List of budget tips (repeat post from a few months ago)


DIS Veteran
Aug 18, 1999
Budget tips I or others in my group used:

1. I got several envelopes from the bank and made envelopes for the hotel, the basketball tickets, each day's food money, tips, souvenirs, gas, and other expenses. I only took the envelope I would need for the day with me. This really helped me stay on track.

2. Order water with your meals instead of soda, tea, etc. It is free and more refreshing–add lemon or lime to brighten it up. For the kids ask your server to make them a "water-tail". (Add cherries, lemon, etc. to the water and the little toothpicks)

3. You can get a FREE cup of water from any counter service in WDW.

4. Pack Kool Aid/Gatorade in ziploc baggies and add to the FREE cup of water you can get at any WDW counter service.

5. Pack snacks in fanny packs, back packs or stroller. Some people even packed sandwiches.

6. Check out the costs of meals in restaurants (Deb Wills site has menus) and compare with buffets. Sometimes it is cheaper to eat a la carte instead of all you can eat. At buffets EVERYONE is charged regardless of what they eat. If you order from a menu you have more control, especially if you have light or picky eaters in your group.

7. Adults can eat kids meals. Often the pbj, chips, cookie and small soda (supplemented by that free water) was a big enough meal.

8. Order an appetizer as your main course in a restaurant.

9. Make lunch your "big" meal, especially if dining in a restaurant.

10. Look around at the portions being served in the restaurant. Many restaurants give you large portions–some dinner salads I had were HUUGE. It may be possible to split an entree (and maybe an appetizer) with someone else in your group.

11. Decide exactly how hungry you are before you order. Are you really hungry or just ordering from habit–appetizer, entree, etc. Do you need the full meal (complete with salad and sides) or would something smaller do?

12. Purchase the refillable mugs at your resort for any heavy "drinkers".

13. Keep a cooler in your room with sodas and snacks in it. And lunch meat and stuff for sandwiches.

14. Keep a cooler in your car with sodas in it. Great for the ride home from the parks–even if it is only five minutes.

15. Look at all of your ticket options and have a general idea of your plan. Because of the time of year we went (Nov.) We decided against PLUS passes. We figured we would only go to a water park ONCE and not do any of the other PLUS options, so it was cheaper to buy a regular hopper and if we went to a water park to pay that admission separate. We ended up not going to any water parks because of the weather.

16. If going with a large group, decide how to split things like hotel, car rental, etc. in advance. It's better for everyone to have a clear idea of who is paying how much, etc. Every restaurant we ate at was willing to write different checks so we could avoid the "who owes what" confusion.

17. Take advantage of the free/cheap things to do. Lots of neat stuff at Ft. Wilderness, window shopping (if you can control yourself), visiting the resorts & Celebration and just "hanging out".

18. We gave out Disney Dollars as birthday, Christmas, etc. presents from the time we learned about the trip. This gives the kids their "own" money to spend. Likewise, give Disney Dollars as part of your children's allowance.

19. Once your plans are "final" (plane, hotel and car) keep checking for a better deal and try to take advantage it.

20. I joined several rewards programs and did test drives to get a little something for our trip to WDW. Please hop over to the Rewards Forum for more information on rewards programs.
Thanks for all the great tips. I'll be sure to print these out to use when we go.
Thanks Belle for bumping this up!
We could all use these reminders every month or so!

A tip that I can add is this :
We pack our own cereal, bowls, and spoons, Pop-Tarts, Nutri-Grain, etc, and have breakfast every day in our room. Not only does it save money, but it saves valuable time as well!


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