10 Easy and Cheap Camping Meals

I just found these 10 new and CHEAP ways to make camping meals!  So easy!

Camping is one of the best parts of summer.  I love being with my family, communing with the outdoors and just living the good life without all the distractions.  You would think going camping would be a very thrifty activity, but costs can add up quickly if you are not careful especially when food is concerned.  So I decided to share my family’s favorite cheap camping meals and yes, dessert is considered a meal in my book!

Here are 10 Easy and Cheap Camping Meals.

It is so easy to make cheap camping meals!

1 – Pancakes – I love hot pancakes in the morning but I have found they taste even better when the work is done for me.  Before I leave I whip up a recipe of my homemade buttermilk pancakes and put it in a gallon-size Ziploc bag to freeze overnight.  I like to freeze it flat so I can pack it easily in my cooler.  By the time you need it, the batter is thawed and ready to use.  Bunch the batter in the corner, cut the pointed end and you have a dispenser for perfectly formed pancakes, too!  Throw some syrup on those pancakes and the meal is done for you!

Cheap and easy camping meals!

2 – Egg sandwiches – These egg sandwiches are not just for your everyday home use!  They are amazing when they are warmed in the fire, too!  Just make them and freeze as normal except wrap them in foil instead of plastic wrap.  Add them into your cooler and in the morning warm them on a grill or on the coals.  Make sure you don’t walk away because they don’t take long to get warm and ready for you to eat!  I like the individual portions so everyone gets a good breakfast even if they get up at different times.

Cheap and easy camping meals!

3 – Omelets in a bag – Using gallon-size Ziploc bags and boiling water you can make homemade omelets for your whole family.  Crack the eggs into each individual bag–I like to use 2 eggs per person. Then add in what I like to call the “cleaning out the fridge” toppings–peppers, onions, cheese, ham, sausage, spinach–whatever you have on hand.  Add them to the cooler and in the morning boil a large pot of water.  Drop each bag into the boiling water and cook them for about 12-13 minutes.  After the allotted time, carefully pull out the bags, slide the omelet on to your plate and enjoy!

Cheap camping meals are so easy to make!

4 – Campfire Pizza log – This recipe is a crowd pleaser every time I make it.  Roll out your pizza dough into a rectangle.  You can make your own or use the refrigerated pizza dough.  Add in 1/2 cup of tomato sauce,  8 ounces mozzarella cheese and any toppings your family likes.  I also take the opportunity to use up those veggies and meats from my fridge!  Starting at one end roll the dough up like you are making cinnamon rolls and pinch all ends to create a seamless log of pizza goodness.  I also like to throw a little parsley on the top for a pop of color!  Wrap it in foil and freeze it.  It will help keep things cool and will thaw and be ready to cook by dinnertime.  You can cook it on a grill or just put it in the logs for a total of  25 minutes,  flipping often.  Once it is done, cut or pull it apart and serve.  Fresh pizza is a rare commodity while camping and will be gobbled up in seconds!

It is so easy to make taco soup to eat while you are camping!  This is just one of the best thrifty camping meals!

5 – Taco soup – Easy taco soup is made by using 2 cans of stewed tomatoes, 1 cup frozen or canned corn, 2 cups of  homemade beans or canned beans, 1 packet taco seasoning, and 1 lb cooked ground beef.  Throw it all into a pot and cook it together.  Cool it and freeze it into resealable freezer bags. When it’s frozen add it to your cooler.  When you are ready for your meal, dump the contents into a pot and bring it to a simmer.  Bring along a small bag of Fritos to add on top and dinner is ready!

Cheap and easy camping meals!

6 – Campfire Sandwiches – This is great for lunch or dinner and uses a loaf of French bread, ham, cheese slices, butter, mustard.  You could substitute different meats and cheeses, too.  Without cutting all the way through the loaf of bread, cut 12 slices about 3/4 inches thick to create 6 sandwiches.  You should cut it to about an 1/4 inch from the bottom of the loaf.  Stir together 3 TBS of butter and 1 TBS mustard and spread the mixture on every other slice of bread.  Fold the cheese slice in half and add the ham in the middle. Stick the ham and cheese into the slots.  Wrap the sandwich in foil.  You can freeze this or just add it to the cooler.  Place on a grill or in the coals where you will turn it frequently.  Cook the sandwiches about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the loaf is nice and hot!  Remove foil from the loaf and pull apart the sandwiches.

