CHRISTMAS is the most magical and expensive time of the year, so free or cheaper meals are no small thing.
The holidays are well under way, and some of the country's biggest retailers are chipping in to help out with cheap deals for kids.
The school holidays are often when budgets are pushed to breaking point as parents struggle to keep kids fed and entertained.
This year especially with the rising cost of living, people will really be feeling the pinch.
Luckily for parents, shops and supermarkets do offer free food or £1 meal deals at their cafes to help keep costs down.
We've has put together a list of all the places your children can eat free or cheap this half term.
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Kids can eat for just £1 at all Asda Cafes across England and Wales.
The offer was first introduced over the summer but is set to continue until early January.
Asda hasn't introduced a minimum adult spend, meaning you don't have to spend a certain amount to get the offer.
The Kids Eat for £1 deal is available all day, every day.
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Children will be able to get either a hot or cold meal, depending on availability.
You can find your nearest Asda café on their website.
The Range discount stores offer two different meal deals for kids and their cafes.
Both cost just £1 and are available all day every day of the Christmas holidays.
Kids can choose from a chilled meal or a hot meal, and the promo is valid for children under 16.
Not every The Range has a cafe though so make sure you check ahead before planning a trip.
You can find your closest store using the locator tool on the website.
Tesco has brought back its Kids Eat Free scheme in its 312 cafés across the UK until January 6, 2023.
The supermarket chain offers one free kids hot meal meal, kids breakfast or kids pick ‘n’ mix deal with each item bought by an adult from as little as 60p.
There is a slight catch though, the adult must show their Clubcard at the till to get the kids meal free.
You can get a Tesco Clubcard for free and earn points as you shop, as well as getting cheaper prices.
You can then use the points to get vouchers for money off food or other rewards like discounts on day trips.
Dunelm shoppers will also be able to get a free kids meal in Pausa cafes until January 22.
Kids can get the meal for free when an adult spends £4.
Similarly to The Range, not every Dunelm will have a cafe and some may not offer the deal so make sure to check ahead before you head down.
You can find your closest Dunelm using the locator tool on its website.
Dobbies garden centres
Kids can also eat for free when an adult buys a regular meal at Dobbies garden centres.
The offer includes kids breakfasts, lunch menu or pick ‘n’ mix meal, plus a drink.
It's valid in Dobbies Restaurants with the exception of Andover, Lelant, Marple, Reading, York, Anchorwood.
It's available all day every day, you can find your closest location using the locator on the website.
A child under 16 can eat for free at Morrisons cafés when you buy an adult meal worth at least £4.49.
A kids meal comes with a piece of fruit and Tropicana kids orange juice, apple drink, or bottle of water.
The free meal must be from the cafe's kids menu and cannot be used with any other offer.
Morrisons is rolling out the deal nationwide and you can find your nearest café by using the store locator tool on their website.
What other help can I get to pay for food this Christmas?
The Healthy Start scheme offers prepaid food cards to women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or women or men who have children under four.
Most local councils run their own welfare assistance schemes for households on low incomes or who are dealing with a crisis.
Grants can sometimes be worth up to £1,000.
Free school meals are on offer during term time and they will also be available to some families over the festive period.
Term times vary across the country, but most schools in England closed for the Christmas holidays on December 19 before returning on January 3, 2023.
Parents whose children qualify for free school meals can claim up to £40 per child, but this will vary depending on where you live.
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The help given to each family depends on the local authority.
We've rounded up five ways you can get free cash to pay for food this Christmas.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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