10 Budget Picnic Essentials
Picnic’s make for a great date if you and your partner are operating on a budget. They don’t have to cost the earth, they get you out of the house – and you both get to stuff your faces!
A picnic makes a fab alternative to a restaurant if you can’t afford the cost, and it’s a great way of eating and drinking with your loved one out in the open doors. You can pick where you want to eat, such as a beach, a park or even a woodlands and you can pick what you eat.
Picnic’s are also great social activities for groups of friends who want to get outdoors and have some fun in the sunshine.
Planning a picnic isn’t exactly hard work. But if you’re a bit strapped for cash, here are 10 budget picnic essentials.
A Big Picnic Blanket
You don’t have to spend a fortune on your picnic blanket, and it can be something you already have at home. It could even be something you currently sleep in!
A picnic blanket just needs to be large, relatively clean, and strong enough so as to offer comfort and protection against any surface you’re going to lie it on.
If you don’t have a spare blanket at home, you can grab one for a few pennies from a thrift store but make sure that your picnic blanket is weatherproof.
You’ll need somewhere to store food and drink that needs to stay cool so that it doesn’t get stale by the time you arrive at your destination.
While a picnic basket is an option, they do cost money and they’re not exactly practical!
So instead of spending a large part of your budget on a picnic basket, why not purchase a cooler instead? You might already have one at home, but if you don’t there’s a good chance that one of your friends will be able to borrow yours.
You could even make your own by lining a trash bag with ice packs.
If it’s a really hot day, you and your pals are undoubtedly going to get thirsty. After a few hours, the juice you packed is going to be warm and tepid.
Which means you’re going to head elsewhere to buy expensive supplies.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to pour your juice into a Thermos flask at home – and then fill with ice cubes. This will keep your juices cool as the day goes along.
Picnics get messy. After you’ve all stuffed your faces, you’re left with bloated stomachs, merriness – and a lot of litter to clear up.
If you forget your bin bags, you’re going to have to somehow collate all your mess and transport it to a public bin.
Either that, or you’re going to dump all the smelly leftovers in your car. Not cool.
To save yourself a heap of hassle, pack a few bin bags. They’re really cheap, and you’ll surely already have some at home.
Lots of people prefer to buy disposable plastic tableware when they head out on a plastic. But disposable tableware isn’t all that cheap, and it can only be used.
Instead, why don’t you invest in reusable tableware? Reusable, durable plastic tableware is a sound investment. It won’t cost too much money, and you can also use the items again when you plan another picnic.
You will also need to bring a sharp knife. Plastic knives aren’t good for cutting!
This is something that everyone forgets. A cutting board isn’t something you always think about when packing your picnic basket, but it’s an essential.
If you’re to be chopping and slicing foods up, you will need a small, light cutting board. You don’t need to fork out a small fortune on something fancy, but could instead get away with a plastic one that you can pick up from your local supermarket.
As long as it’s sturdy enough, it will be perfect.
A Bug Repellent
The sunshine is out, you’ve poured your first glass of wine and bitten into a delicious sandwich. Life is good.
All of a sudden, a wasp starts hovering around your picnic, sounding it all out. It’s followed by a mosquito who seems in the mood for some blood. An ant appears on the scene, sniffing out your sugary treats. Oh no!
If anything can ruin a picnic, it’s bugs. To make sure yours isn’t destroyed by constant swatting of flies and wasp stings, it’s a good to pack a cheap, natural bug repellent. Job done!
Cloth napkins aren’t exactly an essential, but if you want your picnic to have a bit of style you’re probably going to need them. Cloth napkins add colour to your table and help create a pleasant atmosphere.
They don’t cost much at all, either. Head down to your nearest thrift/dollar store and pick a packet up for a few pennies. Bargain!
The most important part of your picnic is arguably your food. And it’s this part which racks up your shopping bill.
Meat is easily the most expensive food on any picnic shopping list, and it’s also the hardest to transport and keep fresh. For this reason, it’s a good idea to leave meat out altogether and instead opt for cheaper alternatives, such as eggs, bread, and tuna.
Fruit is also budget-friendly, while you might want to prepare your own chips, dips and salads.
Plastic Wine Glasses
You might already have a few cut-glass wine goblets at home, but it isn’t worth the risk of taking them (you might smash them!). Instead, you could buy a few plastic wine glasses that don’t cost too much money, but which can either be used again and again or tossed away once you’re done.
Plastic wine glasses should be available at your local supermarket. If not, wine shops will stock them, but you can probably get the best deal by shopping online.