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Picnic Tips and Tricks

Category Picnics
Whether it's an outing with the whole family or a romantic meal in the countryside, picnic are a fun frugal outing that everyone will enjoy. This is a guide about picnic tips and tricks.


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By 6 found this helpful
July 21, 2014

When I was a kid, we picnicked a LOT in the summer. My mom got tired of the table cloth blowing up and tipping everything, so she began packing a twin-sized fitted sheet in the basket. It fit the public tables perfectly, and no more blowing tablecloths. In fact, she won a similar tip contest with this back in the late 50's, but I have not seen it mentioned since then.

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February 23, 2012

Use an empty drink carrier when picnicking or in your back yard. Put forks, spoons, napkins, ketchup and mustard in each slot. It's easy to carry and keeps stuff organized.

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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May 26, 2016

Use two small coolers - one for fruit and beverages, which will be opened frequently, and one for such perishables as meats, poultry, salads, sandwiches, and cheese.

Chill food thoroughly in the refrigerator or freezer before placing in cooler - the cooler cannot chill foods that aren't already cold.


Use store-bought ice packs, or make your own: Freeze juice boxes, or fill milk cartons or plastic bottles with water (leave 1-inch headroom at top to prevent bursting; fold carton over to close, or place cap on bottle before freezing). Pack perishables right next to ice packs. Keep fruits and delicate veggies like lettuce away from ice to prevent bruising and "freezer burn."

Fill cooler to the top (if necessary, add ice cubes or other cold nonperishables to fill space) - a full cooler keeps food cold longer than a partially filled one.

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August 10, 2010

In these tough economic times, finding time to be with the one you love can be hard. Between scrambling to keep up and getting the kids ready for school, couples can become very stressed. If you have children you will only need a baby sitter for 2 hours or so, maybe you can trade babysitting with a family member or best friend.


So here is a quick and easy picnic that can be put together in no time and would be very easy to take to a local park or to an outdoor concert. Here in Colorado Springs, they have many free concerts in the park. If they don't where you live, grab that old boom box dust it off and find some batteries and you can create your own concert. These recipes are easy enough for even your husband to do too.

A bottle of white wine or a sparkling grape juice and a couple of wine glasses start off this wonderful picnic. Spread out your blanket or a comforter and get your music going. When you open up your picnic basket here is what you will find.

Every Guy's Favorite Appetizer

Start with ham. Make a tight roll. Roll the bologna strip around the ham, and so on. Save the pepperoni for last. Pierce with a toothpick to hold the roll together. Just drop them in a small container, the small ones for sandwiches work great. They can be made with any combination of cold cuts.

Romantic Tuna Salad Bowl

Cut bread in half lengthwise. Scoop out bread dough break up into bite size pieces and toast lightly in oven then put in salad bowl. Add quartered cucumber slices, salad greens, olives and tuna to the bread dough. Toss all with oil and vinegar dressing.

Rub inside of bread crusts with garlic cloves. Add salad bowl mixture to empty crusts and top with hard boiled eggs sliced. Put top back on. Wrap in plastic wrap or in to a Ziploc bag.

Circle of Life Cherry Dessert

Frosting Dip biscuits into melted butter then sugar/cinnamon mixture. Put a thumb print hole in biscuit and add a spoonful of cherry pie filling. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Mix up the frosting and drizzle over warm dessert. Put a couple of these for each of you in a container so they lie flat.

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March 27, 2014

If you need to keep milk or cheese cool when camping or picnicking, wrap them in wet cloths and place in a bucket. As the water evaporates, it keeps the food cool. Remember to dampen cloths again when they dry out.

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March 10, 20051 found this helpful

Paper towels at a picnic work better than napkins, just screw a paper towel holder under the table on a end. Then you can just "pop" a roll on holder when dining in the out of doors and the roll of paper towels stays dry/clean and won't blow away with the wind.

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June 29, 2008

Take your dinner out to the park for a midweek picnic! My husband and I have a place where we can park, take a nice walk and then eat on a shady picnic table.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 30, 20060 found this helpful

Tips for having a great picnic. Post your ideas.


June 24, 20050 found this helpful

By Cyndi Roberts

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and for a lot of us that means heading out to the lake or to the park for a picnic with friends or family.


Unfortunately, if we're not careful when we plan, transport and serve that picnic, our outing might not end up happily.

Here are some tips to remember when planning an outdoor meal:

1. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria multiply quickly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees. Foods that have been kept at unsafe temperatures are a prime source of foodborne illnesses.

2. Plan ahead and try to take foods that don't spoil so quickly. At any rate, don't eat anything that's been sitting out for more than an hour, especially if the temperature is over 80.

3. Try to take only the amount of food that will be eaten, so there will be no leftovers.

4. Pack your food with ice or cold packs in an insulated cooler. Place foods that will be eaten last in the bottom. You can make your own blocks of ice by freezing water in milk cartons or other plastic containers.

Place ice blocks or cold packs between containers of food, never just place containers of food on top of ice.

5. You might want to bring 2 coolers -- 1 for drinks, because it will be opened more often, and 1 for the food, that can be set in the shade and kept closed until needed.

6. If you're planning to cook hamburgers at the picnic site, shape your meat into patties and freeze before putting into the cooler. Take along a meat thermometer to be sure you cook the meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.

7. An extra zip-top bag full of ice can be placed in the top of the cooler. The extra ice will come in handy for the trip home. If your day is a long one, and the ice melts the cold water can come in handy, also.

8. Carry your cooler inside your car, instead of in your hot trunk and be sure to place it in a shady spot and maybe even cover it with a blanket when you reach your destination. Open it only when necessary.

9. Instead of bringing whole jars of condiments, pack what you will need into smaller plastic containers.

10. Bring lots of clean utensils for serving as well as eating. Pack pre-moistened towelettes and paper towels for easy cleanup.

11. And remember this rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding leftovers: When in doubt, throw it out!

About the Author
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another", bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit her online at to subscribe and receive the Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".

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June 24, 20050 found this helpful

I always take a roll of paper towels in the picnic basket. They can be used as napkins, place mats, spill clean-ups, and food covers. Multiple uses from 1 product.

By Linda

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