Save money on eating at restaurants

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HARTFORD --  Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean you have to spend every night in your kitchen.

If you want to go out, find gift cards at a discounted rate. Try GiftCards.com or Restaurants.com.

For instance, you can get a $25 gift card to your favorite restaurant without having to pay the full 25 bucks. Or, download an app like "gift me" that lets you buy digital gift cards from other people looking to get rid of them. That way, you end up getting some of your food for free.

Do your research and ask for deals. Many times, kids, seniors and members of the military can eat for free.

Plan to eat out on those special days and take the family. Last thing, if you end up leaving a lot of food on your plate, ask your server for lunch-sized portions. Typically it's cheaper while also being filling.