Unbeknownst to me, the freezer section of the grocery store is stocked full of a huge variety of casseroles, pasta dishes and vegetables that are easily cooked in the microwave. I'm pretty sure a human being can feed themselves forever on just the microwaveable food choices. And, they don't taste too bad either. And, I do my best to buy them often as well as the deli-made meals at Sam's (they are very good if you haven't tried them, and much cheaper than the grocery store). Most days, though, the husband and I are in no mood to clean up the subsequent mess created by the three energetic, messy little people in our house who always seem to want to eat. It's not easy to wipe down all the surfaces without a sink and sponge nearby. Oh, how I never truly appreciated sponges, sinks and garbage disposals.
This whole experience is a little like camping, except we have decent running water, although not close to our 'camp' site. And, no one has to vacuum, mop or wipe down a camp site, so I would almost rather have set our little kitchen up outside if it weren't for all the terrible mosquitoes. Because we get so lazy on the clean-up front we have been eating out alot, which is tasty, fattening and pleasant only because they do the clean-up. It all comes at a price since it's expensive and I don't have to tip myself extra when the kids leave an especially great mess at home. But, we do it anyway, and have become savvy to where kids eat free on what days, which really makes a difference. Usually it's only one free kid meal per paying adult, so we often have to pay for one kid meal, but it's better than nothing. Eating out gets old, and I'm ready to have my kitchen back. Toddler meal time and wood floors were not meant to We've got another 3 weeks or so. Ugh.
I found this great website that lists where kids eat free or have good deals, and it's all listed by area and it seems pretty extensive. Next time you want to go out, check it out. It's called Kids Meal Deals. It would be really great if they listed places with play areas, but maybe I can suggest that to them!