9 Money-Saving Tips For Minimalist Camping on a Budget

I'm super excited to be sharing nine minimalist camping tips with you. Camping is a great way to take a trip without breaking the bank on flights and hotels, but if you don’t plan well you can still end up overspending unnecessarily.

Use these tips to help get organized so you have everything you need without wasting food or money.

Storing things in a bin

Before I give you my 9 favorite tips I want to recommend you store everything you’re bringing in a bin. This will help keep you organized. It's also a great way to keep flies and bugs away. 

Take food from home

1. Take food from home

Taking food from home has helped us save money and reduce waste. Normally, when you go on vacation or on a trip, your food will stay in the fridge and go to waste.

I've noticed whenever I just pack what we have at home to bring camping or on a road trip, we use everything and nothing goes to waste. Often, when people go on a trip they go to the market to find all the foods they will want on their journey, but so much of what they buy is unnecessary.

It’s best to pack what you have at home first and then fill in any gaps at the shops after you’ve figured out what you have and what you still need. 

I leave condiments in our bin so when we go camping, everything's already there and I don’t have to think about it. I will also take any opened cereal we have in the house. Cereal is great for camping because it’s quick and easy and I find it always gets eaten.

I will just take whatever we have at home, and what I don't have, I will go and buy after I've finished packing. For our most recent trip, we had a few granola bars sitting around so I just packed those too. I love peanut butter, so that comes with me everywhere I go.

Instant coffee

2. Instant coffee

Having instant coffee makes breakfast a lot easier when camping. Instant coffee is not the tastiest coffee option when you’re at home but on a camping trip convenience wins. We warm up hot water in our little kettle and it works out perfectly.

Reusable cloths and drying mat

3. Reusable cloths and drying mat

I really like these UNpaper towels. When we finish using them I put them in a bag and bring them back home. Then I can wash them and we can use them again. I also like taking an extra cloth and laying it over the food to keep the flies away. I also take a placemat to put all the clean dishes on when I'm done washing them.

Reusable kitchenware

4. Reusable kitchenware

I highly recommend bringing reusable kitchenware when you go camping. Take along as much as you can. Anything in your kitchen that you know you can wash and reuse is convenient to bring along.

Reusable water bottle and mugs

I bring along the kids’ water bottles and our reusable mugs. I keep plates in our camping bin. These plates are just for camping and nothing else so they stay in the bin. We have one plate for each person in our family.

We are a family of four, so there are four plates, four bowls, and four of everything. I take reusable straws and reusable utensils. Again, I love doing this because you just wash everything and reuse it again for the next meal.

Packing eggs in an egg holder

This egg holder is something I recently purchased at Walmart and I love it. It’s extremely handy. It keeps your eggs in place so they don't break when you load and unload your cooler.

Cleaning cloth and spray bottle

5. Cleaning cloth and spray bottle

I like to keep a cleaning cloth and spray bottle in the car when we are driving to our camping site. I actually just keep these things in the car even when we’re not camping. I do have two kids so it’s helpful to keep some cleaning supplies with me at all times.

Packing dish soap and a scrubber

6. Dish soap and scrubber

I brought some Dawn soap in a repurposed jar on our camping trip. There was no need to buy a whole bottle of dish soap for a camping trip. I also brought along a dish scrubber to wash the dishes and it was definitely an essential item.

We don’t use disposable kitchenware on our camping trips because it creates too much waste and reusables save us money, so soap and a scrubber were a necessity.

Using a coffee frother for shakes

7. Coffee frother for shakes

This one is a great tip. I found my coffee frother to be very useful to have on our camping trips. I make smoothies daily and I found this to be super helpful.

I did not have a portable device to make shakes with and then I realized my coffee frother might be able to get the job done. I was surprised by how well this worked. If you like to make smoothies this is a great tip.

Reusable storage bags

8. Reusable storage bags

I really like to take reusable storage bags on my road trips. One of the things I noticed is how well it contains the smell of food.

When camping, you have to be sure to keep food well-wrapped so you don’t attract bears or other animals. I also like that when we get home, I can just wash them out and use them again.

Camping checklist

9. Camping checklist

I highly recommend you print out a camping checklist and put it in your bin. It will help you see what you need to take and what you're missing. It keeps you organized so that you can see what you have at home to take on your trip to help you save money. 

Minimalist camping

Those are some of my tips for minimalist camping. I hope you found this helpful. If you have other methods and tips for minimalist camping, drop a comment in the comments section.

Exchanging ideas helps everyone figure out more efficient ways to do the things we enjoy doing. 

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