Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Savings: Eating Out

When I am eating out I want to enjoy my meal. I don't want to stress over how much money we are spending or how much cheaper we could have made the same food at home (yes, I do that!). Here are some of the way that we make the most of the money we spend when eating out.

Buy an Entertainment Book - Typically these books cost about $20 and they are full of BOGO coupons for restaurants and entertainment. Our area schools sell these so it is a bonus in that we are giving to our local schools plus saving money on eating out.

Order water - It is amazing how much money they charge you for soda and iced tea. Ordering water can save you as much as $2 per person. I carry flavor packets in my purse (Crystal Light, Kool Aid) for days when the boys just don't want water so they can add these to their water. Also, I will ask for lemon in my water and add a little sweetener for a light lemonade.

Share - At most restaurants the entrees are huge. My husband and I typically split an entrees. My boys are such big eaters that if they can agree on what to eat they can do the same thing.

Order Appetizers or Lunch Portions - This way you don't pay for or eat food you don't want or need.

Plan on leftovers - If you aren't sharing your entree, take half home for lunch the next day. That way you are getting two meals for the price of one.

Kids Eat Free - What parent doesn't love this phrase? The key is just making a list and keeping up with your local restaurants and which nights this offer is available. In general, Tuesdays are "kids eat free" days. Here are a few "Kids Eat Free" deals:

Champps -- Kids eat free on Tuesday evenings (two kids per paying adult)
Chick-fil-A Family night on Tuesdays: buy one combo and receive a free child's meal.
Denny's -- Kids eat free on Tuesday and some Saturdays from 4-10 pm
Golden Corral -- Golden Corral has prize drawings every 30 minutes on Tuesday nights for kids, plus balloons and kids eat free.
IHOP -- Kids eat free on Mondays and Tuesdays
Jason's Deli -- Kids eat free on Wednesday Evenings
O'Charley's -- Kids u12 and under eat free every night of the week (up to 2 per paying adult)
Pizza Hut -- Kids eat free as on Tuesday nights (varies by location)
Pizza Inn -- Kids eat free on Monday nights (varies by location)
Roadhouse Grill -- Kids eat free as on Tuesday nights
Check for Kids Eat Free special in your area at this website.

Take home a menu!! I keep a folder with menus from all of our favorite restaurants. When I get stumped for meal ideas, I browse through some of our favorite restaurant menus for some ideas.
How do you save money on eating out? Share! Share!


Carrie said...

Ohhhhh, how I love Chick-fil-A...I drive to Toledo, OH sometimes just to eat it. What's 45 miles when you can have the best chicken sandwich EVER and their fruit bowls. Oh holy yum...

K Storm said...

We are having to take note of the free kids or discounted menus. It is incredible how much you spend to feed a family of four when you go out. Thanks for the tips.

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

All good ideas for saving some major bucks when eating out. I have found some of our local eat joints offer kids free on tuesday or thursday night we take advantage of it, b/c we have three kids under 6 so we spend less then if we cooked ourselves.

Melissa B. said...

You're so right about those Entertainment Books. My high school cherubs sell them as fundraisers, so I always snap up at least 2 at the beginning of each school year. And, you're talkin' to the Original Queen of Leftovers. My imagination knows no bounds when it comes to the stuff we had the night before! BTW, come join us for some insane fun tomorrow, with my Silly Sunday Sweepstakes!

Jeff, Abbey, and Reed Land said...

I found your blog from Barbie Bassett's in a the comment section. I didn't see a link to She'd be a great addition to your saving money plans! Also, check CVS!