The Ultimate Cottage Grocery Checklist
If you're wondering what to put on your grocery list for your next cottage trip, this article has all the essentials you'll need.
When it comes to heartwarming family experiences, very few things can rival a trip to the cottage. Cottage trips are the perfect time to unplug, reconnect, play board games, enjoy family traditions, and create memories. Since cottages are generally a bit far from the city it is key to be well prepared with everything you need to spend a few pleasant days away.
A good grocery list covering everything you need to cook in the cottage can make the difference between a good and enjoyable trip and a stressful time scrounging for supplies. After all, a trip to the grocery store is less than ideal when you’re on vacation. For some remote cottages, it can actually be pretty inconvenient, uncomfortable, or it can take a long time to find the nearest grocery store.
With this in mind, here are some things to consider when you go grocery shopping for your trip to the cottage.
What to Consider When Drawing up Your Cottage Grocery Checklist
When we are traveling we usually eat in restaurants or order something at the hotel. But when we travel to a cottage, it is generally for several days or even a couple of weeks, and most of the time we will have the option of cooking our own food. After all, eating at the local restaurant or ordering food every day may not be a viable option and may end up costing you a fortune. The best thing to do when you go on a trip to the cottage is to cook your own food.
Ask if There Will Already Be Groceries in the Cottage You are Renting
When it comes to the family cottage, you will most likely have to bring all the groceries you need every time you go. But many times, when we rent the place from a company or direct owner, the cottage comes with a starter pack of groceries and toiletry supplies. To avoid buying things that you do not need or that you are not going to use, ask before making your list of groceries and toiletries. If you rent a cottage, be sure to ask what kitchen appliances are available for cooking to get a better idea of the type of meals you can cook and what kitchen supplies you will need to buy.
Think About What Can You Take from Home
Once you know the amenities the cottage you are staying in has, look around your house to see what things you might have that can be useful on your trip. Taking advantage of the resources you already have at home will lower the cost of your trip. Although if you’ve chosen air travel rather than traveling by land, consider your luggage space. Ask yourself which things are vital to take and what may not be allowed by the airline.
Make a Schedule and Meal Plan Before you Go
Planning meals based on the days you will be at the cottage can go a long way in helping you get an idea of the supplies you will need during your stay. Take into account how many days you will be at the cottage, how many people you must make food for, how many meals you will eat per day, and what kind of meals you will make. Once you finish this list, you should have a clearer idea of what kind of groceries you will need and also how much.
Make a Complete Shopping List Before Your Trip
After you have planned the meals for your cottage trip and seen what supplies you have in your house that can be useful for the trip, you will know what groceries you need to buy to have everything you need for an enriching cottage vacation. This is the perfect time to make a list of groceries you need to purchase to take on your trip. Try to cover all your bases. Not just meals, but drinks, toiletries, bathroom items, snacks, anything that is a must-have for your family.
For example, a collapsible grocery wagon cart can be a practical and very helpful tool on your cottage trip and because it is foldable, it will not occupy a lot of space.
Find Out Which Grocery Stores are Close to the Cottage Where You are Going
Before you head out with your list, it is essential to do a little research about which grocery stores are close to the cottage you plan to rent or if there are available delivery options, supermarkets, or smaller stores nearby. Knowing what options you have to buy the groceries you need and having an idea of the prices of the different stores can help you better decide how to prepare.
Over Buy is Better than Underbuy
It’s a bit difficult to figure out exactly how much groceries you’ll need to cover all your meals. Although a meal schedule and plan can help you get a better idea of the supplies you’ll need, it seems that most people tend to eat a little more when they’re on vacation. Therefore it is better to buy a little more than necessary in case you need it or in case you need to extend your stay one or two more days. Don’t be afraid to overbuy a little. It is better to have a little more than you need rather than going out to buy more supplies.
If you have any leftover groceries, you can always take them with you or notify the cleaning company or cottage owner so they know they are free to take what they want.
How to Plan the Ultimate Cottage Grocery Checklist
When planning the list of groceries necessary for your trip, draw up your list based on the meals you planned and try to cover all groups of groceries. Primary pantry products such as cereal, bread, pasta, etc. Dairy products such as cheese, eggs, and milk. Also, think about beverages and vegetables as well as kitchen supplements, paper products, and toiletries.
Take into account your meal plan and the number of people you’re traveling with so you have everything you need and maybe more to have a pleasant trip. In that way, you will have all meals well covered, and you won’t have to go back to look for missing things in the nearest grocery store.
Cottage Grocery Checklist
Here is a specific list of everything that is a must-have on almost any trip, others that are good to have but are not essential, and others that you can do without if you wish.
Bottled water, juices, and soft drinks
Cold drinks are one of the best compliments to a relaxing holiday and something you will want to have on hand when you are at the cottage. Bottled water also is essential, especially in more remote places where the cottage may not have access to potable drinking water.
