As a family on a budget,  often choose to eat at franchised restaurants that  can be found locally. Wendys has a great value menu, Steak n Shake offers several meals under $4, Taco Bell is great for late night meals or snacks, Sonic also has a simple dollar menu. If eating at a budget friendly restaurant for two of three meals a day affording to eat "whereever the stomachs desire" for the third meal will be more feasable.