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Old 06-27-2014, 03:59 PM   #1
Crl1817
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Rule of thumb, paying OOP for snacks?

We will have one snack credit per day each on our dining plan. I'm sure we will go over and that's fine. I'm wondering if there is a rule of thumb on when to pay out of pocket. For example, if we are on our first day of our five day vacation and dd wants a snack that costs just $3, should we just pay out of pocket for that one, saving the credit for a more expensive snack later? If so, what's your cut off? Anything under $4, pay out of pocket for the first half of the trip? Some other number?

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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we found that even with only one snack credit per day per person, we were ending up with quite a few snack credits left over toward the end of the trip because the dining plan was so much food and no one was ever that hungry. Rule of thumb depends when you're going. If F&W is on at the time, it's best to buy the 3$ snack OOP and use your credits for the more expensive kiosk offerings (i.e. $7 steak at Le Cellier etc). I would never waste a snack credit on a bottle of water or a piece of fruit, but would be happy to get a Mickey ice cream, pretzel or popcorn.. especially a caramel treat from the Germany pavilion!
Use them as you want the first day or so and see how things go. If you're going through them quickly, I would definitely institute the $4 rule.. however a treat's a treat no matter what it costs. Especially if you go during Free Dining promo. Enjoy!!!!
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:27 PM   #3
lovewdwdvc
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Breakfast

Oatmeal and a couple of other goodies are snack credits so we usually get breakfast with snack credits.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crl1817 View Post
We will have one snack credit per day each on our dining plan. I'm sure we will go over and that's fine. I'm wondering if there is a rule of thumb on when to pay out of pocket. For example, if we are on our first day of our five day vacation and dd wants a snack that costs just $3, should we just pay out of pocket for that one, saving the credit for a more expensive snack later? If so, what's your cut off? Anything under $4, pay out of pocket for the first half of the trip? Some other number?

Thanks!
What's your worst-case scenario? For three people over five days, you have 15 snack credits. If you use those for $3 items instead of $5 items, you're out $2x15=$30. By paying cash for low-cost snacks early in your trip, the risk is that you won't use up all of your snack credits. Does the up-to $30 savings offset that risk?
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:56 PM   #5
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We did have way more than enough food with the deluxe dining plan last trip. This time we will have one table service and one quick service and one snack credit per person. I'll bring a few emergency granola bars, but I'm not planning on a grocery delivery or bringing a lot of food with us. So I'm figuring the snack credits will go to breakfasts as well as snacks. I don't want to be tracking every penny, but it seems a little silly to use a snack credit on a low cost item when I'm pretty sure we are going to use all of them and more. So I think an easy guideline makes some sense.
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Old 07-02-2014, 02:32 AM   #6
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my rule of thumb is I never use snack credits for drinks (isnt cost effective) and i try to keep it above $4.00. But if I see that halfway through we have a ton of credits I start to use them as needed. This has only happened once and it was the first time I went on the dining plan. i guess I was too strick!!

Have a great trip!
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:16 AM   #8
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We rarely use the snack credits on a drink unless it is a specialty item (Shake, float, etc.) The $4 rule is pretty good. Having said that, we learned early on that we use up the snacks before we start paying OOP. They tend to build as your food tolerance wanes after about day 3. You may use more to start, but then be scrambling to use them up at the end!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
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We always have a lot of our snack credits left. This past trip I told everyone that they needed to use it every day. I didn't want 25 credits of candy/junk coming home. So we had pretzels, floats, sundaes, slushes, etc. We still ended up with two each left. We don't use them for drinks or popcorn.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:21 AM   #10
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A lot of the higher cost snacks are plenty big enough to share as well, so you'll use less credits if you use them on these shareable items.

I plan to use our snack credits to feed the 1-year-old, as much as possible. I'm sure most CS places she'll be able to share from our plates, but if I can get her a side of vegetables or a yogurt with a snack credit to supplement that, even better. It may not be the most "cost effective" use of snack credits but since every meal comes with dessert I doubt we'll want very many snacks. (Except for a Dole Whip. There is always room for a Dole Whip.)
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:32 PM   #11
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I've tried different ways and we always end up with 1 or 2 bags full of sacks using our extra credits at hotel checkout. We've tried:
- $4 or more, tons of credits left over
- anything except drinks, tons of credits left over
- 1 snack per person per day, anything you want - still tons of credits left over. Early in the day no one wanted to waste their 1 snack. Then with lunch and dinner, by the end of the day not everyone wanted a snack.
- use your allotment as you please. This is what we do now. If the kids want a chocolate milk mid-day, that's fine. I figured I'd rather "waste" a credit on a $3 chocolate milk than pay it OOP only to take home yet another cookie/rice krispie treat, etc.

There's already at least 2 desserts included that day with meals so I don't mind using snack credits on a drink. Because my 2 kids are young, we tend to share snack credits too (ex. 1 funnel cake is enough, sometimes getting a 2 scoop ice cream in a cup instead of them each getting their own, sharing popcorn, etc.). Because we often go in August and the heat is brutal, we try to drink lots of ice water and use snack credits mostly on ice cream/ice pops anyway. Since many places offer ice cream as a CS dessert anyway, we still don't use all of our snack credits. Some days we'll use 8 credits between us 4 (ex. in Epcot!) and other days we'll only use 2. Our last trip I had no stipulations, didn't pay for anything OOP, and we still had about 8 credits left over at the end of the week.

I'd suggest checking your remaining # of credits after day 3 to determine if you need to start paying OOP for any snacks.
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