On my recently-concluded road trip, food was a bit of a taboo subject. I was trying to spend minimally, so I had the idea to only buy grocery store food, making our own food as much as possible.
There were exceptions, of course; big cities aren’t conducive to using a camp stove or sitting in the car to eat a sandwich.
Being a vegetarian also makes this process a tad more difficult. Lunch meat isn’t as accessible, and many fast foods are out of the question.
Here is what Greg and I survived on:
- Fake meat sandwiches
We would stock up on sliced veggie-meat at grocery stores and make very plain sandwiches for our car lunches. They could have easily been spiced up with lettuce, tomato, or mustard, but these were luxuries we did not allow ourselves.
- Taco Bell
Taco Bell turned into a very comforting presence on our trip. Where else could you feed two people for only $4? If we treated ourselves, we’ve get the 7-Layer Burrito, but we mostly got the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito with the occasional Spicy Potato Soft Taco. I had to drown mine in hot sauce for flavor and sustenance.
- Cheese and crackers
We started out with a block of smoked gouda, and it was a game changer for road snacks. The passenger would cut up the cheese and feed the driver the slices on an Aldi-brand triscuit.
Quesadillas are a go-to quick meal at home, so they’re perfect for trips with a camp stove! We mostly had them with just cheese and either Adobo or Old Bay seasoning. Cheap and tasty!
- Hamburger Helper
Without the hamburger, of course. Without meat, it’s essentially spiced-up mac and cheese. This was a staple of our camp stove dinners. Pro tip: the Aldi version has the really great liquid cheese packet rather than the powdered one found in the Hamburger Helper box!
- Fake Hot Dogs
These are easy to get sick of, but we started out with a package and finished them all quickly. Hot Dogs are so easy to cook, and honestly, the fake ones taste exactly the same. It’s more about the ritual and ease of eating.