Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Save Money on Food While Vacationing - Reader Question

I recently had a question from a reader:

 I am a single mom of two and I am planning a trip to visit family this summer.
We have to stay in a motel so I am writing you asking your opinion
on how I may cut costs on eating for us while we are gone and not to be
eating just pb and j the whole time.  I've thought about taking a crock pot
with me I don't know if motels are into that or not please enlighten me
of your ideas. Thank you 

This is a tough question, however we have experienced this and let me share some of my initial thoughts:

1.  Choose a hotel or motel that offers a complimentary breakfast.  Most chains like Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Country Inn and Suites, Baymount Inn, and more offer this amenity.  This is by far the easiest budget saver out there.  Every morning breakfast is taken care of and you can more then likely have a different item each morning. 

2.  Secondly, make sure the hotel room has a refrigerator and microwave.  If the hotel does not offer breakfast, make sure to pack cereal, bowls, and spoons.  You can always buy milk when you get there and eat breakfast in your room before you venture out for the day. 

3.  Pack plenty of bottled water, juice boxes, and snacks.  This will save you a lot of money if you had to run to the vending machine instead for these items.  Boxes of crackers, pretzels, dried fruit, applesauce containers, and fruit cups are all great snacking options.  If your room has a microwave, pack some microwave popcorn!

4.  Lunch and dinner are a lot more difficult.  I really do not know how hotels feel about crock pots.  I would ask first because they may consider it a fire hazard.  I would however have some bread, pb&j, and lunch meat on hand.  At least you will be able to handle a few lunches.  Also it would be great to have some hot dogs and items such as Lipton Rice & Sauces because they can all be cooked in the microwave.  Also perhaps cans of Spaghettios and Raviolis, just remember to pack some dishes to cook them in!

5.  If you do need to eat out, look for budget friendly options like ordering a pizza and eating it in your room.  You can also look on for deals happening in the area you are visiting!

Check out some of my other points in my Vacationing on a Budget series!

If you ever have a question, drop me an e-mail!

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of college days, lol...if you have one, maybe bring a sandwich maker..grilled cheese with a piece of lunch meat inside or even tuna and cheese are always kid pleasers..I wouldn't think a sandwich maker would be any more of a fire hazard than an iron, after all...If there is a fridge and microwave, you can make boxed macaroni and cheese and put in a can of veggies (or just bring some leftovers in a cooler from home..that could take care of at least a couple of meals, and reduce waste as well)