Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Eat on the Road

I'm surprised I didn't make this post earlier. Eating on the road is by far the hardest and most common problem for a traveling cheapskate. Every day food will go bad, you'll lack certain nutrients, and you'll crave the luxury of a nice warm meal at home. Follow these tips and hopefully you won't have as much difficulty with these problems.

Bring a camper stove with fuel
This has been ESSENTIAL on any road trip Birdy and I have been on. Instead of eating expensive restaurant food, we find a nearby Walmart, set up the stove, and heat up some grub. It's always satisfying to have a hot meal at the end of the day and it preps you for what's to come in the morning. We usually have canned soups in the trunk and mix various veggies in with it for a tasty meal.

Canned Veggies/Beans
Not only do you need fruit, but you need your vegetables, too. Carry some canned veggies instead of the fresh stuff since it tends to go pretty bad right quick. Canned beans are also good in order to get the protein that you need, which is often lacking in a road tripper who tends to avoid the regular restaurant hamburger.

Fruit, fruit, more fruit
It's a good idea to carry a few pieces of fruit at all times. Not only is it a great snack in between meals but it will give you the kind of nutrients that are often hard to come by when traveling. If you're packing light, just have a few pieces and buy more at the grocery store when you have the chance.

Spices Help
It may sound silly, but carry a portable spice container with various spices. You can often find them in the outdoor section and it makes sure that you don't get sick of eating the same kind of meal every single day. When Birdy and I were on our two month road trip, we were both going a little mad eating the same kinds of soups every single day. If we had just varied it with different spices we could have handled it a lot better.

Snack Bars = Quick Energy
Birdy and I have a rule: if one person says your cranky, you have to get a snack. Often our fights on the road have primarily been caused by hunger and you'd be surprised how often you don't notice it when you're traveling. That's why we carry a plentiful amount of snack bars. Usually we go for the high calorie types since they ensure you last for most of the day before you stop for lunch or dinner.

Eating on the road is tough. You don't have the luxury of a fridge or kitchen every single day and that means you have to work harder to ensure you get all of your nutrients. It's often tempting to just stop at restaurants all the time but if you're traveling cheap, those expenses can often surprise you by the end. By carrying your own food and acting smart, I guarantee you can cut your food costs by at least 80%.

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