In Vancouver recently, we went to a Japanese restaurant and enjoyed the meal until the bill came. When it was time to pay, the waitress asked if we had an Entertainment coupon.

We didn't. If we did, we could have saved 50 percent on our food portion. At home, we have an Entertainment guide for our part of the state and use it for dining and deals at stores, movies, etc., but we forget about getting an extra copy for the destinations we visit.The editions of Entertainment Guide are a coupon clipper's friend, especially this year, with four American Airlines coupons good for up to $600 off the price of air fare for four people on travel within the contiguous United States and to Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico. Also included are four coupons for discounts of up to $120 off a Continental fare in the United States or internationally. There are also coupons good for discounts on car rentals, hotels and cruises.

The Entertainment guides make good gifts, as they keep on giving through next December. They sell for $27.95 to $47.95, depending on city or destination, and are available for more than 50 cities, as well as for Canadian destinations; there are also special European editions. In the Boston area, guides ($35 each in selected stores or $30 from nonprofit groups) are available for the south, north and western parts of the state and feature the restaurants of each area as well as in Boston proper. A Hartford edition also covers western Massachusetts. Extra copies for vacation destinations are available for $25 (in Vancouver, that one meal would have almost paid for that city's edition). The guides are also available by calling (800) 445-4137.