My Favorite Budget-Friendly Campervan Recipes

Traveling in a camper van is a great time to take advantage of cooking. You have a kitchen with you everywhere you go, and what better way to eat breakfast than with a view of New Zealand’s finest scenery and landscapes! These budget friendly, healthy, and most of all easy-to-make camper van meal ideas should get your imagination going.

Although we had a non self-contained camper van (meaning no running water or sink), we had an entire compartment of kitchen supplies including cutlery, dishes, pots and pans, a dual burner portable cooking stove with extra butane cans, and a small refrigerator. This was essential in our pick of which camper van to rent to make sure that it had these amenities.

We also had a small foldable table and chairs to make our set-up complete.

Because of our remote locations on the South Island, we really tried to stock up at the grocery store ahead of time before each destination. The first stop being Mount Cook coming from Christchurch, where the closest grocery story is in Tekapo about 40 minutes away.

Dinner Ideas

Chicken, pork, or lamb sausages – cut up your sausage of choice and pan fry in a little olive oil on your stove top.

Taco Night – grab a pack of corn tortillas, ground beef or chicken, and a little taco seasoning (make sure you have enough salsa and guacamole for these bad boys.) Sautée your meat and seasoning in a little olive oil until cooked through, set up your taco station, and head to taco-town!

Pasta Night – pick up your favorite type of noodles and sauce, whether it’s good ol fashioned mac&cheese, or if you’re on a specific diet, head to the gluten free section and get some black bean & quinoa noodles and vegan pesto or tomato sauce, throw some veggies and/or meat in there, and there you have a batch of homemade pasta!

Rib Night – There were always pre cooked ribs at the grocery stores from around $11NZD. Heat them up on the stove top (but make sure not to dry them out) and pair with a cabbage based salad and potatoes.

Tip: Pair any of these meats with a bag salad (Caesar salad kit or a mixed green with vinaigrette) and a healthy carb; sweet potato or brown rice are my ultimate healthy go-to’s!

Breakfast Ideas

Scrambled eggs w/peppers & onions
Avocado Toast
Muesli & almond milk

Some mornings you may be craving an American style breakfast. Scrambling up some eggs is easy. Just crack your eggs into your cold frying pan, whisk with a fork, add any chopped leftover veggies and scramble! You could also fry it and make a breakfast sandwich. If you’re feeling up to it, fry up some bacon to make it an extra special morning.

As an easier option, cut up some avocado on toast, but keep in mind, avocado prices in NZ are a bit high! For a cheap and healthy option, grab a box of muesli and almond milk and a have a simple bowl of cereal.

No breakfast would be without our daily fuel, coffee. Instant coffee was the only way to go with no mess and easy to make. We had a kettle and stovetop to boil water, but since we were staying at holiday parks, every morning we’d take our breakfast into the kitchen and use the boiling hot water right from the heater to make our coffee truly in an instant!

Lunch Ideas & Snacks

Turkey wraps
Tuna & crackers

Hummus/Tzatziki with baby carrots and cucumber
Tortilla chips with pico de gallo & guacamole
Nuts/granola bars
Apples, nectarines, pineapple
Peanut butter (my go-to)
Healthy seeded/gluten free crackers

Grocery List

Dinner Grocery List

Pre-cooked ribs
1 Pack of sausages
2 bags of salad w/dressing included
Assorted bell pepper pack
Bag of shredded cheese
Corn Tortillas
Ground beef or chicken
2 tomatoes
1 onion
3 sweet potatoes
1 bag brown rice
Noodles & pasta sauce of choice

Breakfast Grocery List

Instant coffee
Sprouted grain or gluten free bread
Hot sauce
Almond milk

Lunch Grocery List

Sliced turkey
2 cans tuna
*You can use leftover corn tortillas, cucumber, and shredded cheese or buy a little extra so you have some for multiple meals

Snacks Grocery List

Tortilla chips
2 Cucumbers
Baby carrots
Pico de gallo
Granola bars
Gluten free crackers

Non Obvious & Essential Grocery List

Toilet paper
Paper towels
Garbage bags
Water jugs
Mosquito repellant


The Traveling Yogi

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