Authored by Vera Miller
Did you know that in the 1950’s people almost never went out to eat? Not only was it too expensive, there also weren’t too many places to go. Going out to eat and even enjoying a soft drink was something that most people enjoyed once a month or so – at the most.
But today, people eat out on average 4 to 5 times per week and spend around $1200 a year on fast food alone. If you’re on a road trip without an oven or even a microwave, that number can be a lot higher. If you want to save a little money on food costs, here are some suggestions for your next road trip.
You can find individual bowls of cereal in most big grocery stores and especially the bulk stores like Costco. Keep some milk in the cooler along with some plastic spoons and you have an instant breakfast.
If you don’t like cereal, you can go with something like granola bars or pre-made sandwiches with bacon, sausage, egg and cheese in any combination. These can be eaten cold with no problems but they can also be put into a thermal lunchbox and kept warm for hours.
Some people prefer to bring along some bagels with cream cheese or butter. They won’t be toasted but your kids won’t mind. You can also have a great breakfast with hard-boiled eggs and string cheese.
When it comes to lunch, sandwiches are the perfect road trip food. Not only can you simply pack the bread, meats, cheeses and condiments so that everyone can make themselves the perfect sandwich, you can create amazing sandwiches that will stay good in your cooler for a long time.
You can pair sandwiches will all kinds of portable foods that will easily keep on a long road trip. Individual bags of chips are an excellent choice but if you want to go healthier you can pair sandwiches with trail mix, fresh carrot sticks or peanut butter and cracker packages.
Dinner is a little trickier because of the desire for hot food. But here’s a trick that you can use. Put some hot dogs or ‘Lil’ Smokies’ into a thermos and fill with boiling water. They will be ready to eat whenever you are and you can just eat them by themselves or use a bun along with some condiments.
You can also use the thermos to keep soup hot and this can be a delicious dinner as well. Pair your main course with something like potato salad or macaroni salad that will keep in the cooler and then go with something sweet for dessert like a candy bar.
Snacks Between Meals
You definitely want some snacks between meals because even if you plan to stop for dinner at a restaurant, you and your family are going to get hungry at some point. Snacks that make perfect “in-betweeners” include string cheese, peanut butter/cheese and cracker packs, chips, individually packaged cookies and desserts like moon pies or Hostess treats.
Of course, you may want your kids to eat healthier snacks than that so you can go with carrot sticks with caramel dipping sauce or ranch, individual salads that you can keep in a cooler; you can also get little packages of nuts or trail mix.
If you go to one of the bulk discount stores like Sam’s Club or Costco, you will find many bulk packages of individually wrapped snacks in every shape and size.
One of the main ways that you’re going to be able to save money is if you ensure that you have access to cold beverages throughout the entire road trip.
A great way to save money on beverages is to buy (or fill) bottles of water and mix these with a packet of powder drink mix. Flavors like Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch sell in boxes of 6 or 8 in most places for about a dollar. Of course, you can also organize soda, particularly if the grownups need a caffeine boost while driving.
You can also explore options like lemonade and iced tea. The biggest thing to remember is that you’re going to save by buying before-hand; gas station drinks have an extraordinarily high mark up.
FOOD STORAGE WE RECOMMEND FOR THE ROAD: CLICK PHOTO↓
SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