Welcome back, RVers! Whether you’re a weekend warrior who prefers to RV for only a few days or you like to be gone for weeks at a time, it’s easy to let meal planning fall to the wayside and just eat out for most of your trip. Well, this isn’t the most financially smart or healthiest option. Like I said, I know it might be easier at first if you’ve never meal planned, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back. You might even find yourself meal planning when you get back home! The trick is to find an easy and stress-free way of meal planning. Some days on the road will be full of adventures and explorations. You won’t want to worry over labor-intensive meals and you won’t want to be stuck in your RV kitchen when there are so many cool things to see and do.
Below is a list of our tips to how to create the best meal plan for you and your family.
Stock your RV pantry with staples.
It’s a great idea to purchase staples like salt, pepper, your favorite spices, sugar and maybe even flour. It’ll make planning your meals a lot easier when you know what you already have in your RV pantry. A few other things to keep stocked in your cabinets are nonperishable items like canned beans and dry pasta. This way, if something goes awry when you begin to cook your planned meal, you won’t be let stranded with nothing to eat. Some other items to never run low on:
- Canned vegetables
- Canned meat
- Canned pasta
- Bottles of water
Decide what meals you’ll be eating
Go ahead and write out every single meal you plan to cook while you’re RVing. I mean everything from drinks to main meals to snacks for long days out hiking, swimming, etc. When you make your list, keep everything separated by day or by meal type. Choose whichever way is easiest for you and be sure that you stay organized. You’ll have a lot to keep up with and quite a few items to buy, so organization is key. You can try having two different lists: one grocery list for everything you’ll need to buy to make the meals, and the second list is a packing list. Put everything on this list to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Another important tip: bring these with you on your trip! This will help you keep track of what you’ll be eating and when.
Plan meals you can make over a campfire
You still have amenities in your RV, but you more than likely don’t have all the appliances you have in your stationary home. To help you out with finding some simple, delicious recipes to make, sort through the thousands of dishes online that you can make over a fire. Check out these recipes for some more inspiration!
Prep everything you can before you leave
This means pre-mixing batters, dry rubs for meats or marinades for veggies. You can cut up any veggies beforehand and pre-measure ingredients so you don’t have to bring along measuring cups. This will help you stay organized and it will definitely speed up your prep time once you make it to the campsite. The whole point of camping it to spend as much time as you can with your friends and family, and who wants to be stuck measuring out ingredients when you’re trying to make lasting memories?
Here are a few other foods you can prep before you head out in your RV
- For breakfast, try dividing out portions of dry oats in Ziploc bags with a few fun add-ins, like coconut flakes, raisins, brown sugar or a variety of dried fruit.
- For a mid-hike snack, try making your own trail mix. There are so many benefits to it, if you take the time to make it yourself. You control what goes into the mix, so no more picking around the raisins or peanuts just to get to the chocolate candies. Speaking of those candies, they really aren’t good for you, but if you must have something sweet in your trail mix, try adding in a few different dried fruits like dried cranberries or mangoes.
- Salads are a great way to fill up without feeling too heavy or sluggish. You can cut up the greens a day or two before and set them in a Tupperware container lined with paper towels so they stay crispy. You can also chop up any extras you want to jazz up your salad with before you leave. And do yourself a favor and make your own dressing. Using any combo of the two, do a three parts oil to one part vinegar dressing with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Whisk it up and you’re done.
- You’ll want to find something substantial for dinner, since it’s probably the last meal of the day. A good chili recipe is always good to have in your arsenal. Make it a few days ahead so you’ll simply reheat at the campsite.
Take a look at the weather at your destination
While it’s a good idea to have a mix of campfire recipes, slow cooker recipes and grilled recipes, the weather can often impact where you’ll be cooking. If the weather is nice, plan some meals you can prepare over a campfire. But if you’re RVing during colder months or in cold climates, a slow cooker might be your best option. The weather can be unpredictable, so having some flexibility in your meals will make things go much easier.
Find simple and easy recipes
Some recipes require you to boil a pot of water for pasta or rice while you’re busy cooking the rest of the meal in a separate skillet. On a camper stove, two pots can get really cramped really quickly. Try to find recipes that only call for a few ingredients and that use canned goods. One pot meals are great for camping! If you find a recipe with an extensive ingredient list that you must make, just do as much prepping beforehand as you can. Mix the spices and put them in an airtight container or plastic bag, cut up any meats like chicken or beef and cut up any vegetables the recipe might call for.
Do you have any meal prep tips? Let us know!
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As always, come back to the RVUSA blog for the RV Tips of the Week on Monday, Travel Wednesday, and RV Tips and Tricks on Friday. Leave us a message below if you have any thoughts, memories or comments. We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to receive our blog posts directly in your inbox, click here to join our free email list.