Post Date - May 27, 2022
Life on the road can be challenging enough, so anything that makes it a little bit easier goes a long way in our book. We hear from drivers that prepping, planning and making meals is one area where many struggle, so we wanted to share CalArk’s 8 tips for making meal time a lot simpler and save you money in the long run. If you aren’t already doing these trucker meal hacks, you should!
1.Make a plan.
Not having a plan is where most people get derailed. Set yourself up for success by making a meal plan every week. Make a list of the meals you’ll have at home and what you’ll take out on the road. Then make your grocery list of things you need to buy. We also recommend writing down what kind of prep time needed for each meal you’ll be cooking in your truck so you can budget time to make everything.
2. Buy in-season produce.
It’s important to plan your meals around in-season fruits and veggies. In-season produce is always cheaper and fresher than produce grown farther away that has to be transported in.
3. Always be prepared with healthy snacks.
Those cravings in between meals can sometimes hit you when you least expect it so having healthy snack options in your truck makes it easier to fulfill that craving without stopping to grab something from the nearest truck stop. Choose things that don’t need refrigeration so you can keep them close by. We love whole fruits and vegetables, almonds, homemade protein balls, dried fruit and jerky.
4. Plan meals with what you have.
You would be amazed at what kind of meals you can come up with from the things already stocked in your fridge or pantry. Take a look to see what you have to determine what needs to be tossed and what you can reuse in some way for your meals for the week. Not only is it less wasteful, but it’s definitely better for the budget too.
5. Don’t shop hungry.
Even if you have a meal plan all ready to go, shopping hungry might cause you to grab extra things off the shelves. We think the same rule applies to truck stops. Grab a snack or enjoy a meal before you head into the truck stop to use the restroom. This will make it a lot easier to bypass the snack aisles or the attached restaurant because you’ve already eaten.
6. Use a slow cooker
Having a slow cooker in your truck makes mealtime so much easier. Add all your ingredients in the morning before you hit the road and it will be all done when you’re ready for dinner.
7. No fridge? Use a cooler.
While we do find that most truckers prefer some kind of small fridge in their trucks, a good cooler is really all you need to keep things cold for a few days. We recommend freezing jugs of water to place inside your cooler. These will melt a lot slower than bagged ice. Plus, you can drink the water as it melts to keep you hydrated.
8. Reheat on the road.
One of the easiest things to do is to cook your meals at home and simply reheat on the road. This allows you to take one or two portions with you to enjoy without figuring out what to do with leftovers or needing the time and space to cook from scratch. CalArk drivers get consistent home time, which is perfect for planning and prepping your meals ahead of time.