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Food Cost

by John Barry
(Chattanooga Tn.)

My biggest expense on the road is food! I have used a Coleman fridge and microwave, but fridge is too small and does not keep food cold enough! Also the motor went out a lot. I have been thinking of using a stainless steel dorm room fridge. It would allow me to hold at least two weeks' worth of food and keep it cold. Do you guys have any tips on mounting it as well as any tips to keep it working on these awesome roads out here?

Note: Prior to publishing this submission and response about food cost, Vicki tried to get a response from John by email and did not hear back. So here is our response, which is adapted from the email that Vicki sent to John -- and includes more information.

Response from Vicki:

Hello, John,

This is a great question.

1. Are you sure that the Coleman cooling product you bought is a true refrigerator and not a "thermoelectric cooler"? (We certainly plan to write a page about thermoelectric coolers on our site, since we had problems with a series of them years ago ourselves.)

2. Have you read the information on the compact refrigerators page, the ice chests page, or the meal preparation page on our site?

When it comes to lowering your food cost, we have plenty of ideas on our food and recipes page. In addition to the food ideas we have provided, a number of folks have supplied other recipes there too.

By using an appropriately sized inverter, you can use just about any kind of appliance in your truck that you can in a home. We
personally use a hot pot, crock pot, electric skillet, waffle iron and toaster oven.

In the past, Mike has used a microwave oven in his truck, but when the cord failed and we experienced success with the hot pot, we got rid of it. The hot pot allows us to boil pasta and eggs, which a microwave cannot easily do.

On the pages of foodstuffs linked on our site, we supply the equipment we use and the cost of the food, including the per meal and per serving costs. We plan to keep expanding the number of pages under the food and recipes section of our site. In this way, we can help drivers lower their food cost.

One suggestion that we have is to try to buy your foodstuffs in a grocery store (a discount grocery store is even better) instead of a truck stop, most of which generally sell foodstuffs at inflated prices.

In addition to trying thermoelectric coolers and compact refrigerators (a series of both) in our trucks, we came to the conclusion that an ice chest works better for us at keeping foods consistently cold. We don't have to worry about electric parts failing on the road. The only concern we have is making sure that we have ice. Even that can be pricey (especially in the summer), but we're experimenting with something to help out with that. Stay tuned to our news feed or subscribe to our free email newsletter to learn all about it when we publish our results.

We hope this helps. We'd greatly enjoy hearing back from you to learn whether or not any of our suggestions and money saving tips help you to lower your food cost.


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