Traveling on a shoestring? On tight budget? Backpacking? One way to save money while traveling is to save money on your meals. Although eating out at restaurants is a treat that we all enjoy while on vacation, it can make your expenses soar.
This article presents a few tips for using your hotel room’s coffee maker to prepare meals and snacks. The obvious tool for hotel room cooking is an immersion heater. However, most accommodations already have an appliance that you can use to cook simple meals – the coffee pot. Here are some tips that could save you money on your next trip.
â€¢ Practice your recipes at home in order to estimate cooking times and evaluate results.
â€¢ Before using a coffee maker, clean it carefully. Coffee-flavored pork and beans might not be what you want for supper.
â€¢ A dark reddish-orange stain or a chemical smell in the room could be an indication that someone has cooked meth in the pot.Do not use it. It could be hazardous to your health.
â€¢ Avoid trying to cook anything that might set off the smoke alarm.
â€¢ Clean up your mess. Don’t expect housekeeping staff to be good-natured about dirty dishes in the sink or a coffee maker that needs extensive cleaning before it can be used by the next guest.
There are three methods for cooking with a standard coffee maker. You can also use the first two with Keurig machines.
1. Cooking food in the coffee carafe or a large heat-resistant container.
2. Placing food directly on the burner.
3. Using the basket for steaming.
Cooking Food in the Carafe
â€¢ You might get better results by removing the basket or swinging it out of the way.
â€¢ In most cases, it’s best to let the water drip through; then remove the excess to prevent overflow. Alternatively, fill the reservoir with the desired quantity of water before turning on the machine.
â€¢ Food items such as ramen noodles, instant rice, oatmeal, instant mashed potatoes, and dehydrated soups or backpacker mixes cook well in the carafe.
â€¢ Boiled eggs: Place eggs in carafe of hot water and set it back on the burner. Let eggs sit for several minutes.
â€¢ Poached eggs: Break shells and slide egg(s) into the hot water. Put the carafe back on the burner and watch carefully. Remove from heat as soon as eggs are poached to your specifications.
â€¢ Corn on the cob: Place ears of fresh or frozen corn in hot water. Set carafe back on burner and cook until done.
Cooking or Warming Food Directly on the Burner
â€¢ Heat canned food by removing the lid and placing the tin on the burner. Stir occasionally.
â€¢ Grill yourself a cheese sandwich. Delicious!
â€¢ Cook finger foods such as chicken nuggets.
â€¢ Heat pop tarts, cold pizza, and restaurant leftovers.
â€¢ Place fresh or frozen vegetables in the basket. Turn on the coffee maker and wait for all the water to go through. You’ll end up with hot, crispy vegetables.
Use Your Imagination
The next time you go shopping, appraise everything you see. You’ll probably find many other items that you can cook in the coffee maker.
A note about restaurant meals: Lunch entrees are often cheaper for the same quantity and quality of food offered at supper. If you eat out once daily, try to plan your activities around a nutritious midday meal.