4 Tips for Cheap Family Dining in Orlando

While eating out every night is a luxury few families can afford, there are ways to eat out on the cheap and find a happy balance. Let someone else do the shopping, prep work, cooking and cleanup. Here are four tips for making that possible on a limited budget.

Words by Christina Katz

  1. Set a monthly dining budget. If you don’t have much money to put toward dining out, start with a small amount like $20 and get creative.
  2. Consider kid-friendly happy hours. Sometimes you don’t need a full meal with multiple courses and boxes of leftovers. Many sports bars — like Duffy’s Sports Grill (four locations in Central Florida, duffysmvp.com) — offer happy hour menus in their dining rooms, and prices rival those in fast-food restaurants.
  3. Try buffet style. If you have growing tweens with voracious appetites, an all-you-can-eat buffet may be ideal. Try Sweet Tomatoes (three locations in Central Florida, sweettomatoes.com) or Golden Corral (17 locations in Central Florida, goldencorral.com)!
  4. Eat at a specialty grocery store. Fresh Market (six locations in Central Florida, thefreshmarket.com), Whole Foods (three locations in Central Florida, wholefoodsmarket.com) and Lucky’s Market (East Orlando, luckysmarket.com) offer to-go meals that rival any restaurant. Pull together an eclectic in-store meal, and get a taste of the good life without the extra costs of restaurant eating.

CHRISTINA KATZ is an author and writing coach and the queen of eating out for less.

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