We all know that’s its much cheaper to cook and eat at home, but sometimes with hectic schedules, it feels good to eat out and let someone else do the cooking.
We list 7 ways to eat out with your kids without breaking the bank.
Eat at places that offer free refills on drinks. Beverages at restaurants can quickly add up, especially for a family. Many restaurants offer free refills. This allows you to buy smaller sized drinks which can be refilled, saving you money. Alternatively, simply ask for water instead of soda and save nearly $1-$2 per person.
Skip the kids menu, split an adult meal. At some restaurants, the kids meals can be relatively expensive for the amount of food that you actually get. In such cases it may be more cost efficient to order one adult entree to split between two children, or have each adult share their meal with a child.
Go to places where tips are not expected. You can find restaurants that provide a nice, casual dining experience without waiters, so no tip is expected. This saves you an instant 15-20%. The national Chipolte’s Mexican restaurant chain is one such restaurant where you can save by not having to leave a tip.
Fill up on the free bread, salad, and chips. Restaurants often offer free bread, salad, or salsa chips while you wait for your main meal. These items are relatively cheap for the restaurant to prepare and can be quite tasty.
They’re also a great way to fill up without having to order expensive appetizers. Many restaurants will even gladly offer you extra bread or salad for free or for a nominal fee.
Go on nights when kids eat free. Many restaurants offer special nights where kids eat free. Usually the free child’s entree is restricted to the kids menu and the child must be eating with a paying adult. This is terrific way to save money.
Just double check how many kids can eat free per paying adult and during which hours of the day the deal applies. The website coupondivas has a great list of restaurants offering kids eat free nights, as does the website mykidseatfree.com
Join birthday clubs. Some restaurants have birthday clubs which provide children with a free meal on their birthday. All you have to do is sign up ahead of time. Check out MommySavers.com (list is halfway down the website page) to find a great list of restaurants offering birthday meal savings .
Eat dessert some place else. Why pay $4-$5 a piece for expensive restaurant desserts when you can make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a gallon of ice cream for a fraction of the price. Alternatively, a stop by McDonald’s can net you hot fudge sundaes from the value meal for only $1 a piece!