Here they are:
1) Order the least appetizing item on the menu.
2) Don't choose a place to eat based on the happy, beautiful people inside.
3) Strip malls offer better value than downtown eateries. Plus: Food trucks are awesome. (And if you're in Manhattan, stick to streets over avenues.)
See also: Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for Any Day
4) Ask around.
5) Avoid restaurants that put their budget into staff over the food.
6) Choose unpopular cuisines over similar popular cuisines (Vietnamese over Thai, Pakistani over Indian).
Though I know to keep in mind that he's focusing purely on getting the best value for your money, there are definitely occasions where terrible service or ambiance have ruined what would otherwise be a good meal, which make me question 2 and 5. And I don't know if I buy his argument for No. 1: "If it sounds bad, it probably tastes especially good." No. 4 seems almost too obvious to even include. I'm on the fence about No. 6.
What do think of The Atlantic's frugal-dining rules? Got eating-out value tips of your own you'd care to share with your fellow readers?