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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
You scour the internet for the best deals on flights and lodging when planning a trip. So don’t throw all your financial cares to the wind once you’re on vacation — particularly when it comes to putting food in your mouth.
It can be easy to overspend on food when you’re away from home. You’ve got to eat, and food just seems to be more expensive when you’re traveling.
But with some advanced planning and creative thinking, there are ways to lower your food costs on vacation.
1. Pack Snacks
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Bring snacks from home so you don’t have to buy overpriced airport fare or get stuck paying convenience store prices for munchies on a road trip. Trail mix, granola, crackers and apples are all good for traveling.
2. Bring a Water Bottle
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No one wants to pay $5 for a 16-ounce bottle of water. But tourist spots capitalize on you not having other options to quench your thirst, and airports won’t allow a bottle with more than 3.4 ounces of liquid to pass through security.
Take an empty water bottle with you and fill it up at a water fountain, a fast-food joint or straight from the tap. You may even come across filtered water fill-up stations.
3. Go Grocery Shopping
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If you’re staying somewhere that has access to a kitchen, go grocery shopping and cook instead of eating out for every meal. Or if you’re driving to your destination, bring non-perishable groceries from home or pack up a cooler with ice for things that have to stay cold.
Even if you don’t have a full kitchen, there’s a lot you can do with a mini-fridge and microwave. Cereal, oatmeal, muffins, fruit and yogurt make for easy breakfast options. You can whip up sandwiches for lunch for a fraction of the cost of having one made at a deli. Don’t forget to stock up on snacks.
4. Choose Lunch Over Dinner
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If you’re dying to sample the food at a high-profile restaurant, go for lunch when the prices are often cheaper. Once you’ve had your nice meal of the day, choose a cheaper option for dinner, such as a quick-service restaurant or sandwiches in your hotel room.
5. Find Discounts
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Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer deals on dining — in addition to discounts on …….