It has to be something super special for us to go out to eat as a family. Dragging 4 small children to a restaurant is not always an easy process, not to mention the price. We are happy with our weekly chinese food take-out or every so often a pizza but that’s about it.
Every once in a while we will eat out at Olive Garden but even there can be costly if each of us gets a drink and a meal. But we found that it is really not necessary to buy 6 meals for the 6 of us. Instead we found a way that we can all eat till we are totally full and still only spend around $35 (including the tip)
How, you ask?
Well, we don’t get meals, instead we get the unlimited soup salad and breadsticks for my husband and I, and we get one child’s meal of chicken fingers and fries for the kids to split. Believe it or not, it is PLENTY. Another tip is to bring your own drinks for the kids – juice boxes work well.
It was my husband’s birthday last weekend and we took him to Olive Garden and we ate till we were stuffed. The soup, salad, and breadsticks were awesome! And you can keep getting more because it is unlimited. The kids share with us and they wind up being stuffed too.
And I was so proud of my kiddies. They were so well behaved. They played with their crayons and colored while we waited to be served – which doesn’t take long at all because the only thing that needs to be cooked is the chicken fingers and fries. But by the time we are waiting for that, my kids fill up on salad and breadsticks. They sat so nicely, they were quiet. This mama was in her glory!
The soup worked out great too because I cut up the little dumplings and chicken and fed it to the baby – he loved it! And the best part about eating out is that I don’t have to clean up! Yay!
One thing that makes me nervous though about our “eating out on a budget” is the fact that some waiters / waitresses look down on us because we are not getting the usual meals and spending a lot. I think they think they are getting a bad tip. But I try to tell them ahead of time that we will still tip well.
One time we got a really nice waitress who was also a mom and actually understood our situation and she was so kind to give all the kids free drinks and she didn’t charge us for one of the soup, salad, and breadstick orders. We gave her a REALLY nice tip. 🙂
So, that is how we do it. We do our best to save money, but we know that it is also nice to treat ourselves every once in a while. And it is possible to feed a large family with just a little bit of money.
How about you? Do you splurge and go out to eat with your family? Are you on a budget? Do you have ideas that you can share? Please comment!