Mom’s viral hack can save you money on takeout from Olive Garden

Olive Garden restaurant

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Ordering takeout can be a lifesaver for busy families. But, when you need to dig deep into your wallet too often, your bank account can take a major hit. Let’s say you want to enjoy a to-go order from Olive Garden at home. Treating a family of four to a pasta dinner can easily cost more than $50.

But a TikTok content creator found a way to save a little money and still get a decent meal. And, it’s something that we often overlook: the kid’s menu!

TikTok creator @Natasha21k shared a video back in 2021 that continues to get views even after going viral a couple of years ago. In the video, she showed off how ordering from the kids’ menu can actually be enough for a hungry adult.

She ordered a kids’ pasta with tomato sauce meal which came with a side of broccoli, a drink and two breadsticks.

“If you are ordering to go, get the kids’ meal. Look at these portion sizes, they are enormous!” she said in the video as she panned across the table.

@natasha21k Save money, eat more! #greenscreensticker #lifehack #momhack #parentsoftiktok #dadhacks #thrift #cheap #coupon #olivegarden #spendless #kidsmeal ♬ original sound – Natasha K

Back when this video first hit TikTok, this meal cost $5.99 plus tax. According to Olive Garden’s website, the same dish now costs $6.99. In fact, most children’s meals cost $6.99, and you can get pasta with Alfredo sauce, pizza, chicken fingers, ravioli and more.

It still comes with a choice of sides, including broccoli, french fries, grapes or spaghetti with tomato sauce. The meal also comes with a drink (your choice of soda, milk, raspberry lemonade or Minute Maid) and two breadsticks. Plus, you can add a protein for an extra charge.

Keep in mind that not every Olive Garden location may offer portion sizes this big. Commenters on the video even seem to think some of the restaurants changed their policies after the hack became popular.

Still, ordering a few of the kids’ meals and combining them could be a great cost-saving option for a hungry family. Or, a single portion might just hit the spot for someone who wants to eat lighter.

About the Author

Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at and connect with her at More.

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