1. Not every kid needs his own meal--If you've ordered from the kids menu at a restaurant recently, then you know how big the meals are. They are almost as big as meals for adults and they can cost up to $10 each. If you have multiple children, an easy way to cut down on this expense is to have them share a meal. Not only does this lower the cost of feeding everyone, but it also cuts down on food waste. Children don’t need to eat as much as their parents, so this is an easy way lower the bill.
2. Take advantage of happy hour deals--This may not be an option for every family, depending on the work schedule for each parent, but it can be a great option. You can get lower pricing on anything from meals to drinks to appetizers by dining out a little earlier than normal. This varies by restaurant but can be a great way to avoid busting the budget. With earlier dining, you're also more likely to have your choice of seating and enjoy your meal in a less crowded setting.
3. Look for promotions--Restaurants know that it's expensive for families to dine out, so they will have some evenings where children can eat for free with a parent. This is one of the easiest ways to save with a family because it automatically cuts down your cost to dine out. Just make sure you know the details of the promotion because some restaurants only allow one child per parent and have other limitations.
4. Become a fan--With the growth of social media, many restaurant chains are using Facebook and Twitter to market. By becoming a fan, following or liking their social media pages, you can get coupons or some other special offers to dine at their restaurants. It can be a great way to take advantage of special offers that will help you lower your dining bill when you catch them.
5. Skip drinks and dessert--This is a common but simple way to save money while dining out with your family. It might be fun to order a drink or dessert, but they only add to the final bill. Instead of ordering a drink, order water and enjoy a drink at home instead. The dessert may look good, but will only add cost and calories. Instead of ordering a dessert, have a little fun with the family and make a dessert back at home.