Thursday, September 11, 2008

Great Things Do Come in Small Packages

I'm in the home stretch of getting ready for my vacation to see the Civil War battlefields of the Shenandoah Valley and Gettysburg. I'm staying in a different town each night and I've booked myself into some nice small mom and pop old fashioned motels like The Blue Sky Motel in Gettysburg. To say that I can't wait to take my car for the first serious road trip would be an understatement.

I finished cleaning the house this morning and ran the last load of laundry before I pack. LB has a two week supply of cat food and even some new kitty treats and a new toy. Agi, the wonderful cat sitter, has been confirmed. I even have managed to remember to suspend the delivery of the NYT this time!

I feel like I'm grabbing a bit of my childhood back with this trip in more ways than just a long car trip to historic sites. Because besides packing clothes and few other essentials, I am packing enough food to have breakfast in the hotel room and lunch at various picnic sites along the way; just like my parent's used to do when we went on our summer vacations.

I have the picnic blanket and a nifty travel picnic kit from En Route ready to go and I've stocked up on a few other things that always meant car vacation to me. I've even borrowed a play from my mom's playbook and have baked cookies and a batch of home made granola to snack on. (Note: I'm taking a small little breaky break from the diet this week. Promise I'm not going hog wild but part of my trip had been planned around some food and wine stops) But, I wanted to try and keep my supplies to the minimum because it is only me after all and I was having a hard time finding small containers or single servings of some food items.

Getting frustrated and not wanting to go to every fast food joint in Westport and Norwalk to steal ketchup packs and ask for extra jam at the diner to stuff in my purse, I Googled "travel size food" and found the most incredible site for all things travel size, Minimus!

This site has everything you could ever want in single serving and travel sizes. I was stunned that I could get not only the things I normally see in the travel size aisle at Target but I could even get some gourmet foods in single servings. You know like those cute little jam pots that get brought up to you on the room service tray at really nice hotels and even pate! Prices aren't bad either with a packet of ketchup being .06 cents a packet.

I spent about two hours clicking through every category on the Minimus site. I was dreaming of stocking a sailboat galley and a kitchen of a little house by the lake. Heck, I was even thinking about what I would stock in the ultimate hotel room mini bar for a foodie with items from Minimus. So, did I order anything from Minimus?

You bet your lipstick covered pig I did! (snark...)

Here is what I ordered:
Travel Size Goodies from

Some little salt and pepper packs, some mayo, some orange marmalade, some Dijon mustard, and four containers of cereal. Grand total cost, including shipping? About fourteen bucks. Not bad as far as I'm concerned because it saved me from buying larger jars of most of these things that I already had in my fridge, not having to worry about keeping open jars of mayo cool during the day, and driving all over Fairfield county stealing condiments. Plus, I found out about the great Minimus customer service.

I originally ordered two Special K cereal packs. The next day I got a very nice email telling me they were out of stock and giving me several options: wait until the Special K came in and have my order shipped, have what was in stock shipped and at no extra shipping costs have the Special K shipped when it arrived, cancel the Special K, or have their customer service suggest a comparable replacement. I went with the suggest a replacement thinking I would just get 2 of whatever they had in stock tossed in the box. Nope, I got another really nice email giving me two or three options to choose from, which is how I ended up with Product 19 cereal.

So, will I be ordering from Minimus again? Oh yea!

Next time I have to travel for a long business trip I'm stocking up on things I would really want in the minibar! Because you never know when a little pack of fudge sauce, a small pack of duct tape, and this fun product just might come in handy, if you know what I mean...