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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, January 03, 2011

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Cooking on Vacation

Frugal Kitchens 101
When most people think of vacationing, cooking is likely the furthest thing from their minds.  However, it you are RVing cooking does become an issue since you are essentially taking your home with you.  There is another sub-set of vacationers as well.  They tend to rent condos, homes or efficiency motel room.  Then there are folks like us who have bought our vacation home and while eating out on traveling to and fro or occasionally there, the goal is to save on food costs.  In general breakfast and lunches are rather expensive so making those yourself wherever your temporary vacation home is makes good sense.  Eating out every night for dinner is nice but if you are on an extended vacation of a month or more that can really break the budget.  This week's Frugal Kitchens 101 discusses a few tips for cooking while on vacation.

  • check out what cooking equipment you have where you are - This does make a huge difference.  Our RV and vacation home was/is equipped very much like I'm used to at home with the exception of some small appliances like a deep fryer and that will likely change at our vacation home.  We have rented condos and efficiency units in the past that honestly you would be lucky to be able to cook the bare minimum though.  Knowing what equipment you have on had will help determine the groceries to buy.
  • bring a taste from home - When we had our RV and now with our vacation home I bring a box of home canned foods.  It's what we are used to and while I can't feasibly bring enough food with us for a month or more at the vacation home, some is better than none.  With the RV I always took a homemade meal ready to enjoy after setting up.  I bring my favourite recipe book and seasonings with me too.  When vacationing in the US I bring what I need to make pea meal bacon and always bring Canadian maple syrup.  It's those little things that while you are having a wonderful time remind you of home and sometimes can help ward off a full blown homesickness attack.
  • find a grocery store - More than ever it is very easy to do a bit of online research of your destination to find a good grocery store.  This is where your vacation food dollar is best stretched.  I even look for coupons to help save a little.
  • KISS - Use the KISS hypothesis - keep it simple silly.  When it comes to cooking on vacation keep it a little simpler.  That doesn't mean plain or not exploring a bit, just simpler.  You may have to adust for available cooking equipment and different weather.  Take advantage of deli offerings and take-out sides specials to make meals a bit easier to put together.  Find a good pizzeria that delivers as well.
  • focus on local foods - If you are vacationing in an area known for seafood focus on that rather than other meats as the seafood will be the best value for your food dollars.  Focus on any in season produce as well.

1 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Good tips. :-)