I love picnics!
Yes, the frugal part of me is why I am constantly saying "Hey, guys, let's just do a picnic."
That sounds more fun than saying "Since it's expensive to eat out, I'm going to pack some food for us." ;)
Whatever you call it, I love take-along food. It's a whole lot cheaper than eating out, plus being yummy, healthy, and on-demand. Here are some picnic tips that work for us!
Bring enough food, but not too much. This is especially important if you're carrying your picnic with you while you sight-see on foot or hike. I ask the older family members how much food they want (how many sandwiches, pieces of fruit, etc.) and try to take just what we'll eat. The eliminates needing to tote around leftovers or keep them cold.
Use disposable wrappings/plates if you're carrying everything; use re-usable containers if weight isn't an issue. I freely admit that I use plastic wrap, sandwich baggies, and paper napkins for an on-foot picnic! If we're packing a big cooler and driving somewhere in the van, then I'll use my normal re-usable containers and some washable plates. (I have extra plastic plates purchased for large crowds, bbqs, and picnics!)
Take finger foods so you don't even need dinnerware! Our favorite picnics are finger foods like:
Pre-washed/cut fruit like grapes, apple slices, pear slices, or bananas
Cheese sticks or slices
I like to pack serving-size baggies of the veggies, fruits, or nuts so no little dirty hands are reaching into one big bag. ;)
And speaking of dirty...
Don't forget a clean tablecloth (if picnicking at a table) and some wet wipes or washcloths for dirty hands! :)
We also like to have at-home picnics on the deck or in the yard. Eating out in the sunshine and fresh air makes the kids (and me!) happy while keeping the kitchen floor clean. The benefit of an at-home picnic is that I can serve most anything -- like leftovers, even -- with no extra effort. :)
This week, the Eat Well, Spend Less bloggers are writing about summer fun! Check out:
Eat Well, Spend Less During a Staycation from Life As Mom
Grilled Salads from Simple Bites
Sprouted Lentil Salad Recipe and Dressings from Kitchen Stewardship
Easy and Tasty Summertime Snacks from Kingdom First Mom
Eat Well, Spend Less During Your Insane Summer Schedule from Food for my Family
...and more to come from Denver Bargains and Good Life Eats!