In ancient times, a king had his men place a boulder on a roadway. He then hid in the bushes, and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers passed by and […]
But we also wanted to travel.
Must figure out a way to cut expenses….eating out was so expensive….home cooked meals were so much cheaper! What if we took our food with us? There were logistics to work out, I had to get to know my crockpot more personally, I had to find foods that reheated easily and could be neglected for long periods of time while we attended sessions at the conference we attended…
But, it worked. We were gone 5 days and only ate out 3 of our meals. Score! Now we bring most of our food whenever we travel anywhere–including by plane, and even with 5 kids!
Here’s a video explaining just how I go about choosing which meals to bring and how to pull of this feat without stress.
3 Tips for Travel Food
Here’s a recap of the video:
Choose meals you know your family will love. This is not the time to make massive strides toward micro managing your carbs or going sugar free….the whole point of taking your food with you on the road is to save money and eat healthier. Almost anything you make in your kitchen is going to be healthier by far than fast food, so relax and choose meals that will be gobbled up so you have no waste. This doesn’t have to mean a complete compromise–I’m just asking that you not stress out about your choices, because you’ve already made the healthiest choice in choosing to cook from scratch!
Choose meals that are easy to heat and serve. Sure, you can do cold cuts and sandwiches all week, but I’m talking about taking REAL meals with us, people! Hot, nourishing, yummy, and filling. But you want meals that aren’t too complicated: choose meals with only one element that needs to be heated so that you don’t have to bring multiple crockpots. Choose meals without fancy layers or condiments so you can just scoop and serve and devour. (Especially important if you have kids. You can get a little more gourmet if it’s just you and/or your spouse, but how much time do you REALLY want to spend cooking while on vacation, or rushing to eat between sessions at a business conference?)
Begin prepping 3 weeks out. I’m not kidding–this is the true secret to doing this without losing your mind, from one who’s been there. Decide what you’re having 3 weeks in advance of your trip, then plan each of those meals into your menu in the following week. Then, each time you make it, double it and freeze half. If at least one meal a day is a ‘double and freeze’ meal, you will painlessly stock your freezer without feeling like you did any extra cooking!
Best Real Food Meals to Freeze and Enjoy on the Road
- Baked Oatmeal*^ (make ahead in muffin form, reheat on low in a crockpot)
- High Protein Muffins (These freeze well and are good hot or cold)
- High Protein Pancakes (yummy even cold, slathered with peanut butter, jelly, or topping of your choice!)
- Scrambled Egg Casserole* (I make this in a loaf pan and heat it by setting it down inside my crockpot. Freezes well.)
- Sloppy Joes* (we do this meal on ‘arrival night’ when we haven’t had long to have the crockpot plugged in. The sauce heats up quickly while stirring at high heat.)
- Cheeseburger Soup*
- Ham and Cheese Casserole^
- Taco Salad^
Once I found the recipes that worked, I basically use the same menu each time.
Freezing and Traveling: I usually pack everything in vacuum seal bags to avoid mess. (You can also use ziplock, but be sure to double bag liquids!) The morning we leave I throw all the frozen stuff in the bottom of a cooler, and the fridge condiments and foods on the top, and it’s usually safely cold for up to 10 hours. When we fly, I put the frozen items in a collapsible freezer bag (like the ones you get at Costco or Sam’s) and pack it into a suitcase as checked luggage. We buy things like lettuce and yogurt once we get to our destination.
Reheating and Serving: Small, hand held foods like egg muffins or baked oatmeal muffins can be heated on low in a crockpot in about the time it takes to wake and dress a family of 7, or shower and curl my hair. Soups can heat within an hour on high, or be ignored while you’re out having adventures for 4-5 hours on low.
I also pack:
- Paper bowls
- Plastic utensiles
- Dishsoap and a dish scrubby
- Serving Spoon
- Salt and Pepper
Equipment you’ll need:
- Crockpot–I use a 4 quart when I’m only eating and serving one meal at a time for our family. This is the exact crockpot I use when we go on road trips.
- Hot Plate–When flying, this is a slimmer, lighter option for a heat source. Don’t forget a skillet to heat things up in!
- Vacuum Sealer–I absolutely love the one a friend gave me last year–totally makes the whole process tidier! This one is similar to mine.
We have traveled as far as L.A. this year, and been on the road for as long as 2 weeks at a time with 5 kids and have saved $100’s (and eaten healthier!) by taking our food with us. In the last year we have traveled to 15 states and still managed to pay off $28,000 of debt while doing what we love to do…travel!
