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Works For Me Wednesday- Meals on the Road

   As my regular readers know, I am on vacation to Chicago this week. We lived here for 5 years so it i kind of like coming home. On a side note, we are staying in a rented condo (which relates to my WFMW so bear with me) and next door there is a man who must bathe in cologne because that is all I smell when I walk out my door. I also quite often hear a yippy dog so I am thinking the cologne might be some sort of subconscious attempt to appear more masculine while walking a tiny dog. Just a little psychoanalysis to start us off.

My tip today (besides to lay off on the cologne for my gentlemen readers) is to look into staying in condos and villas when traveling. Especially in big cities, you can sometimes get them for less than a cost of a room. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing less relaxing in life than cramming into a single room with two kids who go to sleep and wake up at different times. A condo gives you space and sanity all wrapped up into one.

The other cost saving benefit of a condo or villa is that you can make your own food. I don’t know about you, but eating out is not only bad for the wallet, but horrible for the waistline. So I find it is much more economical to cook myself. However it isn’t so economical to buy 50 things at the grocery store necessary to make 2 meals. So I brought some frozen meals that I got especially for the trip. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I purchased the frozen meals at one of those assemble your own meals places (which are also fabulous and possibly a future WFMW). I got a meal to feed 3 people for less than the cost of an entree. And when my kids decide to throw a tantrum about how yucky the chicken is (IT TASTES FUNNY!!), it is solely for my delight and not an entire restaurant.

So that is what works for me. For more tips, head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Comments

  1. mikki roo says:

    That is exactly what we’ve found when traveling with kids… unfortunately we usually travel by plane & it’s hard to bring food along but it works pretty good to buy prepackaged lasagna, etc. Motels are not conducive to great sleep that’s for sure!

  2. I love any tip that makes traveling as a family easier! Thanks!

  3. We did this when we traveled to Kauai. We didn’t have kids yet but it saved Hubby and I, his sister and her husband, a bunch of money! We ate “out” only one meal a day (lunch or dinner) and made the rest at “home”. It was great.

    Great tip! I highly recommend it.

  4. Yes, we LOVE staying in condo’s, time-share rentals, whathaveyou. ESPECIALLY when the in-laws own the time-share and charge you something outrageous, like $200 for the entire week :)

    Also, I must heartily agree on the out-to-dinner stuff. After a few days of eating out I need some normalcy back in my diet. Nothing like a bowl of cheerios and a yogurt!

  5. Works for me, too! We stayed in a condo 2 of our 4 weeks of vacation last month, and it was great! Of course, we always buy too much food at the grocery store and can’t eat it all in the time we have.

  6. When we vacationed in Hilton Head a few years ago, we rented a condo on the beach. It was great except that we shared it with my parents. We won’t be doing that ever again, but the cost savings was great!

  7. I’m a big fan of staying in condos, houses, or Residence Inn so that we can make our own meals. There is something delicious about homemade food!

  8. This is a very good idea! We have done the make-your-own dinner thing as part of a church ministry, but I was having a hard time justifying it for our own family. We are going to stay with friends later this summer, and we might just bring those meals along to help feed everyone.

  9. We tried that on our honeymoon (obviously before kids), but we just ended up buying really, really expensive food since we were ‘saving’ money this way, and drank too much before we started dinner so we messed it all up anyway.

  10. Do you have a favorite site to use when booking condos on vacation?

  11. We frequently go on vacation with my parents, who own timeshares. The kitchen is so very nice to have on vacation. My Mom and I (mostly Mom) take turns making dinners. The big money saver is having breakfast and lunch at “home”. As a bonus, many have washers & dryers, so I can even pack much less! Great tip- absolutely love more space with the kids!

  12. Thanks for bringing up the idea of staying in a condo. I didn’t even think about that! And it’s great that you can cook your own food!

    Julie

  13. SAHMmy Says says:

    Safe travels! Great tip on the condos–and cracking up over the cost/sanity benefit of “solely for my delight and not an entire restaurant”!

  14. We have four kids so hotel room get particularly crowded! I think renting a condo is a great idea.

    Thanks for the tip!

  15. I love the condo idea! we rented one in st croix a few weeks ago and it was perfect. when we must stay in a hotel, we’re all over the residence inn by marriott, which have separate bedrooms in the suites. sweet!

  16. I think I will just pack Big Binder and her Menu Plan Monday in my suitcase when I leave on vacation. Are you for hire?

  17. This is a fantastic idea! I had always thought that it would be a good idea to stay in a condo and prepare your own meals but I really like the idea of the meal prep place. That makes it easy and way more affordable than going out to eat every night! Thanks for the tip!

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