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Camping on a budget

Camping eats for the budget-conscious

Once you have all the necessary equipment, a holiday in the great outdoors can be an amazingly cost-efficient venture. And just because you’re kicking it outdoors, doesn’t mean you have to resort to unhealthy and expensive readily-prepared supermarket meals. A little planning can go a long way, and we’re here to help you make your summer camping trip a fun, cheap and healthy endeavour.

By Mikaela Kagan

Avoid buying deli meats
You can save a lot of money by avoiding expensive deli and lunch meats. We recommend you wait for those yummy braai packs to go on sale and buy in bulk. You can keep it frozen until you’re on your way. As a veggie (and even cheaper) alternative, why not pack in some delicious and healthy protein substitutes like tinned beans, lentils or chickpeas? These will go beautifully with a mixed green salad, or even served hot in a stir-fry.

Pack your cooler wisely
Throwing away food is a quick way to waste money, and you’ll definitely end up wasting time and food if you don’t pack your cooler wisely:

1. Pack your eggs on top in a solid carton and keep them on top. It’s an unnecessary expense to buy a special camping container for eggs.
2. For products like butter and cheese, make sure they are packed in waterproof containers. Once water gets in, they will take on an unpleasant and unpalatable texture (even though it’s still perfectly fine), and some family members will be put off.
3. Try to pack only what you will need. No matter how careful you are, the chances of fresh goods surviving two car trips and time exposed to the hot weather are not high.

Bring reusable cutlery
Not only will reusable cutlery be good for your pocket – it’s environmentally friendly too. Also, it will add less weight and clutter to your gear if you aren’t lugging around piles of knives and forks.

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