Apart from petrol I think the main expense we encounter when travelling is food. We can’t do without it. It’s a necessity of life, but it can get very expensive, especially when you are travelling.
As much as I like to spend a few dollars in the small towns we pass through, groceries in these places can be much pricier than in larger centres. This is largely due to the costs involved in getting the goods there. We also like to eat out occasionally, but to do that all the time becomes extremely expensive. This is not always a good option health wise either. So I have put together some tips for you on How to Save Money on Food When Travelling.
Planning your meals before you go away anywhere will allow you to buy just the right amount of food for that trip. It will also mean that you won’t be left with a lot of food to try and use up on the last day of your trip or to bring home.
According to Foodwise, a national campaign run by not-for-profit group Do Something, Australian’s throw away a staggering $8 billion worth of food a year. That equates to 20% of the food they purchase or $1036 worth of food per average household. You can download and print our handy Camping Meal Planner HERE.
MAKE YOUR OWN LUNCHES
If you are travelling between places or out sight-seeing for the day it can often be tempting to stop at a coffee shop or bakery for lunch. We do this sometimes and the last time we did, it cost us almost $40 for 4 pies and 4 drinks. So most of the time we make our own lunch. If we have the trailer on it is so quick and easy to open the kitchen up and make some sandwiches. When we go on Day Trips I take a small picnic bag with us with plates, cutlery, a breadboard etc in it. If you have a fridge in your car you can take drinks, cold meat, salad stuff etc. with you.
REDUCE YOUR PORTION SIZES
This is one that I am sometimes guilty of. I eat way too much and then feel over full afterwards. By reducing your portion sizes just a little bit you can save a considerable amount of money over time. It is also much better for your overall health. Reducing your portion sizes will also help reduce food wastage because you won’t find yourself cooking as much.
This should also apply to those much loved nibbles that we all indulge in with a beer or a wine at the end of the day, chippies, biccies, cheese, dip – you know the ones I’m talking about! Again this is healthier for us, especially if we are sitting in a car for long periods of time and not getting the exercise that we should be.
BUY FROM ROADSIDE STALLS
Keep an eye out whilst you are travelling, for roadside produce stalls. You will often find beautiful fresh produce straight out of the paddock for a fraction of the price of what it would cost you in a supermarket. And of course you will be putting a few extra dollars into a farmers pocket.
One of the hardest things when travelling is keeping your food fresh and cold. A portable fridge that runs off 12 volt power is a must if you have any hope of keeping food fresh. This is one of the main reasons we chose a compressor fridge for our caravan.
If you don’t have a fridge, there are some great Cool Box’s available now that are better than just a standard esky. Fill them with ice, don’t open them to often and keep them out of direct sunlight (covering them with a thick blanket helps too) will help keep your food cold.
I also freeze all my meat before we go, as this helps it last longer. If you are staying in the one spot for a few days, ask the local butcher if he will cryovac and freeze your eat for you.
If you do have bread or fresh produce avoid leaving it in the hot sun or in the car as this will make it go off more quickly. I always carry a couple of tight-sealing plastic containers with me so if I do happen to have some leftovers I can store them for the following day.