Groceries or cheap food?

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by HuskyGal, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    Hello. We are a group of 3 adults and 2 small kids. I have question about food. I’m wondering what people do to keep costs down for food. Is there grocery delivery like prime now or do people use Uber/Lyft/taxi or rent a car for a day or is it cheaper to just eat the fast food in the resort or across the street. We may rent a car for a day or two so we could grocery shop on day one.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. kiford

    kiford DIS Veteran

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    We weren't terribly concerned with keeping costs down when we were at Aulani, but I can say that even I was a little appalled at the price for the Makahiki buffet (though we did it twice for breakfast and twice for dinner and the food was really good) but we just mainly didn't feel like going down for breakfast most days. We also had a great location, shady on the balcony so having breakfast in our room was really nice. One day we spent about 3 hours just chilling in our room in our PJs, spreading out eating over that time with coffee and relaxing on the balcony. Really nice (four adults). So we went shopping at both Walmart and Costco both of which are reasonably close to Aulani. We bought juice, eggs, coffee, bacon, fruit (oooh the pineapple...). We did have a car so were able to stop there on our way from the airport.

    For dinner, we did go to the mall across the street to eat (Monkey Pod and one other place, I forget the name). It's walking distance. We did lunch/snacks a couple of days while in Aulani; the other days we were out at other places like Dole Plantation, Waikiki, and Pearl Harbor. I think it's totally worth renting a car to do some grocery shopping and eat in your room at least for breakfast and a few other meals especially if you want to hang around just relaxing in your own space and you'll definitely save money at the same time. With kids, I think you'll save a great deal since they probably won't eat anything like your money's worth at restaurants. But I would do the Makahiki character meal at least once.
     
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  4. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    There is a decent deli and hot food section across the street at Island Country Market as well as some grocery items.
    It is on the expensive side for groceries but if you dont rent a car it might make up the difference in price (For example if a rental car costs $50/day and you dont rent one then you essentially have $50 more to spend on groceries)


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  5. newdeal

    newdeal DIS Veteran

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    Food isn't cheap in Hawaii but if you really want to save money on food then I would go to Costco it seems to be the best deal. As for eating in Ko Olina you can expect to spend a fortune on generally very mediocre food. Some people seem to like MonkeyPod but I found it to be expensive and not that great. I liked Roys the best by far, its not cheap either but at least it was good. That said, if it were me, I would be inclined to save money by staying one less day and just buying food instead of spending hours a day cooking and cleaning dishes
     
  6. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I don’t plan on going crazy gourmet but I would like to keep easy breakfasts and snacks on hand. We have a reservation for the character dinner and are excited about that. I’m thinking of using Charley’s for airport transfer then checking out the abc store the first day. We are going in October. Does Alamo run out of cars or is it plentiful enough to rent a car last minute?
     
  7. jodybird511

    jodybird511 Mouseketeer

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    I will say that you certainly won’t save money by doing Ulu for all your meals. It’s pricey—not typical “fast food” pricing. For a kid’s PBJ with carrots and celery sticks, it’s $9. Also, the selection is VERY limited. You’ll be over it in a couple days. We bought about $200 worth of groceries at the outset and have only eaten two meals out in the course of 6 days. I highly recommend groceries if you are in a villa. We shopped at Target. Also, we bought easy meals and certainly spent no more than 30 mins on food prep per day. You have a dishwasher, so it’s nothing to clean up.
     
  8. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    I assumed no dishwasher since pp commented about dishwashing being a pain. Thank you! I saw that about the kid’s pbj. Yikes, Makes me think those uncrustables are worth it now. As far as car rental, I will most likely go with Costco but since parking not included will do just daily.
     
  9. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    Something I have always done because I have one kid who is a very picky eater is bring some dry goods for snacks from home.

