This summer we’re headed back to the Texas gulf coast to the beach! This means I’ve got to have the perfectly packed picnic with food and drinks each day of our trip. We go on a lot of picnics, so I’ve become really good at packing efficiently.
With all the things we like to take to the beach, from buckets to boogie boards, I like to bring just one bag and one cooler for food and snacks, even if we’re there all day.
Tips for Packing an Efficient Picnic
- Pre-chill your drinks ahead of time.
- Pack most items in your cooler, so that it’s as full as possible for more efficient cooling.
- Package fruit and veggies in zip lock bags for flexible packing in the cooler
- To save space, package sandwiches in the bread bag.
- Try to avoid bringing food that can spoil easily (like mayonnaise).
- Bring along a jug of DIY soapy water or hand sanitizer to clean hands and surfaces if necessary.
- Pack bottled water and Kool-Aid liquid juice drops and drink mixes to save space.
- Bring your own trash bags, such as 3-4 plastic grocery bags or a large trash bag for easy clean up.
Of these tips, I’ve found these 3 to be the most effective in keeping our picnic supplies efficient:
One of the easiest ways to par down the picnic is to just bring bottled water and individual drink mixes. I always pack a variety of Kool-Aid liquid drink mix drops and Kool-Aid Singles. Since they are so small, it’s very easy to pack multiple flavors. This way whoever wants to drink water can just drink water, and whoever wants it flavored can have the liquid drops and Singles packets.
Another favorite tip for packing an efficient picnic is making sandwiches and then repackaging them into the bread bag. Making the sandwiches ahead of time prevents packing additional bulky bottles of condiments, and it makes packing the sandwiches a snap!
My last essential tip to save space with picnic items is to not bring along jars or bulky containers of foods. Instead package as many items as you can in large zip-lock bags. A few items I do this with are baby carrots, pickles, and watermelon. I even package dips in small containers in zip-lock bags, too. This makes it much more flexible to pack the cooler.
There is one special treat I’m taking to the beach this summer — Kool-Aid ice cream floats. They are super easy to make and delicious! The ice cream can get a little melted, and when all mixed together with the Kool-Aid it tastes like a shake. My husband and I both love these!
- 1 96-oz bottle of Kool-Aid, any flavor
- 1 quart of vanilla ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Pour 1/3 of the glass full of Kool Aid.
- Add 2-3 scoops of ice cream.
- Fill the glass the rest of the way with Kool Aid.
- Top off with whipped cream.