It’s likely the flights, accommodation and theme park tickets have left you with very little money in reserve for food for your holiday of a lifetime in Orlando. But fear not, there are plenty of dining options for those on a serious budget. The area is brimming with restaurants; and with so much competition you can eat out at a very low prices.
What’s more, the Americans like to serve up HUGE portions, so restaurant food can go a long way. However if you’d prefer to scrimp even further, make your own food. You can get almost anything your stomach desires from one of the many supermarkets around.
It’s certainly hard to go hungry!
How to Save Money on Food in Orlando
1. Cook your own food.
If you stay in a hotel with a kitchenette or a villa, you can be as thrifty as you like. Start the day with a hearty home-cooked breakfast and wind down with a low-cost dinner. Pack sandwiches for the journeys and snacks to take into the park to keep you going! You won’t have to travel far to find a good supermarket and remember the prices at Wal-Mart cannot be beaten! If you shop late at night, you might pick up some discounted food too. If you’re not planning on hiring a car, you can also order non-perishable food items from Amazon and get them delivered to your accommodation.
2. Avoid table-service restaurants in the parks.
They can be very expensive, especially for a family of four. Your best bet is to head to one of the buffet restaurants and fill up for the day. Choose hearty food for lunch that will keep you going for the rest of the day. In most places children under two go for free!
3. Take your own snacks and drinks into the parks.
While you’re not allowed to take full blown picnics and ice-packs through the gates, there is some leeway. Stock up at your local supermarket and take in some bottles of water. There are plenty of water fountains where you can refill.
4. Ask for a sample!
If you fancy an ice cream, pop into a store and ask to try a few of the flavours. Most shops are more than obliging. Bakeries might let you try the cakes too.
5. Hunt out bargain restaurants in advance.
Cracker Barrell does an awesome breakfast at great prices. Golden Corral is another good option for breakfast with an all-you-can-eat buffet for just over £5 a head. They serve pretty much everything you could ever want for breakfast, including ice cream and brownies! You’ll end up bursting at the seams so it will be unlikely you will need lunch. Sweet Tomatoes, Sizzler, Ponderosa and Denny’s Diner are chain restaurants that offer value food. Also check out restaurant.com before you go, you can buy vouchers in advance to get a percentage off your bill at selected restaurants.
6. Go out of season.
Some of the restaurants in the parks raise their buffet prices a few dollars during popular times of the year.
7. Share food.
Restaurant portions are renowned for being huge (think two chicken breasts instead of one in standard meals! – in addition to the free soup or salad you often get as a starter) so ask to split your food with your children or even another adult. This request is popular so don’t feel awkward about it.
8. Ask for an extra bun!
If you’re ordering burgers, a nifty trick is to purchase an extra bun for less than a dollar to make the food go further.
9. Get refills on drinks.
If you’re desperate for a soft drink in one of the parks, invest in a refill cup that can be topped up at selected outlets. Just buy one (approximate price is £6+tax) and share it! Remember there are water fountains located throughout the park.
10. Pick up a coupon booklet at the airport or in local supermarkets.
These brochures feature a vast range of money-saving deals, including two-for-one dining, kids eat free promotions and free starters.
11. Take advantage of early-bird dining options.
Find restaurants where a discounted menu is on offer and take full advantage of it.
12. Take up senior citizen offers – if you’re over 55!
Some restaurants such as Perkins and Denny’s offer a dedicated menu with smaller portions and smaller prices. Just don’t forget your ID.
13. Invest in an Attraction Tickets Direct Kids Eat Free card.
This offers unlimited children’s meals over a 14-day holiday at more than 130 affordable restaurants.
14. Take home your leftovers in a doggy bag.
Most restaurants will probably offer this to you, but if not, don’t be shy in asking.
Article was originally written for Cheapflights.