How to Save Money on Festival Food when Camping

Festival foods are delicious, and definitely part of the experience. However, they can be quite costly, especially if you are there for a whole weekend. When camping at a festival you can get a harmonious balance of trying tasty foods and brining some along with you!

camping can save money on festival food

Festival Food when Camping Made Easy

When it comes to making your own festival food, you want to strike a balance between convenience, deliciousness, and practicality. It’s all about enjoying tasty meals while keeping things simple and easy to prepare. Consider these tips to help save money on festival food:

Staying Hydrated

The most obvious way to save money is to bring a reusable water bottle. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger and water is often just provided for free at festivals. But also bring along your own tea and coffee with some long-life milk, especially if you need a cup for first thing in the morning! Or freeze some one-pints of milk which will also work as ice-blocks!

Alcohol at a Festival

Obviously staying sober at a festival will save you lots of money – and in my opinion a better experience. However, if you do want to drink then bringing some alcohol with you to drink at your tent is also going to save you money. Make sure you know any limitations on what you can bring – this usually excludes anything in a glass container.

Orchard Pig Festival

Think About Food That Does Not Need a Fridge

When camping at a festival without an electrical hook-up you need to plan meals which are easy to prepare but also things that aren’t going to go off without a fridge!  A cool box or bag with ice packs will keep perishable items fresh for longer but this still isn’t very long. Maybe come with the intention of using it for the first night set up.

Planning your Festival Food

Before heading to the festival, create a meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This helps you stay organized and ensures you have all the necessary ingredients. You can pack these into freezer bags or Tupperware for each person. This is especially good if you have children and/or want to make up treat bags. Don’t forget to check what the rules of the festival are in regards to cooking. Many are no longer wanting real fires and/or disposable BBQs.

Breakfast ideas

On that first morning waking at the festival you may want to cook yourself a breakfast wrap with bacon, sausages, eggs, mushrooms, avocado and spinach! Or maybe one of those just add water pancake mix bottles!

breakfast food at a festival

If you do not fancy cooking, then other shorter life breakfast ideas include yogurt, fresh fruit (bananas and cherry tomatoes). Plus there are plenty of breakfast ideas that do require no cooking at all, and will last without a fridge! These include granola, nuts, sturdy fresh fruits (apples, oranges, kiwi, and watermelon) dried fruits, tinned fruits, avocado, seeds, cereal, cereal bars, pain au chocolate, brioche, croissants.

Main Meals at a Festival

When it comes to deciding on your lunch and evening meals you may want to consider looking at the festival programme. Is there something you really want to see/do at certain times? Therefore you may opt for either something simpler to prepare (like sandwiches) or use this time to try out some festival food!

Food Ideas that Require Cooking

When you do cook you will want to make it simple. Opt for meals that require minimal cooking and clean-up. Options include:

  • A home cooked meal that you have frozen and can defrost over the weekend. I think we may do this with our vegan curry.
  • One-pot dishes like chili, pasta with pre-made sauce, or stir-fried vegetables with pre-cooked meat are great options.
  • You can also bring pre-packaged meals or dehydrated camping meals for convenience.
  • Pasta is really easy to cook on a small camping stove. As are soups and other canned goods such as hot dog sausages, baked beans, tuna, vegetables, rice pudding and custard. They even do meals in a tin like a full breakfast!
food when camping ideas

Food that Does Not Require Cooking

Ideas great for lunch times or when you are in a hurry to see an act include:

  • Sandwiches and wraps. Use peanut butter or jam for the later days.
  • Naan bread, brioche, pain au chocolate etc – they don’t have to be for breakfast!
  • Preserved meats and vegetables
  • Cheese for a short while, if kept out of the sun.


These can go with your sandwiches or just to keep you going:

  • Crisps, rice cakes, popcorn
  • Cakes, brownies, scones
  • Sweets – Haribo, Jellybabies, etc.
  • Energy bars, crackers, biscuits,
  • Pepparami
  • Carrots, cucumber, peppers
  • Fruit – apples, oranges
  • Consider whether you want anything with chocolate because it may melt
    • Although M&Ms don’t melt in the heat like most normal chocolate.
M&Ms make great camping food as they don't melt like most chocolate

Consider dietary restrictions

If you or your companions have specific dietary requirements, plan your meals accordingly. There are often vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options available for camping food at festivals.

Practice Proper Food Storage

Use coolers or insulated bags with ice packs to store perishable items like meat, dairy, and fresh produce. Keep them separate from raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.

Don’t forget the Essentials

Bring cooking utensils like a portable stove or grill, a pot, a pan, matches, and basic tools like a knife, cutting board, and utensils. Also, remember to pack essentials like plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. As well as a washing up bowl, sponge, tea towel and washing up liquid.

camping washing up

Remember, festivals are about enjoying the experience, so prioritize convenience and choose foods that you genuinely enjoy. With some pre-planning and a well-stocked camp kitchen, you’ll have a fantastic time enjoying delicious meals while immersing yourself in the festival atmosphere. Plus all the money you save on foods for survival will free up money to treat yourself to delicious festival food treats on sale!

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