Cheap and easy camping meals!

7 – Curly dogs – This is a great way to change up the regular hot dog dinner.  All you need is hot dogs and a package of crescent rolls.  Wrap the crescent roll around the hot dog and roast it until the dough is cooked and the hot dog is warm!  It takes about 10 minutes for the dough to cook all the way but it is definitely worth it!

I never knew how easy it was to make cheap camping meals!

8 – Campfire roasted apples – This is an easy and yummy dessert with just 4 ingredients–apples, cinnamon, sugar and butter.  Core and slice your apples so that they can still fold up to the apple shape. I used an apple slicer but a sharp paring knife does the trick, too.  Transfer the apple to the foil and use the foil to help keep the apple shape.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon an all the apple slices and then add about 1 TBS of cut butter slices into the center of the apple.  Wrap the foil around the apple so it forms a secure package.  Add the apples to the coals, turning sides about every 5 minutes.  Roll it out of the fire and let it cool for a couple minutes and then dig in and enjoy!

Cheap and easy camping meals!

9 – Campfire eclairs – This is a new dessert that my kids have enjoyed making and I love that it only has three ingredients — a package of crescent rolls, cool whip and chocolate frosting. Wrap your crescent rolls around your hot dog sticks making sure that it is closed around the end of the stick.  Hold over very hot coals, constantly turning so it doesn’t burn.  It takes about 10 minutes to cook all the way through and will come off the stick easily when it is done.  Fill with the cool whip and frost the top.  You can switch up the variations of the filling with different flavors of pudding, too!

Cheap and easy camping meals!10 – Cake in an orange – This cake is cooked in an orange!  Cut the top of the orange off and scoop out the flesh.  Take your time with this part because you want to be able to put the orange back together again without the orange flesh.  Fill the orange with prepared cake mix or your own homemade cake batter leaving room for it to rise.  I fill it a little over halfway full and it has worked every time.  Put the top of the orange back on and wrap it in foil.  Tuck it around the hot coals for about 20 minutes turning about every 5 minutes.  Even though it smells delicious let it cool for about 5 minutes and dig in!

Do you have any favorite recipes we can add to these cheap camping meals?

If you like camping recipes try out these great recipes.

68 Comments

10 Easy and Cheap Camping Meals was last modified: May 18th, 2016 by

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Comments

  1. Jody Le Blanc says:

    Love your site!

  2. Some good new ideas to add to our camping menu! Thanks! One of our favorites is Foil Dinner Fajitas. I pre-slice the chicken breasts, peppers and onions, put in ziplocks and add seasonings and toss to coat. Put portions into foil packs and cook in fire or on grill. Heat up corn tortillas in foil, also, and serve it all with sour cream and salsa. It’s very tasty and surprisingly filling, and the veggies stretch the chicken a bit more.

  3. Tara Labrecque says:

    My kids love Meatball Rolls. Take bread dough ( I use frozen Rhodes rolls) and pinch off enough for a roll. Flatten and add pepperoni slice, meatball, and mozzarella cheese. Pinch together to close. Cook in foil over fire turning often or throw in a dutch oven. BBQ chicken and cheese are good this way too.

  4. Denise D. says:

    A couple of years ago, we were staying in a cabin north of Lake Superior, cooking our meals out by the beach on a fire. We tried the hollowed-out oranges with the cake batter inside. Hollowing out oranges was an annoyingly fiddly, messy and time-consuming process. You’d best do this in a kitchen with running water rather than at a non-electrical site where you’ve had to carry in your water.

    That said, they were tasty. The orange peel infused the cake batter with a faint orange zest taste. We burned a couple of them, but they mostly turned out great and were a big hit with the kids. I’d make again, but if you’re camping in a tent and not an RV, I’d strongly recommend hollowing out the oranges at home.

  5. These are fantastic ideas. I wish I would have been more creative with my camping meals when my boys were younger. I especially love the dessert idea and will definitely be giving that one a try. Thanks!

  6. I tried the omlette in a bag, cooking it in boiling water. The bag melted and I had a mess and a very hungry group. I used the zip lock quart sizes. What did I do wrong???

