It is that time of year again where we spend more time outdoors than indoors, the days are longer, and the nicer weather is here to stay!  A popular activity during the summer months that attracts families and individuals is the traditional camping trip.  Meal planning is essential when it comes to camping, so here are 6 tips that will help you have a successful camping trip!

1)     Plan Ahead

The key is to write down all of the meals that you plan on serving during the trip and what may be needed for each meal. Choose foods that are versatile like potatoes, beans, and rice that can be cooked many different ways. Don’t forget the little in-between snacks that your family will like to munch on!

Prepare the grocery list for all of the needed ingredients for each meal. Look for any ingredients that may overlap between meals so you can save money and space!

After you return from the store, group all of the meals together to make sure that you have everything you need. This is important because if you need a vital ingredient, it may not easy to go find it miles away from the nearest grocery store!

2)     Wash, Prep, and Marinate

Wash and cut up all of the fruits and vegetables before you leave home by using Ziploc bags and containers for easier storage.

Before leaving for camp, you can also prepare any steak or chicken at home with any marinade choice. Toss the meat into a Ziploc bag and then freeze. When packing up, place the meat in the cooler and set it out on the day that you plan to serve it so that it can thaw!

These recipes are perfect and easy to prepare before heading to the campsite:

Five-Spice Chicken Kabob

Pineapple-Pork Kabob

Sensational Sirloin Kabobs

3)     Limit and Label

Make sure you place all of the needed condiments in to small containers, which will allow the containers to store better in the cooler. This will help to prevent any spoilage or spillage onto other items.

To simplify the s’mores process, simply take all of the chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows out of their packaging and place them into their own container. This will alleviate stress when trying to cook that perfect campfire s’more!

Labeling all of the containers will also help to organize all of the food. This will also help in reducing time looking for what you need!

4)     Bring Hydration

Be sure to pack plenty of drinking water for the trip. Before leaving home freeze gallon sized water jugs and they will act as freezer packs for all of the coolers when traveling to the campsite.

When you arrive to the campsite, make sure that you transfer all drinks to their own cooler to avoid the food coolers opening and closing too often when someone is thirsty.

5)     Set-Up Day Lunch Special

Prepare lunch for set-up day before you leave. Set-up day can be tiring and stressful and the last thing you want to worry about is what meal to make for everyone!

Try these lunch recipes below for easy meals that very easy and quick to make:

Walking Tacos

Grilled Honey-Lime Chicken Sandwich

6)     Foil is Your Friend

Be sure to bring Aluminum foil for a variety of different uses. It can be used to cook any combination of meats and vegetables, molded inside pots and pans to reduce cleanup time, shaped in to a drinking cup or makeshift frying pan, serve as a strainer, and even it can even be used to create an outdoor oven!

For more recipes, check out the Great Groceries Recipe Archive.

Be sure to stop by your local Sparkle Market to stock up on all your camping needs!