Eat Out Often? You Need These Apps On Your Phone

Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

Dining out is a great way to try new, expertly prepared food while absorbing a new atmosphere. But going out too much can get a little rough financially, and waiting for the check is an exercise in patience. Now that wallets and smartphones are slowly fusing together, the union serves to benefit frequent restaurant goers with not only savings but quicker and easier ways to pay.iOS
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Left: LevelUp - Right: Starbucks
LevelUp Imagine an app that takes money off your bill for trying a new restaurant or frequenting one more often. That's just one of the interesting ideas from LevelUp, which aims to make your iPhone (or Android) all you need when dining out. Create an account, link up your credit or debit card, and you're on your way to simply paying by holding your smartphone up to the scanner. Free Also available for Android

Starbucks
The coffee shop juggernaut has an app that not only allows you to order your beverage before arriving, but has a payment system in place to make things quick and painless. Simply order your drink from the app, pay, and when it comes to picking up, have the barista scan the QR code given. You can also earn reward points which give you a free drink. Free
Also available for Android and Windows Phone 7

Android

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Left: Happy Hours - Right: Scoutmob

Happy Hours
For those into the bar scene and searching for a deal, look no further than Happy Hours. Browse through happy hour specials in cities across the U.S. to shave money off of pitchers of beer or a bowl of wings. I personally like the search feature that enables you to look for places with features like outdoor seating or live music. Free
Also available for iOS

Scoutmob
Scoutmob takes a more personal (and stylish) approach to the restaurant app scene by providing in-depth summaries of establishments. With this one-on-one approach Scoutmob is able to provide exclusive coupons to eateries in several cities across the U.S. (with promise for expansion). There is a special focus on low profile restaurants that may not be on the map but are big on flavor and personality. Free
Also available for iOS

Windows Phone 7

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Left: FourSquare - Right: OpenTable

FourSquare
The popular social network service specializes in knowing what restaurants close by are relevant to the user's interests. FourSquare also has a hand in saving loyal users money just for logging in or having friends join in the fun. Simply sign up (if you haven't already) and use the app to reap the benefits every time you eat out. Free
Also available for iOS and Android

OpenTable
A list of 25,000 fine establishments are under the OpenTable banner, which covers the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and parts of Europe and Asia. The restaurants are of a higher caliber, but by being a member, over time you can earn Dining Cheques which are redeemable at any OpenTable restaurant. Free
Also available for iOS and Android

(Images: 1. Jason Rodway, all others: as credited above. App in cover picture is Tip Calculator Free)

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