One of the great benefits of RV travel is having your own kitchen. Meal planning for your trip is a great way to make the best use of your small space.
Other great benefits of meal planning are saving money, eating healthy, and freeing up your time for more fun! Best of all, meal planning takes the guesswork out of “what’s for dinner” on travel days.
Follow these tips for easy meal planning for your next RV trip:
Save Space by Using Overlapping Ingredients
Planning multiple meals with the same ingredients makes shopping a breeze and saves space in your small pantry and refrigerator. This works especially well if you cook a little extra of one ingredient for dinner and use them for a future lunch.
Plan to throw a couple of extra chicken breasts on the grill and you can have chicken salad or chicken quesadillas for lunch another day. Other options include a pot of chili one night and chili dogs a few days later.
Prep in Advance
A simple time-saver is to prepare as much as you can in advance. How about assembling a casserole in a tin foil baking dish, then simply warm up over a fire once you arrive at your campsite?
Look at your recipes and identify things that can be done ahead of time. Wash and cut your veggies, pre-make dishes that won’t spoil, cook any pasta or rice, etc. It may seem like a lot to do, but you’ll be so glad you did when you arrive at your vacation destination and have more time for fun.
If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can also buy pre-made items like guacamole, hummus, or sliced cheese packages. They are easy to pair with crackers for munchies everyone can enjoy.
Keep it Simple
When planning your menu, consider these no-fuss cooking and clean-up strategies. For example, cook in foil packets instead of dirtying a pan. One of the most popular foil packet recipes is as simple as adding shrimp, corn, and boiled potatoes to foil with Cajun seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil. Wrap it up and toss it on the grill or in your RV oven, and dinner will be done in no time!
If you are using a pan, how about a one-pot meal? Chili, stews, or breakfast scrambles all fall into this category. Either option can be cook over a campfire or on the stove top and make clean up a breeze.
Spice up Your Sandwiches
Sandwiches are easy to assemble and save money (and your waistline) over fast food. That doesn’t mean you need to eat PB&J every day. Try these simple ideas to add a little variety to your lunch:
- Pack tortillas or pita bread for a different take from sliced bread
- Heat your sandwiches in a pan or griddle
- Substitute mayo & mustard with salad dressing or hummus
- Use arugula instead of iceberg lettuce
Plan for Snacks and Beverages That Won’t Break the Bank
Paying for snacks and drinks on the road can quickly get out of hand. Make sure to plan for adequate munchies for the whole crew.
Consider snack foods that don’t require refrigeration to save space for meal items. These simple snacks are healthy and don’t require any utensils. Pre-package carrots, apples, crackers, granola bars, and mixed nuts in small containers or ziplock bags to have snacks at the ready.
For easy drinks that are both inexpensive and don’t take up extra storage space, bring along refillable water bottles. You can add a little flavor with sliced fruit or small packages of liquid flavor water enhancer. These are especially useful if you’re going to be visiting any theme parks or other entertainment venues that have pricey beverages.
Don’t Forget S’mores and Other Treats
Last, but not least, don’t skimp on the sweets! One of the most important and enjoyable aspects of camping is sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. Is it even possible to camp without s’mores? Fire ban in place or simply no fire rings at your RV resort? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Place miniature marshmallows and chocolate chips into a sugar cone, wrap in foil, and put it on the grill (or in the oven) for 5 minutes.
We hope these tips help you save time and money on your next RV trip! If you have other tips cooking and food prep while camping, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.