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I am so sorry it didn’t work out. Did you notice if your bag was touching the edge or the bottom of the pan? That will melt the bag. When it is just submerged in the water it cooks beautifully! Hopefully next time will be better!

    • We make omelets in a bag all the time when we go camping! We use the generic/store brand freezer quart size ziploc bags!

    • Regular ziploc bags melt. You have to get the freezer bags. They are much stronger.

    • Melissa says:

      We’ve done eggs in a bag plenty of times. You have to get the Ziploc bags with the block to write on with a Sharpie, everyone should write their name if there’s a lot of people. Put your fix’ins out like you would do for a taco bar but for omelets; like Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Cheese, Onions, Peppers Hot and Sweet, Green Onions, Zucchini, Salt and Pepper, Parsley, Grilled Veges are great. Everyone helps themselves.
      In the Bag goes:
      2 eggs
      a splash of MILK about a tablespoon very important
      Toppings
      SEALit not with too much air cause it expands significantly while cooking but you don’t want it to sink either so a little air is fine
      MIX it squish it
      Put it in a big pot half full of Boiling Water so it doesn’t sit on the bottom. Push it from the sides of the pot. BOIL for 10 minutes.
      Use tongs to lift out.
      Carefully open, it’s piping hot. Top with more toppings maybe Ketchup and Hot Sauce, Avocado, Cilantro. You can serve with small burrito shells.

      Bon Appetit !!

    • I also tried this and mine melted as well. When I put the bag into the water, it automatically sank to the bottom. I guess you need a HUGE pot and maybe some tongs to hold it off the bottom. Thank goodness mine melted after the first one in the pot and I didn’t try it with the others. Good idea tho if you can figure out how NOT to melt the bags.

      • Leave some air in the bag and it will float. You might have to turn the bag over.

      • you also have to make sure the water is at a rolling boil… 😉

      • The key is you have to use FREEZER bags. Regular bags will melt. Also, use a large pot. We use a stock pot. You have to watch it and keep it away from the sides. We make these every time we camp.

    • You did use a large enough pot and the bag touched the bottom/side of the pot.

  7. Love these cooking ideas, and the pictures make it very easy to follow. I will defiantly be trying #4, anything Pizza is a Go!

  8. Great tips, although I was concerned about the safety (chemical wise) of eating food that was in boiled ziplock bags. Their website says it does not recommend using them in extreme heat such as boiling because of danger, but microwaves, they say yes. Thought you may want to know. I plan on using many of these other tips though! You have an amazing mind for how these thing come together efficiently!

    • I agree. I don’t think I’d want to boil Ziploc bags. But many vacuum sealers have bags that can be boiled safely. Those work much better and keep the foods fresher in the cooler until it’s meal time.

    • I’ve done this same idea with small canning jars. The only problem is the messy jars to clean! I did it on the last day and brought them home to clean,…much easier!

  9. Love these ideas! Thank you! We are going to try these this weekend! You stated that you can make the sandwhich ahead of time and freeze it. I was planning on making it tonight (Sunday) for our camping trip next Saturday. Is this too far in advanced? Hope it will still taste fresh.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I usually make it a couple days before and it is great. As long as it is properly wrapped I think it should still be great! Have fun camping!

  10. I thought I’d sharemy kid’s favorite camping meal: walking tacos! You take snack sized bags of doritos or fritos, whatever your kids prefer. You cook up some taco filling (you can make ahead and warm it up too), then spoon some right into the chip bags, add cheese/tomato/sour cream/lettuce and eat them right out of the bag with a fork. These are always a huge hit & very easy if you’ve been hiking.

    • I was going to share this as well! I pre-cook the meat and chop the lettuce and tomatoes ahead of time. Walking tacos are our go to meal for arrival night. Easy to re-heat and having them planned makes setting up camp so much easier! Plus, when we buy the chips for the meal, we buy the large variety bag–that way there are chips to pack with sandwiches when we hike or picnic.

  11. Pat Young says:

    How can I print these off?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      You can copy them and put them in a word document and print it out with the pictures or without the pictures! 🙂

  12. Love all these ideas! Sure with the Internet was better when I was raising my kids in the 90s. Would have made camping so much more enjoyable for me!!! Great site!

