Are you looking for ideas for cheap camping meals? There’s no reason to spend a fortune on dining when you’re enjoying spending time with friends and family members in the great outdoors. After all, camping is one of the most economical ways to enjoy time away from home. Whether you are camping in a tent or spending time in a recreational vehicle, there are a number of affordable dining options that you may want to try.
Ideas for Cheap Camping Meals
No camping trip is complete without at least one meal that includes wieners roasted over the campfire. If you camp frequently, watch for sales on hot dogs and stock your freezer with the bargains that you find. Many supermarkets run buy one, get one free specials on hot dogs, as well as offering significant markdowns on packages that are close to the expiration date. Coupons for brand name wieners are often included in newspaper circulars. When you find great deals on hot dogs, buy several packages and freeze them right away.When you’re ready to head to your favorite campgrounds, toss a couple of packs into your cooler and cook once they have had a chance to thaw. The easiest – and most fun — way to cook hot dogs while camping is to place them on long sticks or roasting forks and hold over an open fire until heated through.
If you’re looking for a cheap one-pot camping meal idea, you can’t go wrong with a big pot of beanie weenies, also called franks and beans. This simple dish is nothing more than canned pork and beans combined with hot dog chunks. You can use hot dogs straight from the package, or use leftovers from the previous day’s open fire wiener roast if any are available. Simply dump a few cans of beans into cookware that is safe for use on the grill or over a campfire, add the hot dogs, stir, and heat. Nothing could be easier, or more affordable.
There’s no reason to cook every time you get hungry while you are camping. After all, every time you light the grill or make a campfire, you are using charcoal or wood. You may want wait until the evening to enjoy cooked food so that the grill or campfire can serve the double duty purpose of helping keep the members of your party warm during the cool evening hours while also cooking your food.
Sandwiches can be terrific cheap camping meals that don’t require any cooking and that are very affordable. Pack a loaf of bread and your favorite sandwich ingredients, such as peanut butter, deli meat, canned tuna, and your favorite condiments. Stock up on the items that you like to use to make sandwiches when they are on sale so that you don’t find yourself having to pay top dollar for the grocery items you need immediately before your trip. Keep in mind that deli meat is perishable, but can be frozen until ready to depart for your trip.
For maximum affordability and convenience, save the extra condiment packages that you receive when purchasing deli sandwiches or fast food. They are perfect for use during camping trips. Utilizing these individual packets rather than tossing them away is environmentally responsible and can keep you from having to purchase pricey miniature containers of condiments for camping trips.
Cook Ahead for Affordable Dining
While there are many convenience foods designed to meet the needs of campers, they tend to be more expensive than recipes that you prepare yourself. While backpackers may find that freeze dried camping meals are their best option, this is not true for individuals who enjoy camping in improved campsites where they have access to grills and can easily utilize sizeable coolers.
If you don’t want to bother with cooking during your camping trip, you can still enjoy cheap camping meals. Simply prepare a few of your favorite recipes ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze. Affordable foods that freeze well and that can be reheated on a grill or over an open campfire include chili, stew, meat for Sloppy Joes, and more.
Watch for sales on loaves of bread and hamburger buns to serve with your homemade meals in advance of your next camping trip. Freeze bread while it is still fresh and allow it to thaw while en route to your destination. You’ll be able to enjoy tasty meals without spending a fortune or devoting much of your vacation time to cooking.
For more camping meal ideas and suggestions, see:
- Camping Food List
- Dutch Oven Camping Recipes
- Outdoor Grill Cooking Recipes
- What Kind of Food Is Good for Camping?