Eating on the cheap(er)

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Spook's picture
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Eating on the cheap(er)

So sadly we missed the free dining this November sad We check in on the 8th and it starts the 11th gaah So now we are thinking about getting some groceries to help save some money. We wouldn't be getting much since we are staying at All Star Movies and only (hopefully) have a mini fridge. We can bring cereal and some snacks on the plane with us but would need to buy milk and fruit and such once we're there. I checked Garden Grocer and their prices seem a little high, although I don't know what prices are like at the stores anyway. Do you think it would be cheaper to just take a cab to a grocery store ourselves or have it delivered? Are there any places close to the resort?

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Taxi's are kind of expensive. My friend is handicap and the new cp busing uses a taxi for the handicap accessible bus. For us to take the taxi from the housing near 535 to behind MK for cm stuff to the contemp was like $50 (we didn't have to pay it though since the busing is provided). That taxi is run by Transtar. You might be able to find something cheaper. Then another taxi I took with another freind was like $40 from DTD to the same apartment complex from another company. It might be easier to use Garden Grocer.

It looks like Garden Grocer might be cheaper then a taxi because they have a minimum $40 for the order plus a delivery fee of $14. You would spend $20-$25 at the very minimum on the taxi then add on whatever you would spend at the store plus another $20-$25 on the taxi again. I'm not even sure if there are taxi's that cheap. Prices are relatively the same at Garden Grocer as at the local stores. They might be a couple dollars more. I hope this helps.

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When we don't have a car at WDW we pack cereal, granola bars, snacks, tea and/or coffee, powdered drink mixes like Crystal Light lemonade, and dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins, etc.). Once we reach Florida we buy milk from the resort store. The milk is overpriced, but since that's all we buy it's a heck of a lot cheaper than taking a cab to a supermarket or ordering through Garden Grocer.

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Mears is the taxi cab service you will find on site at the resorts. You can get from any point on property to any other point on property for about $30 including tip. Base prices on the taxis went up last year. I've never used them to leave property, so I'm not sure how much more that would be.

I have used Garden Grocer and was very happy with their products and service.

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I feel Green Grocer is high too, but we never order the minimum required so it doesn't work for us.

Last week when we took a taxi to walmart the first time is was 21.00 without tip each way. The second time we went to the store we rented a car on property for 59.00 taxes and fees included. It was nice getting a car because we went more then one place. While we were out we ate out of the parks and that saved us some money. Just giving you some prices. Make sure you have a frig though before you go shopping. We were told we had one, but it was unplugged. So we were limited on what we bought, but not by much. I also wanted to get bananas but they were to green to buy. They won't have been ripe before we left eek so I paid 1.56 per banana in the resort food court. eek

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I haven't done either, but I thought I'd suggest that if your family will accept almond milk in their cereal, buy it at home and pack it in your suitcases cushioned by your clothes. It should be refrigerated after opening, but doesn't have to be before. You may be able to find soy milk that will accomplish the same mission.

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I would pack a box and mail it down before with any snacks/bottled water/etc you may need. I would buy milk at the hotel and just pay for the higher price. I would not go off property. Even when we have a car, we never leave.

This is why the dining plan makes sense to me. $55 per day is totally worth it for me to have a table service meal, especially since most dinner menus are around $28 - $38 per person. Having a quick service and snack is a bonus! Smile

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Thanks for the tips awesome
I know it wouldn't be any cheaper to take a taxi since I'll spend more if I go into the store. They have so many different items we don't have here in Canada. I could spend hours in Publix laugh
My only thing with the dining plan is that this time we will be there for 2 weeks (we usually only go for 1) and I can see myself getting sick of the food.

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Spook wrote:
Thanks for the tips awesome
They have so many different items we don't have here in Canada. I could spend hours in Publix laugh

Apologies for going way off topic, but I have to ask....like what types of food?? I'm curious what types of food we have down here that y'all don't have "up north". I always enjoy going into a grocery store when I travel abroad. Really shows the cultural differences (and also what we've come to take for granted here in a first world country!)

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Spook wrote:
Thanks for the tips awesome
I know it wouldn't be any cheaper to take a taxi since I'll spend more if I go into the store. They have so many different items we don't have here in Canada. I could spend hours in Publix laugh
My only thing with the dining plan is that this time we will be there for 2 weeks (we usually only go for 1) and I can see myself getting sick of the food.[/quote]

Yea, I can understand that! Two weeks! Whoa! We stayed two weeks once at the Wilderness Campground and loved it!

