Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Frugal Tips For Dining Out With Kids!

Frugal Tips For Dining Out With Kids! Yes, I know-I know! This seems like an oxymoron. By the time you read this post, you will understand.

As I have reiterated, I am a mom of 7. In 2004, I was working a full time job outside of the home. I was always tired, the kids spent most of their waking hours between school and/or daycare and afterschool programs. By the time I came out from work, I was exhausted and still had to pick the kids up from all the different afterschool prgrams and sitters. Time was a precious commodity and I had very little of it. What happened after I picked them up? I had to run home, cook, help them with homework, drive them to the extracurricular activity of that day and prepare for the next day in the hamster wheel. Are you tired yet?

The amount of money and time it takes to buy and cook a meal is what I looked at. I am the coupon queen, but when I was working full time I didn't have the time to find, cut and sort coupons. Even when I bought the food on sale, it was a big grocery bill! Then I realized that my community had many deals to get families to eat out during the week! That's when I started saving money by eating out! Yes, you read that right!

How did I save money? You need to consider the time and money spent at the grocery store as well as the time used for food preparation. It was cheaper for me to dine out than to cook everyday.

Here are a few of the deals I took advantage of:
1. Every Monday the pizzeria by my job had a family special: 2 large pies, 2 (Italian Bread Sized)garlic bread and salad for $20.00.
2. Ponderosa had a deal every Tuesday. Kids eat FREE between the hours of 4pm and 9pm. You read that right! FREE!!! I paid for my dinner which cost me $7.49 plus a drink, then I paid for all their drinks as well and their dinner was free. Can you say BARGAIN of The YEAR!
3. Taco Bell had the 10 tacos for $8.90 and you could add the mexican pizza and/or nachos bell grande for $2.49 each.
4. The McDonald's by my job had all the Happy Meals for $1.49 between the hours of 4pm-9pm, Mon-Thurs.
5. Denny's had a deal every Thursday. Two kids eat free with every adult entree purchase after 4pm.
6. IHOP has this deal: Two kids eat free with every adult entree purchase every Friday from 4pm-8pm.
7. Pizza Hut had a deal on Tuesdays: you bought a pizza pie and got one of equal or lesser price for free.
8. Domino's always runs promotions like the 5-5-5 or the 7-7-7. That means 3 pies of the same size for the same price which totals $15.00 or $21.00!

The days that school wasn't in session as well as weekends-I cooked. Being that I suffer from migraines and stomach maladies regularly, these deals were great alternatives. I know many people will have fits, but I "keep it real". The life of a sinlge parent is hard and I have to do the best that I can holding everything together ("holding it down") without having a nervous breakdown or ending up in the ER! Sometimes, these shortcuts are necessary.

I hope these tips are useful for those of you that desire to dine out with your kids. Most restaurants run specials during the week, when business is slow. If dining out is something you would like to do, without spending a lot of cash-check out their promotions!

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3 comments:

www.lose-weight-diets.com said...

Hi, I like your blog. I saw one of your posts on Writingup and followed it here.

You're so right about taking advantage of specials at restaurants.

Once I tried to make tacos at home. By the time I bought the meat, lettuce, sauce, sour cream, cheese, and whatever else, it would have been way cheaper to get the 59-cent special at Taco Bell.

Anji said...

You certainly saved some money, wish we could do that over here, though Macdonald's have some special offers this month. I think if you can get a special offer you should go for it, I was exhausted reading your post, My kids are in their teens now, so we rarely go out 'en masse'.

Tiredbuthappy said...

Great post. Wow, I'll have to check out some deals like this.