We are a family of five and never thought we would find a place to eat out for less than $15 and it not be the $1 menu at McDonalds.
We rarely go out to eat, but a friend of ours told us about a restaurant where we could get a full dinner that would feed all five of us for super cheap. He told us that he regularly takes his wife and son to Johnny Carino's, a "country" Italian restaurant chain, where every Monday they order a family portion entree and pay just the single entree price.
That sounded too promising to pass up, and since this week was both my son's 11th birthday and our 14th wedding anniversary we decided to "splurge" by eating out. We had to go into town for grocery shopping anyway, so we just went a little early to eat at Johnny Carino's last night.
We ordered their baked lasagna, and while we waited for the lasagna we enjoyed the salad and endless bread that came with the meal. Although we were nearly full with the bread and salad by the time the meal came, we did manage to finish off the entire lasagna. In the end, all five of us were more than satisfied and our total bill was just $11.85! I gave the waitress a $3 tip and we left having spent less than $15 on a sit-down dinner for five…and there weren't even dishes to wash afterwards!
We just might have to make this a monthly tradition. Our family of 5 ate for less than $15 including the tip.
UPDATED: Based on some of the comments I have received accusing me of stiffing the waitress, I feel I need to explain a bit further. Our total bill came to around $19 before the family entree discount was applied. I left over a 15% tip based on that pre-discounted price. I usually tip more than that, but this waitress brought us dirty plates to eat on not once, but twice. I feel that leaving the $3 tip was both fair and appropriate.