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View Full Version : Anyone cook all or most meals at their site?


GinnyFavers
12-04-2008, 03:25 PM
I'd like to hear from people who cook all or most of their food in their own RV or cabin, or tent site.

My husband would really like to rent a cabin next summer, but the per night cost is so high, we need to cut back in other areas.

I'd love to hear about what your actual costs ended up being, for food, if you did cook all or some meals on your own.

I know the temptation of Disney Dining can be almost as strong as Disney souvenir shopping! But we would try to be strong.

In the past, we budgeted $50 per day per person for food, but that was doing a lot of sit down meals in Disney's restaurants, character breakfasts, etc. Hoping to get that substantially down.

Thanks for your experience & input, in advance!

2goofycampers
12-04-2008, 05:24 PM
I don't have any $ amounts, but if we are doing parks, we eat breakfast at our camper, a lite lunch at a park and dinner at the camper, either grill something or have something ready for us in the crockpot. If we aren't doing parks we eat our meals at the camper, Earl of Sandwich (best value at WDW), we also get the chicken dinner or a pizza (add your own salad) to go from Trails End.

njcamper95
12-04-2008, 07:17 PM
You would be surprised how much you could save if you eat your breakfast and / or at least some dinners at your site think about the cost of a few hotdogs or hamburgers vs the cost of a sit down meal sure you can save but its also nice to see some of the other resorts also so i would try both unless your really pinching those penny's then eating at your site would save a bunch we try to eat most meals at our site we will snack for lunch but try to eat breakfast and dinner at our site big difference i will say half or less

SewBzzzy
12-04-2008, 07:26 PM
We've stayed at the Fort a number of times and ALWAYS eat three meals a day at our site. As a treat, we allow ourselves one snack/treat a day at whatever park we're visiting that day! Saves a lot of money!

LarryJ
12-04-2008, 07:41 PM
I'd like to hear from people who cook all or most of their food in their own RV or cabin, or tent site.

My husband would really like to rent a cabin next summer, but the per night cost is so high, we need to cut back in other areas.

I'd love to hear about what your actual costs ended up being, for food, if you did cook all or some meals on your own.

I know the temptation of Disney Dining can be almost as strong as Disney souvenir shopping! But we would try to be strong.

In the past, we budgeted $50 per day per person for food, but that was doing a lot of sit down meals in Disney's restaurants, character breakfasts, etc. Hoping to get that substantially down.

Thanks for your experience & input, in advance!

I'm sorry but for two people I don't see how you could eat at mostly sit down places 3 meals a day and only spend $50 per person per day. I might be mistaken but anything like a character breakfast is going to cost you at least $20 a head.

We just left and for just the two of us the cheap places and that with the DDE so our tip was basically included in the actual cost of the meal.

Tony's 31.00 for lunch
Plaza restaurant 29 for lunch
Boma 100.00 for dinnerm (included $26.00 bottle of wine)
Trails End Buffet 40.00 for dinner
Cape May Clam Bake 74.00 for dinner
WCC 61.00 for lunch
Flame Tree BBQ 20.00 for lunch

We just spent 40+ days at FW and ate out 10 times out of 120 potential meals.

Larry

christinou
12-04-2008, 07:49 PM
We always have breakfast in the camper, generally come back to the camper for lunch and a rest and dinner in the camper or out depending on the mood.

mdoc
12-04-2008, 08:36 PM
We don't cook all or even most of our meals at our campsite, but we can definitely keep it under $50/person/day. We usually eat breakfast in our camper, and we'll carry snacks and water bottles into the park in a backpack. The kids still buy snacks in the park, but they're constant grazers so having our own snacks along helps. We usually do counter service in the parks, and maybe one or two TS dinners over the course of a week. For 6 of us, we'd usually get 3 adult CS meals and 1 child's meal, because otherwise we'd be throwing food away. I believe Trail's End is the most inexpensive buffet on property and that's usually one of our TS meals. I usually have lunchmeat in the camper for when we're at FW during the day, and I bring my crockpot and sometimes make a crockpot meal if we'll be at our site for dinner. I also precook food at home to microwave in the motorhome on the drive down (20+ hours!) and I always have leftovers that we can eat at the campground. Frankly, we've never tried to keep food costs down, but we don't spend a fortune on it because dining isn't a priority for us at Disney.

