"" Writer's Wanderings: Maui - The Cost of "Paradise"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Maui - The Cost of "Paradise"

Nothing in Hawaii is cheap. At least nothing we've found. Right now the cost of gas is $4.44/gallon, the most expensive in the U.S., I hear. While shopping in the grocery store (Safeway was recommended as the least expensive) I noticed the cost of Dunkin' Donuts coffee was $11.95/package and of course we all know that no brand of coffee comes by the pound anymore. The 100% pure Kona coffee was out of sight. We saw a blend for $15/"pound".

The idea of staying in a condo was that we could save some money by cooking most of our meals but unfortunately, by the time you buy the necessary ingredients, you have spent more than it would cost for a meal in a reasonably priced restaurant because you have to buy a whole can of spice or pound of butter or other ingredients that you will not use up in the time you have left for your stay. But we managed to work our way around the problem and still eat well and hopefully healthy.

Cereal, toast, peanut butter, jelly, and fresh fruit from the farmers' market up the street from us have given us relatively inexpensive breakfasts. We opted for a cheaper brand of coffee--we'll survive.

For lunch, we've found that sandwiches with lunchmeat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato along with chips and carrots are satisfactory. We did eat out at MacDonald's one day and paid about a dollar more per meal for each of us than we would back home. But one cannot survive on McD's alone--not unless you want to qualify for the Biggest Loser Show.

Dinners were a challenge until we decided that we could order out at most restaurants, split the meal between us and supplement it with fresh veggies from the farmers' market. We also add a little more lettuce to the side salads and bought a bottle of extra dressing. It's worked well! Last night we ordered a large sirloin steak from Outback (online, no less). It came with a huge baked potato, salad, and a small loaf of wheat bread. We didn't have to buy a whole container of sour cream and/or a pound of butter for the potato. The steak came done to perfection and more than enough for the two of us. I added a few green beans to the mix and we feasted on our lanai with a sunset view. Better than the best most expensive restaurant with a view.

Do you have any great tips for saving on meals when the area you're vacationing in is expensive? Please share.

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