3.16.2010

Coffee-Pot Cookin'

I thought I was the only one that did this until I was talking with a co-worker about nifty ways to have coffee while you hike and camp. He mentioned an article he read about “100 things you can make with a coffee maker” (I googled it, but didn’t find anything). Then I told him (a bit hesitantly, I mean, how old am I?) that sometimes I make top ramen in my hotel coffee maker. He counter-responded with this website about “How to Cook Food in a Hotel Room”. Then I told him about this article I had just read about a guy who got laid off a year ago and has been living on his hotel points.

I guess what I am trying to say is….maybe all this traveling for work isn’t so bad after all. First, you cook eggs on your iron in your hotel, therefore gaining valuable hotel points. If you get laid off, you can use them to live. And you can always take these tips and use them at home once you get back on your feet.

All kidding aside, it is hard to try and save money when you are on the road. It’s hard to save money, it’s hard to eat right, and it’s hard to make time to exercise. I have eaten more Top Ramen, carrots with hummus (substitute for salad) and Lean Cuisines in the last few years than I did in the entire quarter century before that. These are not exactly the healthiest foods. However, you do what you can with a microwave and a mini-fridge, IF you are lucky enough to even have those. Otherwise, you eat coffee-pot Top Ramen.

Having said that, I am totally a point whore (excuse my mouth, Mom). If there is a promotion for extra points at a certain chain, I will go there. If it means checking in and out every couple of days, I will do that. If becoming a “frequent flyer” (Platinum, in hotel speak) means getting a free breakfast and/or happy hour, I will stay at a hotel for 75 nights so I can get a 4 dollar “free” breakfast. It may seem silly, but it pays off. I used my hotel points to fly first class to the Philippines four years ago. When I was in South America, it was a treat to stay in a nice hotel (for free) after staying in dingy hostels the rest of the time. The benefits are great, even if the getting there is hard sometimes.

I guess the bottom line is: coffee pot ramen is really not that bad.

photo: taken with my iPhone: Mama P and the Coffee Pot Ramen (May 2009)

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