Monday, July 15, 2013

Eating Well {& Cheap} on Vacation–Part 3

Taking a summer vacation doesn’t have to be expensive, when you plan ahead, choose the meals carefully and decide what to bring vs. what to buy you are well on your way to eating well {& cheap} on vacation.


Once you have your menu determined, then you can make decisions about what you will bring from home vs. what you will buy when you arrive

Tip 1: Buy things ahead of time that are easy to pack

  • Dry items are easy to pack; bring things like tortillas, chips, mixes for pancakes or baked oatmeal, graham crackers for s’mores, crackers, pretzels, etc. 
  • Meal items that will save prep when you arrive; freeze these and they can double as ice packs!  If you only need 2 C of applesauce, don’t pack the whole jar.  Pre-measure them and place in a ziplock; then freeze.  We froze applesauce, wild rice, bread and pound cake on our last trip. 
  • Cold items that pack well; bring things like cheese, lunch meat, carrots or other hard veggies (e.g., bell peppers). 
  • Know what you need & watch for sales!  Grab onions, potatoes, tortillas, etc., ahead of time when you know that you will need them on your trip.

Tip 2: Buy most* produce (see tip #4) when you arrive

  • Visit the farmer’s market in the town that you are staying in, if possible, or stop at fruit/vegetable stands on your way!  This is a great way to support local farmers and eat in season on your vacation. 
  • If no farmer’s markets are available, visit the local grocer for softer fruits and veggies that won’t travel as well.   This could include bananas, zucchini, tomatoes and avocado.


Tip 3: Buy meat and dairy when you arrive

  • This will be your biggest expense, but also make the traveling a lot easier.  No need to mess with raw meat in a cooler for 8-10+ hours!
  • Choose wisely, buying meat in bulk (e.g., 4lb of ground beef vs. 1 lb) to use over multiple days.  This will reduce the cost. 
  • Check the deli or meat department for specials; often locally made sausages or brats will be cheaper (& more fun) than brand name ones. 
  • Find eggs locally – support the farmers!

Tip 4: Buy in bulk before you leave

  • If you have a Costco or Sam’s (or equivalent) membership, or know someone who does, now is the time to use it, especially if you are feeding a crowd! 
  • Costco allowed us to buy *fruits (organic strawberries & blueberries), *veggies (bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, spinach), chips, salsa, tortillas, cheese, graham crackers, lunch meat and more before we left; had we bought these when we arrived we would have spent much, much more!
  • Choose carefully what you will buy at Costco – buy items that will be harder to find where you are going, items that you need a lot of (for us, that was bell peppers – we went through 20 of them!), and items that you know are your best price purchase as Costco.  Skip the other items.  

What do you bring from home?  What do you buy when you arrive? 

1 comment:

  1. Good tips! I am looking forward to making the crockpot breakfast casserole!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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