Saving money on food while out on the road

Nobody ever said that the RV lifestyle was inexpensive. Between the high price of gas and the necessity of RV maintenance, the costs of ownership for an RV can get quite high. However, that doesn't mean that it's not possible to put together an RV vacation while keeping a budget in mind.

One of the more costly expenses when out on the road, for example, is food. Many RVers feel like they should be eating out for every meal since they are on vacation. But this can add up over time. The RVNN program "RV Kitchen" can teach owners how to make the most of their vehicle's kitchen – whether it's expansive or somewhat tiny.

If you're really into food, then cuisine is one of the fundamental reasons for traveling the country. There's no doubt that trying all the regional flavors can be lots of fun and one of the better reasons to hit the road. However, this doesn't mean always eating at high-end or expensive restaurants. If you're in Louisiana, for example, you might want to go out to the local supermarket and make some jambalaya yourself – it's much more affordable than eating out in a restaurant, and there are plenty of great recipes online – some designed specifically for RVer with limited resources.

Of course, you don't have to eliminate eating out entirely. If you still want to save money, research some places that have earned critical acclaim but still serve affordable food. You typically don't need to spend $20-$30 per head to get a great meal that shows off the local flavors.

If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps that can help you find great restaurants nearby, such as Yelp and Urbanspoon. They'll even give you GPS directions to local hotspots. This way, you can check out the menu ahead of time, easily stick to a budget and choose some places that will give you a great meal for a good price. This is much better than simply stopping off at whatever restaurant you see off the highway – these tend to be overpriced. Even without a smartphone, there are plenty of print guides that will help you find all the great eateries.

In this same vein, planning ahead often saves money. If you know you'll be stopping at a campground that is a bit out of the way, that's a good night to plan out a meal to be cooked in the RV. Have a few go-to meals ready that can be whipped up easily after a long day of driving. You can still eat well on the road without blowing a ton of money – all it requires is a little forethought.