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Our monthly budget for food and personal care items is $100.00 and has been for the last few years.
Even though we were on vacation for 3 weeks this month, we are STILL doing great on our budget! All it takes, is a little pre-planning and you can have a GREAT time on very little money.
My actual shopping trips this month (so far) were:
Day one: on the road – breakfast at home, cooler lunch and dinner. Stopped for the night at an AMAZING Holiday Inn Express in Nashville, TN.
Day two: Free breakfast at the hotel (pancakes, biscuits n gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, yogurt, juice, fresh fruit), more cooler food for lunch, dinner at my sister’s in Florida. (She had amazing salad bar set up for a build your own Greek salad!)
Day three: Breakfast at my sister’s, lunch out in Clearwater with gift card, dinner at my sister’s. (We wanted to take them out but my brother in law wasn’t feeling up to it)
Day four: Breakfast at my sister’s, lunch at Cracker Barrel with friends (and gift cards), dinner in Orlando at Chili’s (with gift card) which was our big splurge and came to $18.12. We also hit the local Publix for a few things and spent $13.14. (We got milk, juice, sandwich meat, apple slices, bread). Our room at Disney’s Contemporary Resort had a fridge and we planned to use it!
Day five: Magic Kingdom day! Ate breakfast in room, packed a lunch for the park, used a Disney gift card to have dinner at Magic Ray’s Stardust Cafe. You CAN take food into the parks, I used my Tupperware Sandwich Keepers, water bottles and a back pack.
Day six: Epcot day! Brunch was with gift cards at the Norwegian Castle (Character meal), dinner was packed for the park in our back pack. We also got Japanese Shaved Ice with gift a Disney gift card. (It was beastly hot)!!!
Day seven: Tupperware Convention started! Breakfast and lunch from our room, dinner out with a gift card at Red Lobster. Here is the thing, it was their Endless Shrimp promotion – so I got the salad in a box to go and planned to eat a lot of shrimp. (I could live on just shrimp…) I had the fried, the scampi, the Parmesan and then tried the teriyaki. Their new teriyaki grilled shrimp is amazing! When I told our server that – she ordered two more servings of it and brought a box for me… I was done eating at that point and could never have eaten it. We were kind of blown away at that — usually an “all you can eat” kind of thing means all you can eat there – not all you can take. FYI – even cold the next day, it was great with that Caesar salad!
Miss Sarah had the grilled chicken breast and about 100 garlic cheese biscuits, hubster had some fried combo with clam strips, flounder, etc.
Day eight: Breakfast in our room, fridge clean out for lunch, Tupper dinner that had a green salad and this amazing chicken using the new Tupperware Seasoning:
Day nine: The last of the tupper training – that included a box lunch. So breakfast at the hotel and a gift card to Romano’s Macaroni Grill for dinner!
Day ten: Time to go home: breakfast at a Waffle House (with gift card), cooler lunch and we stopped at a cool place in Nashville, before we hit our hotel: The Piccadilly Cafeteria. What you need to know is the simple fact that southern cafeterias are a LOT different than what you see in our Wisconsin public schools. They are YUMMY and cheap! Thursday’s, kids eat for $0.99 – just look at what that got Miss Sarah:
I am not sure if you can see it well, but her spaghetti sauce had mushrooms, celery, tomatoes and peppers in it. The macaroni was the baked kind your grandma would have made…
Day eleven: On the road again! Breakfast at the same Holiday Inn as the way down, lunch at a Steak n Shake (where they had half price shakes!) Again, with a gift card….
We were home for dinner.
HOW did I know what gift cards to pack? I grabbed a bunch of national chain ones – and yes, we had some we didn’t use: Culver’s, McDonald’s, Panera, Taco Bell, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut. I wanted to give us options, not lock ourselves into something that we might not feel like.