Kids Eat Free!

I've touched on this before but since these are some of the most magical words in the English Language I thought a post unto itself was more than worthy.

First, let me say to those people playing at home that we are still eating at home mostly and I'm doing an admirable job on my menu planning but there are still times when we are on the road or our schedule needs some flexibility and we head out to eat for the night. On those nights, eating out can be both a refuge and a luxury. Sometimes it's also a sanity saver. Especially those days when you think you'll never make it out of your pajamas. Some days it's part of a play date. I certainly hadn't worried about Kids Eat Free Night until about a year ago when Joy began eating table food earnestly. Now we have two young kids and finding food they'll eat is as much of a challenge as anything else. And knowing that I'm not paying for it helps in the grand scheme of things.

Where do you find place in your area where kids eat free? If you have a local paper dedicated to parenting tips or kid's activities - check there. Next, try a search in Swagbucks for 'kids eat free' Here are some of the things it popped out:,, and Kiddie Menu. When I put in my own zip code most of the options where similar on all three but there were a couple that were different from one to the other, so it might pay to check them all out - sort of like the checking your credit score:).

What have our experiences been? Like anytime our kids sit down to eat - sometimes they eat their body weight in mac and cheese and sometimes they stare out the window or beg to go play. However, we have a rule: "No chicken, no ice cream" or "No chicken, no playground". It's not about eating all of your food, but it is a rule about eating something before dessert or playground.

Is this really a Cool Idea? Do we spend more money than if we'd planned a meal and eaten at home?

If we'd eaten a nice frugal meal? Yes, it's more expensive. But if we take it as more than just food than yes, it is a Cool Idea. We treat it as an experience. It's an Adventure. It's also a nice break for me since it can get depressing to keep fixing meals that may or may not get eaten. Besides are a couple of places we go where the girls enjoy both the food and the Adventure. These are the places we go. And if it's an evening when they don't eat, then of course they can take home their meal and eat it for lunch the next day. The point is not to let it run your life but to use the tools at our disposal to make our lives easier and richer - both in love and in money. That's a Very Cool Idea!


March 21, 2009 at 1:52 PM Anonymous said...

I use for the information. It seems to be the most complete list these tired old eyes have seen!

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