Family of 4 < $25 a meal? (LA or OC)

My wife and I have 2 kids (4 and 6) and eat out ~5-7 times per week. Our kids are pretty good eaters and will try anything. Even though we generally only order 2-3 entrees depending on portion size we find it increasingly difficult to find places to eat that are under $25. Here are the places we frequent that we can get out for under $25

  • Curry Hut (Fullerton)
  • Olive Pit (Brea)
  • El Farolito (Placentia) - 2 entrees feeds the whole family
  • Bruxie (Brea) was actually $27 this weekend but close enough
  • Earthen (Hacienda Heights)

When we go to Chik Fil A and In N Out our bill is around $25. I think the cost of food has certainly increased but seems like our average meal cost not including alcohol is between $40 to $50. What places do you go to with your family that meet the <$25 per meal criteria?

most entrees at pailin thai and sapp coffee shop are 6-9 bucks.

I didn’t think this was possible, and I’ve never had the occasion to try it.

But I suppose you could pull this off quite easily at 800 Degrees Pizza using their “Pizza of the Day” promotion, where if you order the POTD it’s 50% off regular price, so the pizza is only $4.

You could order four POTD, which would tally up to $16, and have something like $9 to spare for other things like salads, drinks and what-nots, which should provide not only a full meal for your family of four but come comfortably within budget.

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Juan Pollo is always a good option for us. Rotisserie chicken, chicken rice, potato salad, beans, tortillas, and salsa is always a good option. I think a 1 chicken deal is less than $20. Our boys are older and there are 3 of them, so we’ve upgraded to the two chicken deal which goes for under $30. I love shoving the chicken skin into my taco with some rice and some salsa. It’s slightly healthier than traditional fast food.

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Roti chicken is always a good option with some pita/tortilla, hummus, salad, sauce, etc…we usually get the bird from whole foods or Costco. But that is usually something we eat at home. We tried Juan Pollo once and it was pretty good but not sure that would be on our list of places to eat out at. Feels more like a take away your meal.

Very difficult. POTD from 800 is a good call unfortunately not many near us and I heard they recently raised the price from $5 to $6.50 but that should be good enough for 2 pies and a salad.

Even at Earthen for 4 people we usually order 5-6 dishes purposely ordering more than we could eat to have leftovers. And it’s usually around $50 so its $25 per meal.

Fuoco has a really great and really filling calzone for $16. I highly recommend it. Your fam could feast on that and maybe another pizza for a bit over $25.

I know Fuoco is not something you would consider a value, but that calzone is awesome and a great deal.

Zankou Chicken.


I thought of Zankou too. But looking at the cities OP listed I didn’t think they had a locale in their vicinity. But it’s a really good family choice or anyone choice.

There’s a Zankou in Anaheim, which is next to Fullerton.

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  • full chicken from Zankou
  • 4 kids pizzas from pitfire

Thanks been to Fuoco many times but never had the calzone. Looks massive.

Yup we go to the Anaheim Zankou 3-4 times per year but its about 30 minute drive. We should put that into the rotation more but I have to pass Zait & Zataar, Cortina’s and a few other places on Brookhurst to get there. Sometimes we get side tracked and never make it.

Groupon and Living Social have incredible deals on a myriad of different food choices…you’ll get more like $50 of food for $25+.
Water instead of soft drinks…

Sunset dinners can be great on cutting cost…

Rubio’s Taco Tuesday after 2pm has fish tacos for $1.75 for fish taco and the especial with guac for $2 each…flour or corn…You can afford to get a Modelo…

Costco food court hot dog or polish with soft drink for $1.50 is one of the best deals going…the chicken salad is great to split 2-4 ways with a slice of pizza and a gelato for $5 pp…no tip!

Jersey Mikes has great coupons sent every week via email…great sandwiches and you can have a picnic or eat in.

Remember if you use a coupon, to tip on the full amount…



when my kid was young, we frequently found ourselves at SOUPLANTATION.

many healthful options.
great deals for the kids’ meals.

don’t know their current prices, but the food was AYCE and, the price/quality/quantity ratios were terrific, especially terrific when you have kids in tow.


You could probably get a enough banh mi sandwiches from Little Saigon for that price.


above $25 for a family of 4, even with coupons.

A quick glance at that photo gave me heartburn, constipation and explosive diarrhea.


Trying to stay away from fast food. I think the bottom line is that its very hard to feed a family of four these days for < $25 unless you want a steady rotation of fast food/pizza type options.

Souplantation with 2 kids and 2 adults with coupons is about $35.

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You can pick up a rotisserie chicken, corn tortillas and salsa from Gelson’s or Ralph’s, make some spanish rice and feed the family for well under $25.