Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes

Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes from The More With Less Mom

I am a big supporter of eating “real” food. If your great-grandmother would have recognized the foods you put in your grocery cart, you are eating “real” traditional food. One of the things I have researched for my meal planning is Great Depression era and WWI recipes. Too many recipes today are based on canned cream-of-blech soup. At this point these foods were just starting to creep into recipes. You can make your own substitutions for these convenience foods, but I find it interesting to look at heirloom recipes.


Here are some Great Depression Era and WWI recipes (all from the sources below):
Barley Chocolate Cake (PDF)
Chocolate Potato Cake
Cornmeal Ragged Robins
Crumb Spice Pudding
Fruit Paste
Goldfish Loaf
Mock Duck
Oatmeal Rocks
Split Pea Pancakes


Here are some good sources of Great Depression Era and World War I recipes:

About.com Frugal Living Depression Era recipes
Best War Time Recipes 1918 from Ancestry.com’s Military Records on RootsWeb
Depression Era Recipes collection from Tish on Food.com
The Doughboy Cookbook from WorldWar1.com
Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them on Project Gutenburg
Food Will Win The War Pamphlets from Project Muse, War Economy in Food may be from this series)
Great Depression Cooking with Clara This is a series of videos of a woman cooking some of her recipes, and she has released a book called Clara’s Kitchen (Amazon link)
Heavy Table’s review of Food Will Win the War (Amazon link)
Mary’s Depression Era Recipes
Taste of Home Forum Great Depression Recipes thread
Win The War Cookery Book from Great Food Magazine (four blog posts listed from last to first)
World War 1 Recipes from Feast of the Centuries
WWI: No One Need Be Hungry from YesterYear Once More


Great Depression Era Cookbooks:



Depression Era Recipes This is a good book of basic recipes, including recipes for basics like condiments (Amazon link)

Dining During the Depression: Strong Family Ties, Hard Work, and Good Old-Fashioned Cooking Sustained Folks Through the 1930s (Reminisce Books) (Amazon link)



Hard Times Cookbook with Back to Basics Great Depression Cooking (Amazon link)



Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930’s and More From Your Kitchen Today, Vol. This book is definitely an interesting read. This has very simple recipes but some are a little confusing, they make sense if you know what you’re doing. The stories are entertaining. (Amazon link)


Great Depression Recipe Pinterest Boards
Depression and WWII recipes
Great Depression/ recipes
Great Depression Recipes from The More With Less Mom
Recipes from the Great Depression

Follow Melissa French: More With Less Mom & HousePunkery’s board Great Depression Recipes on Pinterest.
Follow Melissa French: More With Less Mom & HousePunkery’s board It’s the end of the world on Pinterest.

Hello my beautiful pinners!

Want to learn how to stretch food like your great grandma? Try one of my More With Less Meal Plans.

What recipe has your family handed down from the Depression?

More With Less Mom

Use It Up Adage Free Printable PDF from The More With Less Mom
*Also see our Use It Up Adage Printable Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without OR
A Crunchy Baby Registry:  Safety: 34 Things You NEED (or should make) Before Baby Comes from The More With Less Mom. Baby supply list for frugal moms, hippies, poor people, and mothers of oopsies.
Crunchy Baby Registry: 34 Things You Need or Should Make Before Baby Comes
OR
Frugal,
Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning & Price List Download
Nemcsok Farms

Participated in Busy Monday, Frugal Famil, Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange, Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Thrifty Thursday linky party

We hope you enjoyed our Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes post

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1,000 Pinterest Followers Celebration Best of The More With Less Mom

1000 Pinterest Followers Celebration Best of The More With Less Mom
Yay! We have hit 1,000 followers on Pinterest! It’s so exciting to see things grow! I have way too much fun, and spend way too much time, on Pinterest. Here is a retrospective of some of the best pins and posts so far.

So what’s so exciting on Pinterest?? (Besides everything.)

Most popular: Pinterest Pins ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Posts

Most popular Pinterest Pins from More With Less Mom

Most popular: Pinterest Pins ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Posts

Most popular Pinterest Boards from More With Less Mom













Most popular: Pinterest Pins ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Posts

Most pinned posts on TheMoreWithLessMom.com

An Unconventional Baby Registry: 34 Things You NEED (or should make) Before Baby Comes from The More With Less Mom Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template Tween Girl Rock Star Spa Night Birthday Sleepover Party Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Food and Snacks Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun Stuff Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro Free Printable Rotating Goal List 4 YouTube Playlists for Preschoolers Just Add Water Chocolate Mug Cake Mix Recipe Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Be Positive Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Classic Games for Preschoolers Ella Bellas Healthy Summer Squash Bread Recipe

MoreWithLessMom

We hope you enjoyed our 1000 Pinterest Followers Celebration

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September 2013 Meal Plan Pinterest Board

September Meal Plan Pinterest Board from The More With Less Mom

Come check out our September Meal Plan Pinterest Board.

