Self-catering holidays are popular due to their inexpensive nature. You’re paying so much less that it makes little sense to go for all-inclusive or even partially catered-for holidays instead. But so many people find that, in the end, they spend far more money than they would have with a different type of holiday as they spend a lot of money on food. It’s very tempting to go eat out for every meal, especially because the kitchen in your accommodation tends to be very minimal and not very spacious. If you prepare in the following ways, you’ll be able to make the most of your self-catering holidays without spending tonnes of extra money on food.
Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan. Sit down with a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet on your computer and begin plotting meals for your holiday before you go. Plan your breakfasts (often buying cereal and milk is the cheapest way to go and while it may get repetitive it’s a cheap way to nourish everyone and energise them for the day to come), lunches, and dinners.
You’re on holiday, so don’t be too strict. Set money aside to eat out occasionally, as this can really help you feel the holiday spirit. A popular option is eating in for breakfast, making packed lunches, and then eating dinner outside the home somewhere when the evening rolls around. This is a very good way to save money and plan ahead, but you may find it works out cheaper if you eat out for lunch rather than dinner. Allow yourself some wiggle room, but try to think economically.
The first things to buy when you get there are bread and toppings. Sweet or savoury doesn’t matter, as long as you can take advantage of the cheap option of homemade sandwiches, as this can make a big difference. They also offer a lovely way to snack in the middle of the night if you get hungry, without filling the kitchen or fridge with items you won’t be able to take along when you go home.
Cooking is difficult due to the size of, and the equipment in the kitchen. Consider nipping to Sainsbury’s or Asda and buying inexpensive ready meals. A family-sized lasagne from Iceland costs a few pounds and will easily feed four people; all you’ll need to do is shove it in the oven and wait for it to be lovely and hot through. These big comfort-food meals can be an excellent way to recharge in the evening after a long day of walking around.
If you plan ahead you can budget for food for your self-catering holiday, use simple tricks to make sure everyone is full and eating delicious foods, without spending a large amount of money that tots up to the total cost of an all-inclusive holiday.