Monday, June 28, 2010

Print And Pack Cookout List: Frugalista Style

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It's so great to spend time outdoors, relaxing in the fresh air, surrounded by people you love.  Yesterday my family and I traveled to one of our favorite local getaways called  R.B. Winter State Park.  It's got streams, a lake with a sandy beach area, hiking trails, and more.  If you're in the central PA area I highly recommend checking it out!  Anyway, as I frantically gathered the goods for our trip, (trying to get there as quickly as possible of course), I realized how much easier it would be if I had a check list prepared of all the things I needed.  Plus, no matter how hard I try, I always end up forgetting something.  So, as soon as I got home, while everything was still fresh in my mind (including the things I had forgotten again), I started this list.  I hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming outings over the 4th and throughout the summer.  I know I'll definitely be referring to it often!

Food Prep/ Grilling Supplies:
O spatula
O fork or tongs
O serving spoons (for potato salad, etc.)
O olive oil to clean and coat the grill grates (foil and food shouldn't mix!)
O grill brush
O large knife (if taking watermelon, etc)
O small knife (for cutting onions, hot dogs, etc)
O small cutting board
O charcoal (match light or lighter fluid)
O charcoal grill, if one is not available where you are going (most parks have numerous grills on site)
O plastic bag or other means to "load" the grill
O matches
O clips for opened bags of pretzels or chips
O sticks or poles for hot dogs and/ or marshmallows
O salt, pepper, or other seasonings
O cooler with food of your fancy-preferably mostly healthy (and don't forget your condiments!)
O ice water.  I fill a gallon jar (or 2) 1/2 full with ice then fill with cold water.  We have cold water all day this way.

Table Settings:
O silverware 
O cups (sippy cups if nec.)
O tape and a sharpie to label cups (or do this at home)
O plates
O napkins
O tablecloth
O tablecloth clips
O bag for trash
O bag for dirty dishes (if using reusables) 
O a few wet washcloths (for sticky hands and mouths)
O a small bottle of soap
O a few dry dishcloths (for spills)
O any children's booster seats needed
O bibs for kids
O any folding chairs needed
O toothpicks or floss

Family Gear:
O towels
O wide brimmed hats or sunglasses
O swimming suits (or a change of clothes for later)
O extra deodorant
O hair ties and comb
O a plastic garbage bag to carry home wet towels/ clothes
O diapers, wipes, wet bag, and changing pad (for those of you with little tikes)
O "beach" blanket for kids (I use this instead of a pack and play)
O activites (my favorites include cards, books, beach toys for the kids, a volleyball, and a guitar)
O natural bug repellant
O camera/ video camera

Just In Case Items:
O bandaids
O sunscreen (for long stretches in the sun) Read this for info. on the healthiest brands to choose.  
O cell phone
O a potty seat and toilet paper (for moms with not-so-little tikes).  We don't leave home without 'em!

(If You Have Any Room Left!), Those Of You With Littles May Also Want To Include:
O stroller
O bouncy seat
O baby carrier
O kitchen sink :)

I hope this is helpful!  Are there other staples you make sure to pack when going out for a picnic that I didn't mention here?  Let me know!  If you'd like, you can print this list by clicking the share button below this post and selecting the printer image.  Or, copy and paste into a document so you can edit it to suit your families specific needs.  Have fun cooking out, enjoy being prepared!