I tried to stick to summer flavors, before this beautiful weather is gone and the farmers markets are empty

Ideas and resources for menu planning in September, many seasonal summer and whole food recipes. Very simple ingredients, from scratch, frugal recipes.

You can save so much money by planning your meals. Even if you only plan three days at a time, you can be more thrifty by planning ahead. We do a monthly meal plan since our income is monthly, and do weekly or bi-weekly shopping runs for produce and dairy.

Seasonal produce for September includes:

Vegetables

eggplants
pumpkins
tomatoes
spinach
lettuce

Fruit

grapes
pomegranates

Epicurious Seasonal produce maps by state
CUESA Seasonal vegetables by month

Some of our favorite seasonal recipes for Summer and September:

September Meal Plan Ideas from our Pinterest board:

*Also see our Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template
Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our September Meal Plan Pinterest Board

Photo credits
Ella Bella’s Healthy Summer Squash Bread from ForeverMama on Food.com
Chicken Spinach Soup Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Greek Lentil Soup with Red Pepper and Feta ThePerfectPantry.com
Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli, and Carrots Good Cheap Eats
Stone Soup The Nourishing Home

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4 YouTube Playlists for Preschoolers

4 YouTube Playlists for Preschoolers from The More With Less Mom

Just recently I realized I could add a YouTube channel to the Wii. Suddenly we can watch my wonderful playlists for the littles. Yay! I thought I would share these highly entertaining video collections with you. I can put these on while I do chores, and not feel like the littles are parked in front of the boob tube.

Homeschool Preschool Circle Time Learning

37 videos
Sesame Street, Giggle Bellies, Patty Shukla

Homeschool Preschool Circle Time Fun, Songs, Rhymes, Fingerplays

64 videos
Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, They Might Be Giants, Laurie Berkner, Giggle Bellies, The Wiggles, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Patty Shukla

Preschool Good Habits

37 videos
Sesame Street, Dora, Imagination Movers, Raffi, Yo Gabba Gabba, Crawford’s Corner, Muppets

Kids preschool fun videos and read-aloud books

51 videos
The Muppets, Sandra Boynton, Eric Carle, Bill Martin Jr, They Might Be Giants, Sesame Street

Participated in Tuesday Tots, Wednesday Link Up, Weekly Kids Co-Op, Welcome Party Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday linky parties

To The Moon Original Game for Preschoolers
* Also see our To The Moon Original Game for Preschoolers OR
Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Classic Games for Preschoolers
Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Classic Games for Preschoolers
We hope you enjoyed our 4 YouTube Playlists for Preschoolers post

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Classic Games for Preschoolers

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Classic Games for Preschoolers from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the Heat – Classic Games

The Game Gal has a bunch of old school classic games

50 Questions for a Road Trip

Some of these are adapted for preschool age players

To The Moon Original Game for Preschoolers

To The Moon, an Original Road Trip Game for Preschoolers from The More With Less Mom!

20 Questions

Each player thinks of a noun: a person, place, or thing. The younger players take turns asking questions with a yes or no answer, like, “Is it an animal?” They try to narrow down the possibilities until they guess the item.

Counting Cows

Each side of the car is a team. Each team counts the cows on their side in a set amount of time, like before the next stop. Little ones can keep track of the count on their white board. You can count a different item if there are no cows, like red cars, dogs, or campers.

First word

Someone says a word. Another player has to respond immediately with the first word that comes to mind. The quicker the game the sillier the responses can get. So if the first player says apples the second player might say caramel. Then the next person might say cookies. And the next monster.

Kids on wagon at Wall Drug in SD

Freeze Dance

Use the car radio and get everybody dancing. Then quickly turn off the music and everybody has to freeze. Then the music comes back on and you can start dancing again.

Fortunately, Unfortunately

This is a storytelling activity. One person starts with a scenario. They will say “Unfortunately…” and make up a line, like “Unfortunately, the cats won’t stop meowing.” Then the next player has to make a statement that starts with “Fortunately…” Like “Fortunately, their wind ups are wearing down.” Next “Unfortunately, they have battery backups.”

I’m Going on a Picnic

The first player says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” followed by something that begins with an A, like apples. The next player says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples and…” something that starts with B, like bananas. This continues through the alphabet. I would let little kids pipe up with the ones they remember, and big kids add new items.

I Wonder

Pose questions to your kids like “I wonder where that car is going?” “I wonder where that road leads.” “I wonder what that dog is doing.” Have the kids invent a fun story.

Mirror Drawing

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle (whichever direction you like). One player makes a shape on one side. The next player uses a different color and mirrors that shape on the other side, then adds a shape of their own anywhere on their side. This continues until the drawing is “done.”

