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Save Money on Food while traveling

February 7, 2013

Do you really need to budget $500 for food when traveling for a week?  HELL NO! The way to save is by planning and preparing your meals ahead of time!  My husband and I have been executing this idea for several years now while going camping, traveling with others and by ourselves.  It saves a lot of time and tons of money! The recipes I choose are always approved by husband, since he is the voice of reason,logic and simplicity when I want to make things more difficult than necessary.  I’ll want to make Lobster and Steak, he says “how about chili instead?”

Half-dome, Yosemite

We are currently in Lake Tahoe and I planned for this trip several weeks ago.  We are with family and there are approximately 14 of us so we divided up dinner between the 5 families.  This way we cook, clean and prepare for one dinner instead of each night that we are on vacation.  We decided that we would be on our own for breakfast and lunch, but I even made a general itinerary of what we would eat for those meals as to encourage sticking to our low-budget plan!

We have found that this works especially well when camping!  I make the meal itinerary, shop accordingly, prepare (chop up veggies and make some meals ahead of time), then execute.  It’s always nicer when traveling with others because it splits up the price and planning time.

Here are some examples of easy dinner plans we had this week:

Day 1: Chili Beans, Cornbread and Broccoli

Day 2: Spaghetti Bake, Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad

Day 3: Chicken tortilla soup and Green Salad

Day 4: Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and Green Salad

Day 5: Turkey Tacos, Veggies and Beans

Here are some of our camping dinner plans:


Tilapia, Cornbread and Green beans

Dutch Oven: Chicken Pot Pie

Dutch Oven: Chicken Enchiladas

Dutch Oven: Rosemary and Bean Stew

Dutch oven chicken enchiladas

Thanks for stopping by!

Questions for you:  How do you save money while traveling?  What are some of your go-to recipes?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2013 10:04 am

    I think when some think vacation or on the road they think no cooking and all spending. If I can save cash I will even if it means packing lunches for trips or cooking food I bought at the shop in our villa when travelling. There is no need to spend a fortune but I think trying new foods if you are in a new country or something you’ve never had is also a must. I’d hate to miss that but I’d also be reasonable with the food budget. Have Fun!

  2. Living Debt Free Rocks! permalink
    February 7, 2013 10:05 am

    We’re currently travelling (Trinidad) and we’re staying in an apartment with a full kitchen so we’ve been able to buy groceries in order to be able to prepare small meals and snacks. It has really saved us a lot of money. We do buy a meal out every other day but the prices are fairly reasonable.

  3. February 8, 2013 8:18 am

    I love those group dinner things. I generally hate cooking, but can get into it when other people are around for some reason. Have fun on your trip!

  4. February 9, 2013 6:31 am

    Your menu for your trip sounds absolutely delicious! Your trip sounds like so much fun too!


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