WFMW: On-the-Go Dining

We eat in the car.

I know. We are those kind of people.

Even though we've made huge strides at slowing down our lives, we still have rushed days. 

And occasionally, my hubby and I have minivan date nights. The kids enjoy a movie and a Happy Meal and we take a long drive.

(I'm also the mother of a two year old and sometimes it's just better to avoid public eating places. You have no idea what I'm talking about? Okay, never mind!)

And for the spills. Oh, the stories my upholstery could tell!

I've found that keeping a stash of extra napkins, wipes and paper plates in the glove box help tremendously for lap eating. Oh, and recently, I've dedicated an old shoe box as a dining box, complete with little red trays I found for $.20 cents each at Target! Now, we can dine in style. Sort of.

Yes, we plan ahead for our white trash moments. Dining-on-the-go works for me!

Please mark your calendars for my favorite themed WFMW on June 3rd, the "Mom, I'm bored!" edition. Get ready to share  your best tips to beat summer boredom! 

Do you have a fabulous WFMW tip for me? I'd love to hear it. I'm all about taking this fabulous carnival to the next level with your ideas! Click here to share your ideas in the ongoing WFMW suggestion discussion in my forum.

{Thank you for joining me for WFMW! You can read the guidelines here.}

Links have now closed. Please join us again next week!
Works for Me Wednesday Participants
1. TidyMom (Camera Strap Tutorial)
2. It Feels Like Chaos (make life easier)
3. Smockity Frocks (Oven Roasted Corn)
4. Holly@Homebody (natural deodorant)
5. The Diaper Diaries (Mamapedia)
6. Erin @ Closing Time (yummy rice)
7. Amy @ Finer Things (beverage cool down)
8. Kirsty@Momedy:Free personal trainers!
9. Monica@DailyDwelling (pray for our soldiers)
10. Lisa (No Tillin' What We're Up To Now)
11. 5 Tips For Surviving Summer Road Trips
12. Muthering Heights - Cheapest Bath Toy Ever
13. Weird, Unsocialized HS'ers (Treasure Box)
14. Chicagoland HSN (Pizza and Six Flags free for reading)
15. Raising Olives (more than academics)
16. Kate @ Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman? (Daily Themes)
17. Amy @ Living Locurto (Thank You Printable)
18. steadymom.com (choosing good kids' books)
19. Erin (Chicagoland homeschool website)
20. Real Life (Teacher Gifts?)
21. Grocery Cart Challenge (home haircuts)
22. Bake at 350 (homemade ice cream)
23. Katie @ Clean & Classic Interiors (Flower Pot Storage)
24. Better is Little~bookshelf clutter solution
25. Nicole@ThePixelBoutique (TextExpander)
26. Hoosier Homemade(Computer Time)
27. Lynns Kit. Adv. (whole wheat cinn. cookies)
28. Megret - Making Marriage Thrive (Giveaway!!)
29. Molly Green (storing towels)
30. Amber (Homemade Nursing Pads)
31. ElizabethG (green & frugal beauty)
32. Green Baby Guide (Big Grocery Savings)
33. Raise Them Up (BIG Birthday Dec. Idea)
34. Here's The Diehl (food on the way to the ballpark)
35. Coupon Organization
36. Sunnymama (recycled notebooks)
37. Kelly @ Fruit of the Womb(a start to an easy meal)
38. Cooking During Stolen Moments (fruity pasta salad)
39. Joy @ Five J's (Non-boring Math Drills)
40. A Simple Walk (Tuesday Night date nights)
41. Happy to be at Home (Bribery)
42. The Happy Housewife ~ Hot Summer / Cool Kitchen
43. Lisa @ Moore Minutes (Canning Fresh Blackberries)
44. ilovemy5kids (Barnabas Box)
45. the Animator's Wife (school)
46. momstheword (cardfile cleaning system)
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50. exhale. return to center. (our walking rope)
51. Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers (Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings!)
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53. The Extreme Housewife
