One of the most expensive items on a traveller's budget is food. Food is not just a basic need, but is also a source of enjoyment. For me personally, it is what drives my passion for travelling. But the truth is, not many can dine out in style every meal of the day. Instagram worthy posts about upscale restaurants come with a flashy price tag. Throughout a vacation, one mental sticky note never wears out: how do I stretch my pocket money? My answer? A happy wallet makes a happy tummy.

A Happy Wallet Makes a Happy Tummy

Discovering the best restaurants is always a distinct experience when you travel. And I'm not saying we should skip this bit altogether. Where is the fun in that? If you can opt for eating in once in a while, why not, right? This will give you leverage to save enough and splurge with that fine dining restaurant you've been eyeing. But of course, this presupposes you will have some cooking space. You may be staying at a friend or relative's place. Or perhaps in a hotel or inn that has a kitchenette. If you have this at your disposal, then this Happy Wallet, Happy Tummy series will probably help you heaps.

Check Out Deals in Grocery Stores

A big deal in planning for a trip is eyeing the restaurants you've always wanted to try. On all your other meals, it is a great tip to visit your local neighborhood grocery stores. You could get prepared meals for much less. They are packed in good serving portions. And they are definitely healthier and cheaper alternatives to fast food meals.

Another route you could take is to prepare your own meals, and buy your ingredients right then and there. In our case, we went grocery store hopping in Spring Hill. To Walmart, to Winn Dixie, to Publix and Sam's Club, we went. From our grocery stash, we decided on a turkey burger dinner one night.

Our Grocery List

Our menu planning began with a box of Butterball Turkey Burgers.

Turkey Burgers at Sam's Club

Turkey Burgers at Sam's Club (Screenshot taken from the Sam's Club Mobile App)

I knew Butterball as the only kind of turkey we can find in supermarkets in the Philippines. I was never a fan of turkey except when my mom or my aunt made it. On a good day, I would pick angus burgers over turkey burgers. No question. But the fact that these turkey burgers contain 70% less fat. We got this box of 12 1/3 pound patties at Sam's Club for $11.98 (That's less than a dollar per burger) Yeah, let's go for it!

In keeping with the health conscious theme, we got whole wheat bagels from Publix. We got a pack of four for $1.89, just a little over 50c per piece.

The next question is: what will go well with it? A nice salad would.

For the salad, we got Taylor's Salad Mix, with iceberg lettuce, carrots and red cabbage. $2.18 at Sam's Club. This was good for 4-6 servings, depending on how big your appetite is.

Taylor's Garden Salad Ready to Use

Taylor's Garden Salad Mix

Our salad dressing of choice for this meal was Publix Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing ($1.99). Oh this bottle will go a long long way!

Publix Blue Cheese Dressing

Publix Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing

Turkey Burger Dinner: Happy Wallet, Happy Tummy Verdict

With fresh tomatoes and hardboiled eggs on our salad and a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on my burger, we were all set. It didn't need a lot of preparation. The burgers were thrown into the electric grill, and were well-done in less than 10 minutes. Almost no sweat at all!

Inspired by an oldtime series back home called Del Monte Kitchenomics, I computed how much it would cost per serving.

Happy Wallet, Happy Tummy Cost per Serving

Turkey Burger Dinner Cost per Serving

It rang up to $2.66 per serving.

Yup, 129 pesos for this entire plate!

Bang for your Buck Turkey Burger Dinner

Our Homemade Budget Turkey Burger Dinner

I'm so glad it turned out well,  it didn't feel like eating on a budget at all! Happy wallet, happy tummy indeed!

Stay tuned for more kitchen adventures on this Happy Wallet, Happy Tummy Series :)

Sam's Club
13360 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville, FL 34613
(352)592-4737
http://www.samsclub.com
 
Publix Super Market at Barclay
Barclay Crossing Shopping Center
14371 Spring Hill Dr.
(352)666-2000
 

P.S. This article originally appears on my personal blog, Chowpowwows, where chow is always on the lowdown.

Published by Michelle Africa