1) Eat out Selectively
When you travel to a destination and stay in a motel or campsite you can save money on food by minimizing the number of meals you eat at a restaurant or cafe. Feeding 5 for a meal would cost a minimum of $60 and as much as $180 – if eating at inexpensive places
Because eating out can be pricey – especially for 3 meals each day, plan to eat in for some meals and then eat out once per day. With a large family, this idea can save a load of cash.
2) Restaurant Savings
Check out if your campsite, motel or hotel have coupons for local restaurants. They’ve usually got coupons for hundreds of local restaurants from fast food to elegant sit-down restaurants.
3) Keeping Your Food Cold on Holiday
Where ever you stay, make sure there is a fridge in your room or campsite. Then you can go to a nearby grocery store and pick up fresh fruits, veggies and sandwich makings.
You could also purchase an inexpensive chilli-bin and use ice to keep your food chilled. When you leave, if you can’t take the cooler with you, just give it to a another guest.
Ice Alternatives: Rather than putting ice in the chilli-bin watching it melt and make everything soggy, try something different:
Freeze as many of your food items as possible. Things like butter, milk, and lunch meat will keep other things in the cooler cold. All of these things combined keep the other food cold. This allows you to eat yummy meals on a budget.
4) Holiday Meals on a Budget with a Crockpot
If you’ve got access to a microwave you’ll be set to heat up some meals. If not, you can purchase a Crockpot, and used it to heat up canned stew or soup. Add some rolls and veggies or fruit p and you’ll have a balanced and inexpensive holiday meal.
5) Stopping for Treats
While driving, as a special treat, you can stop to pick up bottles of fizzy drink at the supermarket. Bring along some cups and ask for a scoop of ice-cream in the cup at a local dairy. Add your fizzy drink and you have a home-made ‘spider ice-cream’.
We know that it isn’t particularly healthy, but on holiday, a little deviation from a healthy diet is okay – and a little fun for the kids.
6) Picnic Lunches and All-You-Can-Eat Restaurants
If you’re heading out for a long day of site seeing, pack a lunch and plan to buy dinner at an all you can eat restaurant (this is especially helpful for saving money when traveling with teens). The nice thing about packing a lunch is you can have a wonderful picnic in a park, on a beach or basically anywhere picturesque that you happen to be driving by.
7) Use Your Car As An Oven on Vacation
I haven’t tried this one but could be worth a shot. On a long road trip, take a roasted chicken, that is cut up, cooked and wrapped snugly in aluminum foil, and securely place it on the air intake on the engine of the car to heat up while you drive. You could also put this on your dashboard while sightseeing. Inventive and ingenious . . . and delicious. Again, another crazy way to eat yummy holiday meals on a budget. If you do try this – let us know how you go.
8) Holiday Meal Discounts
Look for coupons to local restaurants on Trip Advisor. Additionally, you can look for local travel guides or those tourist brochure stands in hotel lobbies that have discount deals for local attractions and restaurants.
9) Groupon Savings
Find deals for the city you’re visiting by using the Groupon Website or Grab one deal.
10) Drink Chilli-bag in the Car on Holiday
On road trips, take a mini chilli-bag of water, food and a box of snacks. This avoids needing to spend money at local diarys when you stop to fill up with gas. Of course, if you have budgeted for a treat, then go for it.
The best snacks are cut up carrots, cheese and crackers, nuts, trail mix, celery and granola bars.
11) Find Places That Offer Free Hot Breakfast
If you’re staying in a hotel, look for one that serves a full breakfast as part of your stay, not just doughnuts and coffee.
Some hotels have stopped serving buffet style breakfasts and are providing grab and go bags.