Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Vacationing on a budget

Yes, we do cook in our motel rooms.  Here you see bacon frying; we were having bacon-and-tomato sandwiches that evening (no lettuce, because it doesn't travel well).  Sometimes I prepared a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and opened up a can of green beans.  Other times I fixed Campbell's tomato soup and made grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.  I realize these aren't the healthiest meals, but they are cheap and easy to fix.  
Most of the old fifty-dollar motels don't serve breakfast, so I cooked pancakes once and French toast another time.  We had cereal a couple of times, too.  We have a stainless steel percolator coffeepot that gets lots of use on the road, too. 
Considering that we were on the road for over a week, I feel we did well to only eat fast food three times (not counting the senior coffees we frequently picked up at McDonald's).  We ate one real, sit-down meal out the whole time we were gone, and that was in Canada.  When we were on the road, we stopped for lunch at rest areas and ate sandwiches:  the daughter-in-law left a full package of lunch ham in our refrigerator, so we used that up.  We also had tuna sandwiches a few times.  I took along a dozen eggs that were in the refrigerator, half of them raw and half of them boiled.  A boiled egg is a great snack when you are really hungry.  
Two of the meals we ate at fast-food restaurants were because we were running late and I didn't feel like cooking a meal, even an easy one, at bedtime.  Oh yes, and on our last day, the motel only had donuts or cereal for breakfast, no fruit or yogurt.  So I had a breakfast burrito and a fruit-and-yogurt parfait.  
We honestly cannot afford to eat out often, and this was one way to keep our costs down on our road trip.

8 comments:

Angela said...

Been catching up with your posts... I love the cooking-in-your-room idea. You are right in that the cost of eating out is what blows most any budget. Looking forward to reading more!

Melissa Wiggins said...

You are much more ambitious than I ever would be on a road trip -- all that cooking isn't vacation for me. I was really impressed at how much work you do on your travels -- and how much food you actually carry with you. Coolers and dry ice? MGW

Jon said...

All of that food sounds darn good to me. But it takes a lot of work to prepare even the most simple things.
The only reason I go to fast-food placers is because it's easy - - although it's getting too expensive.

Donna said...

Melissa, We really have no choice in the matter. We have to live on our combined Social Security income. If we used our pathetic savings for vacation, we would soon have no savings. Jon, Cliff took over the dishwashing and cleanup after the meals I prepared, so that helped.

Margaret said...

I hate frying bacon, so I salute you. Your meals sound good to me; they're what we eat sometimes. :) I don't like fast food, although I do enjoy an occasional breakfast burrito. I'm not a hamburger person at all.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Itt is expensive to eat out when traveling, If the budget doesn't allow it, you make do. I've been making do a long time now.

TARYTERRE said...

You do what you have to. When my hubby works out of town on odd jobs and I tag along, we too eat in motel rooms. The FREE breakfast where he has recently stayed is TERRIBLE. We bring snacks along, like microwave popcorn. But I buy what other groceries I need wherever we are staying, don't want to risk contamination by taking too much with us in this hot weather. I just improvise a menu day to day. Can't use a cook stove like you have because of hubby's COPD, the fumes would be bad for him to breathe. It's a chore to work with limited space in the motel rooms, I know. But we eat things that are MUCH healthier than we would in a restaurant. Fresh Fruit, veggies, nuts, yogurt, etc. I ENJOYED your pictures.

Lori said...

I'm enjoying following along on your trip. We usually try to do as much of our own cooking and food prep as we can we are on vacation. Love all the pictures and the slide show!