October 31, 2014

Can the Finer Things Be Frugal? Food and Beverage Tips for Frequent Travelers

If youíd rather not worry about coupons and restaurant specials, these elegant food and beverage choices are almost always a safe money-saving bet.

Sushi: Chic, sophisticated and downright sexy, sushi bars represent a remarkably affordable culinary indulgence. One example? The Buddha Sky Bar in Delray Beach, Florida. The hip urban atmosphere makes a fabulous backdrop for enjoying their $6 dim sum and their $13 blue crab California rolls. Haru Sushi has a number of rolls priced at less than $20, and hosts nightly happy hours at several of their locations in New York City, including Wall Street, Broadway and Park Avenue. Reduced-price items range from $4 cocktails and $6 tempura to $5 spring rolls and basic vegetable sushi starting at $3.50. Haru also has several Boston locations.

Chefs: If youíre staying at the same vacation rental for a period of time and donít want to be bogged down with cooking responsibilities, consider arranging for a personal chef to deliver healthy meals for you and your traveling companions. Depending on your menu items, the cost can easily be less than dinner out at a mid-range restaurant. Personalchefsearch.com is a great place to start.

Sipping: Avoiding quickly-consumed cocktails and beverages in favor of those intended for slow sipping is a great way to enjoy the finer things for less. Donít get me wrong. Iím perfectly capable of slamming down a pitcher of margaritas at lightning speed. It just usually results in an outrageous bar tab. Two alternatives are whiskey and red wine. Each can be enjoyed at a rate per glass that easily costs less than a couple of rounds of cocktails made with other top-shelf spirits. At the Mirbeau Inn and Spaís wine bar in Skaneateles, New York, you can experience higher-end bourbons and wines individually, or sample entire flights at bargain rates.

Sugar: Frugal foodies know that some of the best deals on gourmet goodies can be found at designer bakeries and candy shops. Iíve selected sugary samples of decadent fudge, hand-dipped chocolates and buttery baked goods around the world, with prices typically ringing in at less than $5 per treat. One such sweet shop is called Cupcake. Located on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina, this baked goods establishment sells an array of artisan cupcakes baked fresh daily. Toppings include homemade cream cheese frosting, fresh fruit and other fun yummies, with a per cake price of $2.75 a pop.

Photo Credits: Zigazou76 (cupcakes), Isante Magazine (wine) and Cool Mikeol (sushi)