View Full Version : Tight Budget

08-16-2005, 08:35 AM
Can anyone help with tips to cope with just 1000 dollars between 2 people staying in florida for 16 days, and then new york for 3.
Theme park tickets will be already sorted.

08-16-2005, 08:55 AM
Is that your spending money or are you looking to pay for you hotel with that, too?

08-16-2005, 08:57 AM
oh sorry for not been precise....hotels, transfers, theme tickets, flights etc are all paid for.

Spending money will be used for food, and the odd shopping. were not crazy shoppers etc.

08-16-2005, 08:59 AM
well I am going and we are a family of 6 I am bringing 1200 for 10 days. Everything is paid for I just need to eat and buy suvies. ok here is what we are doing bringing cold cuts on the plane enough for the whole week we will eat a sandwhich and salid by the pool each night. we are eating some breakfast in the room bagels and cream cheese. We are also bringing snacks with us. so the only time we are going to be eating out is at lunch and for us our hotel is kids eat free. so thats how I am planning it. I am also bringing lots of crystal light drop in mixes and 2 coolers of soda for dh. :cheer2: :cheer2: he thinks we will be fine I think we might need more we also have an add 150 in disney dollars. 2 free breakfast at dennys and 60 dollars in dennys gift cert. :cloud9:

08-16-2005, 09:01 AM
what are cold cuts?... Sounds like a plan.
Maybe if we found cheap restaurants, eat outs, take aways etc

08-16-2005, 09:30 AM
what are cold cuts?... Sounds like a plan.
Maybe if we found cheap restaurants, eat outs, take aways etc

lunchmeat is like ham and turkey. we like to use coupons that you find all over Orlando to save money on eating out! we also get soda and snacks and breakfast items to keep in the room to save money there. If you have a AAA card, many resturants will give you a discount also.

08-16-2005, 09:54 AM
don't even think of bringing in any food from outside the country into Florida. Other places have drug sniffing dogs; Florida airports have food sniffers. The agriculture department there is VERY strict. You will be better off buying stuff in a local supermarket.

As far as saving money in Orlando...eat breakfast in your rooom, split a counter service lunch, eat dinner off property (2 peaple can easily eat at IHOP for less than $20). In NY, there are tons of good and moderately priced ethnic places where you can eat cheap, particularly chinese. Just keep out of the touristy places and you'll be fine.

08-16-2005, 10:00 AM
When you say $1000, is that US currency? (don't mean to sound stupid, but you never know :) ) If so...whew, $52/day for 2 people AND that includes NY? It will be a challenge. Food might be doable, but I don't see alot of room for anything else.

Since you say you have "transfers", then that means you won't have a car? I assume you are staying on Disney property?

If you don't have a rental car, then it will be harder to save money on food. Our last trip, before Magical Express, our town car included a grocery stop where we purchased breakfast pastries, bottled water, cold cuts and snacks. That saved money. But it would probably be cost prohibitive if you're taking Magical Express, to rent a taxi or car to take you to a grocery store. And since your info says you're from Ireland, if you're flying in from there, I can't imagine you can bring much in the way of groceries with you :teeth: (although it reminds me of that "I Love Lucy" episode where she's trying to smuggle a salami in the plane by pretending it's a baby).

I would go to allearsnet.com and read all the menus at the resorts and parks. That way, you can set up a realistic budget of what food will cost you. You can write down specifically those places that are more affordable. You can also read about tips for saving money such as splitting one of the huge hamburgers/sandwiches in the park for lunch and just buying extras french fries or order from the kid's menu (DH and I are big eaters, but we were able to do this a few times and we were always full afterwards.)

I would also suggest Downtown Disney. They have a McDonalds, and Earl of Sandwich is nice and reasonable.

Just be certain that the two of you decide up front exactly how much you are spending on food. Take that cash and put it aside. Each day, only put exactly that days allottment in your pocket. That way, you won't get carried away spending and find yourself in trouble towards the end of your trip. Which is just SO veyr easy to do at WDW ("oh look, I think I want a giant Mickey rice krispie head! I can't live without it!" ;) )

Good luck to you!

08-16-2005, 10:34 AM
were staying in International Drive, when i said transfers i meant from the airports etc.
i'll have a look at that website.

