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Food Budgeting

Eugene, Oregon
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815 posts
55 reviews
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Food Budgeting

Hello everyone :)

I'm working on my budget today so that I can make sure that we are saving sufficiently for our upcoming vacations. My area of focus at the moment is our food budget. We don't want to skimp on food....we like to eat. :)

Most of my breakfast locations are unplanned at the moment, although we will probably hit Kihei Cafe at some point. (We are staying in Wailea.) We don't plan to have extravagent breakfasts, and in fact will likely have some things in the room for days that we don't want much. We won't have a kitchen, though, so in-room breakfasts will be bagels and such.

I have budgeted $15 per person for most breakfasts, with the exception of breakfast at the Kula Lodge which I have budgeted $20 per person.

Many lunches are undecided and will probably be whatever is close by, and probably somewhat light. I'd really like to hit plate lunch and bento box type places. For those lunches we've budgeted between $15 and $20 per person. We plan to have lunch at Mama's Fish House (I'll be making reservations) and for that lunch I've figured $30 per person.

For dinners I've budgeted $25 per person when we are eating at casual eateries (none of which I've selected yet), $25 for dinner at Cafe O'Lei, and $40-$50 per person when we are eating somewhere a little nicer.

We will probably have one drink each with our dinners. The kids, obviously, will not be drinking. :) But they will be 12 and 17 when we travel, so they won't be ordering from any kids' menus.

What are your thoughts on the budget? Should I increase the amounts that I'm figuring for each meal? I do have an "overages" budget line item, so it isn't the end of the world when we go over. I just want to make sure that my assumptions are relatively close.

Thank you all in advance!

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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46,967 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Food Budgeting

Aloha,

Your breakfast budget is good.

Your lunch budget is also good, except for Mama's..........make it 50.00 per person.

Dinner budget prob needs to go up some, if you order drinks as mentioned, and if you order any desserts/pupus/extras.

You are in a good range though!

Portland, Oregon
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228 posts
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2. Re: Food Budgeting

I have to agree with swmarket. You had me until Mama's. But it is not totally out of line. Just up it a bit for dinners and I think you will not be unpleasantly surprised.

Factor in Shave Ice and $20 or plus a pound coffee for the condo too. You can get cheaper coffee, that is just one of my 'treats', but substitute your treats there. :)

Eugene, Oregon
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815 posts
55 reviews
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3. Re: Food Budgeting

Thank you! I bumped all dinners up to $50 or $60 per person, even for the kids who won't drink or eat appetizers. I'd rather over budget than under budget.

Birmingham, Alabama
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5,520 posts
39 reviews
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4. Re: Food Budgeting

We shared a salad and an entree at Mama's for lunch and drank water and spent exactly $50.

Had dinner there another time and spent closer to $100/person ... if that gives you any idea.

Your new buget will allow you some splurges ... and if you have $$ leftover, hey, that's great!

Florence, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Oregon Coast
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5,990 posts
19 reviews
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5. Re: Food Budgeting

As a general rule of thumb, I've found both dining out and groceries to be about 30% higher on Maui than here, with the notable exception being Mama's.

Kihei, Hawaii
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2,022 posts
110 reviews
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6. Re: Food Budgeting

more then 1 meal can be taken at the Kihei Cafe, lots to try. Big Wave falls into this category well too as with pancakes at almost everywhere. If into lox and bagels I would throw that smelly fish in my mini bar with capers and onions and get a toaster at the Salvation Army.

lunch also very easy even picking Da kitchen with its ridiculous priced Kalbi for $17 and a coke keeps you OK. much more on the menu. here I go with cheese burgers and fries cause they dont compare with Oahu, nah they will be fine. Vidads is missed by everyone in the Longs parking lot, Philipino and local fare, Island Surf building has a deli also with local cuisine. L&L and Minute Mart fit this tab also. dont be affraid of the minute mart, Mauians love it.

upping your dinner helps you with Cafe O Lei, extensive menu and with your main you will probably do oysters, sushi or some kind of appetizer for sure. my kids like Cuatro 100%, ages 18 17 15. Cuatro is BYOB and very small, reservations. another BYOB is 808 Bistro also adorned by my children, they all love the goganzola alfredo with shrimp, chicken, vegetables or plain. good budget I think you will be OK.

Chicagoland
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20,283 posts
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7. Re: Food Budgeting

Are you SURE you don't want a condo instead of a hotel? LOL

I spend about 15% more for groceries on Maui than I do at home (near Chicago). We're living more 'home away from home' on Maui -- most meals and coctails on our lanai enjoying the view. I don't even want to think what we'd be spending to eat every meal 'out'.

Eugene, Oregon
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815 posts
55 reviews
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8. Re: Food Budgeting

I'd LOVE to do a condo over a hotel, but we are getting the hotel for free on Rewards points, and free is too good to pass up.

Thanks for all of the info - I am taking notes. :)

oregon
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262 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: Food Budgeting

We did the great deal on a hotel and then eat all meals out with kids a few years ago on the BI. Even though I carefully planned, by the time the extras get added in (soda, dessert, tax), it was a bit more than we expected.

If I had to do over, I would have enjoyed a nice lunch out, then got some takeout (even a sandwich from grocery store) and sat on beach to watch sunset. We ate cereal in room for breakfast so saved there. You are smart to plan for food costs.

We now do condo and eat all meals there and consider all our food savings as money for the NEXT trip to Maui.

Nanaimo, Canada
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23,413 posts
80 reviews
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10. Re: Food Budgeting

Don't forget about happy hours too! I love the 5 Palms, very close to where you will be (just south of the Kihei Boat Ramp) and YES, kids are allowed in there. They just can't sit at the bar. All pupus are half price, and they are often enough if you had a bigger lunch. They also have a set meal special from 5:00 until 6:00, I think, not sure of the times, but for 30.00 you get an appetizer, main meal, and dessert. VERY yummy!