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Thread: Tell me about your food budget

  1. #26
    we got the dining plan for the first time ever for this august (it was free and less than our out of pocket budget)...but, every time we have gone with kids since 2006, we budget $10 per person per meal per day. there are 5 of us and my husband has envelopes with cash for food only for each day and he grabs the days envelope at the beginning to the day and off we go. if a kid decides to eat a $3 breakfast, they have $7 left for either a snack or their lunch/dinner, whatever they choose. there are a lot of qs meals that are big portions too, so hubby and i share sometimes in that case. Obviously if we do a character dining, that goes on a card, but this method has worked beautifully and no one has ever gone hungry. we also get water only for meals outside of our resort and that alone is a huge savings. it can be done on a budget!

  2. #27
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    That definitely wouldn't work for us unless we skipped breakfast and had $15 each for lunch and dinner. I don't think I could very easily find adult entrees under $10 for lunch and dinner. Disney food inflation since 2006 means $10 in purchasing power then is worth about $5 now. And a character meal would mean not eating anything else for two days.
    Last edited by DopeyRunr; 07-19-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    a character meal would mean not eating anything else for two days.
    *lol* I like that food budget idea of saying "Dinner is covered, and you each get $15-20/day depending on age/appetite (adjusted for WDW inflation) to buy breakfast/lunch/snacks as you see fit." The kids could learn value, be less manipulated as consumers and make them happier to share/cooperate. And whichever kid has money leftover at the end of the trip to buy souvenirs is a good choice if you ever need help managing your retirement ;)
    Jan-Feb '05 ASM, Jan-Feb '06 Pop, Jan-Feb '15 CBR, April '16 AoA, Aug-Sept '16 CSR, Oct-Nov '16 PORr, Feb 1-5 '17 PORr, WMHS Band April 6-13 '18 AKL, Mar 5-10 '19 AoA

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strangeite View Post
    The calculus changes even more when you start looking at the restaurants at the resorts.

    A typical day for us is:
    Breakfast in room
    Rope Drop
    Leave park around noonish
    Pool time/naps/snacks or light lunch in room
    Dinner at a resort
    Back to the parks
    Exactly what itís been like for me when Iíve visited. IĒm not a huge ďthree meals per dayĒ kind of person, so often a granola bar is all the breakfast I want, plus a cup of coffee. Kids (grandkid now) eat cereal and an apple in the room. Iím usually very busy in the morning so donít even get hungry until after noon. Then, if not going back to the room because I like going in the winter and the hours can be short, weíll sometimes get a big Mickey pretzel or even a QS meal to share during a lull in our activity, then have dinner at a resort or a park. Sometimes itís QS again, depending on where we are and what our day has been like.

    I have beer in my room, to drink one after the kid(s) go to bed fairly early. GS was 5 when I went solo with him, and he was beat by 9 PM and we were up for rope drop again the next day. Since I was in the room with him, I spent some time reading, having a beer, looking over our MM photos, etc, and tried to get to bed before midnight myself.

    This year Iím going with a friend, so we will be all adults and the thing that will change is dinner- weíll likely have a TS meal most evenings and likely a couple of cocktails after park close somewhere.

    I like great food- but Iíve never had a Ďgreatí WDW meal wherever I went in the parks or resorts so I gave up and just eat something small when Iím hungry. Part of that is because of the need for ADRs (I donít know what I want to do on January 13, let alone what I want for dinner or where!) and part of it is just that for the same amount of $$$ somewhere else, I could eat very well. Maybe Iím wrong, and there is wonderful fine dining, but thatís not been my experience and I definitely donít want to give up park time to have an ďokĒ sit-down dinner. I have done fun dinners with the kids when they were little- chef Mickeyís, Rainforest Cafe, but for me thatís because of them. Iím thinking of trying Saana this year- just to try it this once and I hope that I enjoy it.

    So for budget, weíre not huge eaters, but cereal, milk and fruit and the room for the kid(s) (cheap, but call it $2 each), lunch something very small, maybe $5-8 each, and dinner can be whatever you think you would make you happy. Snacks for us have been apples and raisins, brought in my pack for the little ones or maybe one Dole Whip. I estimate last trip I spent $50 a day on most days for a 5 year old and myself, with one Chef Mickeys visit the outlier. But again, I donít usually see anything that I want, I donít drink soda or other drinks, I donít eat things like ice cream treats, etc.

    No way I could ever justify the dining plan cost, and would avoid it. But for others who are really into big sit-down dinners while on vacation, it might make sense.

  5. #30
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    all adults and... likely a couple of cocktails after park close.

    ^Sounds fun Lorenae!
    Do try Sanaa, it is an awesome experience. Arrive 20 mins early to request a window table &/or enjoy the animal views, and of course try the bread service. Sanaa won't disappoint.

    The value of table service can be underwhelming. 3 of us spent almost $300 at the Wave and while it wasn't 'bad', I couldn't help but think we'd get much better elsewhere. We still indulge for sit downs tho, mostly for the more relaxed atmosphere where we get a rejuvenating break, talk about the trip and really connect with our only child who is quickly turning 18 next year. Many lovely memories from TS.
    Jan-Feb '05 ASM, Jan-Feb '06 Pop, Jan-Feb '15 CBR, April '16 AoA, Aug-Sept '16 CSR, Oct-Nov '16 PORr, Feb 1-5 '17 PORr, WMHS Band April 6-13 '18 AKL, Mar 5-10 '19 AoA

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