Eating out while on vacation can really add to your total expenses. Doing most of the meals in-house can really cut your costs. However, nobody wants to spend the entire vacation in the kitchen. Here are some quick family meal ideas and recipes to make the vacation budget-friendly while still offering healthy meal choices.
Simple Breakfast Items
When on vacation, people (at least in my family) tend to wake up at different times; I find that having simple options that are ready to go is the best. We have choices in the refrigerator that my family will eat that don’t require a lot of preparation, and everyone can get their own meal.
Here are some easy and fast breakfast items to have on hand and can be mixed/matched and most can be prepared by even the elementary school-aged members of the family:
- Frozen Waffles/Syrup
- String Cheese
- Mug omelette (eggs, breakfast meat, cheese)
With these options, combination such as yogurt/granola, yogurt/fruit, waffles/cheese, cereal/milk, oatmeal/fruit, and more can be easily fixed and breakfast is solved.
Family Lunch Items
I like to have the same general idea for lunches as breakfast (easy to fix and ones that most can do independently). We have simple, easy things to make sandwiches or salads. Pinwheel sandwiches are also an option if you are looking for a more coordinated lunch among everyone. Using tortillas, spread (cream cheese, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, etc.), and items to stuff them (veggies and/or meat) can easy to make ahead and have ready to go for lunches. If you have a panini press or small indoor grill (or even a skillet), tortilla foldovers are an easy and fun thing to make.
- Deli Meat
- Salad Veggies
- Chips (Pretzels or other family favorites)
- Tortillas and meat/cheeses to make Tortilla Foldovers
Family Vacation Dinner Meal Ideas
Now dinners are where I like to cook and have a family-style dinner. This can be served all on the table or buffet styles. Dinners are great to have everyone gather back together and spends some time during the day. These dinners can be elaborate or do some family favorites that are fast and easy!
Spaghetti and Meatballs, Green Salad, Garlic Bread/Texas Toast
Use frozen cooked meatballs, jarred spaghetti sauce, and dried pasta to make the spaghetti/meatballs. Also, recommend having some shredded parmesan to put on the spaghetti.
To complement the pasta, have a simple green salad and cook some frozen prepared garlic bread. This is an easy meal loved by kids and adults and does not take a lot of time
Lasagna, Greenbeans, Buttered Rolls
Lasagna is a fan favorite in my family. You can make this from scratch, or you can do what I do and buy a frozen lasagna (family size). These take about an hour to cook, but you can’t argue with how easy it is. Pair this with some steamed green beans and some dinner rolls (just put them in the oven towards the last 10 minutes of the lasagna cooking time to warm them up). You can then add a little butter to the tops
More Family Meal Ideas
Follow our Vacation Meal Ideas Pinterest board for more meal plan and inspiration