If you are heading out of town like us this summer, the thought of how much it takes to feed a family for a week while out of town can be quite scary. We happen to be camping in our trailer so I plan to make almost all of our meals myself. You may think I am nuts because who wants to be cooking when they are camping but over the years I have come up with a system to make this super easy for me. I just cook ahead. For weeks now when I made a meal like lasagna, I just made two and one went in the freezer for camping. When we grilled carne asada we made a bunch and some went already sliced into a freezer bag to just be heated up and served for dinner one night.
I also buy things ahead on sale and stash in the freezer or cupboards for later. I already have all our drinks in the trailer, cases of water and snacks that I bought ahead a little at a time. I used to shop for it all right before we left and it would cost me hundreds. Now I just work at it in the months prior to leaving.
Last year we had our four kids and three of their friends plus us. To go out to eat with six teens a toddler and us would cost hundreds. Instead we would treat the kids to Starbucks or ice cream out one day and spend what we would spend on meals on fun extras. We rented a boat to float around the harbor for the afternoon and brought a picnic with us. Another day we rented kayaks.
Here is my freezer in the trailer with our pre-made meals all ready to go.
Not pretty but practical.
We have even gone budget in hotel rooms. We have brought our crockpot and plopped meals I have made ahead in when we went out and came back to a hot meal. We like to stay in Marriot's Residence Inns as hubby earns points traveling for work and we can stay for free. They have kitchens and often free breakfast and light suppers. We will usually go out for one nice meal and the rest of the time we eat in. This may not be for some but it takes just a few minutes to heat up and serve and we save hundreds of dollars this way. Works for us.