Comfy Cookin on Vacation.



You guessed right Ladies! We took a mystery trip to Orlando this week!

Ohhhh what a fun time it has been….I don’t want to go home yet!!!! We kept this trip a secret from the children, had another family join us and met friends who live down here. It’s been such a memorable time!!!  



With a group this large – 4 adults and 6 children… we decided to make quick meals the majority of the time {as opposed to dining out}. It’s saved us tons of money and our sanity! 

I know, I know…many of you are thinking “Janelle, why on earth would I want to cook  on VACATION!” well…here’s a picture of what happened when we took our kidos out to the Rainforest Cafe …lol!!!!

{They blended right in with the monkeys.} 

Cooking IN? You betcha. Bahaaa!!!!!

Here are some “Comfy” meal ideas for those who want to save a little money on vacation….here we go! 

Mickey Mouse Pancakes. For all 10 of us to go to Chef Mickey’s it would have costed us $250!!!! A box of Krusteaz {all you do is add water and its delicious}? $1.58 plus the price of butter and syrup. Totally worth the effort. 

When you’re cooking on vacation, it’s important to plan meals that don’t need a lot of ingredients or seasonings. Extra items add up! This night we grilled out burgers with the fixins, cucumbers marinated in Italian dressing, salad, watermelon, salad, chips and Publix Sweet Tea {love it}. It took about 30 mins to make this meal.

The average cost for a “normal” sit down dinner in Orlando is $20 per adult  and $8 per child. That would take us to about $150 with tip for the 10 of us. This meal? $40 with everything. Again, worth the effort!

Another super simple meal {and glutenous minims} Grilled chicken tenderloins {marinated over night in a mix of ranch and italian dressing}, salad, green beans, baked potatoes and grapes.

Taco night Y’all! 3 pounds of ground chuck with 2 taco seasoning packs, cheese, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, jalps, queso, taco shells, and chips- this made enough for dinner and lunch left overs! This took about 30 mins to prepare- no biggie at all.

We went to SeaWorld and Magic Kingdom…its pricey to eat at those parks! We turned Geoff’s laptop bag into a cooler and packed lunches and snacks. Sea World’s dining plan was $30 per adult and $15 per child. That would have cost us $210 for the 10 of us! PB & J, apples, goldfish, cold cuts, sunflower seeds, bagged cereal, granola bars, bottles of water , etc…kept us from standing in lines and saved us money.

We simply stuck ice in ziplocs into the pockets and away we went! 


As you can probably tell, the Nehrenz family loves to travel. We get asked all the time how we can do this so often. Well, when we were first married, we purchased a very inexpensive time share and became members of RCI and Interval International. It costed us less than $250 to stay in our condo this week! In a sense, we paid upfront in our early 20s to travel with our {hopeful} family one day. It’s been a huge blessing!

If you don’t know someone with a time share, I do recommend you check out Redweek and rent a week from someone who does. I am NOT getting paid to say that. Most people don’t realize that there’s SO much extra inventory out there in beautiful condos….for CHEAP! I’m talking Sheratons and Marriot condos with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchens, living rooms and dining rooms! That beats a hotel with children in my book anytime! 

I’ll be back with more photos my friends! I’m going to live up my last day here now 🙂  





  1. What a great idea! I find it very hard to travel gluten free, but have heard Disney is good for gluten free options. Still, fixing your own meals is great if you have access to a kitchen where you are staying. Most of the places we stay only have a microwave and small fridge. I love your tip on the laptop case/cooler!

  2. Great ideas thanks for sharing! I look forward to the rest of your Disney tips because we are taking our three girls for the first time ever soon. Shhh it’s a surprise 😉 ENJOY!!!

  3. I think it’s always so much more fun making your own meals! I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and now I’m dairy and gluten free so it’s alot easier to take my own food than to find something anyway but I’ve always loved putting meals together for everyone and taking our own food on trips. And when you think of all the money you would spend on food that usually isn’t as good as what you could make at home anyway, it just makes so much more sense! Looks like ya’ll had a fabulous time!!

  4. Hi…I love your post! I just have to ask…are you staying at the Sheraton Vistana Villages by any chance? We just went in October and the kitchen area looks just like our condo! I even wrote a post about our trip because not only did we do the same thing as you (bring and cook all our own vegan food for my family), but I ate 100% raw foods during the entire trip. Check out my post when you have a chance

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • Why yes we are! What a small world! lol!!!! This is our 4th visit at this Sheraton- we love that it’s away from the hustle and bustle but close enough to visit!

  5. Awesome – girl you practice what you preach 🙂 Love the pics!! Have a safe trip home!!!

  6. I’m so glad you shared this Janelle, awesome tips I would not have even thought of doing this while on Disney vacay. Chef Mickey $250 WHAT!!!! Looks like you all had fun and thats waht counts plus you didn’t totally break the bank 🙂

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