Take Your Own Food on Family Vacation

Packing Food for a Family Vacation


We’ve got a family trip planned for Asheville, NC.  Instead of eating out every meal, I’ve planned a menu for eating most of our meals at the house we’ve rented.

It’s typical for us to take food on vacation, if we’re staying in a place with a kitchen.  I’ve written a number of posts on vacation food before.  This post tells how to use dry ice to transport food a long distance.  We’ve done this a number of times when traveling to Disney World or the beach.

This time, we’ve got a short trip and it’s not too long of a drive.  We’re going to make do with coolers and plenty of ice for keeping the food fresh.

Here’s our menu:

Day 1: Travel Day

Breakfast at home

Picnic lunch on the way.  I’ll use the ideas I shared last week for packing this lunch.

Dinner at the house:

Day 2: Biltmore House for the girls, Whitewater Rafting for the guys


  • Green Smoothies
  • Toast or bagels
  • Eggs for those that want one
  • Juice for people who won’t drink green things
  • Coffee – of course!

Lunch – This is included in the rafting trip.  The girls will eat at Biltmore House.


  • Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches – I’ll take my slow cooker and a liner to make cleanup easy.  I wanted something that would cook itself while we’re out enjoying the day.
  • Fruit
  • Salt and Pepper potato chips
  • Any leftover salad from the night before
  • Cookies and/or more s’mores

Day 3: Hiking and Exploring Asheville

Breakfast: Same as the day before

Lunch: Picnic lunch, hopefully eaten before, during or after the hike while sitting outside.  Stay away, rain!

Dinner: Restaurant in Asheville

Day 4: Travel Home

Breakfast: Same as before, but making sure to eat the remaining eggs.

Lunch: Most likely stopping at fast food place.

Four days of travel.  Three meals out.  Lots of money saved.


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9 Walt Disney World Recipes to Make at Home and Sponsor Spotlight

7 disney world recipes to make at home


I shared this post of 7 Disney World Recipes to Make at Home a while back.  (Look how little my baby is!)  This photo was taken in Minnie’s House in the old Tune Town section of Magic Kingdom.  Can you even tour Minnie and Mickey’s houses anymore?  I’ve lost track of what happened to them when they started the Fantasyland expansion.

Since this post in May of last year, I’ve added two other taste of Disney recipes.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshakes from 50s Prime Time Cafe are a new favorite for us.  Yum!

Strawberry Soup is super delish!

If you’re dreaming of a trip to WDW, The Magic for Less can help you get there and save money.  Here’s info on one of the deals going on right now:

Save up to 30% on Walt Disney World Resort hotel stays, most nights from 8/15/13 to 9/28/13. Disney’s Dining Plans and Tickets can be added to this offer making it a package. Packages for this offer can be combined with The Magic for Less Travel’s exclusive Pixie Dust, Deluxe Pixie Dust Pack and Grand Pixie Dust Pack offers. Must be booked by07/31/13. You can see the details at The Magic for Less Specials. To be notified when new Disney Parks discounts are released, sign up for TheMouseForLess Discounts Newsletter .

Are you planning a Disney trip or have you just gotten back?  I’d love to hear about it!  Leave me a comment.  I can never get enough of Disney!


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7 Disney World Recipes to Make at Home

Summer is here and so are vacations!

We’re taking off for Disney World this week, so I thought I’d share 7 of my favorite Disney recipes to make at home.  Some of them are adapted from actual Disney recipes and some are inspired by foods Disney serves.  Either way, they are all delicious!

Nutella and Fruit Topped Waffles from Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom

 Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom

Dad’s Brownie Sundae – From 50s Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios

Boardwalk Brownies from Boardwalk Bakery

50s Prime Time Meatloaf from 50s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios

Cottage Pie from Rose and Crown in EPCOT

Spicy African Pulled Beef Sandwiches from Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom

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Saving Money on Family Vacations Tips + Ebates Savvy Living Live Chat Tonight!

This is my family on vacation a couple of years ago.  I’m where I prefer to be – behind the camera!

Vacationing together is something we love to do.  Many of our trips include extended family too.  In fact, in a couple of weeks I’ll be heading to Disney World with our 3 youngest kids and my parents.  Our oldest daughter will still be in China and Jim is deep into a very heavy work season, so they won’t be joining us.  Don’t feel bad for them though – we’re hitting the beach later in the summer with my sister’s family.

