Cheap eats

Vacations are expensive enough without spending mounds of money on food.

To keep your eating expenses in check, try these simple tips:

1. Prior to departure, search savings sites such as Groupon and Living Social for restaurant deals at your destination. You can usually snag a few two-for-ones or something close to it to drastically slice your supper spending. Print out the coupons or save your purchased deals on your smartphone.

2. Purchase an Entertainment book. For the best bang for your buck, buy the hard copy for your hometown, then load the app on your smartphone which will give you savings no matter where you travel. Simply search your destination from the app and you’ll see a list of available offers complete with descriptions, maps and distance from your location.

3. If you’re staying in a hotel without a microwave, buy a roll of parchment paper at the local grocer and use the hotel iron to press your own grilled cheese or panini sandwiches. Pancakes from your grocer’s freezer heated toasty in the morning? Why not?

4. Another option if you’re lodging without the convenience of a microwave … Stop at the nearest thrift store and pick up an electric frying pan (or pack one in your car if you’re not flying). You can make everything from bacon and eggs to hamburgers and grilled chicken breasts.

5. If you’re in a place known for its seafood but don’t want to pay restaurant prices, put that electric frying pan to use. Stop at a local seafood market and grab some fresh scallops, shrimp and crab legs. Add butter for sauteeing or water for steaming and you’re dining local style without the punitive price tag.

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