Camping on a budget!
Posted on 04/08/2015 by John Morley
If you are away for more than a few days, then the easiest way to save money is to stop going to all the fancy tapas bars and Pizzerias, and get cooking yourself. However, once on the move, it’s very easy to stock up on ingredients only to later find you never used them. This is not only a waste of food, it’s a waste of your money! So why not look at this trip as an opportunity to perfect your culinary skills.
Here are our top tips for avoiding waste and saving money:
- Imagine you are a penniless student. This will help break into the mind-set of cheap and simple eating. You may even remember you favourite recipes from back in your student days! Noodles on toast with ketchup, scrambled eggs with sausages, simple but effective.
- Plan your meals in advance. Yes, I know it’s boring, but if you are passionate about keeping those pennies then the hour spent making a meal plan can save you greatly in the long run. Once you make a plan, you’ll see what things on your shopping list will only get used once or twice, and then you can try to find a less wasteful alternative.
- Buy things that will last. And the things that won’t last, buy as little as possible. Don’t but a huge chuck of cheese, only to eat ¼ of it. And buy long life milk. This kind of thing will make a huge difference. If you run out of something, you will never be too far from a shop where you can restock!
- Find versatile foods. Eggs can be used for scrambled eggs, omelettes, egg fried rice, pancakes, the list goes on. If you find foods such as this that you can mix easily with other ingredients, you’ll waste a lot less!
- Buy condiments! Camping cooking can be very dull, so buying ketchup, salsa, or even something like seeds to add to your meals can really make the difference between a bland meal and something boringly exquisite.
So let’s get to it. Breakfast is pretty simple to sort out. If you like cereal, grab a box of your favourite, and some long life milk. If you want toast, get a loaf, and some marmalade or whatever takes your fancy. A fry up isn’t too hard to make either, just some eggs, bacon and sausages and you’re away! So that’s 1/3 of your meals sorted.
Now for lunch and dinner, where most of us like to enjoy something a little more complex then coco pops. With the ingredients that you have for breakfast you can already make a combination of simple meals: sausage sandwich, scrambled eggs on toast, French toast, bacon butty. Easy. Perhaps some condiments like ketchup would be a nice addition too. But there’s only so many sausage sandwiches your waist line will enjoy, so here’s some simple ideas to get you on your way.
Pasta, rice or noodles is a great base for any meal. With this, you can chuck in some of your breakfast ingredients, and make a sausage pasta, or egg fried rice. Now, just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you can forget your 5-a-day, but as we all know, fruit and veg is very easy to waste with its short shelf life, so the best way to avoid rotting food is to find a market and buy cheap vegetables every few days. Now, with your chosen veggies you have open up a huge door to culinary excitement. You can make a stir fry with your noodles, or pasta with veg, or if you’re feeling bold, you can buy a packet of ready mixed spices and try for some chilli con carne or Fajitas. Another great and filling food is the Spanish Tortilla, which is basically a fat omelette, with boiled potatoes and any other vegetables, and it’s perfect for any time of the day. Even soup is quite simple. All you need is a packet of stock, and add in some finely cut veg of your choosing, and some meat if you fancy, and boil.
As you can see, just a few ingredients can be mixed in a combination of ways to make various different things. You just need some staples and away you go! But on top of these staples, there are a few things that always come in handy, such as a variety of dried fruit. This can be added to cereal and be used as a snack. Cheese is a helpful addition too, and can be used to put on top of pasta dishes, or even to make cheese on toast. Tins of tuna are convenient too. You can add this to any pasta, rice or noodles dish, as well as sandwiches and salads.
Now I understand that not everyone wants to live on sandwiches and pasta for the duration of their trip, so for the more daring of you out there, here’s some links to some people who are much more experimental with their camping recipes then I appear to be!
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