Saving on food when travelling can be a nightmare, so the key to not spending a fortune is preparation!
When you are away from home it can be easy to get carried away on the costs. You are out of your regular routine and do not have access to your kitchen. However, eating out every meal (plus snacks) for even one weekend can end up costing a family several hundreds, if not over a thousand dollars. So whether you are going away for the week on a much deserved family holiday or are simply heading out of town for the weekend to visit some friends, here are some ways to cut the cost of food on your way.
1. Plan ahead
Make the decision on what meal you will eat out each day you are gone. For the rest of the meals, find a way to eat them on the road or out of your hotel room. All you really need is a loaf of bread, some cheese and ham, milk, cereal and some fruit and you have breakfast and lunch sorted out. Stock up on water and juice at the grocery store. Now all you need to worry about is dinner.
2. Pack snacks
Bring along a cold bag with these essentials. That way your food will stay cold and will not be spoiled along the way. It doesn’t take long to fill up an esky with goods and it shouldn’t take up that much space in your car either. If you are strapped for space, place the esky in between the kids in the back seat.
3. Consider early bird specials
If you have children you are most likely not looking to eat dinner at 9:00pm. So push it back to 5:30pm and see if you can score an early bird meal. Many restaurants will offer 10 to 15 percent off the total bill if you eat before 6:00pm.
4. Eat lunch out; stay in for dinner
If you can swing it, consider eating lunch out and staying in for dinner. Lunch is always a lot cheaper and often you will get the same meal. So eat a big lunch and then grab something light, such as a sandwich for dinner instead of the other way around.
5. Go Continental
If your hotel offers a breakfast option, then take it. Fill up early in the morning and you should be able to push through without having to stop and load up on sugary snacks along the way.
6. Look into child-friendly pubs
An unlikely gold mine when away from home are local pubs. Not only will you get a look into something a little different (and a cold beer) but many pubs also come equipped with children’s play areas and kids eat free offers. Not having to pay for your kid’s meals will most likely save you $10 per kid per meal.
7. Choose your accommodation wisely
For around $30 more per night most hotels will allow you to upgrade to a suite with a kitchenette. This means you have access to a full size fridge, stove, oven and microwave. Before you check in, hit up a grocery store and spend $100 on basic meals. You won’t have to eat out at all and you can relax in the comfort of your own space without worrying about if the kids will behave or what the final bill will come to.