Thoughtful Spending: Avoiding eating out

As you know by now, we just returned home from the beach. We kept the cost down on the trip by bringing all of our own food.

Back in the day (you know, when we walked uphill both ways to school in the snow), families took a road trip with activities, luggage, and a cooler. Eating out was kept to a minimum and was done as a special occasion. Now days, the car is loaded with luggage, dvd players, and cash to buy snacks at the gas station and food at the restaurant. Somewhere along the line, people decided that it was worth the convenience to buy their food along the road instead of bringing a cooler of food for the trip.

Ever since our daughter was diagnosed with food allergies, we had to go old-school and pack a cooler. We don't leave the house without a ton of food (you just never know when your car will breakdown), and if there's any function involved in our outing, I always have a cooler of food with us.

This vacation we borrowed a friend's cooler and loaded it up with everything we might need for the road and for the week away. It was great! There was no worry that one us would get a bad meal out, get food poisoning, or just not like our food.

Also, we saved a ton of money! The entire week's food bill was no more than any other week of the year. So I challenge you to pack a cooler sometimes when you leave the house for a day trip or week-long trip. It may seem like more work on the front-end, but it's less stress and money on the back-end.

I'll get back to posting recipes soon! In the picture above was Open-face Bean Sandwiches.

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