Eating Out Frugally: Have A Picnic

by Kelly · 6 comments

in Frugal Food

I’m not a big fuss and muss kind of person; I don’t have fancy tableware, I don’t like eating outside because the preparation and clean-up often last longer than the meal itself, and I don’t really like lingering over a meal unless it’s a special occasion.

Over the past few weeks, however, I’ve found an exception to the rule: picnics.

My husband’s cousin invited us to go on a picnic two weeks ago and again last Friday evening. There were a group of her friends, everyone brought something to share and we met in a park. The food was simple: some cold cuts, a few different kinds of salad, some cheese and bread. And, seeing as how we are in France, there were a few bottles of wine to uncork as well! We had such nice relaxed evenings, talking and getting to know the others while the gang of kids ran around like crazy fools and set off water balloon pyrotechnics (don’t ask, you don’t want to know). And it barely cost a thing- I grabbed some leftovers that I had in the fridge and it seemed like everybody else did the same.

Last night I realized that we could have indoor picnics as well. We went to a friend’s house yesterday afternoon for dessert and hit the road for home around 7:15. I admit it, we turned into the McDonalds’ parking lot with every intention of getting dinner to go. When we saw the line of cars waiting at the drive-through backed clear into the street, however, we hightailed it for home and I decided to have a picnic dinner.

We had some sliced ham and I cut up a melon and some cheese. With some bread and a little bit of leftover three bean salad, we had a quick and easy meal fit for a picnic. It took far less time to prepare than it would have taken to order a meal, not to mention that it was much cheaper and healthier too!

What’s your favorite picnic food? Let’s make a virtual picnic feast!


1 1hottiredmama July 28, 2008

We do this fairly often. My kids call it “snack supper.” I slice salami (their favorite) and cheese. We have apples and strawberries or other in-season fruit. I make a ranch cream cheese dip and put out crackers. I serve it all on the coffee table in our living room and we sit around on the floor snacking. My kids now beg for a snack supper.

2 Kelly July 28, 2008

I like the snack supper idea! We don’t have a coffee table, but I bet they would have a blast eating while sitting on the living room rug.

3 Meegan July 29, 2008

Call my family crazy, but we like to have a taco picnic on the floor in the living room. I just spread out a sheet or picnic blanket and what I would normally put out to make tacos on the dinner table, I spread out on the blanket, maybe using plastic instead of crockery. This is a fairly regular Sunday night thing for us and we seem to sit around chatting for longer (and polishing off all the left over salads!).

4 Rachel July 29, 2008

This is what we did recently for date night in place of going out to eat during our no-spend month. I was surprised at how easy and quick it was to get some food together. We took grapes, blueberries, cheese, some coffee in a thermos, and even some coffee mugs. It was really fun.

Rachel’s last blog post..Resisting the Desire to Acquire

5 Eponine July 30, 2008

I ate out(side) just the other day. My mom and I were going to a big park in West Virginia (my mom lives in Pennsylvania) which we like to visit. Instead of eating in the lodge's restaurant, we packed sandwiches, iced tea, and cookies and ate on a bench under a tree in the herb garden. It was nice to sit outside and enjoy the summer breezes, and way cheaper than a restaurant!

6 Shevy July 30, 2008

Cold BBQ chicken, homemade potato salad, and maybe a caesar salad.

Shevy's last blog post..My 5 Year Old's Mail

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