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      Money Talks: Tips to Radically Reduce Restaurant Checks

      Americans love eating out... According to the American Restaurant Association, the average household spends about $2,500 this way every year.

      Eating out can be expensive. But there are plenty of ways to take a bite out of that bill. For example, fill up on the free stuff they bring before you order dinner.

      Next, Avoid alcohol - it's expensive. Want to cut your bill in half? Eat a little at home, then share an entree. Or have an appetizer... for dinner.

      And how do you convert today's dinner into tomorrow's lunch? You already know the answer to that. You bring home the leftovers.

      If you don't like something, say something: get your money's worth. Find places to eat free on your birthday. And never eat out without looking for coupons.

      Don't just pay it. Before you do, take it out and look at it. You don't want to eat an accidental overcharge.

      Planning ahead can really help you save big bucks, so you can have your cake... and eat it too. For more tips and deals, go to and search for "Restaurants."

      Click here to see other stories from "Money Talks"