The Chipotle Kids' Meal Hack That Will Save You Money Every Time

Fresh, filling, and with just the right amount of flavor and spice, Chipotle is a favorite option when you're in the mood for totally customizable Mexican fare without the wait. Chipotle may never sell breakfast, but when it comes to lunch or dinner, it's hard to beat. So next time you're debating on giving in to your Chipotle cravings, you can go ahead while keeping your wallet happy thanks to this simple hack. The secret? Simply skip the full-price entrees and order a kids' meal instead.

This Chipotle kids' meal hack is a genius way to get full-on Chipotle flavor at a fraction of the price. You don't have to be under 12 to order one, either; the restaurant does not currently place an age limit on who can order the kids' meal. The cost of Chipotle's main dishes (which include burritos, burrito bowls, salads, and a set of three tacos) generally range in price from just over $10 to over $13, depending on your specific choices and where you live. Add chips and a drink, and you're looking at an additional $5 or more, making an adult meal an average of $15 to $20.

However, the kids' meal, which comes as either a taco or quesadilla option, is less than $6. While exact prices vary by location, anyone can enjoy Chipotle for lunch or dinner at significant cost savings by using this hack.

What to know about using the Chipotle kids meal hack

Using this simple Chipotle kids' meal hack is easy and affordable, but there are a few things to know first. The kids' meal is available as a taco (also known as a build-your-own) that comes with an entree, two sides, and two corn or flour tortillas — or a quesadilla kids' meal, which includes rice and beans. Both have chips or seasonal fruit and a drink (you can choose a 16-ounce fountain drink, organic juice, or organic milk available in plain and chocolate).

The quesadilla meal includes one cheese quesadilla, plus white or brown cilantro-lime rice and black or pinto beans as the sides. Protein is an extra charge (less than $1) with the quesadilla meal.

For the taco or build-your-own kids' meal, you can choose from among the Chipotle menu's proteins and sides. These include steak, beef barbacoa, chicken, chicken al pastor, carnitas, or sofritas for protein options, plus the rice, beans, fajita veggies, cheese, sour cream, or salsa (fresh tomato, chili-corn, or green or red tomatillo salsa) for sides. The taco kids' meal entree can be either a protein, queso, or guacamole; if you get queso or guacamole as a side in addition to a protein, it's upcharge (less than $3).

If you're headed to Chipotle with a group, have everyone use the kids' meal hack, but get different options for the sides. Then, create a buffet and let everyone grab what they want for supreme tacos.

More ways to save money at Chipotle beyond the kids meal hack

If you love Chipotle, there are other ways to save too. One easy way is to ask for extra of your favorite sides. Protein, guacamole, or queso will be an upcharge, but you can customize your entree for free with extra rice, fajita veggies, beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, or salsa.

If you're feeling a burrito and want extra rice and veggies, avoid a burrito explosion and load up a bowl, but request a tortilla on the side (about $.50). Then, you can have your burrito now and a bowl or salad later. You can also ask for salsas and sour cream on the side for no extra cost (versus over $2 for a side of salsa) — plus, it keeps leftovers from getting soggy, so you can reheat your burrito perfectly later. The cheapest options are chicken or veggie (which includes free guacamole) at just over $10 whereas steak or beef barbacoa are closer to the $12 mark (again, depending on location). 

For more savings, you can also join Chipotle rewards. You'll get free guac just for signing up, plus 10 points for every dollar you spend (and those points add up to free food). Consider the Chipotle app as well; they have deals from time to time, which may include BOGO or gift card specials. 

Chipotle isn't the only restaurant where you can take advantage of the kids' meal for discounted eats; Texas Roadhouse's kids' menu offers great savings too.