Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cooking it Up on Vacation: Saving Money by Eating in Your Hotel Room

Our spring break Las Vegas trip was so much fun!  One thing that worked out really well for us financially since we had a large group was not eating out at restaurants during our vacation.

Even doing fast food we would have spent a minimum of $30 at each meal, which adds up fast over five days! Our room had a kitchenette with a small fridge, microwave and sink.  All of our "cooking" was done with only those appliances.  I shopped at home to be sure I got the best deals available instead of paying Vegas grocery store prices.  When the kids and I went to San Diego two years ago we just bought our food at a grocery store there since we didn't have much car space.  This trip we had more space so I saved even more money by hitting sales and couponing.

Day 1:
Breakfast- (in the car) muffins, bagels w/cream cheese, bananas

Lunch- (stopped at a park) leftover turkey, rolls, jello salad and potato salad from our Easter dinner, cheese puffs

Dinner- peanut butter and jelly, chips

Day 2:
Breakfast- muffins, yogurt, bananas

Lunch- meat and cheese sandwiches on hoagie buns with all the fixings, pickles, chips

Dinner- chicken patty, ham and swiss sandwiches on hamburger buns, instant cheesy mashed potatoes, green beans (all cooked in the microwave), pickles

Day 3:
Breakfast- cold cereal w/milk, yogurt

Lunch- polish dogs w/ff vegetarian chili, fruit cocktail, bbq beans, pickles, chips

Dinner- Easy Mac, Cup O Noodles, chips, leftovers for the kids... the grownups tried out the hotel restaurant!

Day 4:
Breakfast- scrambled eggs, sausage, tortillas, bananas, orange juice

Scrambled eggs are very easy to cook in the microwave!  Grease your microwave-safe dish well and add 1 tablespoon of milk or water for every egg.  I did 18 eggs for our large group.  Whisk well.  Microwave on high stirring after every minute for less than six eggs or every two minutes for a larger batch until they are almost done.  Continue to stir until the heat of the eggs finishes cooking the rest and you're done!  Perfectly pretty and delicious scrambled eggs in the microwave!  

Lunch- meat and cheese sandwiches on bread or hoagies, chips, pickles, leftover beans, applesauce

Dinner- bean enchiladas, loaded nachos, olives

Bean enchiladas are a quick and easy hotel room dinner idea that can be cooked in the microwave.  You simply fill the tortillas with canned refried beans (I use fat free) and shredded cheese, roll them up and top with canned enchilada sauce and more cheese.  Heat until the center is hot and the cheese is melted.  You can garnish with sour cream, chopped lettuce, tomatoes and olives, if desired!

Day 5:
Breakfast- cold cereal w/milk, yogurt

Lunch- (in the car) variety of sandwiches, chips, applesauce, pickles

We were back home at dinner time!

By purchasing food ahead of time and cooking in our room we not only saved money, but even though a lot of what we ate was "processed", we still ate healthier than we would have eating out every meal.

I also made sure to have lots of snacks and drinks on hand for both the car ride AND in the room for starving bellies after swimming! 

My meal planning had to be creative knowing there was no stove or oven to use.  If you prefer to be less creative you can pack an electric griddle, crockpot or toaster oven for additional cooking sources.

Everything we ate was delicious and kid-friendly!  Our vacation menu was a success!


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

So smart and it does save a ton of money. You were super creative and all of the meals sounded fabulous. Hugs, Marty

Bridget said...

Ange, you are such a great mom and so smart too!

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