How to Cut Food Expenses on Maui

dining at home

It’s no secret that Maui is expensive. However, if you know where to look, it isn’t nearly as awful as it seems. Whether you’re the type who prefers to stay in and make your own meals or the type who prefers to eat out three times a day, we’ve got you covered.

food in Maui

For the Cooks:

  • If you live here or are taking an extended vacation, your first stop should probably be Costco. While those of you on a one week vacation might not be able to go through four giant jars of peanut butter or a pint of Sriracha, the rest of us certainly benefit from buying things in bulk. This is also a great place to buy alcohol if you plan on enjoying some self-made cocktails. Plus, if you go on a day when they’re handing out lots of samples, it’s well worth the fighting the crowd.
  • Look for deals at Safeway and Foodland. These stores offer daily discounts on everything from wine to hummus to fresh fish, so come here for your smaller grocery items and pay attention to what’s on sale. If you don’t already have one, sign up for the free discount card when you check out. It’s worth it.
  • Go to a Farmer’s Market. Depending on where you are on the island, there are markets set up at least a couple days a week. Look them up and stock up on local produce that’s typically cheaper than the grocery store.
  • Shop at Long’s Drug Store for produce, bread and local ice cream. They also have fairly cheap booze if you missed the gallon-sized vodka at Costco.
  • Host a potluck. Meet your condo neighbors, invite the people from your snorkeling tour or the family next to you on the beach. Potlucks are great for cutting down on food costs, trying more of everything, and making new friends!
  • Go spearfishing. While not necessarily a good option for the inexperienced, if you already own a collapsible spear pole, pack it in your suitcase and try to catch your own dinner! Just make sure you know the rules first.

For the Diners:

  • delicious foodTwo words: Happy Hour. Seek it out, ask around, and take advantage of it.
  • Find inexpensive, consistently good restaurants: In Kihei, Diamonds Ice Bar serves $1 tacos from 3-5pm, Life’s a Beach has $5 lunch specials until 5pm, Taqueria Cruz serves $2 tacos and $6 dinner plates, and 808 Deli serves an assortment of salads, sandwiches, breakfast and hot dogs all under $8. All of these specials are available 7 days a week.
  • Split meals. Portions at most restaurants (with the exception of pricey seafood joints) are usually pretty large, so take a look at your neighbor’s plate to see what you’re working with and go halfsies.
  • Look for local restaurant coupons.
  • Have a picnic. Save yourself the added cost of a sit-down dinner by grabbing food from one of the many food trucks on the island. Pack a blanket, a water bottle and your flip flops and picnic on the beach.

While it’s no fun to count your pennies in paradise, it’s even less fun to realize you’re dead broke when you get back home. Shop smart and use these tips to ensure you eat like a pro without destroying your bank account.

 yummy food