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Old 09-05-2019, 11:45 AM   #21
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If you are in a standard hotel with no kitchen considerations, look into packing a picnic basket to a beach for lunch, possibly access the hotel breakfast, and maybe share meals/appetizers for dinner.

With teens on board, all bets are off, they like to eat !
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:07 AM   #22
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Walmart has 2 stores on the Big Island and also Oahu. Long's Drugstore is popular with locals. When I vacation there, I usually eat fresh fruit and scrambled eggs with Portugese sausage. I snack on Macadamia nuts and Shrimp Chips. I alternate between inexpensive and inspensive restaurants for dinner. On Oahu, the food court at Ala Moana Shopping Center is my favorite for lunch - lots of variety and inexpensive.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:06 AM   #23
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We always go to the local farmer's markets for great local vegetables, fruit, and snacks.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:07 AM   #24
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I recall some pretty amazing food trucks semi-permanently parked on the north shore of Oahu. Ask around when you're there.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:54 AM   #25
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OP--do take some good ear plugs for Waikoloa--the early morning birds sing quite loud!
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:05 AM   #26
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Marukame Udon in Waikiki area, Kuhio street. $5-10 gets a great meal. But be prepared for the big line.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:34 AM   #27
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Go where the locals eat. You’ll get more authentic local food and most locals aren’t paying anywhere near those prices. Ask around and you’ll have a more authentic experience.
Ironically, with internet, yelp, etc., all the tourists seeking local authenticity inundate these local spots, locals stop going, thus becoming a tourist spot.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:37 AM   #28
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We always sought out seafood shops. These often sell fresh seafood from a counter as well as cooked meals to order and poke. One place on Kuaui even invited us back to see into their fish locker where they had huge whole fish hanging from the ceiling like a whole ahí tuna and opa and some wahoo.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:12 PM   #29
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Thanks for all replies. Will get some fruit and pastry for breakfasts, eat at Fast Food and food trucks for lunch and then do dinners at some tourist spots and some local spots. Should be fun.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:38 PM   #30
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At the beach we found the little snack shacks that sold rice and chicken plates handy and cheap for a beach lunch.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:28 PM   #31
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Happy hour is one solution. The other is to use VRBO or similar to rent a condo where you have a full kitchen, go to grocery store and make half your meals at the unit.

We went about 4 years ago and did this, worked out great for us.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:49 PM   #32
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If I was on Hawaii I'd eat as much fresh local fish as I could. And at least one Luau.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:24 PM   #33
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The fresh flowers in the grocery store are a good deal too. Best place to buy a lei. And the containers help preserve them in the fridge. We enjoyed our grocery store leis, we wore them to a nice dinner one night and were complimented by the hostess on our observing a local custom. They smelled so good! When we checked out, we gave the leis to the front desk. Apparently you aren’t supposed to throw leis in the trash.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:51 PM   #34
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Yes, restaurant food is expensive in Hawaii.

The last couple of times we were there, in the big island then in Maui, we stayed in timeshares with kitchen. Hello Costco!

I have a family trip coming up in less than 2 months. Airbnb this time. The 1st thing we are going to do after landing is to visit Costco. In Maui, Costco is closed to the airport anyway.

We will do some eating out, but having to look for a place to eat for every meal is not desirable to us anyway, let alone cost.

PS. Maui Costco is the place to get gas. The price difference to other gas stations is substantial. Again, it's a good place to fill up before returning the rental car.
getting gas at costco before returning the rental car is a good idea. unfortunately everyone has the same idea so the lines at the pumps are very long. give yourself lots of extra time to stop for gas.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:54 PM   #35
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Yeah, wait in line for half an hour to save 5 bucks. 10 bucks an hour, good wages!
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:29 PM   #36
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Nah. It was less than 5 or 10 minutes when we were there.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:19 AM   #37
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Ironically, with internet, yelp, etc., all the tourists seeking local authenticity inundate these local spots, locals stop going, thus becoming a tourist spot.


Yeah, I like to ask people who live locally. Some may not want to divulge the secret local places, but I’ve had great results this way.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:47 PM   #38
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getting gas at costco before returning the rental car is a good idea. unfortunately everyone has the same idea so the lines at the pumps are very long. give yourself lots of extra time to stop for gas.
Wait time at Costco gas on Alakawa (just N of China Town, off Dillingham) has dramatically improved since they added lots of pumps last year. Maybe 10 minutes wait time now on average. When gas prices have moved up rapidly, Costco can save you up to $1/gallon. Usually, it's more like $.30 (minimum) to $.40(average)/gallon.

It's more or less on your way to the airport.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:11 PM   #39
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We were in Maui just four years ago, but the last and 2nd time we went to Oahu has been 25 years!

We stayed in Waikiki both times, and also this time. However, we get an Airbnb this time in Discovery Bay.

Just checked out the map to see the above Costco only 2 miles from the Airbnb. And Chinatown is on the way too. Another place to visit for some Chinese food. I still remember going there last time. Darn, it's been a long time. My 30-year-old son now was only 5 then.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:19 PM   #40
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When in Maui, eat at Horjitos Taco truck off the beach by Kam III. Look for local labels in the grocer, and know that there are 3 classes of grocer, Safeway being the most stocked but most spendy. Farmers markets are on Saturday in Kihei, There might be another one some other place/time. I lived in Kihei so really know that area the best but fire away, I visited every single island and have the most visited City-Date HI post on that forum over there so I know my stuff. Mamas fish house is a must, go at lunch to save some money but always book reservations, even for just 2!
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