54. 20 HEALTH BENEFITS OF REAL BUTTER! - Kelly the Kitchen Kop
55. Rachel @ Must Share (thawing cool whip fast)
56. Sharon @ Because I Must (no more credit)
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58. Milehimama (Super convenient dried beans)
59. Anita (Pretty reusable grocery bags.)
60. Val@Team Hill-(Working Works For Me)
61. Christine @ becomingp31 (Making homemade cleaning supplies- easy and cheap!)
62. Frugal Girls! {Job Loss = New Beginnings!}
63. FishMama @ LifeasMOM (8 ways to find coupons)
64. Creative2xmom (packing tips with little ones)
65. Joanna @ Grace In The Home (Movie Ratings for Parents)
66. Prairie Cottage Rose (Freezer Potatoes)
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68. Angie @ Many Little Blessings {Loom Knitting}
69. Jenny @ Another Jennifer Speaks
70. harper (Trial and Error Home Ec)-Homemade Pizza Crust
71. Kitchen Stewardship (Reheating Leftovers w/o Mic!)
72. Lisa $1 Basic Flip Flops this Saturday
73. Hannah@WisdomsPupil (getting my bathtub really white!)
74. Sara @ Learning the Frugal Life(Using your freebies and giveaway)
75. Abel - A Belated Happy Mother's Day Card From A 6-Year Old
76. Effortless Savings (6 meals in 2 1/2 hours)
77. mombrud (useable baskets)
78. Denise@Fullnest(Emergency Laundry Detergent)
79. Shannon @ Seeking to Glorify (Our Money Makeover)
80. momsfrugal (dirty socks/Bible lesson)
81. Shannon @ Seeking to Glorify (Really Easy Homemade Yogurt)
82. Sandra @ A Lot of Savings (Our Low Maintenance Pet)
83. Beautiful Calling (Garden Rock Critters)
84. Renee (family meals for under $5)
85. Robin~Aging Gracefully
86. Simply Sweet Home (chicken lasagna)
87. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates (Creative Cupcakes/Cake Week)
88. Becky (breakfast ideas)
89. Tracey @ Girls to Grow (hotels)
90. Common Cents Mom (computer clean up)
91. BusyMom (the wonder of glue)
92. Girls in White Dresses (encouraging optimism in kids)
93. Kim ( Recipe Binder)
94. Jen (Natural Products and GIVEAWAY)
95. sarah at i blame mom (reusable lunchbox napkins)
96. se7en (Science Week: keeping up)
97. Kate's Kitchen: homemade gift bags
98. Jolanthe {Emergency Binder: Money Matters}
99. Counting Sprinkles (Couponing 101)
100. Moneywise Moms (cheap labor)
101. Brilliant Moms (boredom busters)
102. The Shabby Chic Cottage (cute chandy makeover)
103. Camian Academy (Making Bookmarks)
104. Kristine (saving your kids artwork w/o clutter)
105. Donielle @ Raising Peanuts (Natural Baby Lotion)
106. Shannon (coconut milk ice cream cookbook giveaway & recipe)
107. Stop the Ride (garden freebies)
108. Tara @ Feels like home (homemade Cracker Jack snacks)
109. phyllis (hulling strawberries)
110. Paula @ Organizing Tip for Moms (Staying Balanced:When to say yes or no)
111. Unfinished Mom (Crispy vs Soft Vegetables)
112. Jackie @ Blessings Overflowing (acetaminophen suppositories)
113. Newlyweds (Dirty Boys)
114. Lori @ The Book Lady (Remembering Reusable Shopping Bags))
115. One Little Word She Knew (garlic peeler giveaway)
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128. Amy @ Momstoolbox (Persistent Prayer Help, pls)
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131. A Heart for Home (Tackling the Laundry Pile with Children)
132. Sandra (preschool age activities for summer)
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136. TrentTribe (Microwave Fudge)
137. Sheila ~ To Love, Honor and Vacuum (FREE homeschooling writing outlines)
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148. kristen (more bulk storage ideas)
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152. Jill @ MoneySavinDiva (utiize what you already have)
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154. Pam at BeyondJustMom (mental mantras for moms)
155. Maddy
156. Liz @ Frugally Blonde (Popping Your Own Popcorn)
