Let's go out to eat tonight!
My family loves to eat out! Unfortunately, the expense of doing so can get out of control. So, we have made it our mission to find the most inexpensive ways to eat out, so that we are able to do so at least a couple of times per week. We have a family of five. Our kids are ten, seven and five. So, fortunately they are still of the "kids meal" ages, which certainly helps. So, what have we found? Several options, actually. First of all, most people know that Tuesday is "kids eat free" night at many restaurants, including Applebees and Chick-fil-a. Also, McDonald's has $1.69 happy meals on Tuesday nights, which now, by the way, come with both fries and apples. Guess what, my husband and I aren't too good to eat happy meals either, and then you've got two extra toys to send in to the schools infamous treasure bin! But, what are your options if you want to eat out other days of the week?
Arby's has a family meal deal each evening Monday through Thursday for $10.99. This deal comes with a main course, 4 rolls and 4 sides, which when passed around easily feeds our family.
Our newest find, Cookout, is an incredible deal! 2 "trays" for under $5 each, can easily feed a family of 5 if you plan ahead. Each tray comes with 2 sides. The key is, that the side choices include 3 of kids' favorites... corn dogs, nuggets, and quesadillas! Upgrade to the shake with those trays for $1 extra, split em up, and everybody's happy!
Subway is the home of $5 footlongs. Order 2 footlongs, cut one in half and one in thirds (if you have 3 kids like we do). Then, grab some bogo chips from the grocery store, and you have an instant $13 meal.
CiCi's is our absolute favorite cheap place to eat! If you subscribe to their e-mail updates, quite often you'll receive coupons. When the buy one adult buffet, get one free deal comes out, we print off 2. The way they enter it, ends up that you only pay for one adult and two kids.
Now, for our biggest eat-out trick... order water! Yes, water is healthy, but best of all, it's free! Our kids will drink water at home all day long, but when we go out, they think they "need" something better to drink. Go figure! Here's how we get around that. Take in the single serve kool-aid or propel packets. The kids think it's something special, and you've gotten away with ordering water.
Bottom line... get creative! You don't have to order each person a whole meal. How often do you take home leftovers that never get eaten? Just plan ahead and think frugal. An average family can eat out for around $10-$15! Enjoy!