Saving money while dining out with the kids

By Matt Boyce - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - For families on the go, eating out can give parents a break from the cooking. But the expense can also break your budget.

Amissa Greer and her family love to eat out.  "We eat out once or twice a week," she said.

With four kids, Amissa is always looking for ways to save money. One of her big saving secrets:

Kids Dine Free is a new way for parents like Amissa to get their kid's meals for free -- three times a day, seven days a week.

Here's how it works. A three month subscription costs $19.95. You get a Kids Dine Free card that can be used at over 150 local restaurants, for one full price paying adult entree you get one free kid's meal.

"An average consumer typically eats out more than once a week. If an average kid's meal costs $5.00 a consumer will easily save $60.00 in three months, but the more you eat out the more you're going to save," said Heather Johns, a stay at home mom that knows the value of a coupon.

She launched the website in December and already has hundreds of customers.

"People are always looking for a bargain, people are always looking for deals," she said.

Johns says the key is convenience, with the wallet-sized card parents don't have to worry about clipping and carrying coupons. Also, the card is good three times a day on any day of the week and can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

"We want it to be able for a consumer to go when it's convenient for him or her, they don't just have to go on those kid's eat free nights," she said.

"We actually have two cards, my husband has one and I have one. So when we come together we're able to get two free kid's meals," said Amissa.

Amissa has only had the card for a month and she's already seen the savings add up.

"I'm probably going to save $100 within that three month period, and that's maybe just on one card," she said.

There are new restaurants joining the network every week. Once you sign up, you can even request your favorite spot be added to the list.

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