Personal Finance

Budget-Friendly Restaurants for Every Family Craving

Budget-Friendly Restaurants for Every Family Craving

(Photo : by priscilladupreez / Unsplash)

Eating out may be a costly hobby, and costs are frequently rising. According to the Department of Agriculture's 2024 Food Price Outlook report, costs for food consumed outside the home would rise by 4.1% this year.

It's expensive enough for you to treat yourself, but the check might be intimidating if you're also taking the kids. Instead of completely skipping out on restaurant meals, figure out how to provide a healthy financial environment for your family.

Here's how to have supper out on the cheap with two adults and two children:

Casual Chains

There are some excellent and reasonably priced sit-down establishments if you want to take the family out to eat and be seated at a table. According to data from Mobile Cuisine, you can feed a family of four for less than $50 at the following establishments (not including tax and tip):

  • Golden Corral: This restaurant serves family meals in the manner of a buffet. At under $33 for the entire group, the Bourbon Street chicken, pot roast, meatloaf, and smoked pulled pork are the least expensive dinner options for four people.
  • Chili's. Do you like the company's signature chili? Each of the two bowls that accompany the house salads will cost $10.29. At $5.75 per meal, the cheese quesadilla and mac & cheese are the least expensive options on the kids' menu. Your family's total with these menu items amounts to a mere $32.108.
  • Olive Garden: The least expensive meal options at Olive Garden are the lunch-size favorites, which are still full-sized meals although being somewhat smaller. The cheapest selections are the fettuccine Alfredo and eggplant parmigiana, both of which cost $9.99. Most of the kid's menu items, such as spaghetti or cheese pizza, are the least expensive at $6.99. The total for two adult dinners and two child entrees is $33.96.
  • PF Chang's. For $12, large bowls of wonton soup are sufficient to feed one person. The final amount is $42.50 after adding two kid's lo mein dishes for $6.50 each and an orange chicken for $17.50.

Fast Food

There's a reason quick-service restaurants, or QSRs for short, are so well-liked. Here, you place your order at a register or on a terminal (inside or through the drive-through). Not only are they quick, but they also usually cost a lot less than their more formal equivalents.

Since prices differ across the nation, we utilized averages from 2024 that were gathered by Mobile Cuisine, a company that gathers and delivers statistics to the restaurant business. In your location, costs can be more or lower.

  • McDonald's: The Big Mac is a signature burger that costs $3.79 on average, or $15.16 for four.
  • In-N-Out: The Double-Double, a signature burger, typically costs $5.30, or $21.20 for four.
  • Popeye's. At $24.99, you can get an eight-piece family dinner of chicken with four buttermilk biscuits and a big signature side.

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