Large Family Dining Out

frugal dining Eating out can get expensive when you have a larger family. Even a “family style” restaurant can wind up costing your family $75 or more when you eat out. So does that mean that you will be spending the rest of your days cooking at home? No, of course not. Just establish a budget that includes dining out and make some smart choices that will help you spend less.

Most large families include kids, so let us start there. While kids meals may seem appealing, they do have their down sides. Often, then include less than healthy food, drinks may not be included, and the portion sizes may be too small for slightly older kids. My nine-year-old, for example is still hungry after one of these under 12 years of age meals.

To get more value, consider appetizers instead, which often feature some of the same types of food, but you get much more for your money. A chicken strips appetizer at one restaurant we frequent costs $5.79 and can feed two hungry or three not that hungry kids. Compare this to the $5.99 kids meal times two (or three).

But what about the kids meal drinks and desert? Well, personally, I don’t feel that kids need a desert with every meal, but if we do want to offer a treat, we head out afterward to a local business that serves hand scooped ice cream for only $1 large cone or cup. Remember again that not all kids meals include desert. As for drinks, we generally choose water for economy.

Another way to spend less when dining out with a big family is to go buffet style. Most buffets have a sliding scale for kids and many don’t even charge for kids four and under. Choose a buffet that your kids are likely to enjoy. In my family that usually means pizza or Chinese food.

If you have a larger family, what are some of the ways that you save on day to day living?

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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