Are you seeking some clever ideas for inexpensive camping meals? After all, when you’re having fun in the great outdoors with friends and family, there’s no need to spend a fortune on meals.
Camping is one of the most affordable vacation activities if you’re smart about it. Instead of waiting in line to get some overpriced burgers near the campground, you can prepare something beforehand, save money, and enjoy the RV camping vibe.
Once you go through this short guide, you will be able to freely focus on taking pictures of the beautiful scenery around you with your new iPhone equipped with some of the best eco-friendly and sustainable wooden cases that fit the unique, natural camping vibe, have fun with your family and be worry less about how much money you’re going to spend on food and whether you should eat it or out while camping.
To put all that together, here are some inexpensive dining options you might wish to try, whether camping or traveling in a recreational vehicle. All the affordable, simple meals and tips listed below are suitable for people of any age, so let’s take a look!
Prepare Ahead For Cheap Dining
While convenience foods may seem like a good option, they can get very expensive. The key to eating well on less is planning. Follow these tips for eating healthy and saving money on travel days. For eating well at the campground, plan a menu in advance. This will allow you to shop at home ahead of time, which can be a huge money saver because you know where the best deals are. And if you’re thinking, who wants to cook on vacation, save time as well by creating meals with overlapping ingredients to reduce time over the stove. I created the Cooking at the Campground digital download just for this purpose. It comes with quick, easy, and delicious recipes for 3 full days at the campground, as well as a pantry packing list and tips for making use of your small space.
Another way to make cooking at the campground more enjoyable is to grill outside so you can hang out around the campfire where the action is. And you don’t have to make things from scratch at the campsite. Simply prepare a handful of your preferred recipes beforehand, then chill or freeze them. For example, chili, stew, beef for Sloppy Joes, and other reasonably priced items can be frozen and warmed on a grill or over an open campfire.
Before your next camping trip, watch out for bargains on hamburger buns and loaves of bread to use with your prepared meals. While the bread is still warm, freeze it, and then defrost it as you travel. Then, without spending a fortune or spending a lot of your holiday time in the kitchen, you’ll be able to savor some delicious meals.
Sandwiches can make excellent, inexpensive camping and travel day meals that are incredibly reasonable and don’t need to be cooked. Bring a loaf of bread or some baguettes and your preferred sandwich fixings, like peanut butter, deli meat, veggies, and condiments.
Stock up on the items you prefer to use to prepare sandwiches when they are on sale. Deli meat can be frozen until you are ready to leave for your trip. When grilling, consider throwing an extra chicken breast on to have grilled sandwiches the next day or to chop up for chicken salad sandwiches. Use hummus or guacamole to give your sandwich extra verve!
When camping it’s fantastic to have options for no-cook meals. You might be too worn out or too hot after a day of hiking or fishing for cooking. In addition, there are instances when you want something that is quick and requires no cleanup. Charcuterie boards are perfect for this and you can prep everything in advance, so when it’s time to eat, all you need to do is assemble it.
Here are a few tips for creating a delectable charcuterie board:
- Choose a variety of proteins like meats, cheeses, hummus, and nuts. Meats can include cured meats like salami or prosciutto, while cheeses can range from soft cheeses like Brie to hard cheeses like Parmesan.
- Vegetables and fruits round out the meal. Choose items that don’t require much prep like cherry tomatoes and grapes.
- A charcuterie board is not complete without some tasty accompaniments. Common accompaniments include mustard, honey, avocado, and olives.
- Finally, include some crackers or bread (even better include both).
Don’t Forget About Drinks, Snacks, and Desserts
Drinks, snacks, and desserts can easily bust any budget. Save yourself from the temptation of purchasing these at convenience stores by planning ahead. Pre-cut vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower in advance and pair them with your favorite dip when you get hungry. Fruit is another option that you can keep at the campsite and you don’t have to worry about refrigeration. These peanut butter and jelly bites are my favorite snack. They’re so good, they could even be considered dessert. Smores are obviously a quintessential camping dessert and you can get creative with them. I like to add sliced raspberries or butterscotch syrup to mine. For drinks, water is obviously the simplest and healthiest option. If you don’t want it plain, grab some flavor additives like Mio at the grocery store. Bring refillable bottles to take your own drinks when you go out exploring.
There will be times when you want to treat yourself to a meal outside of the campground. Don’t worry…there are still ways to save, even at restaurants. Our first tip is to find something local. If you are going to splurge, make it worth your while by enjoying something you can’t have every day. For example, a great choice if you’re in the Atlanta area is Mac’s Raw Bar. Specializing in sustainability, it’s a great place to enjoy local ingredients from Georgia farmers and fishermen.
We also like to look for unique stops that have been featured on the Food Network’s Diner’s, Drive In’s, and Dives. When we were in Scotsdale, Arizona we found the best barbeque in a car wash! Not the place you’d normally look, but The Thumb was a great find!
Finally, we use the Groupon website to find restaurant discounts any time we’re on the hunt for a reasonably priced meal.
As you can see, it’s possible to eat well while camping without spending a fortune. Always remember that camping is primarily about having fun and breaking up your routine, so be adaptable and inventive.