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Touring Food Costs

Old 02-06-07, 07:51 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Machka
As an example, a packet of 48 slices of processed cheese might be $5, 24 slices might be $3 ... but since we've only got room for 12 slices, we might have to pay $2 for that packet. So by the time we have gone through 48 slices we will have paid $8.
I agree with what you have said, but on the cheese issue...
Cheese actually keeps ok for quite a while especially if you buy a hard cheese like a sharp cheddar. It is one of the few items where I might be inclined to buy a week or more supply.
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Old 02-06-07, 09:10 AM
  #27  
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It boils down (no pun intended) to what you are willing to eat. Even with McDonalds 99 cent burgers, two of those and I can buy a lot of rice, far more than will fill up one person at one moment. A six dollar meal at Taco time and I can really buy a lot of rice, beans, tuna etc. Food per day is a fraction of what some will pay for lodging per evening. One group that I tour with, won't cook and won't camp and it is always an expensive tour which can limit the number of days out vs. if I travel with another group that is willing to stealth camp and cook, the costs are miniscule. I personally like to mix it up for all the great reasons above.
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Old 02-06-07, 09:41 AM
  #28  
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Machka, you 'question' the idea purchasing your own food and cooking being cheaper than eating in restaurants, and I doubt you've got enough experience or camping savvy to have an accurate read on what you're asking in the first place.

YES, Machka, sometimes the town is still 10 miles further from where you're going to camp. or not even withing ridable distance. If you've planned your cooking you don't HAVE to ride that bit further into the town for either groceries or a restaurant. Not having room in your panniers to haul some food around sounds like a logistics problem....

I can see about grazing, You eat breakfast, and graze, and eat another meal, and graze some more. I think that's how a lot of riders do it- I'm not cooking at lunch unless its foul, cold rain, and i've found a picnic shelter.....so I guess I cook two meals a day, breafast while breaking camp, and dinner after I've set up camp. Where do you buy all that grazing food except at a store?

If you're going to depend on others to cook, and you're buying the food, of course the foods going to be more expensive.That's common even if you're not on a bike tour... Regarding bike touring, if you're going it alone, and camping, in places there's not a lot of restaurants to begin with, cooking is definetly the cheaper option. I've rarely been on tour where there were a lot of restaurants convienently located close to the campgrounds or where I was stopping for the night.

my biggest daily expense on a tour, after an occasional campground fee, is when i stop at a restaurant. I DO stop at restaurants on occasion, and its the most expensive chunk of my touring dollar next to campground fees, which i try to avoid.

Machka, i guess i take offense at some of your your smug self-assuredness about touring,(you sound like someone I wouldn't want to tour with either) and in this thread about how cooking cannot be cheaper than eating out- You don't know how to cook, don't cook while on tour, I don't think you have an accurate view on touring to even make a comparison.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-06-07 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:35 AM
  #29  
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This topic sounds like a rewording of the earlier stove/no-stove debate. I enjoy cooking while touring, backpacking, or camping of any sort. Not even cooking -- boiling water and adding instant ingredients. It's easy, cheap, quick, and endlessly satisfying.

More importantly, cooking promotes independence -- either for the flexibility in my schedule or more importantly being prepared for an emergency situation. When I work with Scouts or other youngsters in the outdoors, I consider preparing a meal (either by carefully preparing a store-bought menu or scavenging off the land) as a mandatory skill anytime you will be venturing into the outdoors.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:39 AM
  #30  
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I agree with Bekologist, buying prepared food along your route everyday is certainly more convenient, but it is never cheaper.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:54 AM
  #31  
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I have always figured that carrying my food from grocery stores has been cheaper than restaurants, but now you have me wondering.

Now that I think about it, food I carry rarely keeps my hunger in check for any length of time. Food in restaurants often does (although I'll add a hot fudge sundae or something just to make sure). For example, one day in Kansas around noon I came across a bar/restaurant, so I had their generous portion of spaghetti with rolls, butter, and salad for about $9 or so with tip. Now, that kept me satisfied for several hours without having to delve into my food stash If my lunch came out of my panniers, you best believe I'd be eating something again in an hour or two, adding up the cost for food.

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Old 02-06-07, 07:58 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
and in this thread about how cooking cannot be cheaper than eating out-
I have never said that cooking cannot be cheaper than eating out. I don't know where you read that, but perhaps before you post again you should take the time to actually read my posts. OK? Thanks.