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We used garden grocer and it was great....although after shipping we paid about $50 for yogurt, hard boiled eggs, coffee creamer, water, coffee cake, and orange juice. It was convenient to have it in our room while we got ready...but I think this time we might wait and eat in the resort...we would probably end up sharing something anyway as we are not big breakfast eaters so we would spend about the same amount of money. I have also heard that Amazon will ship to the resorts but you should make sure ahead of time that the resort will hold it and there is no additional charges. Of course you wont be able to have perishables where garden grocer you can.

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JMUDukz wrote:
Spook wrote:
Thanks for the tips awesome
They have so many different items we don't have here in Canada. I could spend hours in Publix laugh

Apologies for going way off topic, but I have to ask....like what types of food?? I'm curious what types of food we have down here that y'all don't have "up north". I always enjoy going into a grocery store when I travel abroad. Really shows the cultural differences (and also what we've come to take for granted here in a first world country!)

Well nothing real crazy. I just like all the different cereals, cookies, snacks, ice creams etc. I LOVE the Keebler E.L fudge cookies. Those are a must have when I'm in the US biggrin

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Well that's a bummer you can't get Keebler E.L.Fudge cookies. I agree they are the best but I also love the Pecan Sandies.

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With the costs of getting groceries I'm starting to wonder if we should just put the money into the dining plan. Like Eeyore said, $55 a day doesn't seem like a bad deal wink

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I highly recommend the Dining plan. My boyfriend and I have done the math, for us its worth it. We really like the plus dining that has 1 quick service, 1 table service and a snack. Often times the table service would come out to be around $150 or so for us and that's around what we spent on the dining plan. We did the deluxe dining once, that was worth the money but a lot of food since you get 3 meals and at ts you get app, entree, dessert and a drink. I made the rookie mistake of making the ts reservations to close together. Plus you get the refillable mug on the plans as well. That saves money as well.

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Spook wrote:
With the costs of getting groceries I'm starting to wonder if we should just put the money into the dining plan. Like Eeyore said, $55 a day doesn't seem like a bad deal wink

I usually go look at menus and try to tally up what we would order without the dining plan. Even if you take out the dessert at the end of the meal for dinner, it is still close to $40...just for dinner. Not to mention drinks and dessert which is another $10-$15. Then, you also get lunch which is about $12-$20, plus a snack that is from $3-$5. It just makes sense for us! We don't really eat breakfast at home so we would just take our refillable mugs and get coffee in the morning, then toss them in the book bag later in the day.

You can also get FREE water in the park. You just go to a quick service location and ask for iced water. They have to give it to you without charging and you can even ask for a large cup. That will save several $$$ since bottled water is so freakin' expensive.

If I was a picky eater, only drank water, and never had sweets, I would not do the plan. Even though I don't drink soda, I still use my beverage at dinner for coffee or hot tea.

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We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

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The dining plans are a waste of money for me as none of them fit the way I eat. I eat qs & end up spending an average of $35 per day on food which is less than what the qs dining plan costs. Even with the price increases that figure will probably stay the same as I've recently switched to drinking water only with the exception of the occasional glass of soy milk so I wont be buying a drink with my meals but getting ice water for free instead. What I do is load $50 on to a gift card & have one gift card per day & use the gift cards to pay for food. I load $50 just to give myself a bit of a cushion for those days where I seem to spend the entire day starving. That leaves me with $150 give or take at the end of a 10 day trip that I can either put towards another trip or use to buy souvenirs. What I love about using the gift cards is that it gives me all the prepaid convenience & freedom from budgeting as the dining plan but still lets me eat how I want, when I want & where I want. I do bring breakfast with me to eat in the room either a hot pot/electric kettle & instant oatmeal or cold cereal & then buy milk at the resort.

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We don't do dining plans anymore. Not worth it based on how we eat.

I find it too limiting as it doesn't cover all menu items. I think in order for dining plan to be worth it, you must eat everything that's included. As soon as you start skipping desserts or paying extra for appetizers or entrees not covered, it's lost it's value.

If they threw in an alcoholic drink or two with the sit down meals or covered appetizers, it might tip the scale for me. But I don't eat dessert nor most snacks so it just doesn't work out in the end. The room discount offers are a better deal for us.

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angels444 wrote:
We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

I agree! I don't know if I would go without it! I wouldn't want to eat at QS locations the entire time while there. Plus, some of the QS options are basically junk food. They offer a *few* salads and such, but I couldn't eat that everyday for a week. I enjoy having variety. I love the snacks too! I try to get something fun like mickey bar or popcorn on main street!