SunshineCamper
12-04-2008, 08:51 PM
We stayed last week-monday through sunday-even ate thanksgiving dinner at the campsite. :lovestruc
Black Friday we went to DTD- ate late (lunch) at Earl of Sandwich $30-2 adults and 2 children. We drink water-not bottled- but out of the soda fountain. It's amazing how much ice tea, soda, lemonade costs after adding up 4 drinks ($7-$8):scared1: .
We spent a little more on groceries this time due to Thanksgiving. But it was still cheaper than the thanksgiving meal being served at the Backyard BBQ:eek: .
The only thing we forgot for the week and bought at Meadows was tomatoes for the salad. Oh and we needed another doz. eggs for breakfast. Not bad I thought and didn't need to make a Publix run-got it all before checking in.:cool1: Now that's scary.

We didn't hit any theme parks-just enjoyed the ft. The crockpot was the best thing invented for camping!:goodvibes We use it every trip. (hey I'm on vacation too):rolleyes1

We used disposable plastic ware and plates (not on Thanksgiving day-we used our best plastic:thumbsup2 )-it makes clean up a breeze.

this is a great post:thumbsup2

bama_ed
12-04-2008, 08:56 PM
Ginny,

We have stayed in the cabins before and also more recently in our pop-up at FW. We have 3 kids (now 15, 13, 10) so we know where you are coming from.

We always eat breakfast in our camper/cabin at FW.

We usually pack a picnic lunch in a soft-sided backpack cooler to eat in the Theme Parks for one meal. Disney will let you take food in as long as it's not a hard-sided cooler, no glass bottles, and no alchohol. I rent a locker once we get in the park to stash the food until it's time to eat.

We eat one meal in the Theme Parks at a restaurant somewhere between fastfood/counter service and full sit-down. Look at the menus on the DIS - we like the Plaza restaurant (which is mostly salad or sandwiches/fries with waiter service at MK or the Columbia House at MK).

We also have been known to take our crockpot from home so supper can cook while we are out having fun during the day. We don't spend every day in a theme park (for us it's over $400 per day) so we can pick and choose. Also for variety and value, the food court restaurants at Port Orleans Riverside (Riverside Mills) and Coronado Springs (Pepper Market) have good food at good prices - best values on property.

If we do Disney Dining or full sit-down service our food costs go up exponentially. Disney food is only okay for the most part-you pay for the surroundings. We also buy our groceries outside the Fort on Apopka-Vineland Road at the Winn Dixie - only 10 minutes from the Fort entrance. You'll have to calc your own averages but we spend about $50-100/day total for 5 people depending on how many of the food courts mentioned above we hit and restaurants.

It is certainly something within your control.

Good luck!

Bama ED

we3peas
12-05-2008, 06:24 PM
We've done the eat the meal thing in the parks and we actually prefer our own food. We eat early breakfast, pack a lunch in a backpack, including water bottles, small snacks, and come back to the RV for dinner and late night snacks (smores at campfire or treats in RV).
I only have one child and we don't do alot of snacking though. When we do it's usually healthy things like apples or carrots. Usually one time a trip we make it to Ghiradelli for our expensive chocolate fix but other than that we eat in for almost every meal.
We couldn't afford to go if we did eat every meal there...we are really frugal.

GinnyFavers
12-05-2008, 06:34 PM
I'm sorry but for two people I don't see how you could eat at mostly sit down places 3 meals a day and only spend $50 per person per day. I might be mistaken but anything like a character breakfast is going to cost you at least $20 a head.
Larry

Nope, didn't mean that. We spent $50 per person per day, with some sit downs (some very expensive ones, at that) peppered in with a lot of counter service and even some off site things like Pizza Hut delivery. On an average day, we'd do one sit down at the most, it varied.

GinnyFavers
12-05-2008, 06:37 PM
We've stayed at the Fort a number of times and ALWAYS eat three meals a day at our site. As a treat, we allow ourselves one snack/treat a day at whatever park we're visiting that day! Saves a lot of money!

