Going out to eat can be a great family activity. Whether you're celebrating a special day with your kids, stopping for a bite to eat on the way home from soccer practice or just don't feel like cooking, going to a restaurant is a great way to get everyone at the table together for some quality time. But eating out can get expensive. One way to get around this is to look for restaurants where kids eat free.
1. Why Do Restaurants Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals?
There are about 49,000 children, ages 11 and under, in the United States today. Restaurant owners know that raising kids can be expensive, and the best way to get a lot of those parents to go out to eat is to offer them a deal they can't refuse. Creating a "kids eat free" deal makes it likely that families will return to the restaurant again and again.
2. Can I Bring my Kids to A Restaurant and Let Them Eat for Free, Without Spending Any Money?
Usually, no. Nor can children just show up alone and ask for a free meal. Restaurants generally offer this type of deal with the expectation that the adults will order meals. Most restaurants allow one free kid's' meal per adult meal purchased. Some restaurants will allow two.
3. Why Do Some Locations of Certain Chain Restaurants Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals, While Other Locations of the Same Chain Restaurants Do Not?
Some restaurants are franchises. This means that the locations are owned by individuals, while the larger company oversees them. Usually, franchise owners have the option of participating in deals.
4. Will I Need to Bring Coupons to Get These Deals?
Not for the restaurants listed here. To get these deals, you just need to show up. Be sure to call ahead to your specific location to find out the details of the deal.
5. What Do Free Kids Meals Usually Include?
It varies from restaurant to restaurant. Some free kids meals include a side order, a drink and even a dessert. Others may just include the main entrée.
6. Is This an Extensive List of Restaurants that Offer "Kids Eat Free" Deals?
No. These are a few of the most popular restaurants that have locations across the country. You may be able to find more deals like this in your area.
How We Reviewed The Top 10 Kids Eat Free Deals at Chain Restaurants
The following restaurants were reviewed based on the days of the week the deal is offered, age groups it is offered to, and what is included on the kids' menu.
Overall Price Range of This Product
(and Similar Products)
The meals are free; the circumstances surrounding the complimentary kids' meals differ.
What We Reviewed
- Famous Dave's
- Steak N' Shake
- Jason's Deli
- Qdoba Mexican Grill
- TGI Fridays
- Pizza Hut
- Golden Corral
At this iconic pancake restaurant, kids eat free every day of the week, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Some locations extend this deal to 9 or 10 pm, and other locations may not participate, so be sure to call your local IHOP ahead of time. At participating locations, families can get one free kid's meal with each adult entrée. This means, if one adult is eating with two kids, you'll have to pay full price for one of the kid's meals. The free deal is for kids 12 and under and does not include drinks. Kids' meals may include the Build Your Own Rooty Jr, Funny Face Pancakes, Cupcake Pancake Combo, Jr. Chicken And Waffles, Jr. Cheeseburger or grilled cheese. Regularly-priced adult meals range from about $5 to $10, not including drinks.
Kids eat free here all day, every day, with an adult meal purchase. The deal is for kids 10 and under and does not include drinks. Some meals include side items, but others include only the main entrée. Items on the kid's menu include grilled chicken salad, BBQ Ribs, pizza, grilled cheese, cheeseburger, mini corn dogs, mac and cheese, bite-sized shrimp, chicken tenders, grilled chicken breast or steak. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to about $20, not including drinks or appetizers.
This deal is available only on Tuesdays, at participating locations. Kids eat free from the Lil' Wilbur Menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. The meal, which is for children 8 years old and under, includes a side order, a drink and Oreo cookies. Menu items include Country Roasted Chicken, BBQ chicken, Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich, mac and cheese, burger, mini corn dogs or ribs. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to $27, not including side orders or drinks.
Steak N' Shake
At participating Steak N' Shake locations, kids eat free on Saturdays and Sundays. This deal is a little different from others, because the number of free kids' meals is determined by the amount of money adults spend rather than on the number of meals purchased. For every $9.00 spent by an adult, one Kids' Plate meal is free. The deal is for kids 12 and under and does not include drinks or shakes. Menu items include steakburger, mini corn dogs, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, mac and cheese or hot dog. Steak N' Shake also has collectible cardboard "cruisers" free for kids. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $1 to $7, not including side orders or drinks.