Quiet Game

You have to see who is the quietest, not making any noises at all. If you want this game to last you need to properly motivate the children with a great reward. Like Oreos.

Simon Says

This is a good game for a rest stop. Players line up behind an older player who is Simon. Simon gets to give the players a command, such as hop on one leg, touch your toes, or spin around. Simon must say “Simon says” before the command or the players can’t do it. Unless your kids are too little and this just frustrates them, then just have Simon say stop, more like Freeze Dance.

Team Storytelling

Each family member takes turns creating one line for a story. “Once upon a time there was a family that liked rocks.” “Then they went rock climbing.” “Then the little one fell on her tush.” For older kids you can rhyme and even add a speed element.

Try a paper game like Roll A Castle from Planet Smarty Pants.

How do you provide cheap fun for your littlest little?

More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Kids on wagon ride photo by The More With Less Mom

Moon photo by @Doug88888 on Flikr

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the Heat – Classic Games

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun in the Heat

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun in the Heat from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun StuffFun in the Dark – Fun in the Heat – Classic Games

You can get a sunburn in the car and proper steps should be taken. We put on sunscreen before we get in the car and at appropriate stops during the day.

Each person should have a pair of sunglasses. The dollar store does have toddler (and adult) sunglasses in the summer months. If you wear glasses you can get clip-on sunglasses for under $10 at WalMart, but most of these you have to try on your frames so it’s hard to buy them online. These go in the front pocket of our Fun Bags (or purse) for easy access.

Each person should have a hat. A floppy/beach hat is best since it shades your ears, but a baseball cap will do. This is for shade and at night can help with heat.

Splash pad

Pay attention to where the sun is falling inside the car. You may need to get a window tint. Every suction cup window shade I have tried has fallen off at some point, I prefer the cling kind. WalMart will have something in the baby section for about $10.

If you like to drive with the windows down, or don’t have ac, each person should have a bandana or headscarf. We put these in the front pocket of our Fun Bag. WalMart has bandanas for about $1, and then you can call the kid babushka. You can get some very pretty headscarves from thrift stores. My three year old hates getting her hair in her eyes and has fits, so I usually pack an extra for her in case she loses it.

Desert road

You may want to get personal misting fans from WalMart. You put a little water (don’t forget batteries!) in it and it mists you, it’s very cooling. If you know you’re doing an activity that will be hot, like going to the zoo in Tucson in July, invest in these. The dollar store has little mini fans that are cute, but not as good, and sometimes they don’t work right out of the package.

Another thing you can get is a Cooling Bandana. I got ours off of eBay after finding one at WalMart and then not being able to find it again. You just get it wet and tie it around your neck. As the water evaporates it cools you, and you can rewet it at any fountain or sink. Once it dries back out you can bag it up for use at another time.

Those little folding paper fans are cute to bring and might make a good surprise, but they get beat up pretty quickly in the car. You can get them for 50 cents each on eBay or Amazon though.
For a craft your little one can decorate a piece of paper and then you can accordion fold it to make a fan

*Also check out our tips on ice cream in the Food and Snacks article

How do you cool off on the road?

More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Desert road photo by Maggiejumps on Flikr
Splash pad photo by Baltimore RecNParks on Flikr

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun StuffFun in the Dark – Fun in the Heat – Classic Games

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun in the Dark

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun in the Dark from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun Stuff – Fun in the Dark – Fun in the HeatClassic Games

You could make a crate or box just for after-dark activities, especially if it is winter and you will be driving a lot in the dark.
Be careful of lights and things with laser lights, you don’t want to distract the driver or other cars.

Glowing Sensory Bags You use UV reactive highlighters to make glow water. You need a little black light for this to glow well, but if you buy one then there are a ton of new fun things you can do.

Make a Glow Bug with an Easter egg or tiny tupperware and a plastic tea light candle for a night time surprise

Lanterns

You can create a peanut butter Jar Lantern and use a sharpie to decorate it with bugs or stars.

Glow sticks are available from the dollar store. You can stick these in an Easter egg or balloon to make it glow.

You can get glow in the dark stars and stick them around the car on hard surfaces, just remember to pull these out early to “charge” them with sunlight. Sometimes they have these at the dollar store but I haven’t seen them lately. You should make tape loops if you are worried about using the putty or stickers they come with.

Gorilla photo op at Wall Drug SD

For the one year old we have a Crayola Beginnings Washable TaDoodles TaDoodler that she will like when it gets dark. We also have a Baby Einstein Music Mirror that she can kick and it lights up and plays music.

We got a GloDoodle for $2 at the thrift store (I think it’s actually a Crayola Glow Station rip off that all the kids will like

Fireflies

If you have a travel DVD player or tablet you should bring it. You can get them off of eBay as well, but the small ones are down to about $50 new. Or you can check Craigslist and pawn shops. You can buy a case/holder that will strap to the back of the front seat so nobody has to hold it. If you have two kids you should get an audio Y splitter cable so they can both listen on earbuds/headphones. If they don’t have it at WalMart they will have it at an electronics store like RadioShack.