08-16-2005, 10:46 AM
Wow, that will be REALLY tight! Is there any way you could make/save more money before your trip?

Here are some tips for saving money -- sit-down restaurants at WDW are less expensive for breakfast and lunch. Dinner at the counter service (fast food) restaurants is the same price as lunch, so if you plan to have one meal at counter service and one at a sit-down restaurant, go to the sit-down for lunch and the counter service for dinner.

Instead of ordering alcohol or soda ($2 each) with your meal, order ice water which is free. If you are yearning a soda, order a large and share.

Food portions at WDW are quite large -- consider sharing one meal between the two of you. (DH and I will often split a meal and then share a snack a few hours later.)

Adults can't order children's meals at sit-down restaurants, but can order the children's menus at counter service restaurants. On a recent trip, for $3.99, I was able to get a small soda, chilled grilled chicken, vegetables and dip, and crackers -- very filling.

If you really want to dine at a sit-down restaurant and would prefer to dine closer to dinner time, make a reservation for the latest lunch slot available (often around 3-3:30 p.m.). You'll dine closer to dinner, but be charged lunch prices.

Consider eating two meals and a snack -- say breakfast, late lunch and a snack in the evening.

Instead of purchasing bottled water, drink from drinking fountains or ask for a cup of ice water at one of the counter service restaurants.

Avoid shopping in the parks. We always go to the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney to pick out one souvenir each towards the end of the trip.

I hope this helps!

08-16-2005, 10:48 AM
were staying in International Drive, when i said transfers i meant from the airports etc.
i'll have a look at that website.

Do you have a rental car? You'll probably want one! Even the hotels that run shuttles don't run them very often.

Also, plan on paying for parking at the WDW parks -- $8 or $9, I think per day.

08-16-2005, 11:18 AM
no i dont drive

08-16-2005, 11:32 AM
it is possible- we regularly allow $65 a day for food etc and manage well. we are not foodies so are quite happy to eat at cici's golden coral,ponderosa and sweet tomatoes. having been a few times we don't buy souvenires- maybe an car arial topper if there is a new one out. our only vice is an pap so we can spend lots of cheap days at the water parks!! not long now going sept 20th :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :banana: :banana:

08-16-2005, 11:47 AM
no i dont drive

You'll basically be at the mercy of the hotel shuttle then -- if they have one. I would definitely find out if the hotel has a shuttle to WDW and if so, how often it runs.

If you can change your hotel plans, you might be better off staying on-site at one the WDW hotels -- it would certainly be more convenient. The WDW resorts have WDW transportation -- busses to each of the parks run every 10-15 minutes or so. It would not necessarily be less expensive to stay on-site. However, if your plans can be changed, you might want to look into one of the Value resorts. As a bonus, if you stayed on WDW property, you could take the Magical Express bus to/from the Orlando airport for free.

I'm assuming you've already booked your airfare, hotels, etc., but if not, I would recommend staying for a shorter time than 16 days in order to spend the money on staying on-site and on spending money.

I'm certain you can have a lovely time staying off-site with your current plans, but you will be at the mercy of your hotel shuttle and your budget will be quite tight.

08-16-2005, 11:49 AM
Are you staying in Manhattan when you travel to NY? Prices there are extremely high...even for a sandwich for lunch and dinner. Forget about eating at the hotel. If you can get by on really, really cheap eats in FL and save up to $100 for each day in NY, then I think you have a go at it...its just that NY will surely cause some budgetary problems...eg. coffee at Starbucks is something like 7 or 8 dollars for just coffee...nothing special. Good Luck.

Jen D
08-16-2005, 12:00 PM
Well.... NY is certainly expensive but a plain coffee at Starbucks is not 7 or 8 dollars, it's like 2- 2.50. Go to the delis to get them cheaper, for a buck and it is perfectly good coffee.

On just about every other corner in New York has a deli. Looks like a convenience store, but has a counter. You can get great sandwiches, made to order, for 4-6 dollars each. You can get drinks, fruit, whatever else here too.

I don't know where you're staying but 9th Avenue can be great for cheap eats. Chinatown is good too.

$52 a day in NY for two isn't comfortable but it is very doable. You might even scrape by a sitdown meal, if it is in a diner or a very low-key ethinic food joint.