Travel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Save big by bringing your own food. If you’re ready to eat the best you ever had on your next trip…while spending next to nothing, grab your copy of one of my cookbooks today and begin prepping!
PUMPKIN CHAI $64, Pumpkin Chai Candle, NEST via Bloomingdale’s There’s nothing better than a luxurious three-wick candle that’ll fill your home with a comforting blend of wild pumpkin and spicy masala chai. Plus, it has a burn time of between 80 – 100 hours. INCENSE […]
1. Give the really good stuff to your favorite tax pro just because. Nontax consequences: Everybody loves a gift, including tax geeks. Just be sure to pony up Reese’s peanut butter cups and Milky Way bars—don’t try to sneak in your butterscotch stragglers. Tax consequences: None. If you’re handing […]
A group of frogs were traveling through the forest when two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope left for them.
However, the two frogs ignored their comrades and proceeded to try to jump out of the pit. However, despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they should just give up as they’d never make it out.
Eventually, one of the frogs took heed of what the others were saying and he gave up, jumping even deeper to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the group of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and to just die.
He ignored them, and jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?”
The frog explained to them that he was deaf, and that he thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
Moral of the story: People’s words can have a huge effect on the lives of others. Therefore, you should think about what you’re going to say before it comes out of your mouth – it might just be the difference between life and death.
STILL Time to carve! ByMARIA CASSANO Sept 12 2017 bondarillia / fotolia Confession time: There is such a thing as being too obsessed with fall, and I’m definitely it. My whole apartment was decked out in leaves and gourds mid-August, so I’m beyond ready to start carving […]
None of these things exactly scream Halloween fun. But if you’re trying not to totally blow your goals on the spookiest night of the year (and you’re sick of healthy candy), try one of these festive (but good-for-you) healthy Halloween recipes: 1. Halloween Roasted Veggies COURTESY […]
10. Mary Janes
Peanut butter is great. Chewy candies can be great. But there’s just something unappealing about this chewy mess. Bit-O-Honey was ranked #11, confirming that some flavors just don’t mix well with chewy candies.
9. Good & Plenty
Since Good & Plenty are pretty much licorice, we see the reason why people don’t like them. I never minded getting a box here and a box there on a Halloween excursion. But they were never my favorites — which meant I ate them first, which is kid logic for ya.
Note that this does not include Twizzlers, and if you read the lists you’ll see they allude to, if not outright say, black licorice. Around the office the reaction was pretty much the same. Australian licorice, if you can get your hands on it, is great. The style we see at Halloween? Not so much.
Your kids will get plenty of these on Halloween. It’s inevitable. At first they’re not so bad. But the human tongue can take only so many vaguely sweet, chalky hard candy.
6. Tootsie Rolls
Your kids will also get a lot of these. They’re the easy way out for people who don’t want to spend money handing out candy to kids. You can throw a handful into each kid’s bag and it won’t set you back much. But kids tend not to like them. Note that this is a combination of regular Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls (which are flat out disgusting). We combined a few items on the lists to make them a bit easier.
5. Peanut Butter Kisses
These are neither Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, nor Hershey’s Kisses. I’ve seen them referred to as Mary Janes, which makes enough sense. You know these because they have a plain orange or black wrapper. My advice is to leave them in that wrapper and move onto the next candy.
4. Necco Wafers
They’re like Smarties, but bigger, not as sweet, and more chalky. So yeah. These took the top spot on one list, and I’m surprised they weren’t on every list. When I started this project, I was sure that they’d be the hands down worst candy.
3. Wax Coke Bottles
The novelty of these is great. The first time you get one. When you’re five years old. Then the realization sets in: you’re biting through wax to get not even a mouthful of sugar water. By age eight you toss them in the trash without even bothering.
2. Candy Corn
Look, if you don’t like candy corn, you can just give it to me. Yes, it’s just sugar. Isn’t that the point? Candy corn is nothing special. There are absolutely better candies out there. But if you can’t enjoy stuffing handfuls of candy corn into your pie hole, well, I don’t even know what to tell you.
1. Circus Peanuts
I’d completely forgotten about these! Or, more accurately, I’d blocked them out. There is no way to describe the vileness that is Circus Peanuts. I have to believe that they weren’t rated as the worst on everyone’s list because they, too, blocked these inedible monstrosities from their memories.