Parents will always welcome ways to save money and children's deals are certainly one way to grab their attention. The summer holidays are always a pricey season, now even more so with the cost of living crisis, which has left families struggling to budget.
So, understandably, ads that sell 'kids eat free' or 'kids eat for a quid' deals can be welcome news to cash-strapped parents. However, while it may seem great initially, a lot of these deals can be disappointing.
Kids eat free deals sound wonderful, until you find out it doesn't include a drink, or it only applies to those aged eight and under. Similarly, once parents realised they must fork over a minimum spend to get the offer, it soon loses its appeal.
It might well make for a decent saving, but if you're watching every penny, then for many it's simply not realistic. However, find the right place and you could be onto a winner.
Luckily, journalist Emma Gill at Manchester Evening News found the perfect location to bag a kids eat free offer that's actually worth it. The Asda café might not be your location of choice for a bite to eat, but when you see what kids actually get for £1, you might just change your mind.
Read on to hear what money saving deals the mum-of-two got, and for her overall experience.
"I tried the kids eat for £1 offer at Asda and I was gobsmacked"
Depending on which café you visit, they can either get a hot meal - choosing from the likes of fish fingers, chips and peas; chicken nuggets, chips and beans; a breakfast, mac and cheese, or pancakes - or a cold pick and mix, which you can either eat in or take away, so it's ideal if you're planning a picnic.
Not all Asdas have their own café, in Trafford and Leigh, for example there's a McDonald's instead, so you do need to check your local branch first. It was Asda in Horwich, Bolton, which we visited this week - with my two children choosing the cold option to go.
With the pick and mix, children get a sandwich, a drink, a piece of fruit, a fromage frais yoghurt and a treat item. Choices are cheese spread or ham for the sandwich, an orange or blackcurrant Capri-Sun, apple or banana and a strawberry yoghurt. Treat items to choose from on our visit were Cadbury fingers, Oreo biscuits or a packet of crisps.
The offer is clearly in demand as some sandwiches had already been made up and were wrapped in clingfilm inside a box, which made getting the lunch even quicker - a couple of minutes if that. Another plus point of the offer is that it applies to any child 16 or under, so even those with tweens and teens can make use of it, providing it meets their standards that is!
Oh and those with babies don't miss out either, as you can get a free 70g pouch of Ella's Kitchen baby food. Really there's nothing not to like.
They might well prefer a fizzy drink, but most youngsters will drink a Capri-Sun and while there's nothing fancy about the sandwich - just plain white bread buttered and with the filling on - arguably that's how most kids prefer them anyway.
My two polished off everything except the yoghurts, neither are particularly keen despite devouring spoonfuls of the stuff as toddlers, yet they somehow they didn't have the same aversion towards the biscuits.
I was gobsmacked by what the deal includes, especially when there is no obligation on parents to buy anything from the café.
I'm sure many will - or there'll be something they need to pick up from the supermarket while they're there - Asda bosses aren't daft. But there's surely little to no profit involved in these £1 lunches and it's definitely one thing they deserve praise for.
With retailers offering price matches and price promises at every turn, wouldn't it be great if other supermarkets followed Asda's lead.
According to the Asda website, the supermarket are running their kids eat free deal in all Asda cafés across Scotland until September 4, 2022. Their conditions state that no minimum adult spend is requited.
A spokesperson daid: “We know that families can find the summer holidays tough and our customers are telling us that this year more than ever, they’re concerned about holiday hunger.
"With that in mind, we are so pleased to be able children’s meals for just £1, with no minimum adult spend, to ensure that those who would normally rely on a school meal aren’t left without.”
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