SOS Mom Saver: Save Money When Dining With Kids

Dining out can be incredibly expensive!  I would love to sit here and tell you that we never go out.  We have gourmet meals at home every meal of the day every day of the week. (That sound you hear...is my husband laughing.)

In other words, it just doesn't happen all the time.  When we DO eat out, though, we try to do so in as economical a way as possible.  Namely, by eating at places where kids eat for free or for no more than $1.

But which restaurants offer these deals?  When?  What are the policies?

It would be wonderful to be able to list the free and cheap deals at every restaurant in every city. 

Unfortunately, that would be nearly impossible as even within the same chain, the deal, day, & policy can vary. 

Here's an example:  Denny's in one city offers kids eat free on Saturday from 4pm-10pm.  It is limited to 1 free kids meal with each adult meal purchased.  In another city, Denny's offers kids eat free on Tuesday and Saturday from 4pm-10pm with no limit on the number of kid's meals you can get for free AND no requirement that the adult order a meal.  They just have to order a food item.  Same restaurant chain, VERY different policies.

Instead, I'm going to send you to the sites I go to when we travel or just move to an area.  I always recommend that you call the restaurants in your area to confirm the deal, days for the deal, and all pertinent details.  We also always double check by asking when we get there if that deal is still in place.  That way, we can know before we're even seated and are free to leave if the deal has changed or is no longer in place.

There are several sites I reference because I have found that not one of them is 100% accurate.  Each site has something that the others don't listed so to be safe, I check all of the sites.  What I love about these sites is that rather than give a general, "Dennys has a kid's eat free night", they allow you to search by zip code &/or city so you can find deals for local restaurants as well.
Remember to ask if drinks are included before ordering them.  They aren't always part of the kids meal when it's free even if they normally are.  We always just order water if drinks aren't free.  Because we're THAT cheap.  (Or maybe it's just that the drinks are THAT expensive!)

Also remember that most of the "Kids Eat Free" promotions limit you to ONLY that deal so if you have another coupon or a Restaurant.com certificate, you'll be unable to combine it with the free kid's meal.

What else do you do to save money when eating out?

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