I know that this sounds like a "duh" sort of thing to post about but you would not believe how many times I have not brought snacks thinking that I would not be out for long and end up having to stop by the local McDonald's and spend close to $20. That is a pretty costly mistake if you ask me...I live about 30 miles from one of the larger cities that we go to pretty often for shopping and things like Dr. visits. So, someone is going to get hungry while we are out. It never fails. What I like to do is bring along either a box drink, or one of those squeeze it drinks. You can also pack some sippycups with juice or water just as well. But I like to just toss it when we are done so that I don't have to remember to get it out of my car later. I also like to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are pretty healthy and very filling and they also stay good so you don't have to worry about the temperature in the car too much either. Just doing that can really save you a lot of money while going around town.
I would love to hear some of your cost saving ideas while out with the kids.