Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Money Saving Picnic Ideas

We've been out of town spending time with family. We always enjoy the time to visit and and feel recharged when we return. (My kids are sleeping in this morning - they got entirely too little sleep over the weekend. I'm actually amazed that only our little Emma was in meltdown mode by the end of the 8 hour drive yesterday.) Hopefully, all of you built some good memories over the 4th of July weekend as well.

When it comes time for a picnic, many of us automatically think, "Grab something from the drive-through and head to the park." Although this is a fun thing to do every now and then, it can get costly over time.

There are lots of inexpensive, quick options when it comes to packing a picnic. If you want some creative ideas for a new sandwich take a peek at my post here. One thing we like to do is pack sloppy joe filling or taco meat in a thermos to keep it warm. This allows us to have a warm meal at the park.

Last summer we went to Yellowstone for our family vacation and we often packed lunch and dinner to eat as we were out and about. It was nice to have at least one warm meal so the thermos trick worked great for us that whole week.

The other meal that actually works great for a picnic is the Chicken Bistro Twist. Just bake it at home and then wrap in foil to keep warm as you drive to the park. Don't forget to take your knife so you can slice and serve it once you have found your picnic table.

Any of these main dish ideas can be paired with cut up melon, grapes or other fruit for a balanced meal that works well at a park. Carrot or celery sticks are a quick vegetable option as well.

Take a little time to plan ahead for your next outing and know that you'll have a great nutritious meal for a fraction of the cost of take-out!

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