KIds eat free here on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at participating locations. Some locations allow 2 free kids' menu meals per adult entrée of $6 or more, but others may just allow one. Menu items include pancakes. Jr. Grand Slam, French toast, Grilled Chicken On A Stick, spaghetti, cheeseburger, chicken nuggets or mac and cheese. With lunches and dinners, kids can also choose side orders of salad, grapes, corn, apple dunkers, broccoli, mashed potatoes, yogurt, goldfish crackers or banana slices. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $2 to $12, not including drinks or side orders.
Kids eat free at least one day of the week, but you'll have to call your local Jason's Deli to find out which day of the week they offer this. Some locations will allow two free kids' meals per adult entrée, while others may allow just one. Every kid's meal includes a choice of drinks: bottled water, apple juice, milk or chocolate milk. (They do not allow soda as part of kids' meals although parents are free to purchase soda separately, if they want their children to have it.) Menu items include mac and cheese, pizza, bowtie pasta with chicken Alfredo or meatballs, baked potato, chicken nuggets, hot dog, ham and cheese sandwich, turkey and cheese sandwich, grilled cheese or hot dog. Some of the items include a pickle on the side, while others include a choice of fruit, carrots or chips.
They also have an interesting "Kids Pick Four" option on their kids' menu. Kids can choose four items from the list: a piece of fruit, a hard boiled egg, cucumbers, organic carrots, grape tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini sticks or sliced cheddar. This comes with hummus or ranch dressing. This is a great choice for picky eaters who are more likely to munch on finger foods than to devour a sandwich. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from between about $5 to about $12, not including side orders or drinks.
Qdoba Mexican Grill
The days that this deal is offered vary by location, but most locations seem to offer free kids' meals on Saturdays and Sundays. One free kid's meal is offered per adult entrée. The meals include burrito bow, quesadilla, 3-cheese nachos or taco. Every kid's meal includes a side order and a fountain drink. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $7 to $9, not including drinks or side orders.
Kids eat free at participating locations, but the day of the week that this is offered varies by location. You'll want to call ahead to find out for sure. Where it is offered, families can get one kid's menu entrée for each adult entrée. Menu items include chicken tenders, sliders, pasta or mac and cheese. Meals include a kid-sized side order. Regularly-priced adult menu items range from about $10 to $20, not including appetizers, side orders or drinks.
Some Pizza Hut locations offer a buffet. At participating locations, kids 10 and under can eat free from the buffet on Tuesdays. Be sure to call your specific location to check the details. The regular price of the buffet varies by location but is usually around $5 to $8.
At Golden Corral, kids 3 and under eat free any day of the week. At some locations, any kids ages 10 and under can eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. The price of the regular adult buffet is between $9.50 and $15, depending on the day and time. This does not include the price of drinks. Kids between 4 and 8 years old ordinarily eat for between $6 and $7, not including drinks. Kids between 9 and 12 years old ordinarily eat for between $7 and $8, not including drinks.
It was tricky to make just one recommendation, especially since so many of these offers vary by location. We think that Denny's may be the best bet for families on a budget. The other restaurants' "kids eat free" deals were hard to find information about; Denny's actually mentions it on their website. Denny's general menu is also rather inexpensive. They mention on their website that the adult entrée must be at least $6, but up to two children can eat for free with one adult.
We figured out that: if two adults and four children go to Denny's on a Kids Eat Free day, and each person orders a drink and a meal, they can feed their whole family for about $20. (Kids' drinks are about $1, and adult drinks start at about $2.30.) That is a great deal for the amount of food each meal includes! We also love how, for lunch and dinner, the kids can build complete meals from the wide variety of entrées and healthy side orders. Be aware that the kids' breakfast menu is not quite as healthy as the lunch and dinner menus. Many of the choices include whipped cream and chocolate chips.
