Why Do I Prepare Meals In Advance?
One of the best ways to support your trucker is to prepare meals in advance. This is something I do personally and something that makes a big difference in several ways. There are 3 big ways that preparing meals at home will make a big difference:
- Your trucker (and your family) will save a lot of money
- Precooked meals can be far healthier
- Homemade meals always hit the spot when your trucker is missing home
When it comes to the first truck driving job right out of school, money can be very tight. I learned this when my stepdad began trucking. He and my mom had it pretty rough the first year, but I see where they are now, and I know that it was worth it. A lot of people who begin a trucking career are not prepared for that, and ultimately give up. Knowing this in advance, I wanted to do everything that I could to make every dollar go as far as possible. When I started thinking about how much my husband would spend on meals at truck stops and at restaurants I knew I couldn’t let that happen. We had to plan in advance.
I wanted his paychecks to be put toward our goal of getting our debts paid rather than being spent on unhealthy, overpriced meals. When I go to the grocery store I try and buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. This also saves me the time of having to go back and forth to the store. I try to plan our meals in advance so I am prepared to cook for the whole family (including my trucker) during the week.
Home cooked meals are usually a far better option than eating out. When your trucker eats out they are more likely to be surrounded with greasy/fatty foods. When you ‘re the one cooking the meals – you are in charge! This means better ingredients and more options. You have the option of baking or boiling food instead of frying everything. This also helps your trucker if they have any food allergies. Foods can be prepared to suit their needs.
All too often, truckers tend to over eat because they may order more because they order more when REALLY hungry. By having precooked meals, food can be better proportioned ahead of time. For my husband he does not stop just to eat he will only stop when he has a break to take. Before I started precooking his meals he would miss meals because he did not stop unless he had to. Now that he has precooked meals he can eat when he is able to eat when while he is getting loaded or unloaded if he is hungry.
Feeling The Love
While your trucker may be away from home, that doesn’t mean they can’t still feel “home” comforts. Having precooked homemade meals is a great way of giving them some of the comforts of home. This is very important to help keep high spirits even when miles from home. You have to remember that yes it is hard on us being without our trucker but it is just as hard on them if not harder because they are way from everything that they know.
Just Give It A Try
This is going to be different for everyone because every trucker schedule is going to be different. This is something that took me awhile to get figured out. I wanted to make enough so he did not run out of food but at the same time I was afraid to make too much and have some go to waste. At first I did a lot of trial and error, but you just have to be OK with that. Now I believe I have things down pat.
My husband keeps a fridge in his truck, so I will precook his meals before he gets home so they’re frozen and ready to go. This works out good because when he takes his food with him and the food will have time to thaw out. This helps with the reheating process.
How I Store The Meals
When I cook for my family, I cook as if my husband were still here. I freeze the left overs in handy little storage containers so it’s all portioned out and ready to go. I prefer to the use multi-compartment containers so I can store a complete meal using only one container. Not only does that save space (and saving space is a big deal when you can only fit a small fridge in truck), but it also makes it easy to reheat food.
A Few Things I’ve Learned About Meal Prep
Now I will have to tell you I am NOT great cook. I do try my best but there are a lot of times when things just don’t turn out quite the way I planned…but hey, that’s life! I have also learned that there are some things that are not good when reheated. I just learned this past week that when you do not drain the juice out of things like carrots it will change the taste quite a bit…and not in a good way.
So, if you are like me please do not let this stop you from trying because you’ll get better at it and your trucker will love it. Remember, it’s the thought that matters, right?
Meal Ideas for Truckers
Taco soup is a great dish. Here’s a recipe to try:
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
46 ounces tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
2 (1 ounce) packages taco seasoning mix
This is very easy to make – just put everything in a crock pot and let it cook all day. This particular recipe will make 6 services, but I recommend that you make more.
I have also cooked grilled chicken or steaks (sometimes I will make barbecue chicken) with corn and green beans. Another thing that I have tried are baked pork chops (I do not use shake and bake, I use my own batter) with mashed potatoes with gravy with mac and cheese.
Salads are another quick, healthy dish that’s easy to portion out and send with your trucker. I hope this helps anyone that may have questions on what and how to prepare meals for their loved trucker. This will take some getting used to but it will be well worth it in the end.