Monday, November 15, 2010

Dining Out With a Family of 4 - On a Budget

I love to cook... but I LOOOOOOOVE to go out! Many people ask how we are able to eat at so many restaurants so often with 2 children. Here are a few tips that we use that may also help you.

1. Drink water! Not only is this a healthier option than most of what you would normally choose, but it will save you $6-$8 (or MORE) for a family of 4.

2. Nix the kid's meal. Kid's meals rarely impress me in a restaurant and 9 times out of 10, my 6 year old wont eat it anyway. Most options are either fried or a boxed form of mac & cheese. YUCK! Why pay $4 for something you can buy for 50 cents? Consider splitting an adult meal for the kids. It is probably more appetizing anyway! Children have palates, too. Honest! Sometimes, splitting between the 2 kids is impossible. My 8 year old usually eats a small, adult entree alone now. But getting a soup in addition to my meal is usually enough for my 6 year old.

3. Do not over-eat. Not only is it bad for you, but it is costly! Portion sizes in most restaurants are over-abundant as it is. Is there really a need for an appetizer, regular size entree AND dessert? Perhaps there is! Maybe it is a special occasion. But you should really consider that before making your choice.

4. NEVER be afraid to use coupons. I sign up for every free rewards program there is. If I happen to go to that restaurant, great. If not, no harm, no foul, right? Signing up for a rewards program usually gets you on a list for extra coupons, too. So, if you like to dine out, do your research!

Hopefully this has helped you a bit.


Mira said...

Do you use It's a fabulous site with gift certificates for lots of local restaurants. ^_^

You do have to buy the certs, but regular price is $10 for a $25 certificate. (They have other amounts too.)

Near the end of the month they frequently have certificates on sale for 80-90% off! It's awesome to get a $25 certificate for just $2. ^_^

PJ said...


Everytime I look on that site, they do not have any certs we would use. it is unfortunate because it is such a good deal. Thanks for posting this, though! It is a great resource. My mother has used them before.

Mira said...

Well darn. :( We've used them a few times and it's always been a great encouragement to try new places. ^_^