Bring breakfast items to eat in your room - This one can save you a ton of money and get you into the parks much faster and earlier. We have stayed off-site the past two visits and have used this every morning (with the exception of one when we splurged and did breakfast at Chef Mickey's!). We like to bring pop-tarts, granola bars, muffins, doughnuts and even cereal (make sure you get a mini-fridge for the milk!) and enjoy a nice, quick breakfast before heading out to enjoy our day!
Bring snacks with you into the parks - You can really save a lot of money by doing this! Disney allows you to bring a cooler in, therefore you can bring in snacks instead of paying $4 for a bag of chips every time you want something to munch on! We like to bring grapes, apple slices, cheese sticks, cracker packs, gummies, and goldfish with us for my son to snack on (ok, I like those things too!).
**If you bring a cooler in, you must obide by WDW guidelines**
Suitcases, coolers or backpacks with or without wheels larger than 24" (61 cm) long x 15" (38 cm) wide x 18" (46 cm) high are not permitted in the parks. (Coolers required for medication may be stored in a locker or at Guest Relations.) In the contents of your cooler do not bring: Glass containers (excluding baby food jars and perfume bottles) or alcohol.
Bring in your own water/water bottles - Since you are allowed to bring in a cooler, it is perfect for you to bring in frozen bottles of water that will keep your food cool and then melt throughout the day, allowing you to have a refreshing drink of cold water when you need it most! We normally bring 2 bottles of water per person, plus an aluminum bottle full of juice for our son (our juice boxes would be perfect too). *TIP - any counter service restaurant with give you ice water for free - just ask!*
Pack your own lunch - This can really be a money saver! We have done this before and it's very easy to do. You can pack in your cooler sandwiches (PB&J, turkey, ham) and bring chips along. Then you can stop whenever you get hungry at an open table, bench, spot on the ground and have a wonderful lunch together without having to wait in line to get food and pay a fortune! *TIP - we pack Pringles for our chips as they come in the cannisters and therefore the chips don't get crushed in our backpack!*
Share meals or order kids meals - If you decide you don't want to deal with the hassle of dragging around a cooler (we have a stroller, so it's stored at the bottom all day), then this is a great way to save money on food. Most of the meals at Disney are very large in proportions. You can easily share meals between people or get the cheaper kids meals and be just as full! On our last trip, most of the time I shared a meal with my son and we were all full at every meal!
Eat a table service meal at lunch instead of dinner - If you would like to splurge and eat one or a few meals at a table service, then this is a great way to save. Many of the meals are the same from lunch to dinner (check the menus - some are different) but the prices are higher for dinner service. Eating out at lunch will save you money, but also give you that relaxed feeling of eating a nice meal!
What are some ways you save money on food at WDW?