Have you ever felt like you forgot something while packing for a trip? Or that despite winning as person with the most stuff, there's the feeling you've left something crucial? Or that you always need to bring just about everything you own because, well, just in case?
I'm totally guilty, and proud (so you needed my paperclips AFTER ALL).
As much as I'd love to tell you I have a cure for packing anxiety, I don't. But, what I do have are a few tricks that will help you pack more efficiently. And more efficient packing means... you know it, room for more stuff. Yes!
If you're heading outdoors this summer, pack like a pro with this roster of food storing tips.
1. For all lovers of nut butter.
Don't bring the whole container of your precious nut butter. Save space and prevent spoilage by having them "dip-ready" or making ready-to-eat sandwiches. You can do the same for other dips like hummus.
2. Pack your cooler in layers, in order of use.
Not really a space-saving tip but this will help keep your cooler cold by reducing the amount of time it stays open to find what you need. Place the food items you'll use first at the top and what you'll use last at the bottom.
3. Freeze all the things!
Freeze whatever can be frozen so your food items will double as ice packs, meaning fewer ice packs actually required. Read here to find out what should and shouldn't be frozen, and other handy freezing tips.
Consider a second cooler for items that will be used more often and at less risk for spoilage. Many fresh fruits and vegetables don't need to stay cold.
4. Store your spices in straws.
What? You're crazy! No, you're crazy! Leave your spice containers behind and save space by bringing only what you need. Seal the bottom of the straw with a lighter (takes a bit of practice but I find pressing down on a surface at an angle works best). Keep the tops closed with an elastic band or paper clip between uses.
5. Wash, chop and marinate ahead of time.
Bringing individual food items can be super bulky. Having most of your meals prepared and ready to go in foil packets or BPA-free freezer bags will save you space, time and waste on-site.
6. Store your eggs like this.
Crack all your eggs and store them in a single container. This is perfect for omelettes and scrambled eggs. Bringing a dozen eggs not only takes up room but will also, at least for me, induce unwanted stress. Nuh-uh.
7. Consider chia parfaits or overnight oats for breakfast.
You can bring a large batch in one container, scoop out your portion every morning and top with fruit. It's easy, affordable and makes several servings. Chia parfaits and overnight oats are also tasty, nutritious and don't take up much space. To make even more room, bring a pre-mixed bag of oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts and cinnamon which you can just add hot water to.
8. Create a snack travel kit using stuff around the house.
Use a shoe organizer, shower caddy or basket to store some dry goods in places other than the trunk of your car. Especially goods you can snack on while on the road. (Also handy for other modern day necessities, like paper maps and walkmans)
Photo from marthastewart.com
Have you tried any of these food packing hacks before? What are your favourite travel tips on saving space that we've missed?