  13. LOVE THESE!!!

  14. You can use the orange ‘bowls’ for eggs and grapefruit bowls for soup or warming up things. Cut the fruit in half and use a big spiin to pull out sections. Do it at home and pit in zip locks with a little water and no air and they will stay fresh.

    Another great dessert is banana boats. Slice banana long way and put in foil. Add marshmallows and chocolate and caramels, seal and out on top if fire. Yum! Add pineapple or strawberries or nuts or whatever. Really good.

  15. Brilliant ideas! 🙂

  16. I love your camping ideas

  17. I LOVE these ideas…. I am curious about the pizza log. Considering pizza dough expands when it cooks, is it still going to be ok cooking in the foil in the fire?
    Thank you!

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Yes. I always keep an eye on it because it needs to be turned regularly. If I feel like the foil is too tight, I just loosen the foil as I turn it to allow for the dough to have room to grow. 🙂

  18. Heather says:

    We love Banana Boats. With the peel on, slice a long strip along the inner curve of the banana, leaving the peel attached at one end. Pull back the peel and scoop a small amount of banana out to create a trench. Stuff with a line of mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Replace the strip of peel and wrap tightly in foil. Heat in the coals for 5 minutes. Tasty! (and sticky, what more could a kid want?)

  19. The breakfast sandwiches worked great! Frozen, they acted as ice for the rest of the cooler perishables and we could just throw them on the coals or grill anytime of day for a quick bite.
    The pizza roll did not work for us. It took a VERY long time to cook raw pizza dough and then it stuck to the foil. I am going to try to cook it at home, spray the inside of the foil and then freeze this time.

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Glad the sandwich worked out for you! They are one of my favorites! Good tip on spraying the foil.

  20. I found this post via a camping board Pinterest. Great ideas! I recently wrote a post about our camping meal plan from this month – you can see it here
    http://becomingchristinesmith.com/index.php/2015/07/04/camping-meal-plan/

  21. how long would you say these last in a cooler? these would be for a camping from that lasts only a weekend or maybe lnnger?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      Once they thaw out, I am not sure that you would want them thawed for longer than a day. But if you could keep them frozen for an unlimited amount of time I would say they could work for as long as you needed. 🙂

  22. The campfire pizza log looks fantastic. I’m a little apprehensive to try it since I’ve read on some other sites that the dough ends up sticking to the foil when cooked or the outside gets burnt and the inside is still raw. Do you spray something on the dough so it doesn’t stick? Any more tips on this? Also I will have to use a grill for this since there are only communal fire pits where I’m going.

  23. You. Just. Saved. My. Life.

  24. These are great recipes, I would urge you to reconsider the plastic bag omelettes though. Ziploc bags are not designed for cooking, if you submerge them in hot water like that, chemicals from the plastic, including known endocrine disruptors, will leach into the food you and your family eat. Bring a camping skillet and empty the bags out into the pan instead.

  25. I love these ideas! We go camping quite often and we tried the campfire sandwiches for a tubing trip and they worked perfect. Can’t wait to try the campfire pizza log! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  26. How would you make a freeze the campfire pizza log if you don’t have a freezer when you are camping?

  27. I can’t wait to go camping this Summer. Such great recipes ideas.

  28. Kristine says:

    Did you rinse/drain the beans before you added them?

  29. Hate to say it but the pizza log has been an utter failure for us 2 years in a row. It’s too bad because we love pizza! IF YOU ARE THINKING OF MAKING THIS, SPRAY THE FOIL BEFORE WRAPPING YHR DOUGH. Otherwise you may end up with a failed experiment. Twice.

  30. We are going on our second ever camping trip soon, and I was really excited to try the pizza roll/log until I read through the comments, now I’m not so sure. I’m thinking it might be too much to attempt on only our second trip. I want everything easy while we’re still figuring out this camping business. 🙂 I think instead we may do individual pita pizzas on our little grill…I’ll take along pizza toppings and some pitas and then everyone can just top their own.

  31. The best and truly easy make-ahead freezer friendly recipes!!
    I searched through nearly 20 other pages before seeing this on pinterest. Going winter camping soon and with work still going on I will have only enough time to make these.
    Thank you thank you!!! <#

  32. You are amazing!! Going campinG next week and so happy to find your site
    KEEP POSTING!!!!

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