5 Tips for a Thrifty Camping Trip This Summer

5 Tips for a Thrifty Camping Trip This SummerThe best and usually cost effective family activity is camping. The outdoor adventure gives families the opportunity to travel and spend less money.  Parents constantly seek new ways to save cash.  Whether they scan the grocery store ads for the cheapest food prices or cut back on days spent at the beach during the summer.  The little things add up.


Don’t choose to rent the beach house for two weeks this summer. Spend a long weekend soaking up the sun on the shore. If you’re really concerned about the family budget, then go camping.


Your family will have a unique and exciting trip in the outdoors. Plus, there’s plenty of opportunity to save money and avoid the money traps associated with typical summer vacation spots like beach towns.


Here are a few tips that will help you save cash.


1.      Plastic Bags


These home storage bags come in handy when camping. Moms and dads must focus on organizing the tools, food, clothing, and overall packing before driving to the state park or camp ground. Plastic storage bags help with saving space and protecting gear.


Parents pack outfits for each day of the camping trip in a separate plastic storage bag. This will keep clothes separate and organized. It also saves space in your backpacks for long hiking trips to the campground. Hiking keeps kids active and tires them.


In terms of packing for the trip, you may want to consider a larger backpack to transport more essentials effectively. Take a look at the wide selection of backpacks on Backcountry.com for your trip. You can’t take a camping trip lightly.  Also, you don’t want to be disorganized carrying countless items to a campground.


Efficient packers save more money and are better organized for any trip.


2.      Camping Cookware


Moms don’t want to lug along their nice pots, pans, and knives for an outdoor adventure.  To save money on cookware while camping, it’s a better idea to invest in thrift stores or yard sales. Cheaper and reduced cookware is often available at these resale places. For a family camping trip, you need one pot (sauce pan), a cheap nonstick sauté or omelet pan, one chef knife, and a paring knife.


These simple tools fit nicely into backpacks or attach to the outside of luggage.  Having cooking tools to heat up baked beans over the fire and chop up fruit or veggies helps save money for family meals.


Buy a cheap cooler to store perishable food in.  Bringing prepared meals and snacks on the trip will certainly cut costs. This is where planning ahead proves essential to save money on family trips.


3.      Save Condiments


This small and yet seemingly insignificant tip actually works wonderfully on a camping trip. Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and relish aren’t cheap at the grocery store. Plus, once opened, they need proper refrigeration.


Camping without the basic condiments can kill a camping expedition.  When you cook hot dogs, hamburgers, or any other delicious barbecue dinners over the camp fire or grill, you must have at least ketchup and mustard!


Over the course of the year it’s a great idea to save any small condiment packages that you don’t use from high school football games, fast food restaurants, or other places where the packages are relevant. Those saved pennies add up.


4.      Disinfectant Wipes


What if you forget toilet paper on the camping trip? This sounds like a catastrophe, but it’s a smart idea to use disinfectant wipes instead. Most families focused on saving money scout the sales ads to find the best deals on expensive toilet paper and paper towels.


For a long weekend or even one whole week, your family can forgo the luxury of soft toilet paper. Disinfectant wipes get the job done and are easier on your wallet.  They take up less space when packing and are easily adaptable to other situations.


If you forgot hand sanitizer or running low on fresh water, then use the wipes to disinfect hands when handling food.  A pack of these wipes go a long way in smart sanitations while camping.  These wipes teach the young campers about smart packing and the importance of cleanliness.


5.      Solar Lights


These innovative tools work wonders on a camping trip.  You don’t have to spend money on backup batteries or costly flashlights for each camper.


Leave your solar lights outside during the day to soak up all that energy from the sun.  When the sun goes down, make sure every camper has a light with them.  This will prove extremely important in case of an emergency at night, if a young child wanders off, or for any other night time occasion.  The solar lights work nicely for the lower budget campers.


Image Source – cheapestservice.com

Moms Living Thrifty Disclosure


  1. Love the tips – especially the one about using the condiment packs that you get from fast food retailers.

    I’ve never considered putting solar lights around a camp site, but it would certainly make it a lot nicer than having to use a torch all the time!

    – JR.

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