Contributed by Ingrid K.

I love to eat out with friends and family—it’s one of my favorite activities.  But money is tight right now so I’m always looking for a deal. Here is how I dine out on the cheap:

Coupons. Groupon and LivingSocial are excellent options. Both of these sites offer deals regularly at restaurants around town. You can sign up for your city and weekly deals will be sent to your home. You can also try coupon books that are usually used by tourists.

Social media.  There are a few other places to get coupons and deals.  Foursquare is a social location app that allows you to check in to restaurants and search for deals on drinks and desserts.  Yelp, which has reviews of restaurants, also offers discounts when you check in. You can also get secret deals when you “follow” or “like”  restaurants on Twitter and Facebook.

Share.  One of my favorite tricks is to share appetizers and entrees with my friends. Some places charge you extra for this so be sure to check the menu to see if there is an up charge for this. Not only is sharing a more affordable option, it allows me to overeat less.

Dessert. I tend not to eat dessert at the restaurant where I am eating dinner.  The prices are usually too high.  Instead I go to a second destination such as an ice cream shop, pastry or cupcake shop. They have treats that are only a couple of dollars.

What are your money saving tips for dining out? We invite you to share them in the comment box below.