Now that the weather is warming up, people are thinking about vacation. No matter where you go or what you do on vacation, you have to eat. 🙂 Costs add up quickly when you’re feeding your family at restaurants for all three meals every day! Here are a few ways you can save money on each meal while on vacation!
1. Bring your own breakfast
Breakfast is the easiest meal to eat on the go. Muffins, fruit and yogurt with granola are easy to eat in the car. Grab a few cases of the little milk cartons and juice boxes from Costco, and you can store them without refrigeration! I always travel with a container of the International Delight creamer singles, some coffee grounds and a few filters – just in case the only coffee I have available is what they stock in basic hotel rooms. No thanks. 🙂
2. Eat the big meal of the day at lunch
Most sit-down restaurants offer smaller portions of their dinner menu during lunch – at a much reduced price. If you’re staying at the beach, of course you need to eat seafood. Hit the hot spots at lunch! If you plan ahead where you want to eat, just look up the restaurant’s menu online to make sure they offer a cheaper fare at lunch. Be aware of cutoff times for ordering lunch (usually 4 PM) and that most places don’t offer lunch menus on the weekends.
3. Keep it light for supper
If you can plan ahead of time for certain restaurants, look for Groupons offered by local pizza or Mexican restaurants. Keep your eye out for gift card deals – my grocery store often runs promotions where you save money on a future grocery purchase when you buy restaurant gift cards.
4. Bring your own snacks
The grocery markup in gas stations just kills me. The easiest way to save money on food while traveling is to buy snacks before you leave home! I even “splurge” for pre-packaged snacks like goldfish or trail mix – it’s still a huge savings over gas station prices. Head over to Polka-Dotty Place for a great list of road trip snacks!
How do you save money on meals during vacation?
10 thoughts on “How To Save Money On All Three Meals During Vacation”
We try to stay at places that offer continental breakfast or pack granola bars for breakfast. My husband is always in charge of picking out a groupon or two when we head out of town. Lately, I’ve been bringing apples, carrot slices and cheese sticks in a little cooler for snacks. You are right, gas station snacks are crazy expensive!!
I need to add cheese sticks to my travel snack list. Yum!
I’ve always toted my own tea because unless I’m staying somewhere fancy (unlikely! HA!) the tea is slim pickings. Great idea on the BYO Breakfast, though. I’m always shocked at how much breakfast costs when you’re on vacation! We have another trip coming soon, so perfect timing!
Not only is breakfast expensive, sometimes it’s not readily accessible. I can’t stand that panicky hungry feeling! Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to grab something if you’re in a rush to get to a wedding or event. I always have cereal bars for that reason. 🙂
We tend to stay at condos or hotels with a kitchenette when we travel as much as possible, that way we have the kitchen to fix a lot of our meals (or at the very least a fridge). We never eat breakfast out. We usually eat a very large lunch after the lunch rush and then have more of a snack for dinner. I also save money with my littlest one by taking his food with us to the restaurant because kids meals are usually not as healthy and are upwards of $5.
And I’m with you on the coffee. We don’t travel without our coffee! 🙂
Staying at places with a kitchen is definitely the budget-friendly way to go! Thanks for sharing your tips!
Great minds think alike..this is what we do on vacay. Now we tend to stay at Hampton Inns where you get breakfast included with your room. When our children were small we did all the things you mentioned Whitney! I
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