Commuter Hacks: Food for your Drive


Day 3 of Commuter Hacks.  Today we are going to talk about car-friendly food (and none of it comes from a drive-thru). 

I commute everyday during the hours of 12-1pm and 4:30-6pm.  A great many of you commute earlier, during the morning hours.  Based on what time your commute is will determine what types of food you should consider bringing with.  I usually eat lunch before I leave, but frequently will bring food for myself and my 4 year old daughter to consume on the way home.  Again, multitasking. 

The benefits to bringing your own food:
1. Cheaper
2. Healthier
3. Quicker, no waiting at the drive-thru
4. Fresher
5. Easy
6. Less messy
7. Food is made just the way you like it

Now I know it’s probably hard to kick the drive-thru habit because of the convenience, but even food-prepping a little every week could really save you some time, money, and inches around your waist.  Ready to get started with some ideas? 

Fresh fruit:
Apples, bananas (hint: bring your banana in a ziplock bag, once the banana is gone the peel can be stored in the bag until you can properly throw it away), grapes, cuties and oranges (pre-peeled before leaving), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc…

Fresh veggies:
Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, sliced cucumber, broccoli, etc…
*Consider packing in a way that allows you to bring with a salad dressing of your choice to dip in or hummus.  (Ranch, French, etc…)

Pre-packaged goodies:
Granola bars, BelVita bars (my favorite is the blueberry crunchy breakfast bar), trail mixes, nuts like almonds or pistachios, applesauce squeezies (I know they are packaged for kids, but they can help you eat healthier too and come in a vast variety of flavors with some including a big range of veggies you probably never eat otherwise).

Crunch and munch:
Chips, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, snack cookies, etc… portion this type of food before you get in the car.  Having an entire open bag of chips and seemingly endless time in the car will not end well.  Place in a ziplock bag or plastic container before you get in the car, leave the rest at home.  Portion control for the win. (Or buy the individually packaged variety).

Sandwiches and wraps:
PB&J makes a great on-the-go breakfast or dinner.  Bonus, no refrigeration and it’s cheap!
Meat Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Tuna Sandwiches
Meat and Cheese wraps
Veggie wraps
Nutella Sandwich (Don’t you just feel fancy?  Yes, you can eat this after the age of 5).
Peanut butter or Nutella and sliced banana wrap (or any other nut butter)

Other ideas:
Adult lunchables: get yourself some meat, cheese, and crackers.
Individual soup-to-go (or heat it at home and pack it in a thermos)
Leftover pizza (yes this fits in the above “leftovers” but it really does deserve it’s own mention).
String cheese/ Babybel Cheese
Bagel with cream cheese
Bagel with meat and cheese
Bagel with peanut butter and jelly
Muffin, homemade or pre-packaged
Hard-boiled eggs
Crackers &/or fresh veggies with hummus

Water in a reusable water bottle, coffee from home, tea from home, juice (individually packaged or throw some in a reusable coffee-to-go mug with a lid, smoothies (pack in a thermos), soda (can or bottle), Crystal Light (energy) drink mix with water in a reusable container with a straw, energy drinks, lemonade, etc..

Endless options based on what you like, I throw 1-2 individual Dove chocolates in my lunches.  Quick and easy and gives me that chocolate fix after a meal.  Other options: cookies, brownies, candy, fruit snacks (not just for kids), caramels, Oreos, Little Debbie-style snacks, etc…

Some helpful items to help transport your food include:
Plastic food storage containers
Reusable ice packs
Reusable water bottle
Reusable drink cup with a straw
Reusable coffee to-go mug
Beeswax wraps

Liked this article?  Check out my mini-series on commuting:
Day 1: Commuter Hacks: Productively Passing the Time
Day 2: Commuter Hacks: Essential Products to keep in your Car
Day 3: Commuter Hacks: Winter Emergency Car Kit

Happy Commuting!

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