For health-conscious parents, Jason's Deli is another great choice. They pride themselves on offering only nutritious food for children and even partner with the Texas Health Institute. They keep dyes, artificial trans fats and flavors, MSG and high fructose corn syrup out of their kids' menu choices. They also have some gluten-free options, which is important for parents who have a child on a gluten-free diet.
In fact, their gluten-free chicken nuggets were listed in an article called "20 Best Kids-Menu Dishes" in the March 2015 issue of Parents Magazine. We like that they don't include fountain drinks as a choice for the kids' menu. We also love their "Kids Pick Four" menu option, where kids can choose four options from a list that includes a boiled egg, cheese slices and lots of fruits and vegetables. They can then choose hummus or ranch dressing to dip it in. It is perfect for picky eaters, gluten-free kids and kids who stick to vegetarian or vegan diets.
If your goal is simply to fill your family up with as much as you can, as quickly as you can, you can't beat Golden Corral. Since they only allow one free kid's meal per paying adult, you'll pay more than at Denny's, unless you have children age 3 or under. But if you have kids up to age 12 who love to eat and can't seem to get full, a buffet may be the way to go. There is definitely something for everyone at Golden Corral, including different kinds of meat, pizza, mashed potatoes and salad. Plus, although you'll have to pay extra for drinks, the price of the buffet does include all the dessert you can eat.
Going out to eat together is a great family activity. So, wherever you go, be sure to enjoy your quality time together!
These days, a lot of people are using Groupon and Groupon.com to get great deals on products and services. But, if you’re new to the idea of Groupons, you may be wondering what it’s all about.
To put it in simple terms, Groupon is a service that people can sign up for free. Once they’re signed up, they’ll enjoy a “deal of the day” recommendation. This might be a Groupon coupon for dinner at a restaurant or a discount at a local store. Sometimes, it’s even fun things like a free or reduced price dance class or skydiving sessions.
It’s up to the user which Groupon promo code he takes advantage of and which ones he ignores, but there’s typically something for everyone. In fact, most people really enjoy using Groupon for a variety of reasons.
Try Out New Things on a Regular Basis
One of the major things that people really like about Groupon is the fact that it gives them the opportunity to try out products, places, and services they never would have even given a second thought before.
Maybe you’re not a big sushi fan, for example, but one day, you see an ad for some delicious-looking sushi come across your Groupon. You think it looks good, and the price is right. So, you try it, and, before you know it, you have a new favorite food. That’s just one of the ways that Groupon can introduce new and exciting things into your life.
You might get an inkling to try a cooking class or go ballroom dancing via groupon. You just never know what fun things it might bring into your life to keep things fresh.
Use the App with Ease
Whatever new and awesome thing you wish to try out with Groupon, you’ll be glad to know that it’s incredibly easy to use.
Whenever you come across a Groupon that you want to try, just click “View Voucher,” verify, and submit. From there, you’ll be able to print out the Groupon voucher for your own use.
Be sure that you read the smaller print on your Groupon carefully. This will contain instructions for using your Groupon, as well as any details that you need to know.
Save Yourself Some Major Money
As mentioned earlier, Groupon is absolutely free to use. You don’t have to pay a fee to get a membership or to see the deal of the day each day.
In fact, the only time you pay is when you come across a coupon that you wish to use. You’ll purchase that coupon directly from Groupon itself using your linked card or your Paypal account if you prefer. And, though you do have to pay for your coupon, it will save you major money.
Groupon coupons can typically be redeemed from about double what you paid for them. So, for example, a $10 pizza coupon would likely give you $20 or more worth of pizza!
In this regard, you can save yourself a lot of money and stumble across some truly great deals by choosing to use Groupon.
Support Local Businesses More Often
While many of the restaurants, stores, and more that use Groupon are major, well-known stores, there are also plenty of smaller, locally-owned business establishments that use Groupon.
Many of these smaller establishments might not get noticed if it wasn’t for Groupon, which does act like an advertiser of sorts. In fact, many people who use Groupon report they regularly check out businesses they never would have heard of otherwise thanks to Groupon.
