Sunday, August 31, 2008

Super Saturday Savings! Eating Out for Less!

For my family, eating out at a restaurant is one of our favorite activities. Especially for me, Mommy, because I don't have to cook! Woo, hoo!

But, when I first quit to stay at home and we went down to one income for our family, eating out seemed one of the first things that would be easy to cut out of our budget. Or, well, at least cut back on.

As most of you know, eating out can be quite expensive. So, what are some helpful suggestions?

  • Order waters for the family. Seriously, this can cut your bill substantially. Considering some restaurants charge in the upwards of $2 per pop, that is $10 for a family of 5. Ugh! Not worth it!
  • Some restaurants will allow you to split meals. This works well for me and my 1 year old. Instead of ordering off the child's menu for him, I get something I know I can share with him. Hey, it is also a guaranteed diet plan for me when I have to give some of my food away! Can't beat that. ( Some restaurants will charge a small fee to share meals, so do check before you order )
  • Keep Coupons. Everytime I get a coupon for ANY restaurant, I file it away immediately in my restaurant coupon filer that I keep in the car always.

But, what is the largest money saver for us? Kids Eat Free! Yep, it is like the days of just the two of us again! Of course, it doesn't quite feel like a date with my kids surrounding us at the table, but, aaahhhh, the price is very manageable.

So, how do we determine the best deals for us and where to eat?

We have a list of all the Kids Eat Free Restaurants and their days with us in the car at all times. And, if we stumble upon a new restaurant, we add it to the list. We can now get out of restaurants for almost half the price.

Of course, there are some stipulations. Instead of ALWAYS going out to eat on the weekends when there aren't usually Kids Eat Free specials, we tend to choose a day or two during the week for our restaurant stops. And, it is also much less crowded, so we don't have to wait up to an hour for a seat for the family. Then, weekends become our grill out days! And, of course, we spend time with family or friends on the weekends, too , which usually results in a meal at someone's home, if not at our own home.

What is my current list of Kids Eat Free or Discounted Restaurants in my area?

  • Applebees - Monday
  • Beef o Bradys -Tuesday
  • Bennigans - Tuesday
  • BW-3 - Monday - $1.00 Kids Meal, but they give you $1.00 in quarters for games ( Free )
  • Captain Ds - Thursday
  • Champs -Monday
  • Cicis - Monday for older kids
  • Damons - Wednesday
  • Dennys - Tuesday
  • Fazolis - Tuesday
  • Flavors - Monday
  • Fuddruckers - Mon/Tues for 99 cents
  • Gold Star - Tuesday
  • Golden Corral -Tuesday-ages 4-12 eat for $1.99
  • Ihop -Monday
  • Larosa's - Monday/Tuesday- $1.89 all-u-can eat spaghetti
  • Lonestar -Tuesday
  • Lucky Dog - Monday/Tuesday
  • Moes Southwestern Grill - Monday
  • McAllister Deli - Sunday
  • Mongo's -Monday
  • Pasta Wagon - Sun-Thurs
  • Perkins - Tuesday
  • Pizza Tower - Wednesday
  • Ponderosa - Tuesday
  • Putters - Monday
  • Red Robin - Monday/Tuesday
  • Red Squirrel - Monday-Tri-County/Tuesday-Sharonville
  • Roadhouse - Tuesdays
  • Skyline - Wednesday
  • Texas Roadhouse - Tuesday
  • Toot's print and color coupons on website for free meal
  • Willies Sports Bar - Tuesday
  • Wings and Rings - Monday

Of course, I always advise you call your restaurant before you go out, as Kids Eat Free nights can always change and vary by franchise. And, be sure to check and see the stipulations. Some only give you 1 free kids meal per 1 adult meal, while others give 2 kids meal per 1 adult meal. Also, some are all day, while others are only a certain time....5 to 8 PM for example.

Interested in compiling a list for your area? Click here to go to My Kids Eat Free. Although this site, only had about 4 of the restaurants off my list, it is a GREAT starting place for you if you are just gathering this information for your area.

Another great site? Kids Meal Deals.

Then, consider searching online for restaurants in your area or calling them directly to ask them if they offer Kids Eat Free nights. It will be worth your time to call around and get your list together.

Then, enjoy your weekends with other activities besides eating out, and instead opt to go out to eat on a weekday for a portion of the cost!


Andrea said...

Good idea about leaving that in the car. I think I'll be starting that one :-) Nice list too!!

Kama said...

Thanks for the list! That looks like a great thing for parents to make use of!!