We recently went on a short family trip to Colorado. To help stretch our budget for more fun activities, I stashed a few food staples in the car so that we could eat at least two meals a day picnic-style, instead of going out to a restaurant. In the past I’ve packed loaves of bread, but it required either slicing the bread in advance (which crumbles and dries out faster) or taking along a bread knife and cutting board (in an already-crowded car).
This time I baked a few dozen hamburger buns the night before our trip. These miniature “loaves” don’t dry out like slices of bread, and they can easily be broken open with your fingers, without any mess. They’re versatile enough for any meal of the day, even snacks, and it didn’t take up much room to pack the buns along with a jar of peanut butter, small jar of jam or Nutella, some sliced veggies, bananas, and plastic spoons for spreading. We didn’t have room in the car for our big cooler, so I brought an insulated lunchbox for the leftover jam and veggies.
While driving to our various destinations each day, we stopped by a grocery store for a few items to add variety: sliced ham or turkey, soft spreadable cheese, yogurt, and prepared fruit/veggies from the salad bar. I estimate that we saved at least $50 per day over 6 days, and we avoided a lot of junk food as well!