People are outraged by dad's viral ‘hacks' for saving money on kids' meals at restaurants

“This is child abuse honestly.”

Parent dining hack
Courtesy Callie and Josh Mileham via TikTok

A frugal father of four is dividing the internet with his restaurant "hacks."

In a now-viral TikTok video, Josh Mileham, 37, announces to his sons Brooklyn, 14, Colton, 11, Asher, 8, and daughter, Vallyn, 6, that he has a “cool trick.” The Texas dad, who has just been served a fajita platter, then takes a tortilla and sprinkles it with shredded cheese. Next, he cooks it under the sizzling skillet that came with his meal. 

“It’ll make you a quesadilla in about two minutes,” Mileham says, as he passes one across the table to Colton. Colton takes a bite and gives a thumbs up. He approves. TikTokers, however, had mixed reactions.

  • “This is child abuse honestly. You’re barely giving these kids enough food to qualify as a snack.”
  • “We need more of these!! I’m here for it. Makes room to go out to eat more often.”
  •  "I grew up extremely poor and this brings me so much joy."
  • "OK, but having worked in the restaurant industry, those wooden boards do not get washed."
  • “You eating good but you’re giving your poor kids scraps.”

Who else hates when you order 5 kids meals and no one eats it! We have tons of cheap hacks for eating out with kids! #family #restaurant #hack #eatcheap #fyp

♬ original sound - glazedepoxy

For those wondering how Mileham had extra tortillas and cheese, he ordered them on the side for roughly $2.50.

Undeterred by the negative comments, Mileham posted another TikTok on May 7, this time at a Texas Roadhouse, where he ordered a pulled pork sandwich and French fries.

“This thing is giant,” he says, and holds it up so viewers can get a good look.

Using rolls from the complimentary bread basket, Mileham proceeds to make pulled pork sliders for his children. At the end of the meal, Mileham’s wife Callie zooms in on the receipt: $17.30 for the one entree and an extra side of fries. The couple left a $20 tip.

According to Mileham, everyone in his family left the steakhouse chain feeling full and happy, just like they always do.

“People are hilarious — in the comments people are screaming that I should get them each a kid’s meal,” the Texas dad tells “I’m like, absolutely not. They’re going to take two bites and throw it away."

Mileham notes that his family does not enjoy eating leftovers. 

“So we try to be as frugal as possible to not waste,” he says. 

Mileham plans to continue sharing money-saving tips on social media. For example, he advises, order a large specialty drink at a coffee shop and ask for four small cups so each kid gets some. He also has one in the works about how to eat on the cheap at Pandra Express. 

“I could care less about the haters,” he explains. “There are families that don’t go out to eat often because they think they can’t afford it. I’m here to help those people. I want them to know it’s possible to have a decent meal out for $20.”

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