If you find yourself in midtown at lunchtime on a weekday some of the food carts are actually excellent, especially in the Rockefeller Center vicinity. Of course hot dogs and sausages are always a must, but seek out the Daisy Mae's BBQ cart... 6th and 50th maybe? Also falafel carts are always good.

Enjoy! I actually think an enterprising person will have much better luck finding good cheap eats in NY than in WDW.

08-17-2005, 04:46 AM
thanks guys for all your help. I going to try and re-budget things, and will let you all know how i get on.

Can anyone put me in the right direction for menu costs at all parks and international drive etc.


08-17-2005, 06:54 AM
Try allearsnet.com for WDW menus. I think for international drive you may need to search their names to find menus. Buffet places like sizzlers, ponderosa, golden coraal, sweet tomatoes are reportedly v. cheap. Bahama breeze, tu tu tango race rock etc have good reports. From the downtown disney area crossroads can reportedly be reached on foot and has range of cheaper restaurants.You can use the idrive trolley bus very cheaply to travel around . I think it is about 5 for the week. This connects with the lynx buses around seaworld I think and lynx can be used to get to the travel and transportation centre at WDW. The lynx would cost a bit more. I'm afraid all this is purely hearsay because we dont make our first visit until October !

08-17-2005, 07:52 AM
what are cold cuts?... Sounds like a plan.
Maybe if we found cheap restaurants, eat outs, take aways etc
cold cuts are sandwhich meat :cool1:

08-17-2005, 08:32 AM
for budget meals, International Drive is one of the best places to be. Most hotels have little coupon booklets good for buy-one-get-one free dinner, % off meals or free drinks. Lots of buffets that are bargain priced, just follow the signs! We like the I-trolley. It will take you up and down International Drive for not very much. We have used it to go to Sea World and the mall.

CiCis pizza is a great bargain place to eat, its not far from Wet and Wild, maybe a few blocks. There are also some fast food places like McDonalds and Pizza Hut. There is a grocery store right on International called Goodings. Its very very expensive, but it would still save you money if you bought your snacks and soda there instead of the hotel snack bar. If you don't have free breakfast with your room, you might want to pick up breakfast items too.

08-17-2005, 03:21 PM
Can you let us know what hotel you are at? That might help folks point you in the right direction as far as, where the cheap eats are. Hopefully your hotel has a free shuttle, some hotels actually do charge for the Disney shuttles and that will add up quickly.

As to NYC, some thoughts:

Plan on walking a lot. If your budget is that tight, you really don't have money for cab fare. They sell an unlimited 1-day fun pass for $7 that will give you bus and subway rides for a full day up until 3 AM. Check the neighborhood newstand or ask at the concierge desk at your hotel to find out where to buy, they do not sell these at regular token booths or through the vending machines. Still, if there's two of you, that's $14 per day. If you're going to take the train/bus more than 3 times during the day, you come out way ahead.

Avoid fast food. It's really not any cheaper than getting a quick bite at the deli anyway. Avoid tourist trap food- don't eat in Times Square, everything there is tourist priced. Take that handy dandy unlimited Metrocard and go prowl around in Greenwich Village- NYU is down there and there are plenty of small, inexpensive and interesting food places to keep the college kids from starving to death. Generally, you'll do better with dining if you stay off the tourist track and find "neighborhood" kind of places that don't get overrun by visitors.

If you're very lucky (ask at the hotel) you may be within walking distance of a supermarket. Don't expect anything big and shiny, NYC "supermarkets" are small, often claustrophobically so, and high priced, but if you've got a Food Emporium or Gristede's, etc, with a deli counter and prepared food, you can save a bit here and by picking up sandwiches and other light food/snacks at slightly lower prices than the neighborhood deli. If you've got nice weather, a quick stop can supply you with the goods for a lovely (and free) picnic in Central Park.

If you happen to be smokers, and you need more, buy in FL before you go to NYC, or else you'll get nailed for $6.50-$8.00 per pack.

Pick up a copy of the Village Voice and the other free papers (Metro, AM NY, etc) to see what kind of cheap fun entertainment may be going on. You'll find listings for inexpensive and even free concerts, comedy shows, art showings, etc.

Good luck!