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How to Dine as a Family on a Budget

It’s fun to dine out as a family and escape the daily responsibility of preparing dinner and cleaning up after your crew. But dining out can get expensive if you’re not careful about your restaurant choice. Dining out doesn’t have to break the bank, though. Here are some ways you can dine as a family on a budget.

I am a Denny’s Diner Brand Ambassador. As such, I received compensation and a welcome kit. All opinions are my own.

Tricks for Dining on a Budget

How to Dine as a Family on a Budget

How to Dine as a Family on a Budget pinit fg en rect red 28

  • Kids Eat Free Nights – Many locations offer one night each week with a kids dine free promotion! If you watch the schedule and plan accordingly, you can easily cut 1/3 or more off your total bill. Typically, one complimentary kids meal is offered per adult entree purchase.

Kids Chicken Nuggets

  • Watch for Promotions – Restaurants frequently offer special promotional offers such as a full meal with appetizer, entree, and dessert at a special price or free appetizers or sides with a purchase.
  • Free Birthday Meal – Sign up for free birthday offers and when a family birthday rolls along, you’ll have lots of fun options for where to dine. Some birthday offers are only good the day of the birthday while others are good through the birthday week or even a full month!
  • Browse Value Menus – Don’t shy away from value menus, if they are available. You can score major savings and still come away feeling full.

$4 Every Day Value Slam

  • Split Entrees – It can be really difficult to convince your spouse to split an entree with you if you’re not used to doing so. If you can convince each other to give it a try, you may be surprised that you come away more than full and shave off have your bill! Plus, when you cut out an entree, it gives you room to splurge on a dessert or appetizer to share! If the adults can’t agree, sometimes a split entree will work better for your children than two separate kids meals.
  • Punch Card – If your favorite dining location offers a frequent diner card with free meals awarded as you fill up your card, grab a card! It won’t hurt to start the punches, even if you don’t visit the location frequently.
  • Use Coupons – When you can find them, take advantage of coupons! Coupons are a perfect, super easy, way to save!
  • Pick Your Time – You can head out for an early dinner and catch the lunch menu to save on your bill and stick to smaller, not so overwhelming portions sizes. Likewise, dining on weeknights can be cheaper than Friday and Saturday evenings at some locations and certain promotions won’t qualify on the weekend.


Denny’s Budget Friendly Dining!

Denny’s makes it easy for a family to stay within a budget! You can easily feed your family for $20 when you plan around their promotions! They offer a couple of promotions that are always available at participating Denny’s locations:

  • Kids Eat Free: You can score a free kids meal for one child age 10 or younger with the purchase of each adult entree (of $2.50 or more). Just visit your local Denny’s on Tuesday evenings between 4pm and 10pm at participating locations.

Kids JR French Toast

  • Free Birthday Grand Slam: Come in on your birthday for a free Original Grand Slam® meal at your local participating Denny’s. You’ll just need proof it’s your birthday. This offer is good for dine-in only.
  • Denny’s $2468 Menu Items: Check out Denny’s $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu with lots of menu options all on a budget. Our family favorite is the all you can eat pancakes for just $4!

$4 All You Can Eat Pancakes

If these offers weren’t enough, Denny’s also offers promotional menus, pricing, and coupons on occasion to help you save even more. Even my family of 6 can eat on as little as $20 at Denny’s! Head into your local Denny’s for a filling, fun meal out while sticking to a budget!


Wednesday 12th of August 2015

I need to get better about watching for kids eat free deals. They have them all the time but I always forget!

Danielle H

Tuesday 11th of August 2015

I always order one kids meal for my oldest 2 to split. If they finish it I'll order another if they're still hungry. My 2 year old shares with me.

Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

Monday 10th of August 2015

Pancake houses like this always remind me of late nights in college! I have fond memories of that time!

Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins

Monday 10th of August 2015

Thanks for all of the wondrous tips! We don't eat out all that much but I'll have to keep these in mind for when we do.


Monday 10th of August 2015

Thanks for sharing the cool tips. My birthday is next month so i will def be going to red robin to get my burger.

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