One of the biggest expenses for company truck drivers is the cost of meals while out on the road. Truck stops offer buffets and menu items, but the menu items aren’t usually worth ordering. For a dollar or two more a truck driver can choose the buffet and have dozens of choices for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Unfortunately, the buffet price at most truck stops exceeds the cost of restaurants such as Ponderosa, Golden Corral, or Oriental buffet restaurants. Truck stops take advantage of the fact that truck drivers can’t park at other restaurants. They’re forced to eat at expensive truck stops – unless they take the necessary steps to cook homemade meals in their trucks.
My husband finally purchased a power inverter and had it installed in his semi truck, and this has enabled him to run a small microwave. The cost of the inverter and installation was well worth the money. For the past week I’ve been compiling homemade meals, and the homemade meals I have provided are already saving a small fortune over expensive truck stop food. Besides saving money, he’s enjoying healthy homemade food instead of truck stop food while out on the road.
Refrigeration Options for Drivers
Before a truck driver can consider taking along homemade meals, proper refrigeration is necessary. A standard ice chest isn’t practical, and not all truck cabs are large enough to accommodate a small refrigerator. My husband uses an electric cooler, and it does an outstanding job of keeping his homemade meals cold. The meals thaw a little each day, but they remain cold and ready to heat and eat. Although the plug-in cooler doesn’t hold as much as a small refrigerator, it’s adequate for one person, and the cooler has paid for itself time and time again.
If you’re a trucker driver looking for a good plug-in cooler, compare prices in truck stops and online before making a purchase. I searched the Internet before buying a plug-in cooler for my husband, and surprisingly the truck stops offered the lowest prices. Truck stop food may be higher than regular restaurants, but some merchandise is actually cheaper that other stores.
I purchase semi-disposable plastic containers to store homemade meals I prepare for my husband. These types of containers are perfect for truck drivers. They’re washable and freezable, and they come in all sizes. Look in the plastic wrap aisle of your local grocery store or discount store. You’ll find a few different brands and various styles to choose from. I paid less than $5 for four reusable portioned containers, and hopefully they last several months, but if the containers should ever crack it won’t be a major loss.
Meals for Truck Drivers
During the week while my husband is on the road I prepare meals for the family. Truck drivers typically miss out on weekday family meals, but I always set aside a portion for him so he has homemade food for the following week. I label each container with masking tape, and I make sure to mark down the contents as well as the date and any special heating instructions. I store the containers of homemade food in the freezer until he’s ready to leave on Sunday evening or Monday morning. This is a great way for professional drivers to enjoy the same homemade meals as the rest of the family.
So far I’ve froze homemade meals containing buffalo chicken wings, Mexican casserole topped with crushed tortilla chips, and meatloaf. I was unsure if the Mexican casserole would be as good as the day it was prepared, but I heated a small container that had been frozen, and I was surprised at how good it was. The chips were still crisp, and it was just as good or better than the day I prepared it. Meals such as these are great for drivers on the go. They’re easy to defrost and reheat, and they’re just as delicious as the day they were prepared.
I will avoid freezing homemade meals containing pasta. I’ve frozen pasta in the past, and in my experience it usually comes out mushy when thawed. Instead I’ve purchased Kraft Easy Mac, individual serving size Hamburger Helper meals, cans of pasta, and Ramen noodles. These are quick and easy meals for truck drivers, and they’re much more reasonable than fast food or truck stop meals.