Eating out at restaurants has become much more the norm than it was in years past. But eating out in restaurants doesn’t have to break your bank. If you know how to pull it off, you can drastically reduce the amount of money you spend on a trip with your family to a restaurant. Here’s a few tips:
1. Take advantage of “kids eat free” promotions. I have a friend who does this regularly. He goes to a restaurant where he gets two free kids meals when one adult meal is purchased. Everyone drinks water (sodas are included in the kids meals). He orders one grilled chicken platter and gets a loaded baked potato, one order of vegetables and a side salad. He orders two kids meals, one with chicken fingers and a loaded baked potato, another with a cheeseburger and fries. His wife eats half of his grilled chicken, half of the potato, and the salad. His daughter eats the other loaded potato, his two sons eat most of the chicken fingers and fries and some of the cheese burger. Dad eats the rest. Total with tip? $12 to 13 bucks and everybody’s full.
You don’t have to be this cheap but if you learn how the deals work, “kids eat free” promotions can be a very frugal way to enjoy a night out. Check out the site My Kids Eat Free.
2. Check with local schools and other civic organizations for their big ole book of coupons, usually called an entertainment book. They usually cost about $10 but have hundreds of dollars in coupons and savings in them. Restaurants are great about advertising in these books and usually have better deals than you can find elsewhere. Check out these entertainment books at The 2008 Entertainment Book – Great Savings on Dining, Shopping, Travel, Attractions, Movie Tickets & More! Many of the savings are buy one get one free or some variation of it.