One thing that has made mini trips very affordable for us is being able to stay in Airbnbs wherever we go. It's not just less cost for the accommodations, it also means savings on food. We always choose places that have some kind of kitchen, even if it's more of a kitchenette. We don't need much...a pot and a frypan, a stove top, a couple plates, bowls and flatware, and of course the usual coffeepot and microwave. We make simple meals and save a bucketful on eating out!
There is no way that my wife would cook if we would take a trip, mini or maxi. We spent a week at one of the long stay hotels, I think it was Homewood Suites and she told me that was the first, last and only time that we would stay in one of those types of hotels. I thought it was pretty neat. I wanted to go out and buy some food and make it in the room, but she wasn’t having any of that. I did get away with making a pot of coffee. (My wife is a bit of a prude.)