I was initially hesitant to post this deal because I thought that Fleming's Steak House was just a regional chain in the California area. To my surprise, it is in 28 states across the country including southern states like Florida and Alabama and northern ones like Massachusetts. (If there isn't a Fleming's near you or you are not a Costco member, this article might not be right for you.)
My wife and I were in Costco about a year ago and found that there was a deal for $100 worth of Fleming's gift certificates for the price of $80. We figured we'd pick them up for a special occasion, like a birthday or an anniversary. When our anniversary rolled around last year we used them and had a very good meal. Our only complaint was that the dinning room was too dark... so dark that I'm bringing a lantern with me next time.
Alas, by the time we finally realized that Flemings was good, Costco stopped carrying the discounted gift certificates. That was the end of that deal. We ended up going back a couple of months ago for a similar occasion and ended up paying full price. That was unfortunate, but at the end of the dinner they gave us a receipt that promised $25 off our next dinner if we complete the survey. Typically these surveys are a contest with no guaranteed payoff... The gamble usually isn't worth it for a national chain with many customers. However, for the guaranteed $25 savings, I was in. The $25 savings have a couple of restrictions the typical "not valid with other offers or special deals." However, it's good to have options.
I went to Costco last week and much to my surprise they brought back the Fleming's gift certificates deal. The good thing about these gift certificates is that they don't count as an "offer" or a "special deal", it's more or less straight cash homey. The next time we go to Fleming's we'll stack the $25 survey savings on a $50 gift card (that we paid $40 for) and get a $75 dinner for $40. Perhaps it's not complete highway robbery, but it's as good as some Groupon's out there.
I know what you might be thinking... wait, I have to go to Fleming's and pay for a full price meal before I can get the $25 in survey savings. You'd be right. However, I've got you covered. In July and August Flemings is doing a $30 3-course prime rib special. Use one of the $50 Costco Gift Cards (a $40 cost to you) and pay the $10 remainder of the bill (plus tax, tip, etc.) and have two prime ribs for a little over $50. It's a pretty good deal at what I consider a good steakhouse. If you are thinking of using survey savings, plus the gift card on the 3-course prime rib deal, I think you'll be told that the prime rib is a special offer and not eligible for the survey savings.
I'm sure this might sound like a lot of work, but throwing gift certificates in the cart at Costco is extremely the easy. The survey wasn't difficult either. It's a very Lazy friendly deal.
Finally, remember that going to steak houses is hardly recommended as a path to financial freedom. Budget for it accordingly and use these tips to save money at restaurants.
Update: I almost forgot that you can use Open Table to make reservations and earn points towards a free meal as well. Every little bit helps, right?
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