pampered (No Dishes!) and offer a welcome respite from our busy lives (Relaxation! Conversation!)
One way to keep dining out in the budget is to do it frugally. Here are five Acton eateries that are winning our business by stretching our entertainment dollars.
Bella Famiglia, 59 Great Road, features Early Bird Specials. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 4:00 and 5:30 p.m., select entrees are available at reduced prices. Starting at $10.95 for a pasta dinner that includes soup or salad and coffee or tea, the Early Bird menu has eight choices.
Can’t dine during those hours? Bella Famiglia is participating in the 2012 Entertainment book. Use your card to receive one complimentary dinner when another is purchased. There are no restrictions on timing; the lower-priced dinner is free.
Not Your Average Joe’s, 305 Main Street serves half-priced appetizers in the bar/lounge area weekdays from 3-6 p.m. With over a dozen choices, there is something for everyone.
Back again, starting September 10, 2011, is Joe’s “Football Promo.” On NFL home-team game days, a large cheese pizza and any two appetizers cost just $19.99 whether ordered as take-out or enjoyed in the restaurant. Pitchers of beer are also discounted for those who venture away from their television sets and come to Joe’s.
Join Joe’s email club and you’ll receive an email inviting you to come in for a free birthday dinner and dessert!
ll Forno, 508 Nagog Park (Rt. 2A) is a popular destination for those seeking Italian fare. Join Il Forno’s email list and save $5 on your next visit. Have an Entertainment book? Save $10 on a $40 check by visiting Sunday through Thursday.
Sunday take-out specials include 2 large cheese pizzas, 20 chicken wings (mild or hot) and 10 mozzarella sticks for $23.95 or simply 2 large cheese pizzas for $14.95 (pizza deal is also available on Wednesdays.)
Il Forno has no liquor license, so patrons who are 21+ may bring their own Pinot Grigio or Chianti. Since most restaurants mark up their wine selections 100%, this is another bonus for frugal adults.
Daniela’s Mexican Bar and Grille, 105 Nagog Park (Rt. 2A) is offering coupons through Clipper Magazine’s website. Save between $5 and $20 by printing out coupons at home and dining on or before September 15, 2011. After that, use your Entertainment book coupon for a free lunch (up to $10 value) when one of equal or greater value is purchased.
Acton Jazz Café 452 Great Road (Rt. 2A) is participating in the Entertainment book this year. Receive a free entrée when another (of equal or greater value) is purchased.
Haven’t visited Acton Jazz Café before? Mention this fact on any weeknight and receive half off the cover charge.
Note: Entertainment books ($30) are available online. They are also available by contacting Karen Herther of Acton PIP via email (email@example.com). Proceeds from these sales will fund leadership acknowledgements for PIP volunteers.