There's only one thing that can soften the blow of summer ending and school starting: free food. With the average teacher salary coming in at about $56,000 and the average family spending $674 on school supplies and new clothes this year, your wallet could probably use a break.

Luckily, restaurants across the county are here to take the pressure off your first-day dinner plans. Parents, students, children and educators alike can take advantage of promotions aimed at helping you save money as the school year gets underway. Leave the backpacks and textbooks at home and check out these 12 places offering freebies:

At Chipotle, high school and college students who show an ID can get free soda or iced tea with the purchase of an entree all September long. Every Sunday, kids eat free when a parent does.

At Rubio's on Sept. 8, teachers will get a free taco if they show identification. 

At iHOP through Sept. 25, kids eat free with each paid adult entree.

At the House of Blues in Houston, kids under 12 eat free every weekend day through September before 4 p.m. local time.

At IKEA locations, kids can eat free on weekdays through Sept. 2.

At this Zoup location in Delaware, teachers get an 8-ounce side of soup for free through Sept. 9.

At Shoney's through Wednesday, kids eat free. Sign up for the restaurant's e-club to get a free appetizer, too.

At Port City Java in North Carolina, teachers who come by Friday will get a free cup of coffee.

At O'Charley's, kids eat free with adults through Labor Day.

At Mean Cup in Pennsylvania, teachers can get a free refill with their IDs through Friday.

At McDonald's in Phoenix, teachers can score a free McCafe drink with the restaurant's app.

At Pampas in Las Vegas, teachers and administrators eat free through Wednesday.