Shopping On-the-Road

There are many methods of preparing food for you on the road. It will all depend on each individual and how your truck and trucking is set up. I hope to give you some insight as to how you may tailor these methods to fit your own possible situation. Whether you have cooked for yourself before or not there are many simple ways and simple menus that will allow you to eat healthier and more nutritious meals than feeding yourself out of fast food restaurants. You should also notice a difference in your food bill and your waistline. Some form of refrigeration is not essential but improves the choices you can make as well as provides you with the means to save the leftovers to snack on later.

A cooler with ice is not an option. Not only will you go broke trying to keep ice in it, but the cooler may sweat causing things around it to get wet. Your food will also vibrate in the ice speeding the melting process and you’ll stop to prepare your next meal only to find the food swimming in water. There are spaces in almost any truck that can be adapted to hold a plug-in cooler or a refrigerator. Make sure to get and install the largest one you can for the available space. This will allow you to keep drinks cool as well as refrigerate lunch meats, butter, condiments and fresh meats or vegetables.

If you do not have refrigeration, it will be necessary for you to shop more frequently if you wish to eat fresh foods instead of processed foods that are prepackaged. Shopping can sometimes be a problem for a driver that is trucking over-the-road since it is more difficult to get a big rig into a small parking lot or close to a grocery store. There are several solutions but sometimes you have to get a little creative. Start looking around close to the shippers and receivers you pick up at or deliver to. Often there are strip malls or neighborhood stores within walking distance. Yes… I said walk! It’s good for you and will stimulate your appetite as well as help you to keep muscles toned. Maybe there was a strip mall with a grocery store on your way there. All stores have receiving areas so look for the ones with a larger receiving area. Most stores won’t mind you parking temporarily to go in and shop but remember to be courteous and don’t tie up their area too long. That way they won’t mind if you stop in again the next time you need to shop.

If you have home time, stock up a small pantry of items to use on the road. If this isn’t an option, then when you have a restart or extended layover, find out the closest stores and determine the best way to go shopping. Can you drop your trailer and bobtail? If not, is there a cab service? If you think it’s too expensive, start adding up those fast food and restaurant receipts and you’ll realize it’s not. Besides, there might be another driver needing to do the same thing that would share the cab fare with you. You’re only stuck if you think you are.

There are many prepared dishes you can purchase if you’re not much of a cook or don’t want to spend too much time cooking. If you enjoy cooking or don’t mind learning, the options are endless and there are many ways you can cook on the road including microwave, propane stove or grill, or if you have an APU you can use an electric skillet to prepare just about any meal you want. Be creative and figure out a healthier, more cost-efficient way to eat out on the road.