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It Never Hurts to Ask

August 4th, 2017 at 11:27 am

I may be totally wrong, but I feel like someone said this the other day...here's my version of that.

DH is slated for some more out of town work starting the week after next. He gets a lump sum (just under a grand) each week for food and lodging. Whatever he doesn't use is still his to keep. He'll be in Nowheresville and there's not a lot of options. His crew chief had suggested a place that runs $50/night. I called a handful of places yesterday with questions regarding everything from wifi to hot plate/fridge policies to longterm availability (although DH pointed out this morning that I forgot to ask about laundry facilities...). One of my questions was about discounts regarding long-term reservations. I was hoping for a 10 or 20% discount, but this particularly place offered me almost 50%!! It's normally actually $65 and she offered it to me at $35/night plus taxes/fees for 7 nights. So DH is officially booked there for one week . It'll be great to be able to bank that money, but I also told him if it's absolutely miserable to let me know and we'd move him elsewhere. There's some more decent options a half hour away, but I'm trying to avoid having him commute after working a 10-12 hr. day.

Since there's no fridge/microwave/hot plate there, we'll have to figure out food. I think we're going to stock up on those tuna packets for lunch, but dinner's a little more difficult. We have some MREs. The hotel is also a restaurant though, and I told DH that even if he ended up eating there every evening, it was okay. While their fancier entrees run $20 and up, they do have a $5 burger and most subs/salads were under $10. If anyone has any suggestions for meals that don't require any refrigeration/cooking and have a stable shelf life, I'd be grateful for suggestions. Other than peanut butter/banana sandwiches, I couldn't really think of anything.

4 Responses to “It Never Hurts to Ask”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Trail mix, nutrition bars, apples, those little cans of fruit... My son travels and gets a per diem, and he often goes the McDonald's dollar menu route.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Anything prepackage that isn't from the frozen or refrigerated section. Could he take a cooler that could hold fresh fruit, sand which fixings? Those things stay relatively cool for several days before the ice fully melts. My husband has a microwave and fridge in his hotel, but even that has been difficulty cooking a wide variety of foods. I think you are correct to tell him to get food at the restaurant if needed. You are still likely to bank the extra even with that cost. I secretly love when my husband's expense come under the per diem amount!

  3. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    CB, thanks for the suggestions! Those will be good snacks/sides. I thought about cheap fast food too, but unfortunately there's nothing close by him. It's seriously in the middle of nowhere. The nearest McDonald's/fast food is at least a half hour away and we're trying to avoid him having to commute an hr. every day when he's already slated to have really long days.

    CCF, I thought about the cooler, but am not sure he'd have easy access to ice and the grocery store is an hr. round trip.

    I did some math, and even with a $150 weekly food budget, we should be able to bank $400-500.

    If the place is terrible/he decides he doesn't mind driving a half hour to be closer to civilization, then it'll be an $80ish/night hotel cost, but he'd have access to a kitchenette, so he'd have a lot more food options.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    One thing I did ages ago while on a road trip, to save on some food costs, was to take a bunch of ramen noodle packets and a hotpot. It's a cheap, lightweight appliance you can just plug in and boil water, so any kind of just-add-boiling-water meal could work, like cup-o-soup. I think there are lots of options these days, even mac-n-cheese, that don't need to be refrigerated and only need boiling water to make. Can also make tea and instant coffee with it if you have a mug and sugar/creamer packets.

    The hot pot I had, which lasted me over a decade, was something like this: sunbeam.com/kitchen-appliances/hot-water/sunbeam-hot-pot-express-hot-water-heater/BVSBWH1001.html

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