I also have never criticized anyone for wanting to cook ... if that is your preference, that's fine. I have my own preference, and that's fine too. And, while I'm on the subject of preferences, you have your preferred style of cycletouring and so do I. Yours is right for you, and I have enough cycling and cycletouring experience (roughly 17 years of it) to know that mine is right for me. You see, the beautiful thing about cycletouring is that there is no absolute right or wrong way to do it. It's all about personal preference ... after all, it's recreational and supposed to be FUN!

And here's one of many things I've discovered along the way ... my preferred way of doing things may vary depending on the situation and circumstances. I don't just stick with one way of doing things, I consider the options and can be very flexible. Relating to this thread ... one day I might eat in a restaurant, and another day I might eat from a grocery store. I've done both in the past, and will very likely do both in the future.

All I'm wondering here is whether or not anyone has noticed any significant difference in cost between the two. Have you? Do you have documented evidence? If so, post it, I'd like to see!

Last edited by Machka; 02-06-07 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 02-06-07, 08:00 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by David in PA
I have always figured that carrying my food from grocery stores has been cheaper than restaurants, but now you have me wondering.

Now that I think about it, food I carry rarely keeps my hunger in check for any length of time. Food in restaurants often does (although I'll add a hot fudge sundae or something just to make sure). For example, one day in Kansas around noon I came across a bar/restaurant, so I had their generous portion of spaghetti with rolls, butter, and salad for about $9 or so with tip. Now, that kept me satisfied for several hours without having to delve into my food stash If my lunch came out of my panniers, you best believe I'd be eating something again in an hour or two, adding up the cost for food.

David in PA
I have found the same thing as you. When I've eaten grocery food, I generally tend to go for "healthy" stuff - fruits and veggies, etc. While those may be good for me, they aren't all that filling.

Whereas a hefty restaurant meal has been known to keep me going for hours!
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Old 02-06-07, 08:04 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I agree with what you have said, but on the cheese issue...
Cheese actually keeps ok for quite a while especially if you buy a hard cheese like a sharp cheddar. It is one of the few items where I might be inclined to buy a week or more supply.
That's true, but that brings up the weight issue.

In other threads I've mentioned that I find carrying approx. half my body weight to be the maximum I can comfortably carry. Because I am smallish, half my body weight comes in at about 65 lbs. My bicycle takes up about 30 lbs of that leaving me with only about 35 lbs to play with ... and my gear often adds up to something pretty close to that.

I notice the difference when I load half the groceries into my panniers and cycle to the camp or hostel or wherever. I'm fine for a relatively short distance, but wouldn't want to cycle a long distance with a heavy grocery load.
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Old 02-06-07, 09:35 PM
  #35  
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"You see, the beautiful thing about cycletouring is that there is no absolute right or wrong way to do it. It's all about personal preference ... after all, it's recreational and supposed to be FUN!"

AMEN, sister Machka
That statement should sum up about 2/3 rds of these threads
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Old 02-06-07, 10:01 PM
  #36  
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I head Lon Haldeman (I think it was Lon) once say, "You can take 3 months to tour across the country, or 4-6 weeks with a credit card, or 3 weeks with us on Rapitours, it all cost the same. Self-supported touring saves on motels and restruants but takes so much longer it averages out."

Seems to apply here.
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Old 02-07-07, 01:15 AM
  #37  
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This afternoon we made Cao Lau, the traditional noodle dish of this region of Vietnam.
Total cost 70 US Cents for four massive servings.
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Old 02-07-07, 09:21 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Losligato
This afternoon we made Cao Lau, the traditional noodle dish of this region of Vietnam.
Total cost 70 US Cents for four massive servings.
Looks great - any leftovers I can have?....
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Old 02-07-07, 09:33 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by David in PA
For example, one day in Kansas around noon I came across a bar/restaurant, so I had their generous portion of spaghetti with rolls, butter, and salad for about $9 or so with tip.
David in PA
Cooking your own spaghetti dinner would cost about half of that, and would be just as filling.
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Old 02-07-07, 10:42 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by paul2
Cooking your own spaghetti dinner would cost about half of that, and would be just as filling.
Good point. However, the spaghetti meal I purchased at the restaurant was for lunch. I almost never do any cooking while enroute to my final destination of the day.

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Old 02-07-07, 11:09 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by David in PA
Good point. However, the spaghetti meal I purchased at the restaurant was for lunch. I almost never do any cooking while enroute to my final destination of the day.

David in PA
For lunch I have a bagel with cheese or peanut butter, and some fruit and veggies. Certainly cheaper than any restaurant meal.
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