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Fill Your Caravan Pantry on a Budget

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To save money and still eat well, we plan our meals weekly and buy meat on special and in-season vegetables.
Here are our tips for cooking efficiently when camping, and a sample of what’s on the menu in our caravan in a typical week.
Breakfast
We have become creatures of habit and usually eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch each day, with small variations depending on what’s available.

  • Rolled oats or Weet-Bix

A cheap and healthy option topped with shredded coconut, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, fruit, yoghurt and/or milk.

  • Baked bacon and eggs

This one-pot wonder takes less than 10 minutes and is perfect for fuelling up before a big day of exploring. Check out my recipe here: http://www.courtneysempire.com.au/baked-bacon-eggs-camp-oven-kitchen/.
Morning tea
The Weber Q has proved useful for baking slices to enjoy with a cuppa throughout the week.

Lunch

  • Sandwiches and/or rice cakes

Ham, tuna or boiled eggs with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado and cheese.

  • Dinner leftovers

We don’t let much go to waste and will happily eat cold meat or curry at lunchtime.
Dinner

  • Meat and three veg

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Steak, snags or chicken drumsticks, served with mashed spuds or sweet potato, green beans and carrot. Simple yet delicious.

  • Curry

The strong aromas may linger in the van for a while, but the taste of a good vindaloo, chicken korma or tikka masala served with brown rice or buckwheat is well worth it. Plus, herbs and spices don’t take up much room in the pantry and can be used in a variety of dishes.

  • Roast chicken/lamb/beef

A roast is made fuss free with a camp oven or Weber, and there is always leftover meat for the next night’s dinner or for sandwiches during the week.

  • Vegetable risotto

This has been our go-to meal, especially when in remote areas as it can be made when fresh ingredients aren’t available. We throw in canned corn and asparagus, dehydrated peas, dried mushrooms and vegetable stock.

  • Spaghetti bolognese or tuna pasta

Always delicious washed down with a glass of red wine.

  • One-pot pumpkin curry

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An easy and nutritious option if we are running out of fresh ingredients. Try it yourself: http://www.courtneysempire.com.au/cheap-quick-healthy-dinner/
Top tips for cooking efficiently
We spend less time slaving over the stove with these simple tips:

  • Minimise cooking time by boiling water and pour into a thermos to cook rice or soak dried vegetables and legumes.
  • Choose meals that use the fewest pots, such as risotto – holidays should not be spent doing dishes!
  • Cook more than you need and save it in a Tupperware container to eat the next day.
  • Where possible, cook dinner in a camp oven over a fire – it’s the ultimate way to produce a one-pot wonder that is sure to please.

By planning our meals each week we’ve been able to stock our caravan pantry on a budget and save our time and energy for exploring the sights of Australia.
In the next article, the Young Nomads tell us what you need to know about camping in Australia’s National Parks
Drew and Court are a Melbourne couple who are travelling around Australia for 10 months. They’re writing about their experiences for Without a Hitch, giving us the real story of life on the road.
Make sure you Sign Up to the Without A Hitch newsletter to keep up to date with Drew & Court on their travels or join the conversation on the Without A Hitch Facebook Page.

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