Our formula for a hot, cheap and on-the-goal meal for traveling families
How do you have a hot on the go meal on your “out” days without breaking the bank each time?
Most traveling families are on a budget - and the cost of food can be a killer. Sit-down meals at restaurants can easily run $40-$50 even for smaller families. Add more kids or ever-hungry teens and your costs can go higher than that.
But - cold sandwiches can be a drag after a while too. There’s something re-energizing about a hot meal for lunch.
What to do?
WalMart Rotisserie Chicken
Our go-to hot lunch meal is a Walmart rotisserie chicken. We’ll buy the chicken, some chips and drinks and be out the door with a hot meal for the family for $10-$12.00.
Depending on how hungry we are we’ll either just tailgate right there in the Walmart parking lot or go find a better view at a local park or church parking lot, etc.
We try to keep the truck stocked with some paper plates, cups, plastic wear, and paper towels to make the eating easier.
We chose to eat supper rather than wait in traffic at Yellowstone
The food really doesn't matter when you are with family and have this view
Tailgating again in Arizona
We chose the luxury of a picnic table in Kentucky
Not Just Walmart
We’ve gotten similar chicken meals at more local grocery-chain stores like HEB or Safeway.
This blog post suggests you might be able to get aging-out hot birds for half price (although the comments suggest store policy has changed).
We have also purchased the chickens out of the refrigerated section. Cold chicken makes for a good travel-day meal.
We periodically stay overnight at Walmart, and the chickens are a nice hot ‘end of a long travel day’ meal (although we have been known to grab an inexpensive ready-to-cook pizza and cook it out in the parking lot).
What’s On Your To-Go Menu?
Do you have any go-to meals for when you are out adventuring?