Family-friendly and affordable should go hand in hand when it comes to restaurants, but that is not always the case. Anyone who has ever blinked twice at the cost of a plate of chicken nuggets would agree. Before you spend your family budget on eating out with the kids, check out the following favorite family restaurant deals.
1. Ruby’s Diner
Ruby’s Diner offers several menu choices for kids for a reasonable price, and each kids’ meal includes a small ice cream cone for desert. Steer clean of the macaroni and cheese, which comes out of a box, and instead choose the burger, turkey burger or grilled chicken breast meals for the best value for your money. Kids meals also include trans-free fries or a fruit cup.
If you sign up on the Ruby’s website, you’ll gain access to great coupons each month that include many free items, such as a free shake or meal. Other coupons are available to print online.
2. The Cheesecake Factory
While there aren’t any coupons for the cheesecake factory, you will get a lot of food choice. The kids’ menu is as extensive as the adult menu, so you won’t be left with a half-eaten dinner at the end of the meal. The portion sizes are very generous, so small children may be able to share, and older children won’t have to worry about ordering from the adult menu. You’ll pay $4.95 to $6.95 for a kids meal, plus an extra one or two dollars if you want desert. Steer clear of the famous cheesecake, which can get expensive.
3. Olive Garden
Skip the expensive appetizers at the Olive Garden and instead take advantage of the unlimited salad and breadsticks, which the kids can share with the adults. The kids meal offers different pasta, chicken and beef options, and all meals come with your choice of fresh fruit or vegetables, plus milk, juices or soft drinks, all for $4.95 to $5.50.
Olive garden coupons and specials are easy to find and pop up everywhere from the Sunday newspaper, to the mail, to the Olive Garden website, where you will also find a list of current menu promotions.
4. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
P.F. Chang’s offers a range of menu options for adults, from $3.25 to $24.95, with plenty of options in the middle. Kids menu items are mostly chicken, but they are family favorites, such as sweet and sour chicken or honey chicken at around $4.95. Chicken fried rice is a bargain for kids at only $2.95 a meal. The meals come with a drink but no desert.
Kids can also take advantage of lettuce wraps off of the adult menu, another kids favorite. There are regular happy hour deals during the weekdays, from 3pm to 6pm, as well as a reward program for frequent diners that often offers coupons and free menu items.
Sign up for the Chick-fil-A newsletter and you may find all sorts of family friendly offers in your email inbox, such as free family events where you can do crafts and make your own free ice cream sundae or dress like a cow to get a complete meal for free.
All of the menu options are chicken, and kids meals include a drink, a prize and a side item such as fries or a fruit cup. Drinks include milk and fresh lemonade, and refills are free. In fact, employees or the manager will often visit your table to check on your family and drop off free ice cream cones or other treats. More of a fast food place than a true sit-down restaurant, the extra service appeals to parents, while the kids tend to enjoy the free play area.