Pretty much the entire month of March has been full of business travel. Indiana and Michigan happened last week. Texas this week and next. Tennessee the week after that. Luckily I have three things on my side:
- I love to travel, and do so frequently enough that I have some kind of “status” on airlines and hotel chains. Usually things go swimmingly in that sense.
- I’m a master packer. My mother taught me how to pack well and how to never need to check a bag (except for certain circumstances like bringing lots of gifts for the holidays, needing to pack some kind of liquid that can’t fit in a ziplok bag, etc.). Case and point: I’m going to be in TX for a week and a half and have only one bag that has clothes, toiletries, etc. (along with a second bag that has my work things, including my laptop, notebooks, and steel-toed shoes). Be impressed. 😉
- I have a mini-fridge and know how to stock it so I don’t spend tons of money on lunches and breakfasts during the work day.
Store: Central Market
Purchases: almond milk, small cartons of orange juice, spinach, mustard, sliced cheese, mini-loaf of sliced whole wheat bread, almond butter, freshly made spring rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, cheap zip-top bags ($1 for 150!!), cheap storage containers ($1 for two!!), cheap plastic utensils ($1 for a mix of 24 forks, knives, and spoons!!), three bakery-fresh cookies, and a bottle of Riesling.
I also brought some stuff from home for snacks, including: home-made energy bars, vitamins, trail mix, dried fruit, almonds, and a ton of tea bags.
What I’d normally spend in the office cafeteria here in Texas is probably around $8. Breakfast, around $5. Snacks, at least $3 per day. After 7 work days, I’d get a LOT more than $50 in per diem and meals. It’s all about saving money, and I definitely do that!
It’s really not that hard to plan meals ahead of time when traveling. What is hard is figuring out what to do during the times you want to stray from the plan. For instance, right now I know I’m going to eat some leftover tacos and some of the mashed sweet potatoes for dinner… but I want to go for a walk and get ice cream even though I have cookies and almond milk for dessert! Argh! I may be weak tonight… but that’s okay. I can splurge… we all can!
. . .
Don’t judge me.
I just love ice cream.