Eating while on vacation doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg -- check out these secrets.
Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I like to travel -- and a lot of the costs associated with travel have gone down. Eating out with several children, however, one of whom is too old to order off the kids' menu and another that is going through a growth spurt, can get pricey.
The last time we went on vacation, we spent part of the time in a rental house. We arrived about dinnertime. We hadn't seen any restaurants in miles, so my husband went off in search of a grocery store. He came back with what I thought was a crazy amount of food, probably because he was shopping hungry, which can be dangerous. He spent about $68.00. Turns out, he actually chose pretty well, since those groceries made seven meals. Seven meals for five people, so each meal was less than $2.00 per person. It was a little extra effort to cook, but we were making some pretty basic stuff -- spaghetti and meatballs, grilling chicken or burgers, and steaming vegetables. The cleanup wasn't so bad either.
If we took a day trip, we packed a picnic, because I couldn't stand the idea of not using the food he had already bought. I knew we were saving money, but I didn't really realize how much until I got back and figured it out. If we'd had to eat out all those meals, I estimate we would have spent about $350, and definitely wouldn't have been as healthy. Next trip, I'm going to plan ahead and stop at the grocery store on the way there. Maybe I'll even bring some coupons!
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!