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Not enough money. Where to cut?

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North Georgia
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70 posts
4 reviews
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Not enough money. Where to cut?

I don't have enough money. My honeymoon to St. John is about a month away, and I'm going to have less money than I thought. I've already paid for the villa, plane tickets, jeep rental, day trip to The Baths, etc. The only place to cut from my budget is food.

For two of us, I'm planning to bring $1,000 for food. I'd like to take the lady to really nice restaurants in the evening, visit some of the less expensive restaurants during the day, and probably eat most of our breakfasts at the villa.

Is $1,000 enough for two people for one week?

bulverde, texas
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1. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

$1000 was more than enough when we went in may for 9 days. we ate breakfasts at the villa, made sandwhiches or ate dinner leftovers for lunch and then went to fancy restaurants for dinners..zozo's twice, stone terrace, asolare, etc... all with wine at dinners as well. we loved the deli grotto. we got a HUGE turkey sandwhich and that lasted for 2 days! also ate at ocean grill for lunch in mongoose junction one day. we only spent $800 on dining and $50 at the grocery store (beer, breakfast and snack stuff) although i budgeted $1000 for 9 days.

ACB
Rhode Island
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for Virgin Gorda
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2,729 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

Just remember: nice (white tablecloth) restaurants are not the norm on St John and are very unpredictable. Sounds like Aqua Bistro has been getting good reviews for awhile so I would definately include that one on your list. Asolare is great for the view but the food is very uneven. The Lime Tree is a great deal and has had really good food for many years. Don't know how they keep doing it. My last visits to Stone Terrace and Paradiso were not at all positive. I think you could make it on $1000 just don't be too elaborate for dinner. People keep saying they are spending $100-$150 for dinner for two at the higher end places but they must not be drinking the same bottles of wine we drink...we are usually in the $250 range. :)

Holland, MI
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1,221 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

I would avoid the 'white table cloth' places and do Aqua Bistro in Coral Bay, Uncle Joe's Bar-B-Q in Cruz Bay, Cafe Roma for some delish Italian and really good pizza. Lime Inn is a good value although we never made it there this time. The 'nicer' restaurants are good but if you're cutting costs that's one place to cut IMHO. Have your breakfast at the villa, pack a sandwich for the beach and eat at the less pricey restaurants for dinner is the way to go.

Durham, North...
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93 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

On our honeymoon to St. John we were able to keep food at around $125-$150 total per day. We were on St. John for 4 nights (the other 4 nights were in the BVI's).

We saved some money by staying at a B&B with free breakfast. We went to the grocery store and bought some food for lunches (and also packed some food from home in our luggage). For dinner, our strategy was to either ask locals or other tourists where they would recommend eating or to just walk through Cruz Bay, looking at all the menus posted outside restaurants until something caught our attention. We ate at The Banana Deck, Lime Inn, Morgan's Mango, and ZoZo's. ZoZo's was definitely the fanciest, most upscale place we dined, and the bill reflected that ($150). The other three places were more relaxed, some with live music , and on average we spent around $85 for dinner. And we definitely didn't limit ourselves in the money area...we ate and drank whatever we wanted, and the bills still weren't that outrageous. To be honest, it didn't make a difference what the restaurant was like...we ordered some food, talked, had a couple drinks, and had a great time every night, no matter what the restaurant was. For us, the fun was enjoying the relaxed island atmosphere and not having to worry about fancy, white-tablecloth places.

New Hammpshire
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413 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

HMSoon, do you cook at all? I think there's nothing more romantic than cooking at the villa for your partner. Wine, candlelight, great views and the intimacy that she might like. You can get great TBone/Porterhouse/Strip steaks at Starfish, as well as the alcohol of your choosing. Nice slow pace, you are waiting on your woman, and the conversation is private. (Bug spray is a must!)

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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5,721 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

We packed a wheeled cooler with frozen chicken, Egg beaters, Bacon, Salamis, and cheeses. We sent a box to the Villa rep that was filled with crackers, cereal, granola bars, etc.

This way we had breakfast food for the villa, snacks for the beach, and chicken for dinners (and leftovers for lunches)

We did eat out, but you can do amazingly well on a budget. Cafe Roma is perfect; huge portions and great prices. One rib and chicken platter from Uncle Joes is enough for 2. Skinny Legs for burgers is another good choice. Deli Grotto has huge sandwiches too.

You can always take your new bride to a nice restaurant and share a few appetizers or have some snacks and cocktails at the villa first and then head to dinner and just have entrees and dessert.

No matter what, don't stress out about it. Just relax, you will have a great time.

lincoln park, mi
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911 posts
47 reviews
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7. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

You have gotten very good advice so far. There are plenty of moderate priced restaurants for a nice dinner. We like doing carry out from Cafe Roma and eating at the condo. It is an indoor restaurant and lacks a bit in ambience. We could split an entree, salad and appetizer and have plenty of food. We love La Tapa for a nice dinner and for two filet mignon entrees, two upscale appetizers and one drink each came to $110. I too think it is more about the laid back island atmosphere on STJ than the finest restaurants. Agree about The Banana Deck and Lime Inn being good choices. If you are in Coral Bay, be sure to grab a burger at Skinny Legs. Ours were excellent and I think around $8.

Harrisburg
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527 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

I would second ACB's feelings on the higher-end St. John restaurants. We tend to eat out every night on vacation and for the past three trips in the high season, service and quality was not always consistant.

I am lukewarm on Zozo's as our food was just ok (just like we would get at home, which is why I was disappointed) and the waiter was a jerk, snearing at our choice of $90 wine (he implied we were going cheap)

We had a good meal at the Stone Terrace - worth the cost.

Great meal at La Tapa - all three courses were excellent, waitress knew the menu and wine list and made welcome suggestions.

Actually, our favorites on St. John are the mid-range places.

If you watch your pennies, you should do just fine on $1000 for the week.

Philadelphia...
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998 posts
39 reviews
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9. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

We find it easier to eat breakfast at the villa. I just bring a box of my husband's favorite cereal from home. We get milk and other things at Starfish. This allows us to get an early start on snorkeling. For lunch we typically pick up sandwiches at Deli Grotto or eat at Woody''s. We think Uncle Joe's is fun for take out dinner.

We really aren't doing this to save money...we just like having a really casual vacation. We go out to fine dines frequently at home...so it isn't a big deal to us.

St John is a casual place. Try splurging on dinner at Panini Beach or lunch at Caneel. I think you'll find them to be fun and delicious.

Also, my husband likes to grill so at least one night we get seafood from the Fish Trap's market and he makes dinner. It really is so nice to eat at the villa by candlelight.

And finally....don't spend more money then you can afford too. The stress of that can ruin your vacation.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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70 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Not enough money. Where to cut?

My husband and I just returned from a week on St. John and we took some excellent advice we had received on TripAdvisor and packed a large soft-sided cooler on wheels full of steak, lobster, salmon, a beef summer stick, cheese, butter and spices. We checked it straight through to St. Thomas and it was no problem at all getting it to our villa. We bought milk, bagels, etc. at the Starfish market and were able to have breakfast in our villa each morning and then packed crackers, cheese and summer sausage in a smaller cooler that we took with us each day to the beach. We came home around 4 or 5 each day, showered and my ate dinner out maybe 3 times the entire week which I know saved us a ton of money. Our favorite was the lobster pasta dish at La Tapa....we ate there twice (approx. $38 ea)!!

I really enjoyed having the option to have a leisurely snack/meal at home and enjoy the beautiful views and luxury of the villa we rented. Since this is your honeymoon I think you will enjoy even more alone time than we did :>)