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Eeyore wrote:
Spook wrote:
With the costs of getting groceries I'm starting to wonder if we should just put the money into the dining plan. Like Eeyore said, $55 a day doesn't seem like a bad deal wink

I usually go look at menus and try to tally up what we would order without the dining plan. Even if you take out the dessert at the end of the meal for dinner, it is still close to $40...just for dinner. Not to mention drinks and dessert which is another $10-$15. Then, you also get lunch which is about $12-$20, plus a snack that is from $3-$5. It just makes sense for us! We don't really eat breakfast at home so we would just take our refillable mugs and get coffee in the morning, then toss them in the book bag later in the day.

You can also get FREE water in the park. You just go to a quick service location and ask for iced water. They have to give it to you without charging and you can even ask for a large cup. That will save several $$$ since bottled water is so freakin' expensive.

If I was a picky eater, only drank water, and never had sweets, I would not do the plan. Even though I don't drink soda, I still use my beverage at dinner for coffee or hot tea.

That's what I spent my day doing today laugh It's looking like the dining plan wouldn't work out for us this time though. I really like the prepaid convience so I might have to look into the gift card thing. Can they be used anywhere at the parks?

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Spook wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
Spook wrote:
With the costs of getting groceries I'm starting to wonder if we should just put the money into the dining plan. Like Eeyore said, $55 a day doesn't seem like a bad deal wink

I usually go look at menus and try to tally up what we would order without the dining plan. Even if you take out the dessert at the end of the meal for dinner, it is still close to $40...just for dinner. Not to mention drinks and dessert which is another $10-$15. Then, you also get lunch which is about $12-$20, plus a snack that is from $3-$5. It just makes sense for us! We don't really eat breakfast at home so we would just take our refillable mugs and get coffee in the morning, then toss them in the book bag later in the day.

You can also get FREE water in the park. You just go to a quick service location and ask for iced water. They have to give it to you without charging and you can even ask for a large cup. That will save several $$$ since bottled water is so freakin' expensive.

If I was a picky eater, only drank water, and never had sweets, I would not do the plan. Even though I don't drink soda, I still use my beverage at dinner for coffee or hot tea.

That's what I spent my day doing today laugh It's looking like the dining plan wouldn't work out for us this time though. I really like the prepaid convience so I might have to look into the gift card thing. Can they be used anywhere at the parks?

Yep! GC can be used anywhere!

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Eeyore wrote:
angels444 wrote:
We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

I agree! I don't know if I would go without it! I wouldn't want to eat at QS locations the entire time while there. Plus, some of the QS options are basically junk food. They offer a *few* salads and such, but I couldn't eat that everyday for a week. I enjoy having variety. I love the snacks too! I try to get something fun like mickey bar or popcorn on main street!

Hmmmm....you guys are making me rethink not doing the DP. May have to do my calculations again!!

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JMUDukz wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
angels444 wrote:
We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

I agree! I don't know if I would go without it! I wouldn't want to eat at QS locations the entire time while there. Plus, some of the QS options are basically junk food. They offer a *few* salads and such, but I couldn't eat that everyday for a week. I enjoy having variety. I love the snacks too! I try to get something fun like mickey bar or popcorn on main street!

Hmmmm....you guys are making me rethink not doing the DP. May have to do my calculations again!!

I def. think it's personal preference, but it just makes sense to me. However, I could see it not being worth it if we stayed in a DVC 2 bedroom with full kitchen. You could cook all of your food instead of eating out. We normally get an appt. when eating out and coffee afterwards so it fits our dining style.

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Eeyore wrote:
JMUDukz wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
angels444 wrote:
We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

I agree! I don't know if I would go without it! I wouldn't want to eat at QS locations the entire time while there. Plus, some of the QS options are basically junk food. They offer a *few* salads and such, but I couldn't eat that everyday for a week. I enjoy having variety. I love the snacks too! I try to get something fun like mickey bar or popcorn on main street!

Hmmmm....you guys are making me rethink not doing the DP. May have to do my calculations again!!

I def. think it's personal preference, but it just makes sense to me. However, I could see it not being worth it if we stayed in a DVC 2 bedroom with full kitchen. You could cook all of your food instead of eating out. We normally get an appt. when eating out and coffee afterwards so it fits our dining style.

Yeah, it definitely comes down to personal situations. It works out great for some and not so much for others. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people just blindly go for the dining plan *assuming* it's a great deal. I think the moral of the stories here is to do some number crunching and analyze your eating habits and preferences and then make the decision.

