On our way down to our sister's we went with our trustworthy regular: Chick-fil-a. We got two 8 piece grilled nugget combo meals, that we split among the 3 of us that are gluten-free. It works out nicely, and is a lot cheaper than getting the kids their own kid's meal. With my husband's meal and an extra drink and medium fry tossed in our bill was $25.02.
My sister fed us dinner and breakfast both nights that we spent there. Which saved us money and was a lot of fun.
Sunday, on our way to California we stopped at an In-N-Out in Las Vegas. We each got a hamburger protein style in a combo. The boys used hamburger buns that I had packed to have regular burgers, I had mine as it came: lettuce wrapped. We also stopped by this same In-N-Out on our way back. That time, the boys weren't that hungry and just had fries (I know not the healthiest, but hey, we were on vacation), while I had the same hamburger protein style. I love In-N-Out for the fact that they are inexpensive. Our bill for 4 combo meals was $24.43, when the boys didn't want burgers on the way back our bill was $19.67.
Sunday, once we reached our hotel, we walked over to Red Robin and enjoyed dinner there. I love their gluten free buns (they make their own now, they don't use the Udi's buns). I had the guacamole bacon burger. And my boys split the Keep It Simple burger (the toppings come on the side, so they could put on what they wanted). It's cheaper than two kid's meals to do this and the kids burgers aren't all that great compared to the regular ones. I made the quick realization that restaurants are cheaper in Utah. :P But even with California prices dinner came within our budget: $51.63 (including tip).
Each morning we were in California we took advantage of the free breakfast at the hotel. It was supposed to be a plated breakfast, but it ended up being a breakfast buffet. They did always have scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, and juice. So, it worked out fine for us. I also had muffins for the boys if they wanted those instead, or in addition to the breakfast there.
Monday evening we were so exhausted from adventuring we ending up just eating sandwiches in our hotel room. I loved that I had this option for us, it was nice to just stay in that night and not spend money, either.
Tuesday night we walked over to the Outback Steakhouse by our hotel. This was the first time I had been to an Outback and to be honest, I was kind of disappointed in the portion of food I got for the price. And this is where my husband got sick, so not the best experience. Anyway, I had the fire-grilled salmon with mixed veggies. My older son had a kid's meal with a lettuce wrapped burger and a baked potato with butter and cheese (he can handle dairy). My younger son didn't want anything there and ate a peanut butter sandwich when we got back to our hotel room. Outback is a bit more pricey, so dinner ran us $66.11 (including tip)...and sadly wasn't worth it, my hubby was sick that night and most of the next day.
Wednesday night we went to Coco's Bakery across the street from our hotel. I had the Tuna Salad, which was quite large. It had a scoop of tuna salad on top a huge leafy green salad that was dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The green salad and the vinaigrette were really good. The tuna was decent, but there was a lot of it, and I didn't come close to eating it all. The boys split an order of gluten-free pancakes (there were 5 good sized pancakes), I tried one of them and they were really good...they almost tasted like vanilla cake in a pancake form. The boys absolutely loved them and devoured them all. My little one also got a side of scrambled eggs and my older one got a side of hashbrowns. Coco's was more in our price range and our bill came to $47.17 (including tip).
Thursday night, we called it in early and ate sandwiches in the hotel room again. Then Friday night we ventured out to the beach and stopped at zpizza in Newport Beach. We ordered way too much pizza, but they had some really good selections and we all wanted something different. I got their California Veggie Pizza with Daiya Cheese...it was fantastic and I ate the whole 10" pizza (which was probably not the best idea, but it was really good). My older son got his standby of pepperoni, and my younger son got his standby of Daiya cheese. With the splurge of everyone getting their own pizza the bill came to $48.62.
By Saturday we were heading home and as I said earlier we stopped at In-n-Out in Vegas before going to my sister's. We had dinner and breakfast at her house before heading the rest of the way home. We did stop and ate peanut butter sandwiches at a rest stop that day for lunch.
Budget wise for our whole trip we planned on spending $750 on food...crazy sounding I know, but save for it and budget it in and then you won't have worries. We ended up under $700, even with including snack and drink stops at gas stations along the way.
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