157. Sonshine(household responsibility system)
158. Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles (Ditching the Sippy)
159. Kristin's Build Your Own Classics Library
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161. Kara (Cheap & Easy Decor)
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164. Mrs. Jones (When I Run Out of Milk)
165. Kristi_runwatch (storing plastic bags)
166. Sharon (Scholastic book fair warehouse sale)
167. Mandy @ From the Trenches Of Motherhood
168. Jackie (Local Sales @ Shoplocal.com)
169. Innkeeper Seely (ironing boards as saw horses)
170. Lisa (Cleaning Schedule)
171. Laryssa @Heaven In The Home (Dryer Balls)
172. Beth@sportsmomma (removing hair build up)
173. Lauren @ Team Giles {Food Journals}
174. Abigail's Mommy (Homemade Dishwasher Soap)
175. songbrdtiff (dog shelter for under $10)
176. Rosie @ Home and Heartwork (cheap laundry room redecoration)
178. Simply Practical (free TV)
179. missy @ missysthrifty (baking soda solutions)
180. Houstonmom (organizing kids socks)
181. Emily @ The Pilot's WIfe (Top 10 List)
182. Stephanie (Two new ideas for gardenign and blogging!)
183. It's Frugal Being Green (Oven BBQ Chicken)
184. Beth (Mexican Mondays)
185. Sandwiched (Banana Boats kids' snack)
186. Meagan @ Homemaker In Progress (Making cloth napkins out of old shirts)
187. Zoe in England (leaving things un-done)
188. Cardamoms Pod (Easy Biscuits)
189. Melissa - cold coffee
191. Shannon @ Creating Cute & Saving Dough (Easy Kitchen Clean Up)
192. Christi (Top 10 Simple living blogs)
193. Julie From Inmates
194. Julie @ Organizement (kid's room inspector)
195. april(scratch n dent appliances)
196. Michelle @ Saving Some Green (Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!)
197. Ginger (Strawberry Jello Cake WFM!)
198. Jan (weed and pest tips)
199. Abbi @ Proverbs 31 Living (a rabbit for a pet)
200. The Gaines Gang (Sunburn relief)
201. Kelly's Krazy Kids (Memorial Day Craft)
202. Cheerios Underfoot (Kool-aid dyeing nylon slips and nightgowns)
203. A Mom Learning More Everyday (pack back for tots)
204. Cathy {{Mommy NEEDS Motivation}}
205. Nichole [creative cooking, giveaway]
206. Amyswandering (Buying Stuff on Craigslist)
207. Carolina Mama (free cooking pans)
208. Alison @ Hospitality Haven (cleaning products)
209. c
210. chili pepper (Entertainment)
211. Titus2Homemaker (make a coupon box)
212. Richella (Cleaner bathroom cleaner)
213. Mom of Faith (Travel Toy Boxes)
214. Joy (Yummy!!)
215. Elaine H (dog toys)
216. Angie @ Annies Home (mystic wonder laundry system)
217. Nichole @ A Call to Higher Places (How I've made $65 in Gift Cards!)
218. Thoughts by Kim (EA Sports Active Workout)
219. From the Desk of a Princess (Vaccuming)
220. Katie (A New Yard)
221. Jami @ Sweet & Simple Mama (soft-sided coolers)
222. Making This Home
223. Grannyann-(on the go dining)
224. Heather@Thoughts from Holland (pureeing food easily)
225. Claire @ Mumologic (VERY healthy cookies)
226. JM(Using Preschool Board Games)
227. Amanda @ MommaNotes (extended nursing)
228. Meagan @ Homemaker In Progress (Taking a Money Fast)
229. Grateful for Grace (free clothes!)
230. Adventures in Mommydom (quick kid birthday present)
231. Eden (Wii Fitness Coach)
232. Anne @ Confessions (Rewards and Consequences)
233. Emily @ too Blessed to Stress
234. Beulah -- Puzzle Storage
235. Nahuatl (Baby legs)
236. Saving and Giving (My New Coupon Binder)
237. The SOUTHERN MAMA-stained concrete
238. Jodi (Laundry Schedules)
239. MG (Keep Bees AWAY)
240. Emily (Emergency Powdered Sugar)
241. Not So Perfect(Weight Loss Contest)
242. All Things Cherished (tech 911)
243. Kelly @ YummyPears
244. CindyStreams (teaching colors for free!)
245. Megan (shaving)
246. Saving Money Ideas (cocoa drops recipe)

