Frugal Meals/Snacks on Vacation/Travel, Tips & Methods - Page 2
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  1. #16
    Registered User waterbaby77's Avatar
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    Spirit Deer, thanks for the pasta salad idea. When we go on vacation I am going to take a bag of dried mini raviolis and some parmesan and pesto and things like olives and artichoke hearts, and whip up a pasta salad there in our cabin. Usually makes a lot, so we can eat it for lunch the next day too!

  2. #17
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I prep all the salad stuff before we leave, never make it when we're traveling. I prep as much as I possibly can so I don't have to bother while we're gone. It's a challenge to eat healthy while traveling, and bringing stuff from home pre-prepped helps a lot with that.

    We do a lot of repetitive eating on vacations. We don't mind it and it makes things easy. So if we eat pasta salad for lunch four days straight, we don't care. We're usually so busy we don't notice our food much anyway.

    If we're not on the go while camping, then we do a lot of Dutch oven cooking and other types of cooking that are more time-consuming. On those trips, relaxation is the focus and good food is part of that.

    Sometimes I make up mixes for stuff like coffee cake, so I can take those with and don't have to bring a bunch of ingredients. I just mix all the dry ingredients, package the wet ingredients separately, and be sure to bring along the baking or cooking instructions.

  3. #18
    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    We seldom fly - usually drive to our destination. I prep and freeze crock pot meals - put them in the cooler. Then I use an oven bag or crock pot bag, place the meal in that, put in my crock pot, fasten the lid with rubber bands, and plug it into an inverter. Our meal cooks while we drive, and you see the looks/hear the comments when we stop at a rest area and pull out our hot meal.

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  5. #19
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to talk my husband into letting me try some manifold cooking. He hates that gleam I get in my eye every time the hood of the truck is open and I start poking around in the engine well looking for places I can strap food to! So far, no luck with getting him to let me try it. He's afraid the kielbasa will explode all over the engine and set everything on fire.

  6. #20
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    I can't believe you cook in a crockpot in your vehicle! My family would think I had really cracked if I did that, but wow-what an amazing idea!! Of course then someone wouldn't get to use their laptop or movie or video games...I am always amazed by everyone on here. We are so frugal compared to our friends, but compared to this community we are so NOT.

  7. #21
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    A lot of people cook in Crock Pots in their motorhomes while traveling. I haven't decided yet if I think it's a good idea or not.

    Using one while traveling in a car is a new concept to me. Although it's interesting, I'd hate to be in a car or RV with hot food in the case of an accident. Still, I may have to give that one a try sometime!

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Our inverter has 2 plugs, so one for games/computer and one for crock pot.

    I figure it costs me around $3 for the freezer meal, and it would cost us a minimum of $10 for the 3 of us to eat at a fast food place. So we save at least $7/meal, and eat healthier too.

  9. #23
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    So where do you set the Crock-Pot?

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    We have a van - and we set the crock pot in between the front seats. originally I set it in an open top cooler between the front seats. . . now that I know the cooking bags/rubber bands keep the liquid safely inside the crock pot. . .I just set the crock pot between the seats.

  11. #25
    Registered User low-1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    I'm still trying to talk my husband into letting me try some manifold cooking. He hates that gleam I get in my eye every time the hood of the truck is open and I start poking around in the engine well looking for places I can strap food to! So far, no luck with getting him to let me try it. He's afraid the kielbasa will explode all over the engine and set everything on fire.
    We used to do that all the time when on work crews in the middle of nowhere, some "festival" type concerts as well. Nothing fancy, just a can of chunky soup or beans, tucked up on the header. Engine blocks hold a lot of heat, no need to keep the engine running.

    On the snowmobile, you can buy (and quite a few of my friends have made their own) "muff pots". Basically just re-used cookie or pastry tins, the kind you get for Christmas, mounted near the exhaust pipe with some metal strapping. They work great for cooking things, and if you are following someone down the trail who is cooking up a bunch of kubie or sausages, you build up quite a hunger smelling them cooking.

    Wrapped in foil and sealed in a closed tin, I'd never worry about anything exploding and making a mess.

  12. #26
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It's not me that's worried about a mess, it's him!

    Someone wants me to write a column about manifold cooking and has even offered to pay to have the engine detailed should anything happen, but I still can't convince him.

    Interesting about the snowmobiles. I guess that's one advantage over a dog team. Even a really hot husky isn't going to be warm enough to cook over!

  13. #27
    Registered User shortstack's Avatar
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    I've wanted to try manifold cooking as well. I think that would make for the absolute best story for my kids to tell when they grow up "The time mom cooked a roast on the engine on the way to vacation" lol
    I mentioned this to my neighbor who is not frugal and he says he could see it now "Honey! Slow down! You are burning the roast!".

    The crockpot liners are a genius idea. Those WOULD make clean up easier. Brilliant. Two thumbs up.

    Keep the ideas coming!

  14. #28
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    If we travel (once every two years?) I always try to book either a cabin/cottage so we can eat in or at the least a suite with fridge/micro. When you're feeding 9 people you don't eat out every meal. I try to take 'fun' foods we don't usually eat that also make it easy for me. Last year when we went to an amusement park we stayed at a cabin. I took toaster waffles and micro sausages and cereal, frozen pizzas, hot dogs&s'more fixins', chips, granola bars, sandwich meats&cheeses and box mac&cheese. Those are all things we don't usually eat so the kids were thrilled. I also bought some little flavor packs to put in our refillable water bottles. This made buying everybody a small snack at the park doable.

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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    • I am 'favorite-ing' this thread!
    • DH's family would take a propane stove and cans of beefaroni for rest stops. We've done the propane stove cooking too -- it's nice.


    Very cool story: In Yellowstone, there are many miles between places you can buy food. We stopped at one rest stop and made a Betty Crocker's stovetop casserole on our propane stove. A young couple set up their propane stove on the next table. The pulled an Asian noodle salad out of their cooler -- and used their stove to make tea!

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    Default Social Restaurants

    If you visit a city, check out if there is a social restaurant. In my town (Ghent, Belgium), there are several of them. Pricing is always something between 5 and 8,5 euro for two or three courses (soup, plate of the day, dessert). Their looks are not at all canteenish, they're situated in several neighbourhoods (tourist, as well as non-tourist areas) and some of them are located in beautifully reconverted buildings like an old church, a 19th century factory or an art nouveau power plant.

    The social aspect has everything to do with giving people with difficulties a training, so they can better integrate and find afterwards a decent job. Local customers, who belong to a target group, pay for the same dishes even less.

    If one wants some links for Ghent and Bruges, I can post them.

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