Sunday, March 26, 2017

Staycation in the city on a Php3,500 budget

I'm still on a blogging rut. Well, actually, I can't blog when my son is awake as he doesn't like me sitting in front of the laptop. He wants my full attention that is why even our YouTube channels haven't been updated. But, I miss blogging and I miss uploading stuff to share with all of you so I'm going to make this quick post. 

We had an impromptu staycation over the weekend. Summer is here and summers in the Philippines are terribly hot. My husband decided to stay in a hotel. As always, I was concerned about the budget so I made sure to keep everything nice and sensible. We were able to pull off our staycation on just a Php3,500 budget. How you say? Read on.

Pack wisely

As we usually travel, our bags are always half packed. We have a toiletries bag that is always ready to go. I just need to check the amount of shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. each time we need it. This saves a ton of time. If you have samples or freebies, toss them in a travel toiletries bag. You save money too as you don't need to go out and buy travel sizes of your toiletries. 

I also usually pack plastic plates (the ones from IKEA are great), spoons and tumblers. I know we will be getting a lot of takeaway and these are really great to have on hand. However, I was too lazy this time so I didn't pack them. Big mistake as I had to buy plastic utensils and (almost) paper plates. This idea is good for a city staycation only but if you are going far, don't do this. It's excess weight in your baggage. 

Pack extra clothes especially if you have kids. Pack lots of toys, books and activities. The backpack below is my son's and I always ask him to fill up his bag with the things that he wants to bring to the hotel. This also ensures that the kids will not whine in the hotel if you forget to pack their favorite toy. I give my son the responsibility of packing his bag. It also helps that I have a gift organizer. I just get a few things and include them in our bag. If we find ourselves in a situation where my son blows up, I just give him a new toy or activity. Instead of buying a new toy, I get to save money and I get to keep the peace. 

Pack snacks

If you want to save big, pack a lot of snacks. If you plan to just chill out in the hotel like we did, you will save a lot of money especially if there are no supermarkets near your hotel. Remember, 7-11 and Mini Stop price higher than supermarkets. By the way, this budget is for a family of three and our son is 3 years old. You can just adjust your budget accordingly.

We even had some leftover snacks we took home. 

Supermarket Trip

We always go to the supermarket before or after checking in to buy some essentials like water, sponge and dish washing liquid. The latter two are for washing my son's bottles and dishes. I usually have some stocked in the house but I ran out this time so we bought some. Buy water in the supermarket as it is cheaper. I also bought some fruits (sliced watermelons and honeydew) and some packed salad greens. Depending on your supermarket, you can even buy some food like in Rustan's Gourmet to Go section. You can get different kinds of viands, salads, sandwiches, soups and even a whole roast chicken. I believe SM also offers ready made food in the supermarket. Take advantage of this as you can save a lot here versus eating out in a restaurant. Our total bill for groceries was Php512. 


Since I wasn't able to go to a Rustan's supermarket (we went to SM), I wasn't able to buy dinner so we went out and walked around Makati Ave. and found Andoks. Andoks is a roasted chicken place that has been in operation since I was a kid. I ordered half a chicken, asked them to chop it and 3 orders of rice. I didn't buy paper plates in the supermarket as I was thinking that we will buy takeaway but I didn't think that I might order something like this. We went to the nearest 7-11 but their paper plates were too small and too expensive so I just told my family to go picnic style. Just open up the rice wrapper to serve as a plate. We already had utensils so no problems on that area. My utensil set also came with a knife and I used that to cut into the watermelon. It was a big chunk and needed to be cut. The honeydew was ready to eat. Our dinner costs Php150. 


I was looking for something savory for breakfast so off I went to Kenny Rogers but they didn't have a breakfast menu. There's a 24-hour KR near our hotel so I was hoping they had a special menu. So, off I went to Paris Delice where I got 2 cinnamon swirls, Grilled European Croissant and a pain au chocolat. I wanted to go to Shakey's to see if they had a breakfast menu but stopped by 7-11 to buy some coffee for my husband and I found the Yakisoba. I normally don't eat cup noodles but I got 2 cups anyway. I was just craving some savory, umami taste. Big mistake. This was spicy and made me feel sick. The CBTL coffee costs only 18 pesos. How much is one order over at the coffee shop? Savings! Our total breakfast was around Php300.

Other expenses

The hotel stay costs Php2470. I'd say transportation is Php150. Our total expense for this staycation was Php3,582. Check out is at 12 and we went at 11:30 am as we were due to do our weekly groceries. We had lunch in the mall and that cost us a little over Php500. I didn't include that in the budget anymore as we already left the hotel. 

We had a great time. The family was together and we got some R&R. Although I'd have to say that the bed was too hard and I didn't get much sleep. My boys slept through the night though. This is the second time we were able to pull off a quick mini vacation on a nice, solid budget. The first one was an out of town trip that only cost us less than Php5,000. I plan on having more staycations in the future and of course, I will share them with you. 

Happy summer, everyone!