As you all know, I am a huge fan of the high/low mix. In other words, I love a luxury bargain. My family is on vacation in Hawaii right now, and I must say that my deal-hunting skills are definitely coming in handy here…it is SO EXPENSIVE. With that in mind, here are some dining tips that have saved us literally hundreds of dollars over the past few days.
1. Costco is your friend. If you’re going to be in Hawaii for a few days, and there are a few of you, it is totally worth a stop at Costco on your way from the airport to the hotel. For the price of a meal at the hotel ($150), we stocked up on drinks, snacks, breakfast items, and sandwich fixins. We also bought a collapsible cooler so we could tote cold drinks and sandwiches to the beach/pool. Our Costco stop might have been our biggest money-saving move on this trip…the fact that we aren’t buying breakfast each morning, mid-day snacks and drinks at the pool, and the occasional “I’m starving” sandwich has definitely saved us at least $150/day (probably more).
2. Check out local eateries. Yes, it’s convenient to eat meals at the hotel, especially when you and/or the kids are wiped out from a day in the sun, and room service is just a phone call away. But put down that phone! It’s always a treat to find great local spots. I find that Yelp is usually pretty helpful here. We’ve found some delicious places really close to our hotel, and the prices are so much cheaper than hotel dining.
3. Get happy. Most restaurants and bars have great happy hours, with prices that can shave big dollars off your bill. If you time it right, happy hour can also serve as dinner.
4. Stock your own bar. For the price of a couple of drinks at the hotel, you can purchase a bottle of premium alcohol at Costco. Throw in a few mixers, and you can pour yourself many delicious adult beverages in the comfort and privacy of your lanai.
5. Don’t ignore coupons! When we checked into the Grand Wailea, they tucked a few coupons into our key folio. We each got a set of coupons, and we were able to stack them and get:
- $40 off dinner at Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (their flagship restaurant)
- 2 free drinks with our meal
- 1000 HHonors points when we spent $50 at Humu
Using the coupons, our bill came to just over $30 for the four of us, which was a super bargain. Plus we got a few points!
To sum up, all of these tips have saved us enough money so that I feel very comfortable splurging on the meals we do decide to eat at restaurants. I love saving money on little things so that I can splurge on big ones: it is the essence of what Points and Pixie Dust is all about!