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I Must Remember to Pack Snacks in the Car

My home and my office are roughly 30 miles apart. If I leave work at just the right time, run into very little traffic and drive a bit faster than the posted speed limit I can get home in roughly an hour. If I leave too late, run into a standstill on the beltway or heaven forbid an accident, it can take me upwards of two hours.

The entire time I was in North Carolina I drove less than three times per week. In fact, on one particularly beautiful morning I decided to drive to the store, not because I needed something, but rather because I desperately wanted to drive the jeep.

On my first day back to work my GPS alerted me of a significant amount of traffic on the beltway. Rather than idling on the asphalt for over an hour I decided to head home through the city. I set my GPS to route around traffic and headed for what I hoped would be a shorter ride home.

In retrospect I could not have made a worse decision. I avoided getting stuck on the beltway, but I wound up behind every city bus, slow driver and confused tourist in the greater DC area. I forgot just how many left turns were needed to get home and I spent the greater part of 30 minutes just waiting for my chance to turn onto one side street.

Needless to say nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes after I stepped out of the door at work, I came within two miles of home. Of course by that time I was grouchy, hungry and in a great deal of pain. (My shoulder and neck pain increase significantly after a long commute.)

I could not stand the thought of driving home and preparing dinner so I stopped at the worst place possible on my way home. That’s right I headed for the drive-thru at McDonald’s. I bought a two cheeseburger meal and a side of chicken nuggets just in case I was still hungry when I got home.

I’m embarrassed to say that I ate most of my dinner straight out of the paper bag. By the time I got home I dragged my laptop, purse and a bunch of other items from the car along with the nearly empty bag of food and of course a plastic cup half-filled with Coke.

On the way home I kept thinking “I must keep snacks in the car from this point forward.” I know that I have a long commute. I know that I tend to eat lunch rather early and leave work rather late. So how hard would it be to find some relatively healthy snacks that will stay fresh in the car?

Anonymous

Wednesday 23rd of September 2009

I ALWAYS have a Nature Valley Oats & Honey Granola Bar in my car. You can usually get them on sale and they really do the trick when you are hungry!

One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 22nd of September 2009

@haloangelboy -- Well my office used to be less than 8 miles from home. Unfortunately, my company purchased additional office space a few years back. For now the other benefits of my job outweigh the nasty commute. I also telecommute quite a lot.

@Katy -- I took your suggestion and bought a bunch of dried fruit and nuts and made a large bag of trail mix that fits in the compartment between the driver's seat and the passenger's. I already cracked it open on my drive home this afternoon.

@DanielleS87 -- I added a mix of goldfish and pretzels and stored them in a bag in the glove compartment.

@Kasey -- Because I don't commute every day, I'm worried that bagels will grow moldy. Also I'm not sure that I could eat plain bagels, too bad I don't have any place to store cream cheese :-)

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog

Monday 21st of September 2009

Sounds like you earned that bag-o-grease! When I had a longer drive, I would keep a bag of bagels in the car. They hold up pretty well in the weather and the carbs allow for a great post-work pick up.

DanielleS87

Saturday 19th of September 2009

I would think pretzels, goldfish crackers, and the like would stay good in the car.

Katy

Saturday 19th of September 2009

I don't think she was asking for opinions on where to live HaloAngelBoy.

To answer your actual question, I think trail mix might be a great solution. I would caution against the inclusion of chocolate, as it may melt, but nuts and dried fruit would be great. Not to mention it's less expensive if you make your own!