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10 2016 Aug

Regional Fast Food to Keep Your Trip on Budget

While each region has a distinct cuisine for you to sample, not everyone has the budget or ability to explore the best spots. One way you can try regional food, keep your wallet and family happy is fast food. These are not the chains that sell a billion burgers a year to customers but the ones that take extra care of their ingredients and their employees. Locals go crazy for this food and some people have even petitioned to get a restaurant planted in a far away place, like west-coast favorite In-N-Out Burger in New York.

Buzzfeed published a list of 23 Regional Food Chains You Wish Would Go National and that will be your tool to find unique food on a budget for your next trip.

  TMT_Waffle-House  TMT_Noodles

While many offer the normal burger and fry combos, the places like Portillo’s in Chicago compete with local restaurants to offer the best Chicago style hot dog, a staple of the city’s cuisine. Some restaurants, like Chic-fil-a, are working to expand throughout the country so you can get your crispy chicken sandwich, waffle fries and peach milkshake west of the Mississippi.

What regional restaurants do you regular? What restaurants would you like to see take root in your hometown?

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5 2016 Aug

5 Day Trips from Washington DC

The best way to save money on hotels? Don’t go to one! Washington Post published 5 daytrips from D.C. that take 2 hours or less by car, train or bus

Sherwood Forest community pier -

Sherwood Forest Community Pier

WP profiles 5 different types of trips for different types of vacationers: history buffs, beach-goers, food-lovers, vices (think Vegas), and fashionistas. These towns have such a diversity of culture and cuisine, time to pack up the car!

What day trips have you taken from your hometown?

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3 2016 Aug

The 5 P’s: The Simple Way to Save Money on Your Next Flight

The NFL season is almost here and I have always found NFL coaches amazing, they stand in front of media for an hour and yet nothing is said. However, I once heard one NFL coach make a great point during training camp, an old saying that is as true today as it was when it was first murmured:

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance or the “5 P’s.” In sports, this means training your hardest, being the first one on the practice field in the morning and last one out there at night. Studying your playbook, taking extra repetitions after practice and recovering your body well. Pumped for NFL season yet? I am!

Whether you are headed to a road game to catch your favorite team or you are booking your trip to Uncle Jim’s where you’ll post up for the Thanksgiving day triple-header, the “5 P’s” are key in helping your trip go smoothly.


Plan ahead! If you know you are traveling somewhere in 2 months, NOW is the time to start booking your flight. In fact, Time Magazine, partnering with, found that booking your flight about 54 days in advance is the best way to beat the airlines’ tricky algorithms that make the prices as inconsistent as a rookie third-string quarterback.

While the best window for purchasing tickets is roughly between 120 and 21 days (with some variance depending on season and itinerary) waiting to book until 14 days or fewer before your departure date, when prices skyrocket, is always a bad idea. The Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) found that prices were $85 cheaper than the overall average for domestic flights when booking anywhere between 50 and 100 days prior to departure.

Another cool note to save a few dollars: the best day of the week to purchase your ticket is Sunday. Meaning you will be planning your Super Bowl trip to Houston while you watch your favorite team try to get there too.

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA;The sun sets on Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-245820 ORIG FILE ID: 20160207_mam_al2_140.JPG

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA;The sun sets on Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What other simple tips have you found help get the best ticket prices?

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28 2015 Jul

Best Cheap Eats

The best advice you’ll ever hear to finding the best cheap eats while traveling is to eat like a local. How do you do that? It’s easy with a few tips and an open mind!

Travel Cheap By Eating Like a Local, we’re going to delve into two of my most beloved topics: food and travel! As I’ve shared, Mr. Frugalwoods and I are afflicted with ardent wanderlust and feel extraordinarily fortunate that we’ve traveled so much. But, we never spend a fortune doing it.

Just as we frugalize our meals at home (remember, breakfast is the hidden budget destroyer!), travel eats-on-the-cheap are a key element of a Frugalwoods-style journey.

The Easy Way Out (aka Amsterdam Brunch, Baby!)

If you can finagle a free breakfast out of your lodging arrangement, excellent! Eat hearty and scavenge scraps for lunch. Two meals done!

Let me tell you about our most epic free breakfast occasion ever. We use Starwood hotel points for free hotel stays worldwide and the hotel we stayed at in Amsterdam (Hotel Pulitzer) included a free buffet breakfast.

I’m going to go ahead and say that this hotel would’ve saved money if they’d just given us $50 for breakfast every day instead of allowing Mr. FW and I free reign of the breakfast buffet. This was no Old Country Buffet, Golden Corral, Perkins, Bob Evans-type of buffet. This was a Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Four Seasons-type of buffet.

We walked in the first morning expecting some modest cold cereals, bagels, and hard boiled eggs, which we would’ve been perfectly happy with.

What we found instead was a quaint dining room awash in sunlight replete with white linen table cloths, a personal waiter for every 2 tables (at a BUFFET, mind you), smoked salmon, champagne, cooked-to-order eggs and omelets, waffles, pancakes, a barista making coffees, a plethora of pastries, a ton of fresh cut fruit, oatmeal, cereal, bacon, sausage, cold cuts, finger sandwiches, petite fours.

Basically every Western European food that could ever, or has ever, been considered a brunch item.

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Travel Cheap By Eating Like a Local – Frugalwoods