Part of the fun of traveling is trying new restaurants and food, right? However, eating out for an entire week can get quite pricey. That’s why I’ve created the best vacation grocery list & meal plan to help cut those costs.
Why you should plan meals ahead
With this vacation grocery list, you’ll still get to eat out a few times (or enjoy carry-out), but you won’t have to rely on restaurants for all of your meals. You’ll eat better, spend less, and save time too! Who doesn’t want all of those benefits while traveling? Plus, if you have little ones on your trip, I’m sure you know that sometimes it’s MORE work to eat every meal at a restaurant.
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This menu plan works best if you are staying in a condo or rental with a full kitchen. If you are in a hotel room with a fridge and microwave you can still manage some of the meals, but it does cut down dramatically on how much you can prepare in your room.
What I love about this vacation menu plan is that all of the ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store (or use Shipt to make life even easier), simple to prepare, and delicious for even picky eaters.
The Vacation Meals Menu Plan
Let’s start with the menu plan. Although this meal plan printable shows a typical week of easy meals, you can easily change it around to suit your needs. Have cereal 3x instead of 2x, skip the eggs, switch out lunches and dinners. It’s really up to you, but this will give you a terrific starting point.
You’ll also notice that most of the lunches could easily be packed up and taken along for a picnic or day trip. For Saturday night’s Baked Potato Bar, use leftover taco or spaghetti meat along with any leftover veggies from the week – it’s a great clean out the fridge meal!
The Vacation Grocery List
What I love about this list is that you’ll be able to find everything you need at any local grocery store. If we are driving, I’ll typically check my pantry first and pack whatever I have on hand, and then create a grocery list through Shipt and have the food delivered right to the room when we arrive. I’ve saved myself the time of going to the grocery AND I won’t end up purchasing more food than we need. Check out Shipt through this link and you’ll save $10 on your annual subscription – you’ll easily make the rest of the money back after your first few deliveries! You can also use it at home to save yourself time on grocery shopping!
Although you can make substitutions to fit your family’s preferences, I think you’ll find that by purchasing everything on this list you’ll have plenty of variety without buying too much – my goal is to have at most a cooler of leftovers for the drive home.
I didn’t include adult or kid beverages on this list, but if you enjoy them you can add some to your order or bring what you like from home. We often pack liquor for simple 2-3 ingredient drinks like these Spring Break Cocktails and then pick up a variety of local beers and ciders when we arrive. I also didn’t add dessert type items as part of the fun of vacation is looking for local ice cream stands! Finally, I’d suggest purchasing or bringing a case of water, a small bottle of olive oil or cooking spray, salt, and pepper.
You can download your Vacation Grocery List Printable here.
None of these meals require actual recipes, although here is a quick summary of how we make tacos (just use the taco seasoning instead of all the spices, and add a can of heated beans instead of the rice to bulk up the meal). It’s nice to not have to worry about recipes and because you are on vacation, the food will taste better. Plus, I know you don’t want to spend precious vacation time in the kitchen cooking!
If your condo has a view or a patio, enjoy your meals outside, pack a picnic, or take your sandwiches for lunch down to the pool.
Hopefully, by implementing this plan you’ll find yourself relaxing a bit around meals while you travel. Plus, when you decide to splurge on that fancy meal out or order drinks AND dessert, you don’t have to feel guilty as you’ve already saved so much on food costs!
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