Bread and buns
Bread and buns are an important and convenient treat on any cottage trip. You can easily make sandwiches, burgers, cheese sandwiches, or a simple PB&J and quickly prepare lunch for everyone.
Eggs and bacon
Eggs and bacon are a must-have on cottage trips as they can perfectly accompany breakfast, lunch, dinner, and they are easy and practical to cook.
Fresh fruit can be a perfectly nutritious breakfast or snack and a tasty way to maintain a healthy diet when you’re on the go.
It’s good to have milk on hand when you’re on the go as it’s great for breakfasts and a base for other quick meals like cereal or oatmeal.
Cereal and instant oatmeal
Cereal and instant oatmeal with some fruit can be great for breakfast and is a meal that you can make without much effort and with almost no mess to clean up.
Although it takes a little more effort to make pancakes and to clean up afterward, they are not too complicated to prepare, and your children will love them.
Hamburgers and hot dogs
They are super easy to prepare either on the grill or in a pan on the stove. You can quickly whip up a lunch or dinner in a jiffy if you have them on hand in the cottage.
Whether breast, legs, or roast, chicken paired with mashed potatoes and some vegetables can be a perfect dinner.
What better than homemade pizza when you are in the cottage. You can make it with almost any type of bread, sauce, and toppings. You will only need an oven or mini-oven, or even a toaster or skillet can work, depending on the recipe you choose.
Vegetables and salads
Salads are as easy to make as putting together some vegetables and dressing. Vegetables can serve as a complement to other meals or even as healthy snacks for you and your children.
Condiments like ketchup can be life-saving groceries for meals when you’re on vacation. Also, kids generally love them. You have plenty to choose from and they are great for hotdogs, hamburgers, and other foods.
Chips and dips
They are not the healthiest snack available, but in moderation, your children can certainly enjoy them. Dips can be very practical and work for different snacks such as crackers, toast, vegetables, or sausages. In some cases, they can even end up as a salad dressing.
Fruit and pudding cups
Individually portioned puddings and fruit cups can be an excellent snack for your kids.
This is a quintessential snack. You can practically put anything you can think of on top of a cracker.
Nuts and trail mix
This is another ready-to-eat snack, it’s healthy, and you can use it as a complement to cereal or oatmeal. You can add some chocolate chips or a few M&M’s to the trail mix to make it more kid-friendly.
For some people, coffee, without a doubt, is a must-have in almost any situation and Cottage travel is not the exception. A well-prepared coffee in the morning in the tranquility of a cottage can make your day.
Cheese is a versatile and practical food. You can use it in a variety of meals and provide enough calories and proteins to support a meal.
Olive Oil Or Vegetable Oil
If you’re going to be cooking it is necessary to have oil or some kind of fat. Olive oil can also serve for salads or to prepare other recipes.
Toiletries and Kitchen Tools
Always remember to pack all the toiletries you will need and the essential kitchen tools to cook comfortably while you are at the cottage. Prepare a list that includes toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, and kitchen products such as Ziploc bags, tin foil, Sponge, dishwashing soap, paper towels, paper plates, etc.
Nice to haves
If you already have cooking oil, then kitchen spray may not be extremely necessary. However, if you can take it with you, it is practical to cook with, and you can save time when cleaning.
Peanut butter is great and for some people, it can even be on the must-have list. But it may not be a first necessity product in most cases and some may even be allergic to it.
Jelly is tasty and an excellent accompaniment for toast and sandwiches. But it is not a vital product or indispensable to make your trip enjoyable.
Cream cheese can be convenient for breakfast and other meals and could even complement some recipes. But the truth is that you can use other ingredients and although it would be good to have it is not completely necessary.
Hot chocolate can go great with winter trips in the mountains. However, coffee can work perfectly instead of hot chocolate as well.
It’s fun to have marshmallows when traveling with the family, especially if they are fans of s’mores.
Of course, ice cream is a wonderful treat. It’s great to enjoy with family and children love it. But, it may not always be so practical to travel with.
Beer, Liquor, or Wine
This may be on the must-haves list for some, but the truth is that it is not completely necessary to bring liquor on your trip and you can have a good time without the need for alcoholic beverages.
Can do without
Fish, Shrimps, or seafood
Unless you love seafood, you can dispense with fish, crustaceans, or any type of seafood. Seafood can be challenging to transport since you need to refrigerate it, and in some cases, it can be somewhat smelly.
Unless someone has their birthday during the trip or your family likes cake a lot, it is unnecessary to take a cake mix for the journey. In addition, there may be no oven in some cottages to prepare the cake.
Brownie or Cookie Mix
As with the cake mix, it can be complicated cooking brownies or cookies while traveling. You can replace homemade cookies with other snacks or even carry previously cooked or store-bought cookies.
Dry tomatoes can be scrumptious with some recipes. But they are not an essential product in nearly any recipe unless you are a fan of light Italian food.
As with ice cream, popsicles can be great for children and an excellent option for snacks on hot afternoons. However, it can be complicated to transport them without melting.