6 Ways to Save Big on Dining: Find Faves, Get Points + Cashback With Every Visit

Eating out is probably my biggest weakness. I give myself a couple of things to spend relentlessly on. And beyond that, I save like a madman.

My 2 things are: eating out and travel. I do well stocking up at Costco and cooking at home most nights. But my god if a good happy hour deal doesn’t get me.

I pay pennies on the dollar when I travel. Dining is easy, too. By enrolling my cards once and having a few go-to places, I get discounts close to 20% off in the form of points, miles, and cashback – and the savings add up!

save on dining

I love happy hours at this cantina. Plus, I get points, miles, and cashback every time I visit

It’s not hard. Here’s how to do it.

Dining programs + cashback app + points card = big dining discounts

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Why I’m Switching Spend to SPG Cards the Next 2 Months (And a Useful Tip!)

Welp, the Marriott-Starwood merger looms nigh. On August 1st, 2018, we’ll all wake up and have a new program – with excellent deals through the end of 2018.

Also on that day is an event I’ve dubbed in my mind as “The Triplin’” – because everyone’s Starwood balance will increase by 3X!

So now’s the time to earn as much as possible to take advantage of redemption opportunities later this year.

spg card spending

Marriott’s award chart as of August 1st

In 2019, the new program will be dead to me. I’ve never liked Marriott hotels, and occasionally stay with Starwood. At that point, I’ll go back into my Hilton/Hyatt hole for as long as the water’s nice.

Ah, to be a fairweather traveler free agent.

5 months of great deals – under 2 months to earn with SPG card spending!

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This Month: Save 10+% on Shell & Exxon Gas With These Cards

There are a couple of good offers to save at the pump these next few weeks. I’ve been using them to fill up – and found it’s cheaper than buying gas at Costco, where I usually get gas in conjunction with a shopping trip.

You can get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Pay with the Chase Freedom card (compare it here) on up to $1,500 in spending through June 30th, 2018 – and Shell is a Chase Pay merchant. Chase Freedom cardholders also get free Gold Status with Shell Fuel Rewards, which saves 6 cents per gallon through the end of 2018.

And Amex has an offer to get 10% cashback at Exxon through the end of November. Plus, when you pay through their Speedpass app, you can save 10 cents a gallon. And when you add your Amex card in the Dosh app, you’ll get another 2% cashback through July 10th, 2018.

save on gas

Combine apps and offers to save on Shell and Exxon gas

Either offer also gets you savings for most of 2018. And for the next few weeks, you can combine offers to save over 10% at Shell or Exxon.

Here’s how they work!

Stack credit card offers to save on gas

1. Chase Freedom + Chase Pay at Shell

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5 of My Favorite Blogs Are Run by Awesome #GirlBosses

Recently, an Out and Out reader left a kind comment asking who my favorite bloggers are. I started typing up a response then realized… my favorite bloggers are women. Which is awesome!

I decided to make a proper post about it.

Here are 5 blogs I have as “Favorites” in my Feedly. When I see they’ve posted, I make a note to read in the way I’ve grown used to – which is different for each one. They cover topics from travel to financial freedom to mental and physical health. And I’ve learned so much from all of them in the years since I discovered their fantastic blogs.

5 of my favorite bloggers!

They are true hustlers, hard workers, deeply knowledgable about their areas of interest, and all incredible women. Add them to your reading list!

5 Fave Bloggers to Read

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How I Got Started With Points & Miles 6 Years Ago

TL;DR: Had crappy credit. Used points cards as motivation to improve my credit score. Hooked ever since.

I’ve taken a server job a few nights a week to get out of the house, stay active, and be social. I see people using credit cards more than ever. I’m shocked by how many people still throw down debit cards. Most of them are millennials.

getting started with points

Google has the tea on millennials and CCs

My generation is a complicated story of student loan debt, job-hopping, delaying children, unable to afford or save to buy homes, living longer than ever – and definitely NOT wanting to get sucked into credit cards.

I see cool metal cards here and there – but most millennials are using well-worn debit cards from local banks.

If you can use credit responsibly and pay the balance in full every month, then you’re leaving money on the table by using debit cards. Even a 2% cashback card with no annual fee is free to use and earns literally free money.

I started college in rural Vermont – and promptly got into credit card debt

I remember the sting of credit cards: opened a student credit card when I was 18, charged textbooks I couldn’t afford, and fell into the soul-crushing cycle of debt. Such a slippery slope.

Then I did the unthinkable: defaulted on a student loan. I was so poor, making $120 a week working overtime at retail jobs. And they wanted $500 a month? I ripped up the bills and threw them in the trash. I didn’t have extra money. How was I going to come up with $500 more every month? And that was the “financially burdened” plan. 😑

Getting into rewards credit cards

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This Thursday (5/17): Dallas Frequent Flyer Meetup for Sushi & Sake!