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Muthering Heights said...

There is nothing wrong with that...they can't scream while eating, right??

TidyMom said...

What a GREAT idea!!! I could have used that when my kids were small!


Holly said...

We used to do the mini-van date/drive when the kids were younger. Preferably until they all fell asleep so we avoided the whole bedtime thing.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

I also keep extra napkins in the car. Never thought about the plate though, that's a good idea! LOL!

Kirsty said...

Great idea. That would really make the KFC bucket a classier experience. I love that Summer is all about spontaneity, but spontaneity in style is even better :)

Sarah said...

We totally eat in the car, too! My ultimate goal is to actually pack healthy lunches to eat in the car, but alas, the Chick-fil-a Fruit bowl will have to do!

I love the minivan date-nite!

Bridget said...

That's great...it's good to have supplies on hand...especially when Micky D's doesn't include the napkins!!! Grrr!

Those trays look like lifesavers!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Love that idea! Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

my WFMW this week was about eating in the car, too!

your post had some good ideas!

{ L } said...

Eating in the car is the best way to do it! :)

Raise Them Up said...

Sometimes I don't even want to know what happens once the food is handed back...In fact, it's best not to look. Lol! We keep napkins, wipes and extra grocery sacks (for trash) on hand. It helps. A little.

Great tips and cool plates!

Amber said...

You mean there are families who DON'T eat in the car? Really? Whoa. ;-)

Jen said...

I love your ideas! :) We keep extra McD's napkins in the glovebox but haven't gone to the extent of your trays! :)

I also LOVE your minivan date night! Good idea!

Jenny said...

Great idea! We are just starting to take our 5 year old into fast food restaurants! LOL! It's just so much easier to eat in the car.

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Oh, I know the "joys" of eating out with little ones all too often! Can't say we've tried that type of "date night" ourselves - we just stay home!

momstheword said...

We've had meals in the car before too. Not only that but we're homeschoolers and we've had to occasionally bring the schoolbooks in the car, as we've raced to a doctor's appt. or wherever!

Life just doesn't keep up sometimes, lol! Thank you for hosting this again!

se7en said...

This is one of the best ideas I have heard of - ever !!! Where have I been!!! Just one problem, we are always running out of gas and we may have to redefine the whole gas budget thing... but this sounds brilliant and I for one am all for it!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

Sounds like my kind of date night. That's about as close as we get too. And I totally understand the two-year-old and avoiding public places. haha :) Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Sheila said...

We often did picnics on the living room floor with plastic stuff! It was a lot of fun, and the kids didn't mind cleaning up the mess, either!

We also took a lot of bike rides and bike picnics that way. Come to think of it, we should do another one!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Amy said...

I need to try this. I had a box of plastic spoons in the car, but when DH cleaned out my car one day (I'm not complaining) he brought it in the house.

Pam at BeyondJustMom said...

It's great to be prepared! One of these days you'll get to eat out in a restaurant again, I promise. Enjoy the season.

Maddy said...

Clearly I need to re-read the rules as I seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time [story of my life]

I thought we were all supposed to be frugal and share our tips? Never mind, maybe some time soon I shall get a clue [or two]

As for long journeys and avoiding restaurants due to smalls......surely everyone gets that?

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

I just wanted to tell you that I took the parenting style quiz in your sidebar.
Thank you, because that alone just brightened my morning. Well, and shot shivers of fear down my spine for the coming years! Yikes!
Have a fantastic day!

Kristin said...

Gosh, you mommies are sooo fast at posting your Works-For-Me Wedneday linkies!

I thought I was fast until I got in at #156! Geez! lol!

April said...