    Obviously stuff that travels well and doesnt weigh much. I bring things like a small peanut butter, granola bars, tea bags (we are Canadian and I prefer my tea brand over the Liptons one I see everywhere in the USA) sometimes ketchup if we are staying a long time (Canadian ketchup is sweeter) I know it sounds crazy but I bring a bag of bagels because if we are up early it makes for a quick breakfast
     
  10. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    If it were me, I would not rent a car for the sole purpose of buying groceries. But it is convenient enough to stop in Kapolei for groceries if you are renting a car for other purposes. Otherwise, check out the store across the street as mentioned and then decide whether you need to Uber to get more or not.

    We were in a studio, so we stopped at Target and just bought beer, water, milk cereal, bread, lunch meat, etc. Snacks and things easy to make in the room without a full kitchen that we could have for quick breakfasts and lunches to help on food costs. We had a few breakfasts and meals at Ulu Cafe and all of our dinners were out - one at Makahiki, and the rest off-site, both across the street and elsewhere. We also purchased the refillable mug which we thought was worthwhile because we used them all day at the pool and beach and whenever we ate at Ulu. The refill stations were convenient enough that it was easy to stop for more.
     
  11. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    THanks for your responses! Our reservation is for 7 nights. Is there enough to do at Aulani? I was thinking 3-4 days of swimming and kids club would be entertaining then we’d likely want to explore some other places like turtle beach, Waimea falls, byodo temple, shrimp trucks (not gonna lie, I’m all about trying the shrimp trucks). Not a ton of activities but some. Parking and car rental is so expensive though that it would be easy to convince me to just stay put and try those places across the street. My 6 yo DD is getting interested in cooking though so I don’t think I will totally get out of cooking on vacation!
     
  12. Disney_Fan_01

    Disney_Fan_01 Earning My Ears

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    I would recommend getting a car and exploring at least 2 days out of Aulani if you are staying a week. North Shore and East Oahu are really beautiful and not to be missed. Parking is free for DVC members and guests using points.
     
  13. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    We are staying on the dvc special but parking is not included!
     
  14. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    I probably sound cheap. Well I am cheap.
     
  15. Disney_Fan_01

    Disney_Fan_01 Earning My Ears

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    You are doing the right thing by understanding cost/benefit of having a car. As mentioned previously, you don’t need a car for groceries as you can get most of everything at the island country market across. It is really convenient as well and prices are slightly higher, but you pay for the convenience. If parking is not included, then you may want to consider renting car for a day or two for site seeing.
     
  16. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your support!
    I think we will get an itch to explore after a few days. One or two days for car rental through Costco is reasonable. DD is getting pretty independent in water and may be ready for snorkelling. I want to get her one of those new fangled face masks. How are kids at Hanauma Bay? Do they like it? Do they need water shoes?
     
  17. alohamom

    alohamom DIS Veteran

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    My kids have been going to Hanauma Bay since they were very little. I think my son was about 5 when he went out the first time with us but my kids are very strong swimmers. The water is pretty shallow and there are some places of the reef that are close enough to shore that you can stand and put your face in. Another option that we used for our kids when they were young was a boogie board with a face mask built in but again we never let them go out alone. Even now, when we go as a family, it is two and two or all four at once, never only one person.

    Ours wasnt this big but this is just to give you an idea

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  18. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

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    You don't really need shoes at Hanauma Bay. The bottom is soft and sandy. Of course, there are many places where you can't touch the bottom because there's only coral below you, but it's not sharp there like say at Sharks Cove (which I know is rock, but the idea is the same).

    We loved our new fangled one piece masks--worth every penny!!! I'd also recommend taking your own horse collar style vest. They pack totally flat and they gave me extra peace of mind in some places (like where there were no lifeguards). Hanauma Bay is huge, so it's easy to get way out and find yourself tired. It's pretty shallow most places, but there are spots where a child that age might not be able to touch bottom. Just something to think about. I highly recommend it; it was a highlight of our trip!
     
  19. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! My DD has been learning about predators and is scared of sharks (lol) so it might not even happen! Can we borrow life vests from Aulani or do we need to bring our own?
     
  20. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    So cool! Thank you!
     
  21. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    Where can we get these?
     

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