We put DVDs in a wallet to save space, and keep this with the Binder of Fun or in a Fun Bag. You can get a DVD wallet from the dollar store but it won’t last long.

Everyone should have a pillow. Travel pillows are about the easiest thing you can sew, but you can just bring you regular pillow. My three year old will be bringing her Pillow Pet. You can also make a neck pillow or a seatbelt pillow for little ones who flop around.

Bring anything you think your child will need to go to sleep. Some kids just won’t sleep in the car, or in a new place like a hotel room or tent. But if your kidlet has the same blankie, lovey, and music every night at bedtime, and you read the same Sandra Boynton book every night, bring that stuff. You want to recreate their home environment as much as possible.

How do you find fun in those offbeat times?

More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Fireflies photo by Otto Phokus on Flikr
Kids photo op with gorilla by The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and SnacksFun Stuff – Fun in the Dark – Fun in the HeatClassic Games

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun Stuff

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun Stuff from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and Snacks – Fun Stuff – Fun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

In this article: Binder of FunFavorite Activity Ideas for the Binder of FunFavorite Surprise IdeasLoad Up on Cheap Entertainment

Weeks (or longer) before the trip I start looking online for stuff to make and/or print. Do a search on file folders or busy bags and you will get a ton of ideas to adapt for your preschool children. I make a Binder of Fun for the 3 year old, and will soon for the 1 year old. This is a 3-ring binder with folders and sheet protectors full of activities. My Pinterest board has a lot of great ideas as well.

Don’t forget you have a whole ride back to entertain them on as well.

Stuff we won’t do in the car:

Markers, especially if it’s a rental (Color Wonder is fine). Any kind of dough or putty, including play dough (ok for stops). Bubbles, those are for stops too. Gum – you will only get gum on the seat of one rental car, then you won’t do that again. And preferably no vomiting.

Binder of Fun

Your best secret weapon for the Binder of Fun is your Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper you still have from the 80s. Unless you have all boys. But maybe still then. A zip binder would be my second choice. This will have a ton of fun stuff that is mostly flat in it.

I made one folder with play dough mats and will bring one small tub of playdough, for use when we stop and everybody else is getting their act together.

I printed out some paper toys.

I printed out some worksheets, like handwriting practice. Many things can be put in a sheet protector, marked with a dry erase marker, erased with a wipe, and reused.

I used several ideas for busy bags to make little activities. The flat ones will go in the binder. The bigger ones will be packed up for surprises.

Favorite activity ideas for the Binder of Fun:

Building with Paper Strips

Copterman Paper Helicopter Toy

Finger Leg Puppets

Finger Leg Puppets

Hot Glue Design Rubbings

Lacing Cards

Paper Weaving

Pop Up Zoo

Pop Up Paper Zoo

Practice Your Name print custom handwriting sheets

Scavenger Hunt (I Spy)

Snake Finger Puppets

Trip progress

Trip progress:

Print a copy of your route and use colored star stickers to divide up your trip. Put a star on a city the kids can recognize from road signs, or at a spot you plan to stop. Kids like having their own map. There are a lot of great ideas online for tracking your progress, like stringing a piece of yarn across the ceiling of the car with little cards to track your progress. Little ones like the visual aid and can understand better than telling them you’re halfway.

Write Your Phone Number worksheet

Favorite surprise ideas:

Some people call this the travel fairy. Last time I wrapped every item in the holiday wrapping paper that was coming out of my ears. This time I will wrap items in newspaper and printer paper, but you could just throw everything in paper lunch bags. Have the kids decorate the bags or paper as part of your exciting build-up to the trip.

Some moms say to get some stuff from the dollar store and reward them with a surprise every hour. 4 kids on a 12 hour trip is nearly $50, so we won’t be doing that. My bags will be filled with some activities, some snacks (some will have enough for everyone and the 3 year old can hand them out), and some of her old toys just presented in a new way. If you use paper lunch bags you can stick this stuff back in for the trip back. Last time I made a basket of these and thought she could pick the one she liked, but in reality during the trip we were usually reaching for these on the road and she got the one we could reach. When we stopped I let her pick out the next one she wanted and we put it in the crate next to her for the appropriate time. If you use the ceiling Road Trip Countdown (http://www.thedatingdivas.com/tara/the-road-trip-date/) you can pack some special surprises for each of the stops. If you have kids that chorus “are we there yet” for the entire trip the anticipation of these might help stave off the cabin fever.

