(03) 9357 8914

Saving money on food when travelling

It’s no secret that costs can add up quickly when you’re on your dream holiday, especially when it comes to dining.

But, if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious meals on the road without breaking the bank.

Food is a necessity of life of course, and while there’s a place for spending a few dollars in places that you visit, there’s ways to cut down if you need to without sacrifice.

Meal planning

One of the easiest ways to save money on food while travelling is to plan your meals in advance. Before hitting the road, take some time to create a meal plan for the duration of your trip.

Consider simple yet nutritious recipes that can be easily prepared with basic ingredients in your caravan kitchen, outdoor BBQ or in a campfire.

Make a list of essential items and stock up on pantry staples such as pasta, rice, canned goods, and spices. By planning, you’ll avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary expenses at the grocery store. It also helps use up all your food, so there won’t be any food wastage.

Plan your major grocery shops in bigger town centres before you head remote/outback – this can save you hundreds of dollars as it can be more expensive to shop in smaller towns because it’s harder to get there.

Cook meals in your caravan

This one’s obvious. While dining out at restaurants can be tempting, cooking your meals in the comfort of your caravan is a much more budget-friendly option.

We’re not suggesting not eating in restaurants ever, but why not make these occasions special.

After all, if you’re doing it in every town you visit, that’ll break the bank and outings like that might lose their shine.

Invest in portable cooking appliances such as a gas stove, grill, or electric cooker, and make use of your kitchen. 

Get creative with one-pot wonders, stir-fries, and sandwiches that require hardly any prep and cooking time. Not only will you save money on dining out, but you’ll also have the freedom to tailor your meals to suit your taste preferences.

You wanted a good size kitchen for a reason, so make sure to use it. Cooking meals in your van is one way to save those dollars.

Shop smart and buy in bulk

When stocking up on groceries for your caravan trip, opt for budget-friendly shopping strategies to stretch your dollars even more.

Look out for special offers, discounts, and bulk-buy deals at supermarkets and local markets. Consider purchasing non-perishable items in bulk, such as pasta, canned goods, and long-life products, as these can be stored easily in your caravan pantry.

By shopping smart and buying in bulk, you’ll save money in the long run and reduce the need for frequent trips to the grocery store.

Embrace local produce and markets

This one is a fun one! One of the joys of caravan travel is the opportunity to explore new destinations and immerse yourself in local cultures. Take advantage of this by seeking out farmers’ markets, roadside stalls, and local producers along your route.

Not only will you discover fresh and seasonal produce, but you’ll also support local businesses and artisans. Experiment with regional specialties and ingredients to add a touch of culinary adventure to your meals. Plus, purchasing directly from farmers you’ll be putting a few extra dollars into their pockets.

Make your own lunches

When you go out for the day or are on the road, it can be really tempting to stop at a coffee shop or bakery for lunch. But if you’re on a tight budget, that can be a bit of a black hole.

So, when you’re doing your meal prep, don’t forget to include lunches. You don’t have to stop at stores or bakeries to feel like you’re on holiday, find a gorgeous picnic spot to pull over and enjoy the scenery while you munch on a delicious homemade sandwich, wrap or salad.

You can even pack more picnic food like fruit and cheese and crackers if you really want to enjoy yourselves.

Eat in! Not only will you save money on dining out, but you’ll also have the freedom to tailor your meals to suit your taste preferences.

Supermarket rewards programs

This is something that people often forget – supermarkets have rewards programs! Woolworths Rewards and Coles Flybuys are the most well-known, but other smaller supermarkets are sure to have their own too.

You earn points while you shop, going towards fuel and food vouchers, but also there are specials that are for members only. So, make sure you keep an eye out because every little bit helps.

Some of these rewards programs team up with other stores, so you can earn points while you shop. For example, Bunnings teamed up with Flybuys and Big W with Woolworths Rewards.

Use your leftovers

Another savvy way to save money on food is making the most of your leftovers. After enjoying that delicious meal you made last night, store any remaining portions in airtight containers and refrigerate them or freeze them for later.

Leftovers are convenient for when you really don’t feel like cooking and don’t want to head out for dinner.

They don’t have to be boring either – get creative! Repurpose leftovers into new dishes by turning roast veggies into a hearty frittata or adding some grilled chicken into a salad or wraps.

Not only does this minimise food waste, but it also maximises your food budget and adds variety to your meals on the road.

Leftovers are convenient for when you really don’t feel like cooking and don’t want to head out for dinner.