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Summer is fast approaching, and the last thing you want to do is spend every day in the kitchen. Eating out can seem daunting, but kids don’t have to put a dent in your wallet. Take advantage of the scrumptious cuisine at these locations to save big, not just in summer, but all year long.
IHOP • All locations Kids 12 and under eat free everyday from 4 to 10 p.m. One free kids’ meal with each adult meal purchased.
Tellini’s • 7974 Hwy. 64, Collierville, 385-0759 Kids ages 10 & under eat for half-price.
Steak and Shake • 8477 Hwy. 64, 380-5880; 4199 Hacks Cross, 755-3483; 253 Goodman Rd. W., Southaven (662) 349-2923 Saturdays & Sundays, kids ages 12 & under get one free kids’ meal for every $8 order. Excludes drinks and shakes. Dine-in only.
Texas de Brazil • 150 Peabody Place, 526-7600 Kids eat for half-price with purchase of adult dinner.
Abner’s Famous Chicken Tenders • 1100 N. Germantown Pkwy., 754-1760 Mondays kids eat free from kids’ menu with adult entrée.
Three Guy’s Pizza Pies • 1014 N. Germantown Pkwy., 737-0062; 9045 Hwy. 64, Arlington, 590-2343; & 1100 Church Rd. W. Southaven, (662) 470-5942. Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays, kids eat free from kids’ menu with adult purchase.
Danver’s • All locations Two kids’ meals with each adult meal from 10:30 a.m. to close.
El Nopal Restaurant • 2845 N. Houston Levee, 387-0212 Mondays and Tuesdays, kids eat free with dinner purchase from 4 to 8 p.m.
Fazoli’s • 3587 Riverdale Rd., 794-9121 Kids dine for cheap from 5 to 8 p.m. Kids’ meal is 99 cents with one adult entrée.
Genghis Grill • 5849 Poplar (at 240), 308-4040 Kids 11 and under eat free with adult purchase.
Holiday Ham and Deli • All locations Tuesdays & Thursdays, kids eat for $1 from kid’s menu (excludes drinks).
McAlister’s Deli • All locations Two kids meals with any adult meal after 3 p.m. Discounts also available all day Saturday.
Buffalo Wild Wings • 3448 Poplar Ave., 324-9225 Kids 12 and under eat from the kids menu all day for $1.99
Crepe Maker • 4630 Merchants Park Circle, #731 Ages 12 & under, one free kid’s meal with each adult meal.
Lenny’s Sub Shops • 8265 N. Highway 51 Kids eat free from 5 to 8 p.m. Two kids’ meals for every adult meal.
Captain D’s • All locations Kids eat for 99 cents with the purchase of regular menu item (no coupons or promotional vouchers accepted). Dine-in only.
Moe’s Southwest Grill • All locations Kids eat free from 5-9 p.m.
Piccadilly • All locations Everything is $1.99 on the kids menu (2 kids per adult, dine-in only with an adult purchase). Discount also applies Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Firehouse Subs • 7685 Farmington Blvd. location only, 755-8633 Fridays & Saturdays, kids 12 and under eat free after 4 p.m. Two kids per one adult purchase.
For more ways to save, follow this advice from Cameron Huddleston, an online editor for Kiplinger.com and the author of Kip’s Tips.
1. Lay down the law before you go out Let your kids know eating out is a privilege, and that there are certain stipulations they must adhere too. If you tell them before you sit down that they can only have a dessert or drink if it comes with the meal, there will be no room to “negotiate” if the circumstance is otherwise. This might also aid in preventing temper tantrums!
2. Don’t assume the kids meals are the cheapest option. A general rule of thumb: If a kid’s meal is $3.99 or less, (with drink & dessert), it’s a good deal. If kid’s options are more than $4.99 or more, you’re better off ordering an adult entrée and splitting it.
3. VIVA Mexico - Mexican restaurants are typically economical and offer combination platters with several options.
4. Order a la carte - This is great for finicky eaters. If your children’s eyes are bigger than their tummies, pick out a few sides to munch on rather than ordering an entire meal.
5. “Follow” restaurants on social media - Most restaurants post promotions on Twitter and Facebook, so you don’t have to remember which day is which. This is also a great way to get instant feedback on menu items and other promotional deals.
Being frugal while dining out will also show your kids the importance of balancing a budget, forming habits for their later years. If you make dining out a treat rather than the norm, it will be more sacred to them as a “special occasion” rather than a right. Dine on.