Bubbles and use pipe cleaners for wands

Bubble Snake Maker get washcloths from the dollar store or use old socks, leave with bubble liquid at the rest area for the next family when you’re done

Chalk is always a good time

Color Wonder is great in the car, it’s markers that only color on the Color Wonder paper. If you have a discount store near you sometimes somebody overbuys the little packs of these and you can get them cheap.

Dino Feet put them on when you get to a rest stop!

Dry erase board the dollar store has a smaller dry erase board, I got a skinny one with a grocery lister that can be tucked in the binder. There can be lots of drawing on this board, and playing games like tic tac toe or connect the dots. You have to keep track of the dry erase marker, though, and sometimes the big ones stink so do a sniff test before you leave.

Early Bird Gets the Worm Game

Early Bird Gets the Worm

I don’t know why this is such a huge hit but it kept her busy for a long time
Finger Knitting

Finger puppets

I Spy Bag hide tiny items in a bag full of beans or rice

Operation Beautiful . Bring a bright pack of postits and write bright messages like “Be who you are” and “You are amazing.” Explain to the little ones what you are doing.

Paint Bag Writing

Paper Bag Puppets

Pipe Cleaner Challenge

Pipe Cleaners are great for open-ended play. You can string pony beads or straw pieces on them. You can make animals and figures from them. You can make a crown with them.

Pom Pom Poppers good for rest stops

Puzzle you can get small puzzles from the dollar store

Sponge blocks

Sponge blocks

Sticker books are fun and are at the dollar store. When I was little we had Colorforms and if you have any of these vinyl/reusable stickers they are a great travel toy.

Squishy Bag

Tape Bring a couple different colors of painters tape, and a couple regular transparent tapes. Let the kids make a spider web between them and then create a spider with the colored tape. Just remove the tape at the next stop, or if it’s cool it can wait until you stop for the night. They make lots of neat colors for duct tape now and older kids can make stuff with it.

Tin Foil is a good open-ended play material

Waxed paper You can color it with crayons, use your glue stick and tissue paper to make suncatchers, and babies like to crinkle it

Yarn & Sandpaper

Load Up on Cheap Entertainment

Go to the library and load up on free entertainment. At my library all movies are 1-week loans, so you might have to skip those. But almost everything else that isn’t new is a 30 day loan. You can get books and music. At most libraries you can now get free ebooks and audio books to download. I can download music right from my library’s site.

If you have an ereader you can check on Amazon or Project Gutenburg to load up on free books. You can read ebooks on your tablet and smartphone as well.

My hubby likes audio books and will load up on those from the library or Podiobooks . I can’t pay attention to them. And drive. Safely.

Reload your MP3 player or iPod with new music and playlists, or make mix CDs. I like to make “Road Tunes”, Time Life “Modern Rock” 80s mixes, Rat Pack mixes (think Sinatra and Buble), and good kid music like They Might Be Giants and The Laurie Berkner Band). Don’t forget about the Fade button on the car stereo, you can send The Laurie Berkner Band to the back of the car for a while.

If you don’t have a CD player in your car you can still play music. You can use a personal CD player and get a thingie that goes in your tape deck, or a thingie that broadcasts your MP3 or CD player to your radio.

What do you do to make the long stretches in the car more tolerable?

More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Finger Leg Puppets photo by Picklebums
Pop up zoo photo by Tinkerlab
Sponge Blocks photo by Babblin’ Brooke
Trip Progress Map by The More With Less Mom
Worm pick up game photo by The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to BringFood and Snacks – Fun Stuff – Fun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Real Food and Snacks

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Real Food and Snacks from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to Bring – Food and Snacks – Fun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

In this article: To Bring: Box of FoodTo Bring: Basket of SnacksSnacks To BuyFood To Make Drinks

Try to keep your diet as close to normal as possible. If you normally eat a ton of veggies try to search out more veg on the road. If you don’t usually drink coffee don’t chug it for four hours. If you usually stick to just meals and don’t snack, keep a limit on munching. If you always have a banana at breakfast you can still do that on the road. The last thing you want to do is shock your system and get potty issues.

The dollar store has a 5 ct pack of toddler snack cups with lids, or Walmart will have little storage containers, or you can save baby food jars, for portioning stuff like pudding and yogurt ahead of time

If you decide you want to get fast food Subway’s $5 footlong subs are a great deal . There are a lot of $5 lunch deals out there but they aren’t as much food. And the subs give you carbs, protein, veggies, even dairy. Keep in mind rest area fast food always costs more, and usually the value menu does not even exist. Just getting off the highway will save you money. If you want to splurge you may want to find a local diner that should be inexpensive and may offer local delicacies worth trying. I find this budget much harder to stick to in the winter when I really want hot food, however.

