Dad feeds family of 6 at Chili’s for only $30

@glazedepoxy/TikTok Joseph Hendrickson/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I would just rather not go out to eat if we have to do this’: Dad feeds family of 6 at Chili’s for only $30. Viewers are divided

And five other cheap family dinner hacks.


Vladimir Supica


Dining out with a family of six while on a budget can be challenging, but one couple has turned it into an art form.

In a series of “life hack” videos posted on their TikTok account (@glazedepoxy), Josh and Callie Mileham share their top tips about dining out at various restaurant chains without breaking the bank.

The Chili’s hack

hand pointing at a sandwich and fries

In their latest video, Josh takes on the challenge of feeding his family of six at Chili’s for under $35. The video begins with him standing outside the restaurant, stating, “Let’s see how cheap we can feed our family of six at Chili’s. Let’s see if we can keep it under $35.”

Inside, Josh orders a 6-piece chicken tender meal for $17.99, which comes with complimentary ranch, a cup of mac and cheese, and fries. He also takes advantage of the “3 For Me” deal, which includes a sandwich or a burger along with a drink, and an appetizer. Josh chooses a chicken sandwich and a salad for the appetizer.

The total comes to $30.62. The “3 For Me” deal is split between Josh and his wife—he eats the sandwich, and she enjoys the salad. The six-piece chicken tender meal is divided among the kids.

The video has over 466,600 views, with many users arguing over portion sizes. Some commenters praise the parents for being creative and not wasting food, while others claim the portions are inadequate.

But the Milehams don’t seem to mind the mixed reception, as they continue to post videos with their budget-friendly dining hacks for various restaurants.

Panda Express: Bigger plates, bigger savings

person scooping panda express from box onto plates

At Panda Express, Josh prefers getting two “Bigger Plates,” which cost more than bowls but come with three entree’s. Each “Bigger Plate” comes with triple servings of orange chicken. One plate comes with chow mein, and the other has half chow mein and half fried rice.

Back at home, the footage shows Callie splitting the order into six decently sized portions. The total cost is less than $25, which is slightly more than $4 per family member.

According to, two “Bigger Plates” cost $18.60, while a combination of four kid’s meals and two regular bowls would amount to over $32.

Olive Garden home dining hack

fork in pasta with chicken and a breadstick

For Olive Garden, the Milehams’ approach involves a bit of home cooking. Josh orders 16 ounces of Alfredo sauce and 16 breadsticks for $14.05. At home, the family prepares pasta and cooks chicken in a frying pan, cutting it into smaller pieces.

The final product is six plates, each with two breadsticks, a generous serving of pasta topped with Olive Garden’s Alfredo sauce, and pieces of chicken. This hack brings the total cost to under $20, providing a filling meal for the whole family.

A single portion of the chicken Alfredo pasta is listed at $19.49 on Olive Garden’s website, making this a great deal.

Texas Roadhouse pulled pork sandwich hack

sandwich with fries

At Texas Roadhouse, Josh’s hack revolves around the restaurant’s generous portion sizes and complimentary bread rolls that come with every meal. He orders a pulled pork sandwich, which is brimming with meat. Using the free rolls and the extra pork from his sandwich, Josh creates mini pulled pork sandwiches.

He manages to make six mini sandwiches, with plenty of meat left in the original sandwich. They also order a side of fries, bringing the total to just $17.30.

DIY cheese quesadilla

fajitas with caption 'when you want to eat out as a family of 6 without spending $120'

In another video, Josh demonstrates a peculiar hack that involves him using restaurant cookware to make a cheese quesadilla. The footage shows Josh taking a spare tortilla and sprinkling cheese on it. He then folds it and places it between a hot skillet and a wooden board. The result? A “nice and toasty” cheese quesadilla.

However, the video received mixed reactions with some users arguing that the practice isn’t sanitary.

“Don’t do that! They rarely clean the wood boards!” one commenter wrote.

“So take a tin foil that usually comes in the tortilla thing and use it between the board,” another recommended.

The Daily Dot reached out to @Glazedepoxy via TikTok comment as well as to Brinker International, Panda Express, Olive Garden, and Texas Roadhouse via press email.

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