Balling on a Budget: Food Edition

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imagesI realized quickly that most of my cost was from food at festivals, and luckily for the ones that I’ve attended I’ve been able to camp out and bring my own food. I realize that’s not the case for every festival. BUT for the ones that it is, be the master/mastress? of your tummy. I usually go for lunch/snacks and breakfast foods to bring along. My go to is:

  • Eggs pre-whipped and added to a water bottle with marks showing how many eggs per tick mark
    • I usually go for two eggs a day with toast/bread along with Pedialyte/water
  • Pancake mix: pre-portioned out to “just add water”
    • This is so easy to make- it’s quick carbs (add flax seeds to be boujee) and you don’t have to keep anything cold!
  • Sandwich meat (turkey, ham, bologna, etc)
    • Another easy go-to lunch option and until you just have to have the extra sauces, you don’t have to keep a lot of the items cold! And protein is never a bad thing when you’re pushing your body.
    • Sammy toppings (lettuce, cheese, etc) *We don’t recommend pre-making them because you’ll need to keep them cool, and the bread will get soggy.
  • Pre-cut & package fruit
    • These are especially great if you don’t drink as much as you probably should. A few fruits in particular that are good for staying hydrated (according to are Watermelons, Strawberries, Grapefruits, and Cantelope.
  • Granola bars & Trail mix
    • Snacks are essential for making meals stretch and keeping enough energy to go go go throughout the day. They’re the perfect campsite snack when you’re waiting to go to the music/adventure
  • Beer/Liquor/Alcohol
    • Not everyone is going to opt for this, and that’s totally okay! If you are someone who’s going to indulge in a little adult beverage, drink it up before you go into the festival because inside booze is anything but cheap. 
      • hack: Depending on the festival, you can always throw your alcohol over the fence/barrier to the stage venues. Make sure you have someone on the other side though to snag it or you probz won’t see it again inside.


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downloadSo you’re probably wondering well this all sounds great, but how exactly are you going to keep all this food good for a couple day, middle-of-the-summer-heat music festival? Good question, there are a couple different choices- check it out below:

  • 2 frozen water gallons
    • (hack: make sure you pour a little out before you put it in the freeze, water expands when frozen!) The gallons will stay frozen for about three days, give or take. So make sure you take that into consideration as well! 
  • Dry Ice
    • This is another great option if you’re looking for something a little longer, but I have realized that sometimes it can be a little difficult to find dry ice in some places. If you’re going with this route, make sure you’re aware of the best way to handle and maintain your ice!
  • Regular Ice
    • Most festivals sell ice by the bag and depending on where you are, this can be a much more easy option just make sure your food stays good! Only downside to this is that the ice is going to melt, so I recommend having a cooler that has a drain on the bottom somewhere!

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plate-fork-and-knife_318-51432Make sure you keep it clean while you’re at the festival too. I’ve quickly come to realize that it’s easiest to clean the utensils right after you’re done using them (and letting your food cool off anyway). I use the aluminum foil method (below), however, you can also always use a splash of water, soap and paper towel to clean it off quick. Make sure you have something to eat your food with & on though. Check it out:

  • Mini burner: check out Ali Express and Walmart. If you’re looking to pictures or exact lists of what I usually bring in terms of gear, head here 
  • Aluminum foil: put it over your pots/pans to cook and then throw it away when you’re done
  • Spatula
  • Fryer Pan
  • Mini-pot & cups
  • Small pot
  • Paper plates & plastic utensils
  • Solo cups

So, there’s a decent amount of things here, and I’m sure you’re wondering if this really works or not. I took all the money that I spent at 1 festival last summer with more or less buying food within the festival for the majority of my meals, and compared that amount to the same festival that I attended this year (Bonnaroo). Check it out below:

Bonnaroo 2017: $438.56

Bonnaroo 2018: $242.53

So as you can see, I managed to save like 230 bucks and that wasn’t even trying my hardest to be frugal about spending (sometimes you just need your drunk-chies right?). So I can only imagine how much more money I could have saved if I had made it more of a point to not go get that the funnel cake AND the corndog. But hey, it’s a festival, we can indulge ourselves a little, right?

What do you do to save money on food at festivals? I feel like food is one of the easiest things that we can control ourselves, so why not do the most you can (while still keeping it healthy too?)

Give us YOUR hacks below!


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