Whether with family or friends, road trips can be a lot of fun. But they can have their fair share of stress, too. After cramming your suitcases into your car, fitting your kids into their seats and playing a game of car tetris to arrange everything so you can still see out of the back, you’re finally ready to go. And the last thing you want to think about is spending tons of money on food while you’re on the road, or stress out over unfolding everyone from the car only to have to pack them back in again and deal with fights about who gets to sit where. Thankfully there are plenty of great foods you can pack and keep safely in your car to minimize both stress and spending.
If you subscribe to the Sunday paper, you’ve probably gotten sample boxes of cereal. They’re great to save for road trips. Did you know the box can be used as a bowl? Cut the side of the box, open the plastic bag and pour the cereal directly inside the box. Then add milk, and you have a great on the go breakfast. Breads are also a great option, and you can buy them in bulk. Muffins, bagels, donuts, honey buns and banana bread – keep an eye out for what’s on sale in your grocery store once your trip is near. They can also serve as snacks along the road. Other great breakfast options can be hard boiled eggs. They’re cheap and great sources of protein and are easy to make. Just boil a bundle and refrigerate them prior to your trip.
The ever present sandwich is a great classic to fall back on, especially given how many ways you can fit them together. If you want to do peanut butter and jelly on the road, though, it’s worth it to pay a little extra for the peanut butter that comes in a tube. This way you aren’t dealing with messy knives or jars, plus they take up less space. You can buy jelly in a tube too, or pick up those free packets from diners. You can also bring slices of lunch meat and cheeses to layer inside along with the spreads of your choice. Snag mayo and mustard packets from restaurants and bring them on trips for easy clean-up.
Hot dogs are a big hit on the road, and believe it or not they’re incredibly easy to make on the road. If you have a spare thermos put the hot dogs inside and fill it with boiling water. They’ll cook while you travel and still be warm by the time you’re ready to eat them. They’re even better than sandwiches and require a lot less cleanup. Another great thermos keeper item is baked beans. Heat them up and place them in a smaller thermos to serve up nice and warm later onn.