Y’all ready? I’m excited for the next Out for Miles frequent flyer meetup – this Thursday in Dallas! 

The events have been popular, so I’m aiming to host one around the middle of every month. We have a great group of peeps so far. Next one’s near the Dallas/Richardson border (in North Dallas off 75), easier for those heading south.

dallas frequent flyer meetup

This Thursday – a great happy hour and talking points & miles

It’ll be at Sushi Sake Grill on Walnut Hill Lane. And there’s a Happy Hour until 6:30pm – come for sushi and sake, stay for the good times. 😉

Out for Miles Dallas frequent flyer meetup

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Chase Avios 100,000 Point Offers: Deals for the Rest of Us

Also see: 

I’m down to the wire with card offers I qualify to get. Especially with Chase. But their Avios-earning cards are in the few NOT subject to the 5/24 rule.

If you live in an American or Alaska hub (because you can use British Airways Avios points on both airlines) – you should have one of these cards. That includes peeps in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland… pretty much any place with lots of American or Alaska flights. Because on expensive routes, these points are the easiest way to save money.

Most everyone can apply. I got a Chase British Airways card in late 2017 – and definitely LOL/24.

avios 100k offer

I use Avios to visit Memphis, Austin, and Mexico on the cheap

More often in recent time, I’ve been redeeming Avios points. And when you sign up for a 100,000-point offer, you’re basically earning 6X points on the first $20,000 you spend within a year.

About the Chase British Airways 100,000 point deal

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15 Cashback Shopping Portals Compared: Payments, Bonuses, & How They Work

Cashback Monitor is far and away the best site to check the highest payouts (be it points, miles, or cashback) for online shopping. And there are a lot of shopping portals out there.

Each has its “quirks” – from slow payouts to minimum thresholds and different ways of paying. And most of them even give you a little reward just for signing up and shopping – some as much as $10 on top of your cashback bonus.

Cash Back Shopping Portals Comparison

Always click through a shopping portal when you shop online – but which one should you use?

There are many to choose from – and of course you can earn points or miles from airline or bank portals. Here’s an overview of the 15 most popular cashback portals. And how to pick which one to click through!

15 Cash Back Shopping Portals Comparison

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4 Apps to Effortlessly Save Money and Get Discounts (Set & Forget!)

I know – more apps. Between social media, mobile banking, loyalty programs, and shopping, the last thing most peeps need is another app.

But there are a few apps out there you can set up once – and then, if you want, never look at them again. Even better, these apps earn credits for gift cards, get you refunds, or award cashback for setting them up.

best apps to save money

I turn Drop points into Whole Foods gift cards and get free groceries – just for keeping the app installed

I’ve gotten free groceries and Amazon gift cards, deposits into my checking account, and credits on my cards – all from having these apps on my phone.

Here’s an overview. And how they save you money without any ongoing effort.

4 best apps to save money

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Like Discount Shopping? Save Big With These Sites – My 3 Faves

Also see: 

As someone with 3 Airbnb properties, I buy a TON of home supplies: paper products, cleaning supplies, and linens. And I love Kohl’s for bedding, towels, and pillows.

But for regular stocking up, there are a couple discount shopping sites I turn to. I also wanted a share a site I discovered that’s pure fun slash addicting if you like to shop.

discount shopping

Do you use these sites to save? I’m obssessed

Here are 3 go-to sites for discount shopping.

Brandless

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Get 50 Cents per Uber Ride Through Acorns (YMMV)

Saw this today and wanted to share. You can now get 50 cents back for each Uber ride after clicking through the Acorns app.

Some peeps can still get $1 back after clicking through Ibotta – although it’s no longer showing for everyone. The 50 cents deal is also targeted. So hopefully you see it in one place or another.

acorns uber

Better than nada – but targeted

It’s not a lot. But all you have to do is tap a button and get 50 cents. Plus, there are 60+ other merchants on Acorns’ “Found Money” with great payouts.

Acorns is an app that lets you start investing for as little as $5. Here’s my full review of the service.

Targeted Acorns Uber deal

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Weekend Roundup: Office Depot Double Cashback, Pay It Forward, & Cheap DNA Testing

Hi chickadees. Here are a few things that caught my eye on this beautiful, sunny Dallas day. All are time-sensitive to this weekend.

Double cashback at Office Depot

Now this is a great deal: through April 30th, 2018, you can get double cashback in store when you link a card through Ebates.

Good deal alert

One of the participating stores is Office Depot for 6% cashback! Read More