Vacationing can be expensive, so we are always looking for ways to cut costs.  One thing we’ve learned to do is to rent homes from a site like vrbo.com.  Many of my other cost saving tips center around food.  Here are a few posts I’ve written on that topic: [Read more…]

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Drive. Play. Feed. Sports Season Suppers – Grocery Store Meals

Last week, we talked about packing food to eat on the sidelines.  Or in the car.  Whatever works, right?

But there are times when packing just isn’t going to happen.  When you didn’t make a plan, didn’t have time to think about it, forgot to look at the calendar (please tell me I’m not the only one!).

You still have to eat, but it doesn’t have to be drive-thru.  Here are some grocery store meal ideas.  Print this list and keep it in your purse or glove box of your car.  It will only take a couple minutes to run into the store and grab dinner.

Don’t miss the tips below that will help this plan run smoothly.  With most of these meal ideas, you will have leftovers that you can take home and eat later. [Read more…]

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Drive. Play. Feed. Sports Season Suppers – Pack it!

It’s that time of year!  Fall sports schedules, combined with school starting can lead to lots of drive-thru dinners (and an empty wallet) if you’re not careful.

In my family, the sport of choice is soccer.  We often find ourselves on the sidelines, watching a game during the dinner hour.

And even if it’s not game time, practices usually run at dinner time.  It’s hard to cook when you’re not home to do it.  But with a plan, it is possible to get everyone fed without resorting to the drive-thru.

That’s where this new series comes in.  Tuesdays in August, you’ll find lots of ideas and tips on dealing with dinner, when you’re in the car, on the sidelines or coming home late after a long day.

Here’s the series schedule:

  • August 9 – Pack it!
  • August 16 – Grocery Store Meals
  • August 23 – Rock the Slow Cooker!
  • August 30 – 15 Minute Meals

Pack It!   [Read more…]

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Saving Money on Food for a Road Trip

So far this summer, my family has spent 60 hours in the car together on two different road trips.  And we still like each other!  But that’s another post.

Today, I want to talk about how to save money on food for a road trip or vacation.  This is a subject I’ve talked about before.  It’s important to me, because it’s part of what has enabled us to afford trips together.

Most important is to make a plan and make your lists.

I make lists for:  [Read more…]

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Stay-cation or Vacation; Fun All Over the U.S.

lamberts outside

Who’s ready for summer fun?  Have I got a list for you today!  I’ve teamed up with more than 85 other bloggers to bring you ideas for inexpensive family fun all over the country.

Yesterday, I shared how to eat on vacation (or stay-cation) without breaking the bank.  Today, you can start planning where you want to go and what you want to do.  Check out this list, then pack up your picnic and load up the car!  [Read more…]

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Vacation or Stay-cation, Eating without Busting the Budget

Instead of the usual weekly menu and grocery list, I’m participating with several other bloggers doing a series about Stay-cations.  Tomorrow I’ll have links to the other posts for you.  If you’d like to print a menu + grocery list, please check out the “Menus and Planners” tab at the top of the site.

Raise your hand if you have a stay-cation planned this year.  With the price of gas and everything else, it makes a lot of sense to stay close to home and take in the local activities.  After you budget for all the fun stuff you want to do, it’s time to think about feeding everyone.  Boy, can that add up quick!

It is possible to eat at home on vacation without feeling like you’re slaving away over a hot stove.  And it’s the best way to save money.  We’ve been known to take our food on vacation with us, even if we’re traveling long distances.  Lots of people do this if they are camping or going to the beach, but we’ve even done it in Disney World.  So I know it’s possible to do it at home, make it special and keep it simple all at the same time.  [Read more…]

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Vacation Food – What We Ate and How We Packed It to Disney World

disney candy apples

Aren’t those the cutest candy apples?  We chose other things in this bakery, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these.

We were blessed to be able to take a family vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago.  The first part of our trip was spent with just the 6 of us in a rented townhouse.  For the second half, my parents and sister’s family joined us and we moved to an off-site pool home.  Renting the homes is one of the ways we keep the costs down.  (It also makes for a relaxing vacation.)

Another way we keep the budget under control is by taking our own food.

[Read more…]

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