Meltdowns aren't just for children. It is so nice to finally "get out and play"!! That said, kids along with parents can easily do too much and "lose it" after a day at the beach. Planning ahead with picnic dinners can keep the cost down and the smiles up.
You can be creative with homemade porksalad rollups with veggies and dip, or go full out with a portable BBQ for smokies and corn on the cob, or stop at your local grocery store for meat, cheese, buns and fruit you can eat without a knife.
As a shameless spender I might splurge on ice cream treats at the beach stand but that's cheap compared to dinner out or fights that "ride with you" all the way home.