Meal Planning Monday ~ Dining Out with Kids


            This week’s post is by Leah Kelley.       

            I love to eat out, but with three kids it can get expensive.  My husband and I are on a tight budget, so eating out doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.  As my kids get older not only do they eat more (who knew that would happen?) but also my oldest child doesn’t want to share a meal with her younger sister anymore.  After spending almost $50 on four meals recently, I knew we had to change how we eat out.  And as much as I love cooking, sometimes Momma needs a break!  (So be sure to plan a night off or two on your monthly meal planning calendar.)  Here are a few tips on saving money while dining out that helped me. 

1. Find those restaurant coupons and use them!  I would clip the coupons, put them in my purse, and never use them.  (Hangs head in coupon shame.)  I’ve become better at this because we now plan where we want to go before we leave the house.  How many of you have had the “Restaurant Fight”?  “Where do you want to go?”  “Oh I don’t know honey, where do you want to go?” This could go on for hours and for my husband and me, the hungrier we get, the crankier we get.  So plan your trips!

2. Check out those Deal Sites!,,, and all offer some awesome dining deals. 

3. Happy Hour!  I love a good happy hour and they’re not only for adults.  Bar Louie has a great happy hour – half price appetizers and drink deals. 

4. Kids Eat Free!  I’m a sucker for Kids Eat Free Days.  This is a great site to find restaurants that have Kids Eat Free Days  A few of my favorite restaurants that have Kids Eat Free Days are Skyline Chili, Izzy’s, Qdoba, Moe’s, and Applebee’s.  The days for these “Kids Eat Free” promotions vary, so be sure to call ahead about dates and times. 



  1. All really great tips!