We all scream for ice cream! $4a pop at an ice cream place x a family of 6 = ouch! This can get expensive quickly. But sometimes it’s so hot you just need to cool down. McDonalds does have a $1 ice cream(ish) item on the value menu, but those aren’t on rest area location menus, at least not for the value price. If you have a good cooler you can buy some treats ahead and eat them early. Or WalMart does sell individual treats for about $1 in the freezer section, or buy a box of something. Once we stopped at a gas station and I walked across the street to a RiteAid and I got two 4 packs of Klondike Bars for less than a dollar each.

To Bring: Box of Food

We pack a box that has food and food-related supplies. This box has stuff like paper towels, paper plates, plastic cups, plastic utensils. Sippy cups and baby spoons. Also a small knife that comes with a cover, although you can rig a cover with cardboard.

In the bottom of the Box of Food I place the lid for a 4 qt/gallon ice cream/sherbet container. I put the container on the lid. Then I fill the container with whatever fits that’s already going in the box. If someone is feeling barfey and I need the container I can just dump out whatever is in there, but otherwise it isn’t taking up a lot of space. If you know one of your kids gets car sickness you want this container to be easily accessible, like under the feet of the shortest one. If you do have motion sickness issues I recommend antinausea (Sea) bands, they help prevent motion sickness with acupressure and should be available at your pharmacy.

Also you might want to pick up a rollable or disposable place mats. I really prefer the idea of a reusable mat, but my one year old will immediately try to toss whatever we put in front of her, and has no trouble ripping off suctioned things. So for this trip I got some disposable place mats off of eBay, they stick to the table and protect the kid from germs. Also remember your shopping cart cover works on high chairs too.

We just use one bib, it is really easy to wipe or even rinse and it dries pretty fast. I got my Skip Hop bib from clearance at Target. You can get disposable bibs off of eBay too.

In this box we also put whatever food we are bringing that isn’t single serve snacks or going in the cooler. Like bread, peanut butter, bananas, fruit cups, baked goods. Depending on where we have more space some snacks will be put here.

To Bring: Basket of Snacks

This is just a more convenient spot to put individually wrapped snacks and munchies items. This basket doesn’t get as buried as the Box of Food.

I will make individual packets of food, label them with a name with a sharpie, and then either put them in a gallon zip bag or wrap around the mess with painter’s tape. This way it’s easy to pull something out. Also you aren’t wasting time prepping servings after you’ve left. And there’s no bickering over who still had some cheese crackers in their bag when we stop, their name is on it.

When we stop one of my steps is to replenish this from the Box of Food.

These ideas lean towards whole food, but are mostly just from scratch road trip food

Snacks To Buy

Apples (sliced, dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning)

Bananas (frozen)

Carrots

Celery sticks (with peanut butter, in empty peanut butter jars, or ants on a log)

Cheese (sticks cut from a log, or sliced for pepperoni and crackers)

Grapes (pre-washed and cut, frozen, choking hazard)

M&Ms because there has to be chocolate (choking hazard)

Oranges

Peanuts (choking hazard)

Pears

Pepperoni

Raisins (portioned out from box, choking hazard)

Strawberries

Food To Make

Bagels (pre-cream cheesed)

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Banana Mini Choco Chip Muffins mmm these are super good warm, I might wrap these in tin foil and stick em in a hot/cold bag for breakfast after the 4 am start

Banana Oat Smoothie (in thermos)

Beef jerky (you can make it on your oven’s lowest setting you just have to watch it)

Black Bottom Banana Bars these are good bribes

Goldfish or cheese crackers

Cucumber sandwiches

Squash Bread

Ella Bella’s Healthy Summer Squash Bread (my very own recipe)

Chilled Fruit Cups

Fruit Cups

Fruit Leather

Fruit Snacks

Graham Crackers

Graham crackers

Hard-boiled eggs pre-peeled

Iced tea or half-and-half

Jello Jigglers

Jello jigglers

Oreos

Pasta Salad

Popcorn (prepopped in microwave)

Peanut Filled Pretzel Bites

Pudding

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Salad Wraps

Subs

Trail mix

Triscuits or crackers

Vichyssoise (cold leek soup, in thermos)

Yogurt

Drinks

Water keeps you hydrated, doesn’t have any extra sugar or dyes, and doesn’t get sticky when spilled.

You can also use your water to wash fruit you buy on the way.

We bring big gallon bottles, or larger even, for refilling smaller bottles. You need to drink (vaguely) 2.5 liters of water per day x 6 people = 15 liters = almost 4 gallons. Plus water for washing things, and cooling down.

We each have a water bottle we drink from regularly. You can get these at the dollar store, or really cheap at yard sales. For really long trips I would buy enough water for everyone for a couple days, and I knew at our last stop it had to be a Walmart where I could buy more water, fruit, etc.

You can get skinny ice cube trays that make ice that will fit in skinny little bottle mouths, make a bunch of that beforehand and stick it in the cooler to have for the beginning of the trip.

