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Kids Meal Deals App: What's It Really Offering?

Alison Storm

Most American households are looking for ways to save money. And sometimes that means eating at home instead of going to a restaurant. But the Kids Meal Deals app helps parents enjoy a night away from the kitchen while still staying within budget.  The iPhone and Blackberry app can help parents looking to keep costs low when eating out by listing kid-friendly restaurants that let little ones dine for free.

Kids Meal Deals App Rundown

Kids Meal Deals claims that it's "The Ultimate Kids Eat FREE Search Engine!" With listings of more than 26,000 restaurants that offer kids-eat-free specials we have no doubt that it is true. Right now the free Kids Meal Deals app is available for the iPhone and Blackberry, but according to the Kids Meal Deals Facebook page, the Android app is coming soon.

The Benefitskids meal deals

The free Kids Meal Deals app allows you to search for deals in your area. Plus you can plan out your meals by searching certain days of the week. For instance, in my area, Sunday and Tuesday seem to be the hottest days for dining out with kids with 30 restaurants within 30 miles offering free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée. Mom Jordana Megonigal says she's used it for about a year to help give her family ideas of kid-friendly restaurants near her. "It mostly helps when we can't figure out where we want to eat and it gives us some ideas," says the mom of three ages 6, 3 and 18 months. Kathryn Ferguson downloaded the app a couple of weeks ago when she got her new iPhone. She's already used it several times. "We like it because while [our son] Caleb is big enough to require his own meal he doesn't always eat it all and sometimes not at all," she says of her 19 month old. "It's nice to not have to pay for a meal for him when we go out so we don't waste."

The Negativeskid at restaurant

As much as it would be great to be able to depend on the Kids Meal Deals app 100%, that's not always possible according to moms who use it.  "I have found that you need to call ahead to the restaurant and confirm they are running it-- which, why wouldn't I just call the places I want to go and ask anyway?" says Megonigal. Ferguson agrees because she's used the app to select a restaurant, only to get there and find out kids meals aren't actually free. She also says pay close attention to the address. "The distances aren't always accurate. For example I put that we live in Simpsonville, South Carolina and several choices came up for Sumter [which is 144 miles away]," Ferguson says.

The Bottom Line

The idea behind the Kids Meal Deals app is great, but it's not always reliable. While Ferguson knows it's not 100% dependable, she would still recommend it. And Megonigal says it shouldn't be taken as the authority on which restaurants are offering free kids meals.  "A LOT of restaurants aren't on there that offer deals," she notes. But it still may be worth having on your Smartphone when you find yourself facing a family food emergency.

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