Hey guys! Today we are going to go over some ideas for cheap and easy meals, and snacks to bring into the Disney theme parks. On our last trip to Disney, we made snack packs before we left our house! This is super easy and very convenient in the long run. About a month before we left I kept an eye on certain items, to go on sale at our local grocery stores. You can do this very easily by just reading the local mailers, that is sent to you weekly. Smiths/Kroger had the best deals I could find. I personally love it when they do their buy 5 save 5 deals! We were able to stock up on some fun snacks like mini Oreo’s, mini chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, and pre-packaged brownies. Other items to consider are peanut butter bars, trail mix, crackers, goldfish, granola bars, and anything prepackaged such as Twinkies or Honey Buns. If you don’t want to make your snack packs before you leave, well that is just fine! I suggest doing it at the hotel the night before, this way you only have to make lunch and throw in a drink, and you are out the door!
I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing… That is a whole lot of sugar! But trust me, you are going to want a good mix of sugar and also protein to maintain their energy. My kids are not big on fruit that isn’t cut up and placed in a bowl for them, and fruit on a hot day just does not appeal to me. I like my fruit extra cold!
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Here are some great ideas to take a look at!
Things I like to personally pack that the whole family can benefit from are V8 Energy drinks, trail mix with added coffee m&ms, jerky sticks, cliff bars, and smoothie drinks. I know, how can your kids drink energy V8 and coffee M&Ms? The caffeine in these items are minimal and we obviously do not down a whole drink or 5 bags of M&Ms by ourselves. I usually pack enough for everyone to share for a little bit of pep in your step! If your teens are anything like mine, when they get hungry or tired they will get super cranky towards each other. Trust me, this saves everyone in the group a whole lot of grief.
If you are packing in a meal, the easiest lunch to pack would be a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich or Lunchables. If you do not want processed Lunchables, you can purchase all of the stuff you need to make your own at a local store. As for drinks, you can pack in Caprisuns, juice or a water bottle. But always remember, water is free at quick-service restaurants.
Things you will need to make this convenient:
Sharp knife, plastic knife, cooler or lunch box and Ziploc.
For those who are on a very tight budget, here are some additional tips. Something we have done in the past, if you are staying at a hotel that provides a continental breakfast, take your bowls of dry cereal back to the room. Then, pour them into a Ziploc for an easy snack for later. You can also do this with granola bars, muffins, bagels or even fruit. I’ve never had someone stop me from taking my meals back to the room. This is a very frugal way to pack in snacks. We’ve all had to figure out money-saving opportunities to enhance our Disney trip, and this will save you just a little more. Money saved around each corner is money that can be spent elsewhere. Your toddlers or young children will not know the difference, I promise! We have preteen/teen and believe me, they now care. Packing in sandwiches every day or eating the same thing for breakfast is beginning to not be an option for us anymore. It’s nice to be able to at least give them a variety of snacks. They are also finally old enough to understand that the less we spend on expensive food, the more we get to spend on souvenirs or must have treats, like Churros! This last time, we struck a deal with them. We eat breakfast at the hotel, pack in snacks and lunch, and then enjoyed a nice sit-down dinner together. We did share a couple of bags of Beignets, Churros, and Pretzels. With growing teens, it seems like they eat every hour taking in snacks and lunch did help keep our cost down quite a bit!
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What is your favorite money-saving ideas for Disney theme parks? Do you have some favorite snacks that didn’t make the list? Add them to the comments below!