No soda. If your kids don’t normally drink soda this is not a good time to start. If they do try to cut it back. Sugar highs and lows are excellent for encouraging tantrums and crankiness. Over 10% of a can of Coke is sugar.

Coffee. Sometimes you just need a boost to keep driving for the zillionth hour. If you drink a lot of coffee you will quickly learn which gas stations carry decent coffee, some of them carry good brands like Green Mountain. If you are looking for ice coffee it is cheaper to get it at a convenience store than a fast food place.

Gatorade is ok for a boost but it’s coming from a ton of sugar, and it’s expensive.

Energy drinks. I really, really don’t like energy drinks, but have tried several and 5 Hour Energy is the only one I didn’t get any kind of crash, twitchiness, or sludgeiness (that’s a word, I made it) from. These are much cheaper at WalMart, like $1. I’ve seen them for $5 each at rest areas so we always pick up a couple beforehand and then try not to use them.

For the kids if you want to give them something different when you stop Capri Sun makes some of their pouches with 100% juice, you can just have to pay attention to the packaging.

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety FirstWhat to Bring – Food and Snacks – Fun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

What is your favorite road trip snack?

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We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Summer Squash Bread Photo by ForeverMama on Food.com
Chilled Fruit Cups photo from Real Mom Kitchen
Graham crackers photo by Weelicious
Jello Jigglers photo by Come Together Kids

Shared with Thrifty Thursday

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Frugal Road Trip with Kids – What To Bring

Frugal Road Trip with Kids – What to Bring from The More With Less Mom

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety First – What to Bring – Food and SnacksFun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

In this article: Stuff to BringPotty MattersFun BagMorning BagCrate for LittlesBinder of Doom

Stuff To Bring

Wipes. Wipes everywhere. All the wipes.

If you are a neat freak you can get a broom and dustpan from the dollar store to sweep up the car when you toss the trash at the rest stop.

Pack for cold weather as well as hot. If you are visiting the desert it gets cold at night, as do many other places. If there is a rest area swarming with fireflies your kids will want to get out, but they won’t want to get all chilly doing it. Also if you tour some caverns it gets chilly down there and you will need a sweater.

For little ones that get strapped in keep a blankie handy rather than putting them in their seat with a sweater, jacket, or other extra layer. Sweaters you pack should have a zipper or buttons in the middle so you might have a prayer of getting it off without waking the child of doom.

We put folded blankets tucked in on each seat. This protects the seats from accidents, and we always have a blanket if someone gets cold or we want to go on a picnic. I also put a folded towel on the seat of the car seats in case of diaper blow out or accident. Sometimes with straps this is tricky, I use a towel that’s ready for the rag bag and cut slits for the straps.

If you are going on a long trip or are short on room you may want to get a cargo pod for your car roof. You do not have to have a roof rack, but that does make things easier. We kept the least accessed items in there, like extra clothes, the tent, sleeping bags, camp stove. They say they are waterproof but they may not be. Always check this when you stop and make sure that sucker is secure.

Kids with tent

Plastic bags:

Lots of them. Fold them flat and stick them in a zip bag. (Or fold them like this but I’m too lazy, maybe a good project for older children who were naughty) These are good for organizing as well as using as trash bags. Each row of seats should have a designated trash bag that gets put in the same place all the time, preferably where everyone can reach it by themselves, and gets emptied every time you stop. If it gets sticky just toss the whole thing and use a new one.

Footwear:

Make sure you pack appropriate footwear. Flip flops are fine in the car, you don’t want anybody getting sweaty feet, but when hiking sneakers (and socks) are best. Water shoes are great for splash pads, and campground showers. If you start looking early you might be able to get them at thrift stores or yard sales, or even eBay.

Potty time

Potty Matters

If you have a preschooler bring a potty. Even if they are potty trained and you are confident, a road trip can test even the most steadfast little bladder. When you get trapped in stop-and-go traffic because of an accident, and are on a bridge with no bushes in sight, the potty is a lifesaver. In emergency anybody can pee in a diaper, it’s what they’re for.

The first stall in a public restroom is the cleanest, since most people head to the later stalls for more privacy. Always check for toilet paper before committing. I keep a tiny travel roll of toilet paper in my purse. Then flush with your foot. Then wash your hands with soap. Then open the door with your elbow.

I have never bought one of the Folding Travel Potty Seats, but they only cost around $10 at WalMart so they may be well worth it.

Keep in mind automatic flushing toilets are often very loud and will scare little ones, so block the little sensor thingie on the toilet with a piece of toilet paper, a band aid, a postit, even your hands, until the little one can exit the stall. If you are proactive about this it will make rest area potty stops much easier, once it scares the kid you will have to coax them to go again.

