Families are ALWAYS looking for affordable family vacations. They want vacationkids to help them to save some money. They ask us to find them a "great deal". Many families think exotic Caribbean vacations or an all inclusive family resort vacation are financially out of their reach. Think again! The savings you're searching for might just be found a bit closer to home. Try looking in your refrigerator!
This evening, I was watching ABC News. Reporter Amy Robach did a report, "‘Real Money’ Secrets for Making Groceries Last Longer". The report spotlighted the Dickenson's...a typical family of 4 from New Jersey. The Dickinsons say they have an average weekly food bill of approximately $350 dollars. That translates to about $1400 food bill for this family every month. The family was followed, monitored and taped by a news crew for a week. They even had their garbage weighed and measured.
It was determined that the Dickinsons tossed 13 pounds of their food into the trash in just one week. This amount was right on par with the rest of U.S. households which according to the department of Agriculture, averages 14 pounds of food thrown out per week. That means nearly 25 percent of the Dickinsons’ food budget, or $350 a month, goes out in the trash. The report continued with professional chef Marcus Samuelsson offering professional restaurant insider tips to improve food shelf life and repurpose left overs in the hope of cutting down on waste. He reviewed the differences between expiration and sell by dates. He also demonstrated how to repurpose ingredients to create entirely new menus instead serving of boring left overs to your family.
So this got us to thinking about many of our families who think they can't afford a decent vacation. Let's use the example of the Dickinson's once again. By utilizing Chef Samuelsson's tips they could save $350 per month. That's a savings of $4000 per year!
$4000 could buy a family of four from New Jersey a very nice all inclusive resort vacation. Let take a summer vacation in Mexico for example. For that budget we could offer the Dickinson family roundtrip flights from Newark, NJ on US air to Cancun. Our vacation package would include roundtrip airport/hotel transportation and a 7 nights stay at Sandos Caracol all inclusive resort in a standard room. For those who may not be familiar an all inclusive resort means all your meals, snacks, drinks, hotel entertainment, waterpark & kids club are all included in the package price of $4,078.00.
Looking for exotic Caribbean family vacation instead of an all inclusive resort?...how about an 8 night cruise right out of New York on the Carnival Splendor to Grand Turks and the Bahamas. An outside cabin for the Dickinsons would cost $4,246. This includes all your meals, ship board activities, tips and taxes.
Just think, a great family vacations is obtainable just by paying closer attention to food shopping and prep. Yes, it's more work piled onto your already hectic schedule, but nobody wants to waste food. Besides there is a great reward this time around for reportioning, recycling and reusing food that you already had. Pack your own lunch more often and you can probably upgrade to an oceanview hotel room or a balcony cruise cabin with butler service! Need any further inspiration, put a photo of a Caribbean Beach, a cruise ship or a finely appointed resort room right on the front of your frig. This way if any of your family members complain about the new recycled menus, just point to the photo. It's true...pictures can definitely be worth a 1000 words.