Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Planning the Perfect Picnic

August is National Picnic Month and with a few simple tips that I shared with Sharon Tazwell on WNCN Today this morning you can easily plan the perfect picnic by pulling together a few items that are probably already in your pantry:

            The Right Gear
o   The Only Picnic Blanket You Need. Your picnic is of course not complete without a picnic blanket.  While any blanket will do, you don’t want to take just any blanket.  You will enjoy your picnic more if you aren’t contending with the hot or wet ground or worrying about your blanket getting dirty.  One of my personal favorites is the Outdoor Blanket from JJ Cole.  This blanket collapses to an easy to carry size with carrying strap and is lined on the bottom to keep you and your blanket dry making it perfect for the hot beach sand too.

Packing Tips
o   Takeout Containers and Cereal Storage.  Save yourself room in your picnic basket and the headache of over packing by breaking out your leftover takeout containers.  A sturdy takeout container with a lid can be used to pack individual lunches or snacks and the lid itself will double as an extra plate.  What is even better is that these are FREE.  Since you also want to avoid packing glass, and open snack bags are just asking to be spilled for visited by a few friendly ants, think about repurposing other storage containers from your pantry.  A cereal storage container makes the perfect travel chip or pretzel container since it can easily be thrown into your picnic basket and has an airtight lid.

o   Food Huggers.  If you are a fruit lover like me, you’ll love these great new gadgets that I have been repurposing to take fruit with me so they are obviously a picnic must have.  Food Huggers are cute silicone caps for your food.  While they are meant to help save your half-eaten fruit at home, Food Huggers are perfect for your picnic for taking the rest of your apple or orange with you or carrying home your remaining tomato.  You can even get a little fancy and bring half a lemon with you to squeeze over your salad or salmon.

Keeping Cleanup Simple
o   Wipes and Baggies.  No matter how well you plan, your picnic is bound to generate a bit of a mess.  So how can you easily deal with a mess at a picnic?  It is as easy as grabbing a large zip-top bag and some wet wipes.  Wet wipes are perfect for cleaning messy hands and wiping off silverware or plates.  You can then simply stuff your dirty wet wipes, napkins and any other trash into a large zip-top bag – another item you surely have in your pantry which will make your picnic that much easier!

Happy Picnicking!

For all of my tips pick up your own copy of my Tips for the Clueless Chick books and follow the Clueless Chick on Facebook and Twitter.  Tune in to #TipsonTues next week to find out how to make back to school week stress free!

Until next time,
aka Chick #1

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