A friend of mine who has five children was over recently and two of her children ate dinner with us that night. She came to pick them up and noticed that they had salad plates rather than regular dinner plates and commented on how at her house her husband serves her kids on dinner plates and fills the plates up and then they get yelled at for not eating all of their food. That night at our house her kids cleared their plates.
A great money saving tip that we employ having four kids is using smaller plates for mealtimes. If you set the table and use regular adult sized dinner plates chances are you are going to put more on the plate than the child can actually eat, thus creating waste and throwing money out the window. For kids ages 10 and under I recommend using the salad plate to serve them rather than a large dinner plate. Their portions will be smaller. Remember a child's stomach is only expands to the size of their fist. Giving them more portions on a big plate will lead to problems - namely getting yelled at for not eating their food. If they eat everything they can always go back for seconds. This way you are minimizing waste.
Most of you are saying "Yeah, we have those cute little kid plates that I picked up from Target with Barbie on them! I know exactly what you are talking about." Uh no. We do not have any fancy "kid" plates. Kid plates are a frivolous expense and if you are trying to cut down on your money outflow you can't run out and buy kid friendly plates. Use good old fashioned grown-up salad plates for your kids. It's not like you are robbing them from something important in their life and they are going to end up in therapy all because they ate off of regular dishes. Invest in their character and not in things for them.