On the Go Meal Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

For busy families, having food that can travel without making too much of a mess can be the difference between a busy night and a hangry night. To keep everyone nourished while you run from conference to scout meeting to sports event to concert can take a great deal of coordination. For best results, consider the tips below.

Naan Pizza

Using a small personal naan round, tortilla or pita, you can fix-up pizzas on the weekend and warm them up to take on the road as you run from event to event. Consider packing these in Ziploc bags with a paper towel on the bottom and carrying them in a tall tortilla holder to keep them warm. For best flavor, consider doing this just with veggie pizzas if you’re driving; most pizza meats can be rather greasy and will be both messy and unpleasant over time.

Tuna Melts

Tuna melts, or open-faced tuna sandwiches with melted cheese, can also be put together on the weekend for a fast meal on a busy night. If your budget is very tight, visit your local Dollar store for the canned tuna and a bag of English muffins. Split the muffins, brush with oil or butter and bake until crisp at 350 degrees. Before you get on the road with your clan, load these toasted rounds with a bit of prepared tuna salad and top this with cheese. Pop them in the toaster oven and pair them with a piece of fruit for a fast, nutritious dinner.

DIY Breakfast Sandwich

If you have a bit more time on the weekend, you can use the same English muffins to serve as a base for breakfast sandwiches that can also be heated up without too much mess. If you make your scrambled eggs without milk, they won’t exude as much water when you heat up the sandwich in the microwave. For complete portability, mix up eggs, cheese, and finely chopped veggies to load onto your breakfast sandwiches. Built the sandwich, let it cool down, then wrap it in plastic. Wrap this in aluminum foil and toss the foil packet into the freezer. When you’re ready to warm up the sandwich, just remove the foil. Eggs will absorb a lot of flavors from your refrigerator, so the double wrap will protect them better than just plastic.

Walking Tacos

Load small taco shells with

  • seasoned ground beef, still warm or freshly heated
  • shredded lettuce
  • guacamole or sour cream as a binder
  • chopped tomatoes or salsa

for a fast meal that everyone will enjoy. If you truly must travel with your small tacos, consider wrapping each in a bigger soft flour tortilla to make sure that you don’t lose a lot of taco filling in the car, on the bus, or on the train.

Walking Garden Salad

You can create a walking garden salad in the same taco shell, tortilla, or in a sealable sandwich bag. Chop veggies of uniform size and use a thick dressing, such as ranch or avocado, to avoid a drippy bag at the end of your lunch. Do make sure to keep the croutons and bacon bits separate for the best crunch and flavor. This salad is great for camping trips. Make sure that you keep it in a spot in the cooler that will keep it from getting too warm without direct exposure to the ice, as the veggies may get mushy.

Food on the go doesn’t have to be expensive and needn’t be junk food. However, it will take some prep work to come up with something that won’t make a mess as you move down the road. Travel with a trash bag to keep the mess contained. You can also always rely on healthy protein bars in a pinch.

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