Do you go back to your site for lunch, or pack one?

laurafergie
12-05-2008, 06:41 PM
We camped at the Fort this past March. Me, DH, DS22, DSGF19, DD17, DD8 and DD4. We ate breakfast and dinner at the campsite every night. (Brought along the crockpot and grilled) Each of us took snacks and water bottles into the parks.

We ate one character meal at Crystal Palace for Lunch. (think it was about $125?) DH and I and the 2 little kids ate lunch at the Toy Story Pizza Planet one day also.

Total $$ spent for food was just under $300 for the week for 7 people. It was only this high because we did buy tons of snack food and pop, as well as the meal food. Of course the character meal took a big chunk of the budget. We were on vacation after all. :)

Anyway - it can be done and we definatly did not feel deprived. But this is how my family vacations. We couldn't afford to feed everybody otherwise.

LarryJ
12-05-2008, 06:49 PM
Nope, didn't mean that. We spent $50 per person per day, with some sit downs (some very expensive ones, at that) peppered in with a lot of counter service and even some off site things like Pizza Hut delivery. On an average day, we'd do one sit down at the most, it varied.

Sorry I just took your statement

In the past, we budgeted $50 per day per person for food, but that was doing a lot of sit down meals in Disney's restaurants, character breakfasts, etc. Hoping to get that substantially down.

as being most (i.e. more than 50% and included multiple character breakfasts, etc.) were sit down meals not CS. I guess a lot is what I misconstrued the meaning of.

Also budgeting and then following it it another which I have been known to be guilty of. :lmao:

We just spent 52 days (43 at WDW) on the road this last trip and we spent just over $1300 on food (almost $900 at WDW restauarants for like 12 meals, but two of those were for 3 adults with wine and totaled amost half of that amount ... Ca Grill, and Flying Fish) and we took a heck of a lot of food both frozen and canned/boxed with us ... probably close to $300 so that's was $1600 for two people for 52 days and we did eat 3 meals a day and fed 3 adults for 2 weeks so that's about 200 meals or about $8/per person per meal.

Larry

TheFlame
12-05-2008, 10:06 PM
We have just returned from our 2nd trip this year(11/18-11/29):wizard: that would not have been possible if we hadn't left home with a strict budget in mind. We hoped and planned on spending $30.00 a day on food including the days traveling from and to home and the days we didn't spend in the parks.

We camped at FW in our 5th wheel in a full hook-up(least expensive site) and were lucky to have cable already hooked up so we didn't have to pay the preffered price!:thumbsup2

We ate breakfast at the camper everyday and on the days we cooked, we cooked on the griddle and in the toaster oven outside. The other days we had fruit, bagels and cereal.

The only meals we ate in the parks were lunch. We did have a few snacks in the parks but we carried our own water(stop at any counter service and get a free water) and juice boxes in our backpack as well and plenty of snacks to keep us from getting hungry before heading back to the campground at night.

At night we either cooked on the grill or we had soup and sandwiches.

You will spend most of your money on food at Disney. We have AP's so that allows us to come and go at the parks and we don't feel as rushed to stay and get alot in and just eat in the parks to save the trip back to the campground. We didn't do a character meal this trip because we went to two last Oct. and two this past January. Another reason we didn't do any table service or character meals is because the prices went up(holiday rates) while we were there and I don't think the meals are worth the cost.

With all of that said and keep in mind that the only meals we didn't eat on Disney property were Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving, Red Lobster for dinner one night and Taco Bell for lunch one day and some days we didn't even go into the parks, we spent $16.00(averaged) a day on this 11 day vacation!!!!!!!!!!!:scared1: :worship: BTW....I just have to mention this, our bill at checkout with all room charges for site, food, internet and gifts on our KTTWC was less than $1000!!! I am soooooo proud!:goodvibes

I researched and really planned for this trip or it would not have been possible. I also promised my husband that I would stick to budget so that we could stay at least 10 days. It helps to plan and you don't have to do much cooking to save money on food.

WDWinfo.com has great links to counter service menus that will help you plan alot of inexpensive meals at Disney. We now know where to eat in the parks that will be more than filling, delicious and money saving. It also saved us alot of time to ride the rides rather than plan our days around where we would be eating and what time we had to be there if you have to make reservations.

