My kids love to go out to eat. I mean, LOVE it. Unfortunately, my wallet and bank account do not. One thing that we have started doing is to eat dinner at home, and then take the kids out for dessert. It’s not something we do all the time, but it’s a nice treat for them and a way to keep from spending a fortune on dining outside the home.
We usually go to a local ice cream shop instead of a sit down restaurant, so that we can keep the bill as low as possible. Having worked in food service for several years, I always tip extremely well, but that’s difficult to do when you have a limited budget. Instead of going to a full service restaurant and tipping a server, we just go to a self serve or counter service place where we can avoid paying a tip on top of our bill. Two of our favorites are Five Spot and Brusters.
Five Spot is a frozen yogurt place where you purchase your desserts based on weight. During the week the maximum price is $5.00, no matter what you get. Friday through Sunday it’s only $0.44 an ounce. Brusters single scoop cones are huge and can easily be split between two people. They also offer free kid cones for children under a certain height. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a Brusters coupon book through your local school, they are only a couple of dollars and are full of BOGO coupons that never expire.
Of course, there are times when I would love to treat my family to a yummy dessert, but going out is just not an option. I plan ahead for those times by buying a half gallon of ice cream when I’m doing my regular shopping, along with some cheap cones, whip cream, and sprinkles. They may not get to choose from 50 different flavors, but they still enjoy the homemade ice cream sundaes just the same.
Do you enjoy the out-to-eat experience but find it hard on your wallet? Have you ever considered just going out for dessert instead?