This includes smaller, local businesses, which could definitely use support from the community. If you’re interested in supporting your local economy and “the little man,” then Groupon is an awesome way to find out about local businesses in your area.
You’re Never Obligated to Do Anything
One final thing to appreciate about Groupon is the fact that you are never under any kind of obligation when you use the service.
People often wonder if they have to purchase a certain number of Groupons per week or per month to keep their accounts, and the answer is no. Also, when you don’t care for the deal of the day, you don’t have to opt out or say “no” or anything like that. You simply wait and see if you like the next day’s deal.
In this regard, Groupon truly is a risk-free, hassle-free way to find out about deals that interest you and to save yourself some money, no strings attached.
If you’re curious, then be sure to check out Groupon for yourself. After all, you have nothing to lose and lots to potentially gain.
Everyone loves saving money, and, fortunately, there are many easy ways to do just that.
One of those ways is through the coupons that you’ll regularly find in your local newspaper. There are all kinds of newspaper coupons, like P&G coupons, Smartsource coupons, Brandsaver coupons, and more. Most of these come as Sunday coupons inserts, though you can sometimes find such coupons throughout the week too.
Plus, there are websites that allow you to see a Sunday coupon preview so you can plan out your money-saving week in advance. In addition to planning, though, there are many things you can do to make the most of your coupons and to save even more money than anybody else.
Buy More than One Copy of the Sunday Paper
One easy way to save money is to make sure you get more than one copy of the Sunday paper each week. There are typically so many coupons stuffed inside that it’s worth it to buy a few extras.
In fact, couponing experts often recommend getting four copies minimum of the Sunday paper, especially if you have a large family or are really needing to pinch pennies for a little while.
You can ask your neighbors for their papers when they’re done with them, or just go to the local dollar store or gas station and pick up extra copies cheap. It will be worth it when you start using all those great coupons.
Don’t Be Afraid to “Pipe Up” and Ask for What You Want
Above, we mentioned that it’s not a bad idea to ask your friends and neighbors if you can have their papers when they’re done with them.
This isn’t a bad tip to follow when it comes to anyone however. In fact, tell co-workers and friends what coupons you’re looking for, and see if they’re willing to spare them. Many people are happy to share their coupons, especially those that they don’t use. So many coupons go into the trash each week, and it’s nice to put them to use instead of letting them go to waste.
You may also have friends who would be willing to trade coupons. Maybe there’s some coupons you don’t need or want but that they do. In that case, a trading session might be in order so everybody wins.
Just remember, there is no harm in asking for the things you want, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
Complain When You Don’t Get Your Coupons
Every once in a while, you may have a Sunday paper delivered or you may buy a Sunday paper that is missing the coupon inserts.
This often happens because those inserts are slippery and will slide right out of the paper without anyone noticing. Sometimes, sadly, it is also the case that these coupons get stolen by those who think you won’t notice.
If this ever happens to you, don’t just say “oh well.” Remember that you can and should call the newspaper office and complain. Typically, they’ll bring you over a fresh paper or at least your coupon section. Sometimes, they’ll even bring you extra coupons as a sort of apology.
So, make sure you always stand up for yourself and get what you paid for. You deserve your Sunday coupons each and every week.
Organize Your Coupons Carefully for Easy Use
Once you get into the couponing habit, you will likely find that it can be easy to get overwhelmed with coupons, especially if you’ve got a lot of them coming in on a regular basis.
The key is simply to get and stay organized through a method that works for you.
Some people prefer to buy storage bins and store their inserts there, being careful to note expiration dates for easy use. Others use a more involved method of splitting coupons up into a binder, often by category or brand.
You can be as organized as you like, and you can do your organization any way you like. The key is simply that you are organized and that you have a system that works for you. Your system should keep you from missing out on deals due to expiration dates and should also make it easy to find the coupons you need. Aside from that, though, how you organize is totally up to you.
As you can see, making the most of newspaper coupons is pretty easy, as long as you know what you’re doing and as long as you can follow a few simple tips. Give these tips a try to start saving money today. Just be careful; couponing is addictive.