I’ve had a lot of questions come in about transporting food, meals, favorite products, etc. Today I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks regarding Hayfield Meals and will probably end up extending this to a two part post on down the road. For now, here are some tried and true things that I do to make hay season a little easier.
We all know the feeling of our vehicles being the mobile kitchen table, water wagons, and what have you. The entire back half of mine is usually dedicated to storing my “feed bag”, ice chest, and whatever food I’m delivering that day.
- Get an ice chest that YOU can carry but will also fit your meals or whatever you need to keep cold. Most of the guys already have their own ice chests or backpacks in their tractors so it’s rare that I ever bring drinks. I love this one I purchased. It’s perfect size, I leave it in my suburban (which has also proved handy when going to the grocery store and needing to run errands-keeping my items cold) and it doesn’t take up a ton of space. You can deck it out and grab some pretty cool stickers from my shop too.
- Another hack, The IceMule. You won’t regret getting him one and these easily fit in the tractor when a lot of ice chests don’t. It’s easy to carry and keeps them from having to stop to get drinks. I shared more about it on our Hayfield Meals Instagram page.
- Have a bag ready with all of your supplies so you aren’t constantly having to gather every meal. I try not to be wasteful but it’s also a pain to cart ceramic dishes, glasses, and silverware to the fields and bring them back to wash. I have my plastic plates, cutlery, a roll of paper towels for napkins, a dish I leave in for left overs, a box of zip lock baggies, a pack of wipes, salt and pepper, a roll of trash bags, and a roll of aluminum foil.
- Cookie sheets. I learned this one from my mom but they are awesome to cart and keep things together. I use this item more than I ever thought I would for transporting rather than baking.
- Buy in bulk. It saves A LOT when I can get all of my paper and plastic (and even ingredients) from a place like Sam’s. Usually I only have to go once in the summer and I’m good until next season. Invest in a membership.
- Make breakfasts ahead of time that you can freeze and reheat and bag up snacks when you meal prep. This is super helpful for them to throw in their cooler and go and all I have to worry about is bringing a hot dinner.
- There’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned sandwich. Add extra fixings, a good sauce, and they will still be happy campers. But it’s also nice to bring some garden fresh fried okra, barbeque chicken, sweet corn and homemade mashed potatoes. They appreciate the hearty meals after a long day.
- If taking sandwiches for several, wrap them in a paper towel and restack them in the bag the bread came in. It keeps the fillings from falling out and is much easier to cart.
- Make more than needed. We love leftovers around our house and it keeps me from spending more at the grocery store. It’s also nice to be able to have plenty to feed any extra help that shows up and not worry about making an additional meal for lunch or dinner.
I feel like each year I learn something new, change a routine, or figure out how to work smarter not harder. As summer is a season of slowing down for many, its quite opposite for us so whatever I can do to make things easier for our family to better function, I’ll do it.
I hope this list helps! As I keep making notes of things, I’ll share another post soon of more tips and tricks.
From the Rafter PS to you, Happy haying!