Spring time is soon upon us and many of us are making plans for the approaching warm weather. One of the most favorite American pastimes is the illustrious road trip. Famous for creating on-the-cheap impromptu memories, the road trip is a tradition for many of us.
When heading out on a road trip, it’s easy to assume that the bulk of your budget will be spent on gas and accommodations. Even though the cost of these things can really add up, however, you might be surprised by how much you spend on food too. Grabbing fast food or stopping at a restaurant several times a day can really add up in cost and can totally blow your budget, leaving you with less money to spend on other things. Luckily, following these tips can help you reduce your food costs while on a road trip.
First of all, it is important to avoid one of the most common mistakes of all: stopping at convenience stores to buy all of your food. As when you’re at home, it’s almost always way cheaper to shop at a grocery store instead. Stopping at a local grocery store won’t take much longer than stopping at a busy truck stop, and you can save a ton of money by doing so. Consider stocking up on non-perishable snacks — like fruit cups, pudding cups, chips, etc — as well as bottled water and drinks for your cooler. For meals, consider buying sandwich meat, peanut butter and jelly, bread and other similar items that can be used to make fast meals. You can also check out the deli section for prepared foods; rotisserie chickens, fried chicken, salads, subs and other foods are often much cheaper than they are at restaurants and can be quite tasty, too.
One of the great joys of heading out on a road trip is the fact that you are free to do some of your own cooking. Stop at a park or campsite and consider firing up one of the available grills; then, you can make all sorts of homemade meals that are sure to be tastier, healthier and much more affordable than what you can buy at any restaurant.
If you are going to eat out, consider looking for meals that will provide you with plenty of leftovers to pack in your cooler or stash in your backseat and munch on later. For example, you might find that you get a much better price per meal by buying a whole pizza and eating off of it for a couple of days versus buying an individual slice, and many restaurants that sell chicken or barbecue have great family-style meals that can last for days.
It can be easy to spend way too much money on food when you’re on the road. If you want to keep your costs in check on your next road trip while making sure that you and your traveling companions eat well, consider following these three tips. Then, you’re sure to be satisfied with what you are eating, and you can keep more money in your pocket for other aspects of your trip, such as so that you can see various tourist attractions or so that you can buy more souvenirs to take home.