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If your eyebrows furrowed last time you got the check at a restaurant, you’re not alone. The price of going out for a meal has risen 9% compared to this time last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While taking the family out to dinner certainly isn’t your cheapest meal option, it doesn’t need to be overly expensive, either. Despite the ever-concerning direction of our economy, a handful of restaurants still offer some sort of “kids eat free” promotion. Here are several national and regional chain restaurants you can take the family out to for dinner without totally breaking the bank.

Denny’s. Denny’s runs a promotion where kids eat free on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with the purchase of a regular-priced adult entree. The details of the offer are honestly pretty good: Customers get two free kids’ entrees per adult meal purchased, and can be used for children up to the age of 10. Worth noting, the promotion is only valid on dine-in meals.

Moe’s Southwest Grill. No matter what day of the week you’re visiting, your child can eat for free at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Nationwide, Moe’s Southwest Grill offers a free children’s meal for any child under the age of 12 with the purchase of an adult entree. The children’s meal includes a burrito, quesadilla, or taco, as well as a drink and a cookie. The only stipulations are the adult entree has to cost more than $6, and the offer cannot be combined with any other promotions.

Ruby Tuesday. Who can hang a name on this deal? Ruby Tuesday offers a free children’s meal with the purchase of an adult entree on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. until close. The children’s menu includes some tried-and-true classics like pizza, chicken tenders, and cheeseburger sliders. If you’re hoping your child can get some nutritional value, too, side options include broccoli, grilled zucchini, and green beans. This offer is limited to children ages 10 and under.

IHOP. If free breakfast food is more your speed, look no further than the International House of Pancakes. IHOP offers one free kids’ entree with the purchase of a full-priced adult meal every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Children’s meal options include assorted pancakes with eggs and bacon, a cheeseburger, and chicken and waffles. The offer is only valid on dine-in meals, and cannot be combined with any other promotions.

Chili’s. If you’re willing to sign up for Chili’s free rewards program, you can get access to frequent coupons for a free children’s meal with the purchase of one full-priced entree. Unlike the other promotions, there are no time-based restrictions to Chili’s free children’s meal, but that’s because you’re at the behest of the app allocating you a free children’s meal. While not as convenient as the other options, I wouldn’t discard this; Chili’s free loyalty program actually has some solid perks, like free chips and salsa anytime you spend more than $5 dining in, plus a free dessert for your birthday. If you’re willing to sacrifice yourself to the whims of the algorithm on this one, it’s ultimately worthwhile.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Kids can eat for free every Sunday at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. This deal includes one free kids meal per check with a minimum of a $12 purchase. The deal is valid for carry-out, delivery, or dining in. A children’s meal is made up of one of either a meat, slider, or chicken nuggets, plus one side, a roll, and a children’s drink.

Tony Roma’s. Tony Roma’s offers a free meal for children ages 12 and under all day long on Sundays. The deal includes one free children’s meal per regular entree purchased, and only applies to dine-in orders; it cannot be combined with any other offers.

Firehouse Subs. Firehouse Subs offers a free children’s combo meal with the purchase of a regular combo meal, as long as you sign up for their “Birthday Treat” program. A children’s combo includes a six-inch sandwich, a 12-ounce drink, and a dessert. This offer can be redeemed at any time, but can only be done for each child once.

Famous Dave’s. Famous Dave’s offers a free children’s meal every Tuesday with the purchase of an adult entree. A children’s menu comes with your choice of a barbecue entree (ribs, barbecue chicken, pork sandwich), plus a choice of a side. This offer is valid all day.

Red Robin. Not quite free, Red Robin is still deserving of an honorable mention. If you visit one of their locations on a Wednesday, you can get 50% off of every children’s meal you order, up to four meals (per adult entree). A children’s meal comes with an entree, side, and drink. This deal is valid for dine-in order, delivery, and take-out and is valid for children ages 11 and under.

  



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