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Whenever we are planning and packing for a trip, I always find myself standing in the pantry trying to decide what we can make from items in the pantry. Taking as many grocery items with you (and not shopping at the vacation grocery store) will save you a ton of money! Sometimes staring into the pantry you feel stuck with no ideas of what to make with what you have on hand.
Having a vacation meal plan will not only save you money, but it also makes it feel more relaxing to have a few days off from having to decide what to cook! Here are some of our favorite vacation meals that are made primarily from items we already have.
One Note: Because we buy our meat in bulk from Zaycon or the Chef’s Store, I take a cooler packed with hamburger and chicken. Taking meat with you is a big help on the budget since you never know what will be on sale when you get there.
5 Night Vacation Meal Plan
Spaghetti & Garlic Bread
On sale all the time with coupons, you can make this to feed an army and still spend less than $5!
Can of Diced Tomatoes
Garlic Bread (frozen)
Get the dinner kits when they are on sale BOGO so that you have all the spices and sauces in one box. A lot less to pack and think about. You’ll need to grab cheese, lettuce and tomatoes from the store locally (or pack a cooler). This meal is also great for left overs, turn them into nachos the next day.
Taco dinner kit (shells, sauce and spices)
Can of Refried Beans (helps to stretch your meat when feeding lots)
Use lettuce and tomatoes from Spaghetti night salad
Chili & Beer Bread
This doesn’t always work for hot beach trips, but is a great meal that doesn’t require anything else! Beer bread is so easy my girls make it without me having to do much at all (I do pour in the beer though).
3 cans of chili beans
3 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 packet of chili seasoning (much easier than bringing different spices)
1 bag of self rising flour
1 bag of sugar (you’ll need it for your coffee anyway)
1 bottle of beer or root beer
Onion and Green Peppers
Who doesn’t travel with a crock pot? This doesn’t need one, but I love playing on the beach all day and coming home to a cooked dinner! If you take a crockpot, just put in chicken breasts and cover with a bottle (or two) of BBQ Sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs or on high for 3-4. Dinner is served!
Frozen Chicken Breasts
BBQ Sauce (free lately at lots of stores)
Add canned corn or green beans and chips as sides. You can also add a salad here too, so just buy more for spaghetti night.
This is a South Carolina recipe that I’d never had until we moved here. It’s super easy to make though and is time for the rest of the world to join us in enjoying it. Here’s the recipe plus some back story. We also make this in the crock pot, so here’s to another day of dinner cooking while you play!
Frozen Chicken Breast
1 carton of chicken broth
That’s 5 meals that should have you bringing everything you need and only needing a handful of things from the store. Make sure to go easy on yourself from breakfast and lunch and pack cereal and sandwich items (or plan to eat leftovers). If you truly want a vacation, then plan ahead and make a number of freezer meals and just take them all with you frozen and ready to go!