Fun Bag

Each kid gets to pick a backpack to pack with whatever they want to take as their Fun Bag. They like to feel responsibility for their things and take ownership of packing the bag. And any choices you can offer a young child will help them have an easier time.

Pay attention to the noise levels and lights of the things you pack. You know the toys that are just too loud. Also you don’t want to distract the driver with zany flashing lights.

Check the batteries of electronic items and replace or recharge them.

The big kids pack books, handheld game systems, chargers for those systems, games for those systems, MP3 players, earbuds, a deck of cards, notebook and pens for writing, sketchbook and pencils for drawing, Sudoku books (dollar store), etc. If your kid just wants to pack the Gameboy assume they will play until it runs out of charge and you will need the power outlet that isn’t on the fritz for the GPS. Teach your kids to be prepared. For winter drives especially we try to limit the daytime electronics, after dark the littles will watch a movie while the bigger ones play their handheld games, then the littles hopefully sleep while the older ones get to pick a movie.

The three year old has several electronic toys that have multiple modes and are vaguely educational, and not too loud. We got these electronic toys at yard sales and thrift stores. She has an Original LeapPad (an older one) that will keep her entertained for hours. We will bring the LeapFrog Scribble and Write. A LeapFrog Tag Reading System would be another great one. We will pack a small MagnaDoodle (from the dollar store), an Etch A Sketch would work too. We will pack her favorites, including cars, dolls and ponies. I will pack a couple of her favorite board books, many of which she can almost read to herself. We bring crayons in a travel soap box. Pipe cleaners go in a pencil pouch from the dollar store. Headphones you can get from the dollar store.

The one year old is pretty easy, she is a mellow baby. I will pack some rattle-type toys, some loveys, and some musical light-up friends like the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse. She has a couple educational/musical toys that will be good for keeping herself entertained, like our LeapFrog Baby Counting Pal, it is a soft caterpillar with a couple of different modes that will play music or name numbers, etc. Also the Neurosmith Sunshine Symphony

Bring an older digital camera for the little ones to use to take pictures. When you get home you can help them make a scrapbook with their very own photos. I had an old phone that I could just connect to the computer to transfer my photos. When it stopped functioning as a phone I let my kids use it as a camera. Or you can buy disposable cameras. Also don’t forget your camera should have a self-timer feature, so you can get photos of everyone together.

Morning Bag (with toiletries bag)

This is a smaller bag that can fit a change of clothes and the toiletries bag. You carry this with you into the rest stop bathrooms in the morning if you sleep in the car. For our long trip we used an 8 person tent and air mattresses and stayed at KOA or Good Sam campgrounds. But many times since then we have slept in the car. Hotels are very expensive, especially for a family of six.

The dollar store has toothbrushes that include covers and travel size toothpaste.

Travel tray

Crate for Littles

I have a crate or tub in between the little ones. This has a snack, their water bottle or cup if they don’t have a cup holder, and any activities or toys they want to have in reach. I tuck the Binder of Fun behind the crate, as well as the lap desk when it is not in use. The lap desk can be a cookie sheet from the dollar store, or fancy moms can make one. Folded blankets go between the crate and the car seat so we can reach them from the front. Usually small pillows are put in a plastic bag under the feet of the shortest person (so they don’t get dirty if they get dropped out of the car when we stop). Pillows can also double as barriers for siblings who won’t stop touching each other.

Binder of Doom

“Of doom” is a running gag in my house. I’m not sure how it started. Cat of doom. Binky of doom. Get your butt out here and eat your dinner – of doom. Anyways, my binder of doom is a 3-ring binder full of important papers for the trip. For the really long trip I used a file box and made a separate folder for each state/region. As we progressed I’d switch out my local folder. Each folder had maps and attractions for that area. I got state guides from the tourism bureaus. We grabbed brochures from kiosks in touristy places. For this trip I am using two expanding file folders, one for each car. I might have to upgrade those to 3-ring binders as I add more stuff before we leave.

My Binder of Doom contains:

A print-out of our moving truck reservation and a coupon (could be your rental car or camper reservation).

A print-out of the directions for both highway and scenic byway, as detailed under Route.

A print-out of my Trip Map with WalMarts, fun stuff, and other stops

A copy of our auto insurance cards

A folder of brochures and other info for stops

A copy of the housesitting instructions

A copy of our Child ID sheets

What is your most important road trip essential?

More With Less Mom

We hope you enjoyed our Frugal Road Trip with Kids from a Mama Pro

Photo credits:
Kids with tent photo by The More With Less Mom

Porcelain potty photo by EraPhernalia Vintage on Flikr
Magnetic Travel Tray photo by Craft Interrupted

Frugal Road Trip with Kids Series: Frugal Road Trip with KidsBe PositivePlan Your RouteSafety First – What to Bring – Food and SnacksFun StuffFun in the DarkFun in the HeatClassic Games

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