Disney Cheapskate - advice needed

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by BigredNole, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. BigredNole

    BigredNole DIS Veteran

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    I am a big cheapskate when I can pull it off and spend where/when I need to. One of the biggest issues I have going to Disney is the cost for food. I never knew you could bring in a cooler (has size limits). When I learned that, I found that you cannot have them wheeled. That's all well and good but the $5 a day locker cost and having to walk all the way to the locker was not appealing. Someone suggested getting a cooler large enough to fit the size restriction and then find a cheap but solid stroller that can fit it.

    Having a stroller again is a game changer for us. Lugging all the stuff around since our DD was out of one became a pain. bringing flip flops for water rides, carrying 3-4 water bottles, storing backpack with medicine, etc. I am going to begin my search for a viable stroller solution. We can park it in one land, do what we want there, then go get it to head to the next land. This gives us storage and an easy way to lug it around. The other benefit is the cost savings on lunches and snacks.
     
  2. Pembo

    Pembo OH-IO

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    I have picky eaters. We always eat breakfast in our hotel room. Lunch is usually at the park and dinner back at the resort. We like to start our parks days at rope drop so we take an afternoon break. We eat our biggest meal at lunch. Dinner will either be at the resort food court or my kids love sandwiches so that will be dinner. When we stayed offsite with a kitchen, dinner was always something quick made in the condo.
     
  3. Alesia

    Alesia DIS Veteran

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    The cooler has to be soft-sided.

    If you're going to leave it in a stroller, be sure to squirrel-proof it.
     
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  5. BigredNole

    BigredNole DIS Veteran

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    We are staying offsite...more bang for more than 50% off. We will do breakfast and most dinners at the resort. Lunch is where the money comes into play. For 3 of us, if we it QS it will be $30+ a day. For $30, I can get enough lunch meat and cheeses for the 12 day trip. The cooler thing threw me for a loop. Not wanting to lug it around, the stroller to store it is great.
     
  6. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

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    I don't know how much you will save if you buy a stroller, to me it wouldn't be worth the trouble toting around a stroller. The meals at some of the places are really big, we share a lot of the time just so we don't waste food and overeat!
     
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  7. SMD

    SMD DIS Veteran

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    Why not just pack things that are safe without being chilled for a few hours? Even a small insulated lunch bag will hold 3 sandwiches. And then it folds flat inside a backpack or small park bag.
     
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  8. TwoMisfits

    TwoMisfits DIS Veteran

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  9. Zhoen

    Zhoen Princess in Shining Armor

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    Umbrella strollers are CHEAP at thrift shops and usually even cheaper at yard sales, like $3-10 cheap... and honestly you can find them for $20 new if you look in the right places. (PS- the "right places" are home, before you go on your trip... not the tourist trap stores after you get to Orlando...)

    We legit had kids in the stroller last time we went, but we also used it to carry stuff, and that 2-liter of soda we brought in with us saved us a LOT of money on drinks! (We drank the free water, too, but it was nice having soda that didn't cost an arm, leg, and kidney.)
     
  10. kuhltiffany

    kuhltiffany DIS Veteran

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    Strollers are a pain. They get moved by CM's and you can't find them, have to be covered in case it rains, collapsed to go on trams and buses. I use a backpack with a built in cooler, freeze juice boxes as ice packs and distribute the weight of lunches between adults. It's only for a few hours until lunch anyway...
     
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  11. David Brent

    David Brent Mouseketeer

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    Agreed. A backpack cooler is the most i will bring to store food for my family. I bring two 40oz hydra flask/yeti type containers and just connect them to one of those big mommy hooks on a stroller. One for me/wife and the other for my 2 kids. We fill it up with ice water before we enter the park and if my kids want to buy a snack etc, we all get the free ice water and just keep filling our flasks, which will stay ice cold through out the whole day.
     
  12. hsmamato2

    hsmamato2 <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad

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    I think a backpack type lunch cooler is the smartest option.... just pack a simple lunch that isn't too heavy,and since you're a self proclaimed cheapskate you can just drink the free ice water.... or just pack pb&j sandwiches,no need to keep chilled, lightweight lunch in a regular backpack! I enjoy NOT having a stroller there anymore personally.
     
