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Frustrated with the cost of dining out? These easy tricks will help you save money

If you are frustrated with the cost of dining out, you are not alone. The average cost of a restaurant meal is up 33% percent in the last five years. But treating yourself does not have to break the bank. Consumer adviser Clark Howard found you can help your wallet fight back if you get the most out of restaurant apps.

Clark starts his day at McDonald’s, ordering through the app. He quickly found he saved a dollar on a small order, just by using the app. He says, for every dollar spent, you get 100 points, and you can start redeeming rewards once you hit 2000. Points expire after 6 months.

Next, Clark heads to Chick-fil-A. Here, he says you can earn 10 points for every dollar spent. Rewards kick in after 200 points, and you have to re-earn your status each year.

You can also use the app at the mobile drive-thru. Scan a QR code and your order will be ready.

Christa DiBiase runs Clark.com. She says, though the Starbucks app has changed over the years, it’s still worth it for customers, especially since you can order ahead and don’t have to wait in line.

If you’re feeding a larger group, Clark recommends the Dominoes app. One order earns you 10 points. 60 points gets you a free pizza- and he says - don’t forget to look at the coupons: he saved $6.00 on the order he made while working on this report!

Some restaurants had a bad quarter for sales, and will be looking to increase loyalties with app customers. Clark says that makes now a great time to download those restaurant apps for targeted discounts that can save you money from the very first stop.

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