If you're going to spend money on drinks and food out, get it for half off.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or policies of Debt.com.

A while back my husband and I finished work early. He called on his way home saying: “Let’s go somewhere.” The kids were still in school, which made it all the more tempting. Going somewhere without having to schlep two children with you and keep an eye on them? I was in.

But where were we going to go? Where we live, a lot of places are open for lunch, then close and open again for dinner at 5 p.m. It was 4 o’clock and we had one hour before pickup time.

So we found a nearby bar

It was so refreshing to have a cold beer and some nachos without having to worry about someone spilling a glass of water all over the floor or throwing a tantrum. And an added bonus? It was happy hour, so drinks and food were half off! We wound up spending $15 for some much needed quality time before picking up the kids.

Unfortunately, schedules don’t always line up, and my husband and I haven’t been back to happy hour in months. But as luck would have it, a friend of mine wanted to meet up in the middle of the day last week. I suggested coffee, the go-to option for most of us. But she suggested a drink. “Happy hour, perhaps?”

How had I once again forgotten happy hour?

In New York, happy hour was a staple. You’d work a long day, then go with co-workers or meet up with friends for a beer and a nosh before heading home. Maybe it was because of the readily available public transit options?

Either way, she and I were able to sit and have a drink with complementary chips and salsa, while her little one played in the open area by our table. All for $12! That’s close to what we would have spent at a coffee shop once we got a treat, and because it wasn’t bustling, her child was able to play and we didn’t have to worry about chasing her down.

I’m now trying to work a weekly happy hour into my busy life. A place with a quiet happy hour can even be good for kids. You can give them a snack before heading home, or you could make a meal out of the menu for them. Either way, it shouldn’t cost you nearly as much as going out to dinner would if you went after the 6 p.m. cutoff.

So my takeaway tip is this: Parents, if you can’t afford a sitter but would still like a bit of calm adult time to talk uninterrupted, try a happy hour with your significant other if you can find time before picking up your child. If you can’t make that work, take the kids for a cheap, casual dinner option.

NOTE: Please drink responsibly. Drinking and driving can at the least cost you hefty fines, court dates and a suspended license — at the most it can cost you your life and possibly the lives of others.

Meet the Author

Jessica Patel

Jessica Patel


Jessica Patel is an award-winning editor and writer living in Los Angeles. She previously served as deputy editorial director of T Brand Studio at The New York Times and as Senior Editor and Analyst of Bankrate.com.

Budgeting & Saving

Very Personal Finance

Related Posts

Article last modified on June 20, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Happy Hour Makes For a Cheap Date - AMP.