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  13. Tinklover613

    Tinklover613 Earning My Ears

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    Look at meal management bags. Bodybuilder suse them to carry around copius amounts of food in a convenient way. I use mine all the time when traveling just for this purpose. Some brands are 6pack bags, fitmark, and isolator. The backpacks are amazing, and all of the bags have covenient pockets for other goodies as well.
     
  14. runwad

    runwad Dis Veteran

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    My kids are 21, 18 & 16 and I kept my stroller just for this purpose. I think it's way easier to push it around with our stuff than carry it! We have a back pack cooler but the sucker gets heavy to lug around all day. And when its hot I don't want anything on me! Different strokes for different folks. I'll be toting a stroller for as long as we go to amusement parks.
     
  15. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    Truthfully this was the one reason I missed having a stroller. Granted, we used to rent the Disney strollers back when they weren't so expensive so we didn't have to fight with it on the busses. But it was great having a place to put our backpack. We would bring a towel, change if clothes for the kid, ponchos, and all that. Umbrella strollers are light weight and simple to fold up. If it makes your life easier, bring one.
     
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  16. pjlla

    pjlla DIS Veteran

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    Breakfast in the room...... instant oatmeal or cream of wheat, muffins, bagels, instant coffee/tea/cocoa (I bring along an electric kettle, paper bowls, disposable spoons/knives), fruit cups.... whatever is shelf-stable without refrigeration and marginally healthy will do for us.

    That is as far as I usually go as far as "bring my own" is concerned.... but I do bring some snacks for the parks (100 calorie nut packs, protein/granola/snack bars, crackers, etc). I don't usually bother with water bottles. I get free ice water in the park, drink it where I am, and toss the cup. I hate dragging a sweaty water bottle around the parks.

    To save money on park foods we do a lot of sharing and have done a lot of reading and research on where to get the best "bang" for our food bucks. I also am not above carrying an empty ziptop baggie for any leftovers that I may have.... sometimes I want them an hour later! Big meals once a day (either a big brunch or a big late lunch) usually is enough for us as well..... and we rarely eat a table service meal unless it involves characters. It just isn't worth it for us! ......P
     
  17. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    We always get a locker, but put a few things in DW's purse. We refill anytime we're near the lockers & make plans to be in that area at mealtime. $5 footlomgs make a nice, hearty lunch (as compare to say PB&J). We end up buying SOME CS food/drinks this way. But, it's the best compromise for us rather than lugging everything around all day.
     
  18. DNA79

    DNA79 Earning My Ears

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    How many people are in your party? We usually have 3-15 people in ours. We are also at the parks from the time it opens until the time it closes, so 14-16 hours. Crazy I know! The backpack cooler was the absolutely best thing ever! We would pack it with our refillable water bottles and any perishables we needed to keep cool for a longer period of time. Now each person was responsible to carry any lunch or snacks they wanted. The exception were small children. The bigger kids were given a drawstring backpack at our resort. If they wanted to bring anything extra, they were responsible to hold and keep up with it. They had frozen Caprisuns, small bottle of water, sandwiches, chips, and fruit. They also packed a few snacks, cookies, rice Krispy treats, fruit roll-up etc... We would eat a big breakfast at the resort and plan to purchase 1 snack and 1 meal, usually ice cream and dinner. You can also split or share the meal. The backpack was definitely heavy in the morning, but the males took the first leg until it was lighter. You csn also take a rest while waiting in line.
     
  19. David Brent

    David Brent Mouseketeer

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    I like to bring a footlong Publix sub and keep it dry, I just get mustard/mayo packets. I have a hydroflask/Yeti 40oz bottle and just keep filling it with the free ice water. My family doesn't drink soda so we bring two 40oz hydroflask/Yeti bottles. We do more snacking than CS/TS foods.
     
  20. danielocha30

    danielocha30 Mouseketeer

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    as a last resort buy only kids meals they are big enough for an adult and you can still bring in any regular bag for snacks and drinks to compensate, I carry a backpack full of snack and non perishable food and we do fine and still save a lot on food, splitting a adult entree will do the trick also.
     

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