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Mar 30, 2013 02:30 PM

You can take it with you: bringing your own food instead of getting to go or eating out.

I have been on a diet so I carry a couple of small snacks with me during the day. I usually bring my lunch to work and my bank account is very happy as a result. Additionally I love to travel and have taken to making a light meal or two instead of eating at restaurant or grabbing fast food to go, again the savings is great and I can't beat the healthy benefit. I don't mean to be conceited, but it is now becoming second nature. I am getting ready to go to So. California and I am putting together a small meal and snack as I will be on the road. I have noticed a few friends do the same thing. My question is do a lot of hounds do this? If so what prompted you to do this and what do you bring with you?

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  1. I bring lunch to work as a matter of course. However, one of the great joys of my life is eating local specialties wherever I travel, so I wouldn't ordinarily bring food on the road. Airplane snacks, sure, and maybe some cheese and fruit in case of emergency. But I can have my own cooking any ol' time - vacations are for branching out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: small h

      Yeah but, that is my problem, due to my travels I have "branched out" into several dress sizes. Lol.

      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

        Understood. I would definitely adjust my behavior if I traveled frequently enough for my vacation meals to have that kind of effect. Or if I were seriously watching my weight (as opposed to just talking about watching my weight, like I usually am).

    2. I work in a small cabinet shop with the husband and wife owners. Leftovers from home, and a couple pieces of fruit are my lunch each day that I'm in the office through the lunch hour.
      The owners get to-go lunches from the local diners, fast food joints or Southern buffets every day. If hubby is going to be out of the shop for the day, wife starves unless someone can go pick up lunch for her.
      It's expensive and inconvenient. Sometimes I will walk over to BK and get her a burger (she can't leave the store, as she has a retail business of her own in the same building). I never get anything there for myself.
      I understand having a busy life, but a tuna sandwich doesn't take that long to make. They stop on their way in to work for a $3+ bowl of oatmeal from McDs or BK, while I've had my own oatmeal at home for pennies.

      I've always done this, so I kinda can't answer your question about what prompted me to do it. I'm just too particular about having good food, and too cheap, and don't need the extra calories!

      1. I drove cross the US by myself one summer and would get coffee early and then drive for an hour or so until I saw a sign for some small town. I would go there for breakfast--the local diner, coffee shop, whatever--and have their "specialty." Might be blueberry pancakes, hash, biscuits--something local. I would sit there and read the local paper and listen to the conversation around me. One of the highlights of the trip I would have missed if I'd packed my own food.

        1. Absolutely! I have stashes of healthy food in my bag, briefcase, office and car. I almost never eat lunch out, only eat diner out locally every once in a while..... I prefer happy hour and brunch locally when I do eat out.

          I love dining out when I traveling. I don't eat airplane food or fast food/greasy spoons so I research restaurant options before I go. I still pack healthy foods in my bag if I get stuck.

          1. Some clarification here. I do enjoy a meal out when traveling. It is usually one or two meals a day. This is not to say I limit myself and that I am not adventurous, I am quite the opposite, considering the numerous previous posts I am not a newbie to CH. At this point in my life I am trying to learn a little restraint.

            4 Replies
            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

              I am with you in regards to traveling, and I know exactly when it started.

              I was traveling through the Balkans with a friend, and during the first few days I just remember feeling unpleasant foodwise. Either stuffed at times of day when I didn't want to be full, or starving at awkward times. My friend and I quickly realized that if we bought snacks/food for a light lunch then we were happiest eating the hostel breakfast, snacking during the day, and then a nice dinner.

              While it definitely worked out financially, the main motivation was definitely how we were feeling overall.

              1. re: cresyd

                We go with something similar, particularly in places where the norm is a large late lunch. So in Chile, or Italy, we'd have the light breakfast at the hotel, early, a huge, leisurely sit down meal at about 1 or 2 pm, and at night, bread, cheese, olives, salad, fruit at the hotel.

                This works best at places where you have some fridge space, though. In hot climates, storing stuff in the hotel room (or packing it with us during the day) can be problematic.

                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                  we do the same thing across Europe -- but we reverse lunch and dinner.

                  Because markets (and nice food shops) are so easy to find across Europe, we usually buy things for a picnic and then go find a pleasant place to park and enjoy our surroundings. This is especially easy in France, as the French *love* their pique-niques, and you can almost always find a place to pull off the road where you can spread out a blanket - it's amazing how many little country roads have little lay-bys with a garbage can and very often even a picnic table (usually stone, as it's fairly indestructible).

                  Then we find a place for a nice dinner, if I don't cook with things I bought at the market that morning (and put in the cooler with a ziploc of ice).

                  Germany is usually a bigger breakfast with meats and cheeses, so we just buy some nibbly things for a snack/light lunch.

                  The UK throws it all out the window -- we all love a proper fry-up, so we have our eggs and beans and tomatoes and sausages, then just stop for some sort of snack around mid-afternoon.

                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                    What's best about the method in general is that it enables being able to adjust to the best way to appreciate restaurants (whether it's a long leisurely lunch or dinner) without being over stuffed, getting hungry/cranky at poor times, etc.

                    I really love to eat - but I can't imagine the idea of a vacation where the entire goal is to just have huge meal after huge meal.