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KenJ wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
JMUDukz wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
angels444 wrote:
We have always gone with the Deluxe plan , but by day 10 we were rolling around the park, we were so full. This time we went we had no plan at all. Our lunch at Le Cellier was 130.00, Cape May ( all you can eat seafood) was 108.00 with tip , BOG quick service 40 something dollars and is naming just a few. The real stickler for me was the snacks. We use to get 2 free snacks a day , but with plus you get 1 snack a day. This trip we would go to the ice cream cart and the Mickey bars are 3.75. I had to question if I really wanted to have that ice cream bar. Cupcakes were anywhere from 3.50 to 4.50 needless to say I did not do my cupcake crawl this trip. We felt that free Dining plus would be enough for us in the future and would be a great bargain.

I agree! I don't know if I would go without it! I wouldn't want to eat at QS locations the entire time while there. Plus, some of the QS options are basically junk food. They offer a *few* salads and such, but I couldn't eat that everyday for a week. I enjoy having variety. I love the snacks too! I try to get something fun like mickey bar or popcorn on main street!

Hmmmm....you guys are making me rethink not doing the DP. May have to do my calculations again!!

I def. think it's personal preference, but it just makes sense to me. However, I could see it not being worth it if we stayed in a DVC 2 bedroom with full kitchen. You could cook all of your food instead of eating out. We normally get an appt. when eating out and coffee afterwards so it fits our dining style.

Yeah, it definitely comes down to personal situations. It works out great for some and not so much for others. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people just blindly go for the dining plan *assuming* it's a great deal. I think the moral of the stories here is to do some number crunching and analyze your eating habits and preferences and then make the decision.

Yes. I would also recommend looking at menus of ALL the places you plan to visit. Add up everything you would want to order. This helps in figuring that out.

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If the regular dining plan (1 snack, 1 QS, 1 TS) offered the option to do an app OR dessert, it would probably make sense for us to do it. The way it is right now, however, is a waste because we'd end up spending more out of pocket for apps and then skipping the dessert. Deluxe dining is an option but it seems like too much food for hubby and I who normally split meals.

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Allie wrote:
If the regular dining plan (1 snack, 1 QS, 1 TS) offered the option to do an app OR dessert, it would probably make sense for us to do it. The way it is right now, however, is a waste because we'd end up spending more out of pocket for apps and then skipping the dessert. Deluxe dining is an option but it seems like too much food for hubby and I who normally split meals.

I totally agree! I would love it if they offered that. Sometimes I don't feel like eating any dessert, but may have wanted an app instead OR I could get app, DH get dessert! It's a win/win! biggrin

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Eeyore wrote:
Allie wrote:
If the regular dining plan (1 snack, 1 QS, 1 TS) offered the option to do an app OR dessert, it would probably make sense for us to do it. The way it is right now, however, is a waste because we'd end up spending more out of pocket for apps and then skipping the dessert. Deluxe dining is an option but it seems like too much food for hubby and I who normally split meals.

I totally agree! I would love it if they offered that. Sometimes I don't feel like eating any dessert, but may have wanted an app instead OR I could get app, DH get dessert! It's a win/win! biggrin

This would be perfect if it offered the choice. I am a fan of dessert, but at some places, like BOG where the dessert is pretty much cupcakes, it's not really worth it. C'mon Disney!! Give the people what they want!! Apps or desserts!! Freedom of choice!! laugh

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JMUDukz wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
Allie wrote:
If the regular dining plan (1 snack, 1 QS, 1 TS) offered the option to do an app OR dessert, it would probably make sense for us to do it. The way it is right now, however, is a waste because we'd end up spending more out of pocket for apps and then skipping the dessert. Deluxe dining is an option but it seems like too much food for hubby and I who normally split meals.

I totally agree! I would love it if they offered that. Sometimes I don't feel like eating any dessert, but may have wanted an app instead OR I could get app, DH get dessert! It's a win/win! biggrin

This would be perfect if it offered the choice. I am a fan of dessert, but at some places, like BOG where the dessert is pretty much cupcakes, it's not really worth it. C'mon Disney!! Give the people what they want!! Apps or desserts!! Freedom of choice!! laugh

You know, that simple change would be all it would take to make it work for many more people. awesome

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I love my desserts but I also think they should make that change. I also wish they would let you downgrade meaning use a TS credit for a QS, or QS for a snack. I know not many people would use it but sometimes we find there is just too much food! Rather than leave an entire meal behind, it'd be nice to at least get a snack.

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