Bargain Hunter: When kids eat free, you save

April 12, 2009 

AM Buffalo Wings

Modesto restaurant Buffalo Wings and Rings in the Village One shopping center in Modesto Wednesday afternoon for Scene section restaurant profile. ( Adrian Mendoza / The Modesto Bee)


I love to go out for dinner. I'd gleefully hit a different restaurant nightly if my husband would go for it.

These days, eating out might seem a luxury. But it's not one I'm willing to give up on, just yet.

Hence, my family is employing a few cost-saving measures so we regularly can enjoy table service and delicious food.

If you have children, one of the most obvious is to take advantage of kids-eat-free nights offered by many restaurants across the region. Keep in mind offers change without notice, but those we've reported before include: International House of Pancakes on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Chevys, Tuesdays after 4 p.m.; Javi's, Tuesdays; Sweet River Grill & Bar, Tuesdays; Strings Italian Cafe, Mondays after 4 p.m.; and Buffalo Wings & Rings, Mondays. Age limits (generally up to age 10 or 12) vary and kids usually have to order off child menus.

Having my son eat free really helps, so it must be like a little slice of savings nirvana if you have multiple brood members.

Because I'm a penny pincher (read cheap) who's always looking to save a little more, my husband and I have taken to ordering one soda and sharing it rather than paying for two.

I love my sodas, but the price markups are kind of shocking. Most family restaurants refill sodas for free, so it's easy to share.

Frankly, I used to leave restaurants with my sodas half full on the table when ordered separately. That's

just a waste no one can afford these days.

-- Pat Clark

Have a tip for other bargain hunters in the region? Send it to and include the words Bargain Hunter in the subject line.

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