Ideas To Save Some Cash On Your Food Stash

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Save Money on VacationSummer is the time for vacations and relaxing. Vacations can be expensive – from the hotel, food, activities and sightseeing tours that you want to take. It all adds up and can be a big old hit to the pocket. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save money where I can so that I have more to spend on memory making things like activities.

Here are some things I did on our recent trip to Austin to save on the food budget for me and The Kid. It didn’t take much effort or time, and let us do fun stuff like taking the bat riverboat tour, going on the Hill Country tour, swimming in Barton Springs, and buying a few souvenirs from the trip. You also get the added bonus of saving on your waistline too since you aren’t eating out several times a day.

  1. Book a hotel room that has a mini fridge and microwave for easy and cheap meal creation. This will allow you to get basic items at the local grocery store as well as heat up leftovers. I saved a ton of money getting food at the grocery and eating half my dinner the next day.
  2. Go for the hotel that offers a free continental breakfast. Even the less expensive ones do this so you don’t have to pay top dollar for luxury. They surprisingly have plenty of healthy choices. I started each morning with 6 hard boiled eggs with the yolks removed, a packet of plain oatmeal, and an apple. Avoid the waffles, bagels, and yogurt since these are loaded with processed flour or sugar and have no protein.
  3. If you can, grab a couple pieces of fruit and boxes of whole grain cereal at breakfast for a snack later in the day. Our hotel even had little serving sized containers of peanut butter. These were great with an afternoon snack of carrots and whole grain crackers. Plus the mini size kept me from face planting in a peanut butter jar.
  4. Swing by a grocery store and pick up portable foods like cucumbers, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and packets of tuna. You can make a snack or lunch with these along with the fruit and cereal you saved from breakfast. If you have a cooler with you, you can also get containers of plain greek yogurt and pre-cooked chicken breasts to take with you.
  5. Depending on how hot it is where you are vacationing, you may also be able to freeze the containers of yogurt in your mini fridge to eat later. Take them out in the morning and they’ll be thawed by snack time – no cooler required. This only works if it isn’t blazing hot where you are. Use your judgement on whether this is possible.
  6. Pre-package almonds and protein powder in sandwich baggies at home before your trip. I packed a baggie of protein powder for each day I was going to be gone. Store all of the baggies inside a single shaker to take up less space in your suitcase. When you want a shake, just dump a baggie into the shaker and add water. Rinse and reuse the shaker between shakes.
  7. It’s vacation, so enjoy dinner out! Ask around and find out where the locals go. It’s more fun than eating at a chain restaurant that you can eat at any time. Plus you usually get recommendations for unique places to try out new things. I had a great ahi tuna burger with wasabi glaze in Austin. Dinners are usually huge, so box up half your dinner and save it in the mini fridge for lunch the next day.
  8. Limit the alcohol while on vacation. No, I’m not taking a moral stand here. I’m approaching it from the cheapness angle. Drinks out are expensive and are a way that restaurants make a huge profit off of you. The price of a glass of wine or a mixed drink is typically close to the cost of buying an entire bottle at the liquor store! If you really want a glass with dinner, check to see if there are BYOB places and bring your own. Another option is to buy a nice bottle of wine and enjoy it in a park or by the pool. Make sure it’s legal to do where you are. You don’t want to add the cost of bail onto your trip!
  9. The same tip above also goes for sodas while out. I apply these rules whether on vacation or not. Sodas are not only bad for you but a rip off too. They charge you $2 or more for a couple cents worth of syrup that fizzes. Order water with lemon and save yourself $2 plus a pop at restaurants.

How’s that for 9 easy things you can do to save money on vacation food? It’s weird how most of my lists end up with 9 things. Hopefully you can use some of these on your next trip. Is there anything you would add? I’m always looking for new ideas.

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