Tips for Saving Money While Eating on the Road

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With the price of gas these days, saving money on other travel costs is essential to keeping your vacation frugal. Food can be a costly part of your vacation if you do not plan ahead and look for ways to save on the cost of eating on the road. This article will give you some tips for saving money while eating on the road.

Discount Deli Food

The delis in supermarkets will often discount their excess hot deli food such as chicken, fries, and corn dogs near closing time to avoid just throwing them away. If you can time it right, you can get a significant discount on this food. It may not be the most healthy meal, but you can get some protein and carbs fairly cheaply this way.

Pack Dehydrated Fruits and Smoked Meats

These kinds of food do not have to be refrigerated and contain vital protein and vitamins. Prepare these foods before you hit the road for great road snacks or even meals. Another benefit of dehydrated fruits is that they take up less space in your vehicle. Smoked meats and beef jerky can be a good source of protein without having to go to the trouble of cooking up some meat.

Search for Coupons or Specials

If you have a phone with an Internet connection, use it to search for coupons or local specials that can save you money on eating out.

Stick to the Dollar Menu

If you must eat at a chain fast food restaurant, order only from the dollar menu. Never buy drinks from a fast food store, as they are always overpriced. Also skip the fries, they are expensive and only contain empty carbs that will leave you hungry later.


Purchase discounted meats from a local supermarket and cook them on a barbeque grill in a public park. You can often find leftover charcoal briquettes, which can save you from using your own. This way you can get a full cooked meal without having to eat in a restaurant.

Powdered Drink Mix

Store brand drink mixes will make more than a gallon of drinks for a couple of dollars, which is significantly cheaper than paying a dollar or more each time for a 20 ounce drink from a convenience store. You can often find water for free at camp sites, parks, and in restaurants. Just bring some jugs for water and fill them up whenever you get an opportunity. The only downside to this method is that the drinks will not always be cold, but you can just keep a few ready to go in the cooler to avoid this.

Get a 12 Volt Cooler

A cooler that is powered by the 12 volt socket in your vehicle will save you the money and hassle of having to buy ice constantly. Your car will keep it cool while you are driving, so you will only have to worry about ice if you are stopped for an extended period. These can cost anywhere from $50 to a few hundred, depending on size and features. If you travel a lot, the convenience will make it a wise investment and the money and time you save on finding and buying ice will pay off the cost quickly.

So if you plan on hitting the road anytime soon, keep these tips in mind and you will likely put a big dent in you food budget, maybe even enough to add a day or two onto your vacation.

About the Author

Bob Mortensen loves being in the outdoors whether it is camping, RVing, backpacking, or just taking a walk in the woods. Bob also enjoys writing about the outdoors and travel, and is a blogger for, who specialize in RVs for sale in Nevada.

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All tips and advice on this web site are purely the personal opinion of the author who assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting from following said advice.