I feel like a broken record when I tell the world that I am always looking to save some money. I have a lot of mouths to feed, and on one income pinching pennies is a necessity. But that is not to say that our family gets out and about. In fact, we just returned from a nine day vacation (that we paid for in cash!). In order to do so, we saved money every place that we could.

One of my favorite ways to save while vacationing is with food. You have to eat, even on vacation, but it does not have to cost you a fortune! For starters, if you are staying in a hotel, be sure to stay in one that offers free breakfasts and make sure you check to see what kind of breakfast they offer. Some are just a buffet line, with pastries and fruits, while others have the works- bacon, eggs, cooked to order omelets, pancakes, waffles, you get the idea. If you cannot stay in a hotel that offers breakfast, there is absolutely no shame in picking up yourself a box of cereal and gallon of milk to keep in your room. A lot of times, the hotel will gladly give you a bowl and spoon, but plastic silverware and bowls are pretty inexpensive too.

We also always buy cold cuts, and supplies to make our own lunches. Most everywhere we go (most tourist spots included) allow you to brown bag your lunch. Doing so on vacation can save you bundles! Even Disneyland has a picnic area just outside the park for you to enjoy your own packed lunch.

The same concept applies for dinner as well. But if you are like me, you want to sample some of the local cuisine and dinner time is the best time for that. Planning can be your best friend here. Getting on the internet and finding local eateries can often time save you money over the big chain restaurants. And, you will get more local foods as well. A local hotspot is always a plus. You can also check out websites of restaurants you want to try to see if they offer any specials or coupons. Another great resource is again your hotel. While room service is often pricey, some hotel restaurants offer kids meals for free with a paid adult entree. It may not be as much “fun” as eating out every meal while on vacation, but it sure is cheaper, and better for our waistlines too!


-Stephanie Wright

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