7 easy ways to cut food costs when you vacation

Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012 @ 10:08 AM
Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012 @ 10:08 AM

There are six people in my family, so there's no question that food is a major line item in our vacation budget. Fortunately, by planning ahead, we've been able to cut our food expenses in half when we travel. Here are seven ways to stay on budget and still be able to eat while on vacation.

1. Fill a Suitcase with Food: When we stay in hotels, I like to pack a suitcase full of food, like breakfast cereals, granola bars, juice boxes and cookies. I also pack Wet Ones, paper plates and plastic utensils. Even with a checked bag fee, we still end up on top over going out for breakfast and snacks.

2. Make Lunch the Biggest Meal of the Day: If you can, eat lunch later in the afternoon. Not only will you avoid crowds, but by the time dinner comes around you can have a small snack or dessert and feel quite satisfied. You'll save money and feel better going to bed not quite so full.

3. Buy Coupon Booklets: Every major city has an Entertainment Book, and inside each one you'll find loads of high-value coupons for local restaurants. Order one online for the city you want to visit, and then look for more coupons at Entertainment.com and on their mobile app. Another one to check out for coupons is Enjoy the City, which also has coupon booklets for multiple destinations.

4. Look for "Kids Eat Free" Mobile Apps: There are several websites and mobile apps that will tell you which restaurants around you offer "kids eat free" deals and on which nights. The mobile apps often have GPS to help you find a restaurant just around the corner. Two free apps to check out are Kids Meal Deals and Out to Eat with Kids.

5. Ask for a Fridge: If you're staying in a hotel, remember that not all rooms come with a refrigerator, so make sure to ask for one. This is ideal for saving milk for cereal or bottled waters to take with you as you tour around each day.

6. Hit Daily Deal Sites: Once you know where you plan to go for vacation, sign up to receive daily emails from Groupon, LivingSocial and other daily deal sites that specialize in discounts on attractions and restaurants for that city. However, don't buy any vouchers unless you feel pretty confident you'll be able to use them or risk losing that money.

7. Book a Vacation Rental: Now that there are six of us, I tend to prefer to secure a vacation rental from a site like HomeAway, rather than book a hotel room. It's nice having a kitchen to store food and a vacation rental gives us more flexibility if we want to stay in and eat at home, which is also a huge cost-saver. Just be sure to have a checklist so you know how to stock up your family vacation rental when you arrive.

Erin Gifford is Savings.com guest writer and a mother of four who shares family travel advice on her blog, Kidventurous, which was selected as the Best Family Travel blog by Parents magazine. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

(Source: Savings.com)


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PUCO: New DP&L plan raises rates

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 10:38 AM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:46 PM

Plant worker shares scenes of explosion on Facebook Live. This power plant is in Aberdeen, Ohio along the Ohio River.

With Dayton Power & Light arguing that its “financial integrity” is at stake, a state regulatory agency has approved new charges and a new “electric security plan” for DP&L customers.

The plan means higher electric bills for some DP&L customers, but a decrease for others, according to the utility.

A state consumer group said the plan’s new charges — or “rider” — for DP&L would be harmful to residential customers, with the “average residential ratepayer” paying $9 a month, or $107 a year, according to its filing outlining the decision on the case.

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said in a release its approval means that DP&L will end the collection of its annual $73 million retail stability charge.“ Instead, a residential customer using 750 kilowatt hours per month will see a monthly bill increase of $2.92 during the term of the” new charge, the PUCO said.

A DP&L spokeswoman concurred that the PUCO’s estimate and disagreed with the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel in its $9 a month estimate.

State lawmakers pick sides on UAW efforts at Fuyao

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 1:57 PM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 4:45 PM

Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine plant in this 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine plant in this 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Public officials are choosing sides in the United Auto Workers’ efforts to unionize the Fuyao Glass America Plant in Moraine.

Letters from officials and lawmakers in both parties are circulating, urging the company to accept unionization efforts or, alternatively, advising workers not to embrace “outside forces.”

In an “open letter” released Monday, 15 Republican lawmakers said in part:

“Unfortunately, we understand that there are outside forces trying to come into Fuyao. We are confident in Fuyao’s leadership in being able to work out all issues with you internally and quickly. This choice is up to you as employees to make. As those who represent you every day and fight for you, we urge you to reject these outside forces.”

RELATEDFuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote

“We will stand with you and Fuyao as the company continues to grow and develop,” the letter adds. “Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.”

The letter appears over the signatures of Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miami Twp.), Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Bill Dean (R-Xenia) and 11 other members of the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate. 

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But an earlier letter from Democrats and union supporters, dated Oct. 16, was sent to Jeff Liu, president of Fuyao Glass America.

“We believe that Fuyao has an obligation to pay fair wages, ensure a safe workplace, comply with all applicable laws, and respect workers’ right to form a union and collectively bargain, if that is what they choose,” said that letter, signed by State Rep. and Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn and 31 others, including Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland.

“We stand with the workers at Fuyao Glass, and are prepared to stand with them every step of the way as they join together to make positive changes at the plant,” that letter added.

As this news outlet first reported last week, workers at Fuyao’s Moraine plant filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote on whether to accept representation by the UAW.

Some workers have said the company’s management and disciplinary policies are arbitrary and unpredictable while other workers have pointed to what they say are safety problems at the plant.

Fuyao has about 2,000 workers at the the West Stroop Road plant, which the company says is the world’s largest automotive glass production operation.

In an interview Monday, Antani said he wrote the letter, which springs from “conversations we’ve had with Fuyao’s leadership regarding the situation.”

Beyond that, it’s up to workers whether to accept or reject the union, Antani said.

“Our job here is not to be directly involved with the election,” he said. “It is the workers’ choice.”

He recalled that at the plant’s groundbreaking ceremony last October, Sen. Sherrod Brown in public remarks endorsed efforts to unionize the plant. Antani said he felt that was inappropriate.

“Democrats came out with this first,” Antani said. “We’re being much more light-handed.”

Messages seeking comment were left for Brown’s office and Fuyao management. 

City to vote on contracts worth millions for Dayton airport work

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 3:31 PM


            FILE
FILE

Dayton City Commission will vote Wednesday to approve two contracts worth millions of dollars for major renovations at the Dayton International Airport.

The Department of Aviation is requesting permission for a contract with Messer Construction Co., which will not exceed $3.8 million. The contract is for work during Phase 1 of the Airport Terminal Modernization Program. This work includes renovation of the pre-security restrooms, moving the United Services Organization from its current location to next to the security checkpoint, and HVAC and lighting upgrades.

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Five bids were also received for the Dayton International Airport Terminal Apron Reconstruction, Phase 2 project, for the demolition and reconstruction of part of the terminal concrete apron. Other aspects of the project include replacement of the existing edge lighting fixtures, replacement of underground conduits, cables and light bases and new pavement markings. The project also includes water main replacement.

» Dayton Airport director’s plan to lure passengers: Bigger planes, more flights

The Department of Aviation is recommending the city approve the lowest bid, which was received by Anthony Allega Cement Contractor Inc. The total contract amount is $11.2 million, including a base bid of $7.4 million. The time of completion for the project is 200 days and the contract would close on Dec. 31, 2019.

The Dayton airport will need to spend $130 million in infrastructure improvements in coming years, an investment that could lure in passengers and airlines. Airports across the U.S. will need an infusion of nearly $100 billion in the next five years to accommodate passenger and cargo growth, and to rehabilitate aging hubs, according to a 2017 report from the Airports Council International - North America.

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Kroger announces executive leadership changes

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 1:57 PM

FILE
FILE

Kroger Co. announced new leadership changes within its executive leadership branch.

The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain announced the retirement of Central division President Katie Wolfram and the promotion of Pam Matthews, currently the QFC division president, to succeed her. Suzy Monford will join the company to serve as the president of the QFC division.

“Both leaders bring successful and distinguished retail experience to the roles and will help with the execution of the Restock Kroger Plan that will bring valuable changes to our customers, associates, communities and shareholders,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

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Wolfram will retire from the company after 38 years of distinguished service, effective on Nov. 4. Wolfram was named to her current role in 2016 and has been spearheading an “aggressive growth strategy in the Central division since joining the region as the vice president of merchandising in 2014,” Kroger said in statement.

In the last two years, the company has invested nearly $329 million in the central Indiana market, adding five new Marketplace stores and 12 new gas stations, remodeling and/or expanding 14 existing stores, building a regional training center and adding more than 1,400 new jobs to the region.

The Central division operates 138 stores with more than 19,500 associates.

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