Good luck and I hope I didn't bore you to death! I love planning budget friendly Disney trips! It saves money for pins, clothes and toys for the kids!:)

hegsag
12-05-2008, 10:33 PM
For those that mentioned using crockpots can you please give me a list of meals that you make in the cc? Just looking for some ideas...

2goofycampers
12-05-2008, 10:54 PM
Here are some to get you started.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1064017

Judy Judy Judy
12-05-2008, 11:32 PM
What we usually do is of course eat breakfast in the tt and we eat a heavy lunch out in the parks and a lite supper at the tt. Crock pots are your friend and so is the grill...hehe

Cindy F
12-06-2008, 12:50 AM
I never realized what oddballs we are until I started coming to the DIS LOL! We've been to Disney over 35-40? times in the past 8 years (resident seasonal passes) and have never stayed on site and rarely eat at the restaurants.

As a matter of fact, the only TS dining we've ever done was Liberty Tree Tavern, Sci Fi (yuk), 50s prime time cafe, and San Angel Inn. We pretty much eat typical breakfast stuff in the hotel/rental home/campsite for breakfast.

Lunch: Take wraps (flour tortillas with ham/cheese etc). Lays chips in the can, cookies in an empty Lays chip can (to prevent squashing), grapes in a Lays can (yes we love the Lays cans ~grin~), frozen water bottles with crystal lite packs, and frozen juice bags. Favorite spots to eat: on the train, on the TTA, standing in long lines, Aunt Polly's, during shows etc.

Dinner: same place as breakfast

For meals I bring:
premade taco meat, tortillas, and fixins
premade spaghetti sauce and noodles
salad stuff
premade chicken and rice
assorted canned and fresh veggies and fruits
youngest DD loves Beef Rice-A-Roni with scrambled hamburger so I always bring some of that premade.

Walking Tacos are good at the campground: just open a single serve bag of Fritos, dump in shredded cheese, taco meat, salsa, sour cream, lettuce...etc fold the top of the bag over, shake it up, open and eat with a spork right out of the bag.

You can stop by Ebay and pick up a Mickey and Minnie pocket sandwich maker for about $50. These things are FANTASTIC! Two pieces of bread with anything in the middle you want, grilled ham and cheese, taco meat and cheese, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella, pie filling with a little powdered sugar on top....etc It seals them up, melts/heats everything inside and cuts out a big Minnie or Mickey head with face. I love ours. Hope you found something useful in my ramble :)

Swimnoid
12-06-2008, 01:57 AM
We have stayed at the cabins many, many times (sigh....long time until next trip) and like the previous poster we bring a lot of what we eat with us. If you are driving this is a great way to save $$.

I'll usually make several easy meals and freeze them so they only need heated up to eat. Our favorites include spaghetti and meatballs (or meat sauce), tacos, manwiches, chicken enchiladas, lasagna. We usually grill steak and/or salmon one night. Sometimes we will grill hamburgers and hotdogs but not usually since they are so available in the parks for quick service lunches. And we will stop at the Winn Dixie for a frozen pizza, lunch meat, breakfast stuff and snacks.....and cookie dough!!!! (but if you get cookie dough you need to bring a cookie sheet. That's one thing they dont have)

Every trip is different. Sometimes we eat out a lot and sometimes we eat mostly at the cabin. At the very most we probably eat out once per day and we do include a few favorite restaurants on every trip.

Have a great time!!!!

PixieDust32
12-07-2008, 03:49 PM
We eat Breakfast and dinner at the site. We do eat at the parks sometimes, burgers, dogs, that kind of stuff. It saves us a lot of money when we eat at the site.

mike k.
12-08-2008, 01:33 PM
We have the pickiest eaters in the world!LOL
We usually eat all of our meals at the site Except for the night we arrive which is usually a Saturday evening. We also do the HOOP-DEE-DOO-REVIEW, a must see every time .
We pre-cook breakfast meats(bacon,sausage,etc.), meatballs,a few desserts, and other items that freeze and travel well before going. Use paper plates and plastic utensils/cups. We don't want to waste any more time preparing meals and cleaning up than we have too, but find that it's a great money saver which allows us to do other things like cart rentals or MNSSHP or boat rentals,etc.
Hope to be going in Oct.09
Jealous of everyone who's been there this year!!!!
Happy Holidays to everyone,
Mike in Pa.