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Old 05-13-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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My girlfriend and I are going to be traveling to Portland OR for a week this summer. Our first hotel (suburban) has a full kitchen but our second hotel (downtown) does not have any kitchen or refrigerator. I called the second hotel and asked if they could provide a refrigerator and they said no. My girlfriend has a sensitive stomach when it comes to eating heavy restaurant food and I know a good way to save money while traveling is to eat out less.

We would like to A) Have a minimal food budget while on vacation and B) Eat healthy while on vacation, but these two things seem difficult to do when we cannot prepare our own food or store perishable food anywhere

Can anyone think of some ways to save on eating expenses and eat healthy even though we won't have a refrigerator to store food in?

Splitting meals is the obvious one, but I'd rather eat an entire 500 calorie meal full of light healthy items as opposed to going to a restaurant, buying a 1,000 calorie meal and splitting it. For my girlfriend eating half of a 1,000 calorie restaurant meal would give her an upset stomach but eating 500 calories of fresh light food would be OK.
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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A bottle of wine, a few slices of prosciutto from the deli, a block of cheese, a fresh bakery roll, and some fresh fruit. Great lunch or dinner.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
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No matter where we travel, I find a market of some sort. There are mylar bags that are insulated you can find in almost every supermarket, so take one with you. That way you can easily store cheeses or other semi-perishables - enough for a day or overnight - without having to worry about a refrigerator. Plus, nearly every hotel we've stayed in has an ice machine.

In addition to the mylar type freezer bags (I've seen them in the dollar stores also near the frozen foods), you can buy an insulated bag that would hold even more and they often have shoulder straps so you can lug them around with you.

Depending on whether you'll have a car, you can also grab a styrofoam cooler, found everywhere from supermarkets to chain pharmacies to dollar stores. We did that in San Francisco where the hotel had no refrigerators and I just kept refilling it with ice.

Additionally, supermarkets have redi-made foods in their deli counters and, as a poster above mentioned, delicatessens. It isn't an either/or - eat out or refrigerator.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Almost every restaurant has "light" options...even fast-food places nowadays! Yes, having a kitchen can be cost-saving, but you don't have to eat heavy just because you're eating out!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Portland is a foodie's heaven. Even the many food trucks there will offer healthy, low-cost options.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
stuff
Those are very good ideas, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
Almost every restaurant has "light" options...even fast-food places nowadays! Yes, having a kitchen can be cost-saving, but you don't have to eat heavy just because you're eating out!
I think I may have misused the word "light." To me "light" means healthy, fresh, and light on the stomach. In my experience the "light" options at many restaurants are usually just smaller portions of heavy meals (not light on the stomach).


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
Portland is a foodie's heaven. Even the many food trucks there will offer healthy, low-cost options.
Yes, we may give the carts a go. Sometimes it is difficult to determine how nutritious the carts are though. Hopefully some will have nutrition information available.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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in the same vein as the insulated bags, a collapsable cooler and a bag of ice (or ice from the machines if available) can work wonders

combined with a local market and you can usually lock down a meal or two and some snacks in there ..... warm food prep is a little more difficult, but you may be able to supplement a little bit of that at markets as well
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:39 AM
 
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No need for a fridge, just put ice in the sink and put your food in there, cover with a towel. Remember to pop the drain so water doesn't pool.

I leave for 4 days at a time, eat 2-3 meals a day out of a small cooler. Carry several frozen (home made) meals in glass tupperware, a few slices of leftover pizza, etc. Sometimes I have to buy one meal, normally a burrito, for around $7-$8. Pretty good for 4 days.

Try to stay at a hotel with free breakfast like a Hampton.

I do it because it's healthier and I get around $120-$130 in per diem over those 4 days so I just bank the $$.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:35 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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I usually eat on $3/day whether traveling or at home.

Small Grocery and farm stands are my shopping (NOT trendy Farmer's Markets... I rarely pay over $.50/lb for anything. $3/lb for fresh, wild Columbia River Salmon.(had some tonight, yum). Come in August, wild berries are FREE. Many folks have plenty of extra produce. Go to Grocery early in morning when they glean the wilted stuff to entice (too) picky USA consumers. The wilted stuff often gets trashed. There are local farms to glean.

Portland has free concerts in the parks most nights of summer. I just grab some goods at a nearby grocery. Usually fruit, veggies and SMALL piece of cheese. Eggs... now THAT is cheap. Get extra peanuts from airline.

Carrots will keep you chewing for a week and can be had VERY cheap in 25# bags (<$10.00 for BOTH of you for whole week)

I can't think of the last time I ate in a restaurant while traveling. (except happy hour).

I stay in private guest homes (there are MANY in Portland). Just like couchsurfing, but a little classier. $10/night with one and often 2 or more meals. Been doing it all over the world for over 25 yrs.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete6032 View Post
I think I may have misused the word "light." To me "light" means healthy, fresh, and light on the stomach. In my experience the "light" options at many restaurants are usually just smaller portions of heavy meals (not light on the stomach).

Yes, we may give the carts a go. Sometimes it is difficult to determine how nutritious the carts are though. Hopefully some will have nutrition information available.
This pretty much is a description of PNW cuisine. Avoid the chain restaurants, and you have no problem. There are a lot of Asian cuisine restaurants, which tends to be lighter.

It'll probably be easier to determine the nutritional content at Food Carts than it is at a restaurant. You are aware that Portland has about 600 of them? This website will give you a good overview of them.
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