Someone please tell me when I can return to restaurant dining? I have a 2 year old and I'm confined to chick-fil-a and pizza buffets. HELP ME!
If I knew it would all get better soon I just might make it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We eat in the car on more occasions than I'd like to admit. I was reminded of that fact yesterday when I vacuumed out our Tahoe. Yikes!

Rona's Home Page said...

This is a great idea for parents of young kids.

Mrs. Jones said...

We eat in the car, too. It's unavoidable with our schedule. Great tips ... thanks!


Kristi_runwatch said...

Your posts crack me up - we eat in the car, too, as the dried milk splatters down the door interiors and hidden cheerios and chex mix can attest...

Jaden Paige said...

I totally love that you did this for WFMW! Awesome!

Jackie D'Amato-Reitnauer said...

I keep extra napkins and grocery bags for trash in the car as well. I haven't gone as far as you have because we don't eat in the car all that much and my son is 9, but I still like these ideas!

We have "SUV date nights" when my son is at karate. We go and get coffee and drink it in the car while we wait for him to get done. It's something we always look forward to. Sometimes we'll flip through the radio stations and see what we can find that's strange or amusing.

Lorie said...

We eat in the van a lot too. If we've been out in the morning & it's close to nap time I'll save our lunch for us to eat on the way home. This keeps my son (3) awake so he can take a real & better nap at home. Also, I use baggies to put my son's food in. WFMW.

Ginger said...

On the go WFM too Kristen. Can't believe you found those trays that cheap, and who says a shoe box can't work for something?


Cathy {{Mommy NEEDS Motivation}} said...

Oh you PLAN for that. Its better than I: we do it all the time, but I pretend we don't = unprepared for i-don't-eat-fast-food meals. :)

Great tip!


Anonymous said...

We use old fabric placemats...they work great to cover laps, etc. When they are stained beyond gross...throw them out...they were headed for Goodwill in the first place! Or...attempt to wash them...you don't care what they look like, if they aren't being used on a table anymore.

Stephanie said...

When we're in the middle of tween, pre-tween, toddler...babies we take our dates where we can get them.

Great ideas. I love Target end caps!!!

Mom Of Faith said...

Love this idea! Hubby and I are going to have to try that! We pack Travel Toy Boxes to keep in the car, so this might be another way to keep them entertained while you drive around!

Jami said...

Great post, and so timely today for my family. Love the car date night. I think I'll try that.

Jami said...

sorry, I linked twice cause I forgot to put a description of my post. Can you tell I'm learning all this????

grannyann said...

Lots of good ideas.

Laura said...

We have five kids and sometimes eat in the car too;) I have found that it really helps to have frisbees in the car. They make great plates for the kids who are too little to hold all the food in their lap.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who does this! I have a plastic box & I keep plates, napkins, wipes, eating utensils, cups w/ lids, straws, ziplock bags, kleenex, bandaids, air freshner, OFF & scissors & tape.

You just never know! And, I always ask for extra straws, napkins & eating utensils at fast food places. KFC will even give you a stack of plates if you get a bucket! I embarass my kids, but hey they are willing to give the items & it helps keep my stash stocked at no extra cost. And, the kids never complain when they need that spork or plate! LOL!


Jessica said...

You're too funny!!

too Blessed to Stress said...

Ha! love the post... this could work for a messy hubby and pup too!

this is my first time joining WFMW and i am thrilled to be a part of the fun.

I'm off to check out everyone else on WFMW.

Blessings, Emily

La Chili said...

So this is my first time with Work for me Wed, I hope I made it well. I write an English/Spanish version, let's see...

Eileen said...

Love this post!!!!

Jim @ CoolStuffForDads.com said...

McDonald's Happy Meal - $3 ... minivan date night - priceless!

Rosie@Home and Heartwork said...

I'll have to do this. It's a good idea. The extra garbage bag idea was a good one too. My kids tend to drop their trash on the floor. I know. I should be a better mom. We're working on it!

Blondie said...

In that same vein, I hold onto the drink holders that come from fast food places. I then take one with me when we go to the movies (especially if it's just me and the boys) to put our drinks in. Then only ONE of us (usually my 10yo) is carrying drinks while I hold onto the toddler.