Food expenses on a trip can really add up but with a little know how you can still enjoy the local food scene without having to brown bag it everyday. Here are 6 tips for saving money on food in Hawaii:
1.Stock up at the store. Everybody knows how expensive food is in Hawaii so every little bit you can avoid buying at your resort or a restaurant helps. Obviously, if you’re staying in a condo or vacation rental, you can buy enough groceries to cook all of your meals, but even if you don’t have a full kitchen, (or don’t want to cook every meal) there are still some things you can stock up on to save you a little cash. I would suggest at least grabbing a case of water, sodas, and liquor to mix your own drinks as well as plenty of snacks. If you have a membership, Costco is usually the best shopping option in the islands. Even buying in bulk, you’ll find their prices are often much cheaper than local grocery stores, plus they also have a pretty big prepared foods section (oh lord, that mac and cheese!). If you’re looking for brands you have at home, all of the islands have Walmart and all but Kauai have Target. Safeway is also a local grocery chain that you’ll find throughout the islands. If you shop there, I suggest signing up for their free loyalty rewards program, as it will usually save you at least $5-10 in one stop.
2.Pack picnics. Even if you don’t have a kitchen or don’t want to assemble your own lunch, stopping and picking up a picnic lunch before heading to the beach will usually cost you less than lunch in a restaurant. Many grocery stores have prepared food that you can grab and go but I suggest stopping by local markets or general stores and picking up something yummy to go. Many resort areas have ABC Stores or Whaler’s General Stores that have great food sections. And on each island you’ll find a variety of local markets where you can pick up a plate lunch to go.
3.Try food trucks. All of the Hawaiian Islands have a good truck scene, but Oahu and Maui’s are probably the most developed. Oahu is famous for its food trucks along the north shore (especially Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck) and Horhito’s taco truck in Maui across from Kalama Beach Park has (what I think are) the best fish tacos in Hawaii. Whenever you see a food truck, don’t be afraid to pull over and check it out!