A sure-fire way for penny-pinching parents to eat out as a family but without spending too much is to tap into various “kids eat free” deals all over the metro area. A couple of restaurants do kids-free nightly, but most stick to one or two nights a week. Here are some of our favorites.

Cinzetti’s Italian Market

281 W. 104th Ave.
Northglenn, CO 80234
(303) 451-7300

Cinzetti’s is an enormous 20,000-square-foot space whose décor recalls a grand villa in Tuscany. The five unique dining rooms accommodate so many diners that families with hungry kids never have a long wait. And the buffet-style service means they don’t have to wait for someone to bring them their food either. Eighty items are offered, so even the fussiest eaters will find something they like. Youngsters (and oldsters too) can watch their selections being made in 14 exhibition kitchens. Children 12 and under eat free on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Gunther Toody's Diner (credit: Young Kim)

Gunther Toody’s Diner

Multiple locations

Don’t ya love a place where the waitresses call you “Honey,” vinyl booths squeak when you sit in them, and the shakes are thicker than wet cement? That’s why we’re fans of Gunther Toody’s, a throw-back to the heydey of 50s diners with juicy burgers, chicken-fried chicken, piles of fries, beer-battered shrooms and root beer floats. The prices remind us of the 1950s as well, with some full breakfasts barely cracking $3. Kids Meal Monday runs from 11 a.m. to closing with the junior boppers receiving one free kids meal (including drink and ice cream sundae) per purchased adult entree.

Restaurant 4580

4580 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
(303) 448-1500

Every Wednesday evening, this North Boulder neighborhood restaurant invites kids to age 12 to eat free. The main caveat is that the family must be seated in the dining room by 6 p.m. The contemporary American-based menu is best for youngsters with sophisticated palates and/or large appetites. After all, the burger is a hefty half-pounder and the mac-and-cheese comes with lobster, though a side order of glazed carrots might be just ticket for a wee one with a sweet tooth.

– Mile High Cheapskates Claire Walter & Laura Daily keep Denver/Boulder residents informed about the latest deals, discounts and freebies at MileHighOnTheCheap.com.