Road Trip Meals and Intentional Communities. DAYS 25-29 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

We’ve survived through Days 25-29 of the challenge, with only a few bumps in the road.

Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that we had planned a homeschool field trip for the 26-27th to Jefferson’s home, Monticello, in Virginia.

Taking to the road and being away for two days suddenly made this challenge much trickier.

If I’d had time to plan better I could have put together more meals. But I didn’t.

The situation reminded me of what it would be like if we suddenly had to evacuate our home. What if stopping for food along the way wasn’t an option? What would we eat? How would we prepare it?

I looked through our bug out bags to see what we had in there to eat. It’s about time to rotate that stuff out anyways. Here’s what we had…

  • tuna salad and cracker kits
  • dried apples
  • dried corn
  • Thrive Express Meals Creamy Beef and Noodle
  • dried fruit and nut packages
  • Just-add-water soup mixes
  • instant coffee, tea, hot cocoa

Not a huge selection by any means. And definitely not enough calories to sustain us for more than a day. I’m gonna have to re-think our quick on-the-go snacks and meals. The kids would starve the first day if this was all they had to eat.

Fortunately for them, they didn’t have to starve. Since they’re off the hook for the last week of the challenge we stocked them up with plenty of travel friendly snacks and munchies.

My husband and kids in front of Jefferson’s Monticello.

I tried my best to soldier through while we were traveling, but eventually I wanted a real meal (other than soup). And I was craving fresh fruit like crazy. It was so stinking hot outside!! Canned fruit would have been really good to have packed.

This road trip really opened my eyes as to how lacking our bug out bags are in adequate nutrition and variety. Time to re-stock and be better prepared to hit the road on a moment’s notice!

By the way, Jefferson’s garden is AMAZING. I cannot believe how much stuff they still have coming in there!! Makes me wanna re-do our entire garden.

The rest of this week has pretty much been same ol’ same ol’ as far as meals go. I feel like there are so many creative dishes I could be making with the freeze dried ingredients I have on hand, and yet I simply haven’t had the time (or spare energy) to put them together.

To be honest, I’m kinda disappointed with my lack of creativity in the kitchen. We’ve just been so darned swamped with things going on I’ve found myself falling back on the basic staple meals that we’re used to eating. Like spaghetti. And tacos.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know how we would survive if we had to do everything ourselves. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to cook three meals from scratch, work in the garden, preserve the foods that are coming in, school the children, and get the many projects done around the home. It would take many hands in order to get it all done.

As I listened to the guide at Monticello talking about life back in the 1800s I realized that Jefferson depended heavily on his slaves for survival. Without so many hands in the kitchens and gardens, there’s no way he would have been able to grow enough food, preserve it, and stay well fed.

I actually learned a lot at Monticello about self-sufficiency and off-grid living as it was 200 years ago. Those who were thriving during these times weren’t “self-sufficient” at all. Many, many people were working together in order to survive.

I think my biggest take away from this trip is reiterating the importance of building a community of able-bodied, hard working, like-minded folks, and living close enough to them that it would be possible to help each other in times of need.

I often daydream about buying a hundred acres of mountain land and creating a community there of people who think like we do. An intentional community of sorts. With enough privacy that families have their own acreage and can do their own thing without neighbors watching their every move, but close enough together that resources can be shared and help is just a call away.

Maybe one day.

As we sit now on our one acre of land in the country, we’d have a darned hard time surviving alone.

Hereโ€™s the breakdown of Days 25-29 challenge meals:

Eggs and grits
Baked oatmeal
Free breakfast at the hotel
Pancakes and homemade syrup
Fried potatoes and onions

Thrive apples
Thrive corn
Dried fruit and nuts
Bread and honey butter

Squash and potatoes
Chicken salad on bread (eaten several days)
Tuna salad and crackers, dried fruits

Dinner on the road while we traveled
Tacos with Thrive TVP Taco “Meat”
Homemade pizza
Spaghetti and garlic bread

Do you have bug out bags stocked and ready to grab in an emergency? What are your thoughts on surviving alone vs. building a community of homesteaders?ย 


13 thoughts on “Road Trip Meals and Intentional Communities. DAYS 25-29 of the 30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge”

  1. Thanks so much for allowing to see where we need to make some changes in what we keep on hand. I have already added a number of items, including fruit, spices and additional recipes!

  2. Ummm, I’ve been following your family since you were Handprints on the Wall and I want to know when Jada got so tall??? Holy buckets, I must stop blinking!

  3. You’re so right about needing a healthy variety of foods in your bug-out bags! It’s very challenging though finding foods that will be satisfying yet not too heavy to carry. Maybe that’s why some people have “caches” of food and water secreted in several places along their expected bug-out route(s)?

    • That’s a good point, Zabeth. Caches are a great topic to discuss! I think for me, I’d be afraid that I wouldn’t ever be able to get to it. Or that the container would leak water and be ruined. You’d have to have a pretty rock solid bug out plan to make caches work.

  4. You have done such a GREAT job bringing so many different issues to light during this challenge! Our personal challenge is that my husband and I are professional OTR truck drivers, along with our two big German Shepherds. Tho we buy groceries and prepare our meals on the road (rarely eat out, even when home every few months), I wonder what would happen WTSHTF, and we were 1500 miles from home. We have some easily carried pouches of some foods, as well as water treatment capability, but what about the requirements of our personal security canine team? Our bags, and our bodies, can only carry so much. We should probably train the dogs to carry saddle bags, and get used to that. We also have to consider necessary medicines we would have to carry. I can greatly relate to your cravings for fruits, etc. I ‘NEED’ my fruits, veggies and salads I usually eat. My husband is a total meat eater, tho, so our limited space on the truck must be arranged and put together very carefully. My husband calls it our Rubic’s cube. It is amazing how much we can get in there, tho. In one of your early entries, you mentioned the importance of organizing and keeping an inventory. That is what really helps us out here. Everything has a specific place, and it’s ‘first-in, first-out’ rotation. You are also on the right track as far as an intentional community goes. Dont give up on your dreams…God has interesting ways of making things happen…for your good and HIS glory!! Keep up the good work!!! You and yours remain in our prayers. P.S. How is Grandpa?

    • Grandma Susan,

      It sounds like you guys have got a lot figured out already. I can definitely see the challenge in trying to keep enough food for you and your dogs in such a small space.

      Thank you for asking about my grandfather. He goes in to have a procedure done next week to drain fluid off his brain. We are hoping that maybe… fingers crossed… an excess of fluid is causing some of his dementia. Basically they are testing him for Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. It might not be Alzheimer’s after all. Pray that all goes well!

  5. Thank you for doing this. I have learned a lot and realized a lot of my failures. I don’t even have food in my emergency packs except those high calorie bars. I don’t know what I was thinking!

    • Marty,
      I hear ya! Those high calorie bars will keep you alive for a little while in a life or death emergency, but aren’t exactly the best choice if it’s just a minor emergency (like getting stuck on the side of the road for a day). I’m glad you’re thinking about what other travel friendly foods you can put in your emergency go bags. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you ever have to use them you’ll be so glad you prepared well.

  6. Ugh, we do NOT have bug out bags stocked, but we should! I always assume that because we live out in the country we won’t need to bug out but can hunker down here, but that might not be the case. I’ve gotten so lax about being prepared lately – need to step it up!! This experiment has really done a great job of revealing unrealized prepping shortcomings. Great job!

    • Laurie,
      I can totally relate. I can’t think of a scenario when we would have to evacuate the countryside as well… but you never know. I’m gonna step it up as well after doing this challenge! So glad to have you along.


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