When it comes to eating out, we are regulars at one place and one place only.
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I have no relationship with Carino’s, other than that they’ve named a booth in our honor at our local restaurant. Kidding.
I wanted to talk about Carino’s today because I feel that they have made eating out so affordable and fun for families, and I wanted to share what great deals they offer.
I know this isn’t my usual bloggy fare, but I love sharing a deal when I find it, and this? This is a really good deal.
Carino’s offers a bunch of special deals throughout the week.
First, on Monday nights they have Family Night. That means that all of their Family Platters are half price. Normally a family platter of lasagna, which serves 2-3, is $24.99. On Mondays, it’s $12.99. So, you and hubs can eat for $12. That’s right, $12 (and don’t forget the free bread. Yum).
Second, Wednesdays are Wine Down Wednesdays. Bottles of wine are half price. Yay!
Third, Carino’s offers a happy hour every day from 5 to 7. Glasses of their house Albertoni Merlot (which is not bad at all) are $2. Yes, I said $2. I think they have a chardonnay that’s happy hour priced too, but I am philosophically opposed to Chardonnay, so I never try that.
Fourth, and most importantly, they have a great rewards program called Pasta Points. We signed up for our Pasta Points card about a year ago or so. We were visiting Carino’s about once a month back then, but over the summer we went a bit more frequently.
When you sign up for Pasta Points and register your card, you earn a free mini-dessert. If you register the card online within three days of signing up, you earn a bonus 50 points. This is important, because for each dollar that you spend at Carino’s (excluding things like alcohol and tax), you earn a point.
For every 100 points you earn, you earn a $10 dining credit for use the next time you visit. For a family of four, that only takes a few times of visiting to earn $10 off – not bad. But there’s more to it: Each dollar you spend also earns you a point toward a Kids Eat Free pass. When you earn 400 points, you win a Kids Eat Free pass, which means one kid eats free with the purchase of an adult meal for ONE WHOLE YEAR.
We earned our pass for one child and then it became hard to eat out anywhere else. Here’s how it breaks down.
We visit Carino’s on a Monday night for Family Night. Hubs and I order a lasagna to share at $12.99. One kid eats free and the other kid’s meal is about $5 (including drink – yay, because I hate restaurants that charge $2 or $3 for a kid’s drink).
So now we’ve spent about $18. We each have a glass of wine, and we’ve spent a total of $22. For bread, wine, a big piece of lasagna and we’ve fed our two kids.
To compare, we’d spend about $20 at Wendy’s or Jersey Mike’s Subs…and not get table service or have alcohol.
This ended up being such a great deal that we started going to Carino’s every time we eat out. Our kids love their stuffed pasta (tortellini) and the bread.
Guess what else? You earn double points on Tuesdays. You get $5 off wine dinners. And you get double points during lunch Monday through Friday. So it’s really easy to earn the points fast, get a Kids Eat Free pass and start redeeming.
It’s so awesome and we all have our favorite items on the menu that we really love. I’m pretty darn picky about Italian food, but I like their lasagna and I really like their marinara sauce. Their brick-oven Margherita pizza is yummy too. Another bonus? Carino’s has gluten-free choices.
If you have a Carino’s near you – it’s so, so worth checking out. We feel good again about eating out and not breaking our bank every time we do it.
So I want to say a huge thank you to Carino’s for making such a great set of value offers for families. you’ve made eating out fun and affordable. I wish other chain restaurants would get it.
Do you have any family-friendly places that offer great deals like Carino’s? What are your favorites?