We discovered these solutions:
- Tea Shops. Toasted tea cakes, scones and cups of tea (my son has become addicted to tea, preferring the more exotic blends to the everyday) or milkshakes.
- Big breakfasts mean you can last until lunch time. It doesn't have to be a cooked breakfast - cereal followed with lots of toast will do.
- Big lunches mean you can avoid expensive mid afternoon snacks or desperately grabbing whatever overpriced restaurant you can find in the evening.
- You can of course make it yourself, but its not always that easy to carry loads of sandwiches around with you on the tube. We found it easier to take snacks - muesli bars, biscuits, fruit.
- You can buy pre-made sandwiches in some off licenses. They're not the greatest, but needs must...
- Carry water with you.
- Make sure you have lots of fruit with breakfast!
- In London, the boys liked subway, because they felt full afterwards.
For the evening, self-cater as much as you can.You will eat healthier and save a packet. But sometimes you'll be tired, or busy, or out of food. Here's what we found:
- In London, curry houses or Turkish restaurants had better prices.
- Teens love buffets, look out for 'all you can eat' deals. We found a Chinese place in Exeter offering £6.00 meals.
- In rural areas, it's pretty much pub grub. Ask around for which pubs do good meals - there is a lot of variation. The good ones are really great.
- Try and encourage the kids to order potatoes instead of fries. If you can.
- The tourist areas are expensive - like £70 for hamburgers and fries at convent garden. Aargh! So either avoid the tourist areas, or eat before you go, or just suck it up. Tell yourself that you'll never be there again...