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What food related paraphernalia do you carry with you ?

My backpack will contain a can opener,a thermos of soup or drink, water, a bottle opener, a lunch bag with various condiments salt,pepper, soy, hot, and plum sauce, ketchup a pair of disposable chop sticks, Also, a list of the many locations around town where a public microwave could be accessed.
Saving on food costs can become an art if you are prepared.
Have I forgotten anything?

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  1. A corkscrew...everything tastes better with wine :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: kmills9408

      Right you are kmills9408. I think I'll take your advice and add a small portable one to the group. Thanks

      1. re: fruglescot

        Corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener... why carry three when you can carry a swiss army knife?

        That's all I carry, plus usually water, and I think I still have some airline peanuts in there from 6 months ago.

    2. I'm a frequent business traveler so for me it's a computer bag, not a backpack. My indispensables are a corkscrew and hot sauce - the latter nowadays in a quart-sized baggie for getting through airport security.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BobB

        I see I'm not alone BobB. Frugality is a way of life to be embraced
        I would have thought it would be dodgy to bring a corkscrew on board a plane. I lost my nail file on a recent preflight search.

        1. re: fruglescot

          I have a hard plastic one that I got as a trade show giveaway years ago. I don't need to use it too often but it does work in a pinch.

          1. re: BobB

            I always have a bar with me such as a granola bar, and always water. Since I started my 2nd job, where there is a kitchen but no utensils of any kind, just microwaves and napkins, and since I end up eating there a lot, I have plastic silverware in my bag that I wash and re-use. While it's only indirectly food related, I also always have a plastic bag with me because I take public trans to/from work and sometimes it makes me sick so it's my barf bag should I ever need it. Usually my sea bands or applying pressure to the places those hit if I don't have them with me is enough to get me to my destination, or gum, which I also always have with me. I also usually have some nuts or trail mix in my bag. Currently it's roasted pumpkin seeds.

      2. Well, I am not a traveler, but I admit that I have a nice swiss knife that I take with me. It has a corkscrew on it, and a nice blade for cutting. Now, you would think that if I am going to a restaurant, I wouldn't need my own knife, but there have been time when all they offered was a butter knife and that just doesn't always do the job. Especially at salad bars, where they have everything in large chunks, and the butter knifes are dull.

        I also keep a bag of almonds, pumpkin seeds, or whatever else I have on hand, in my purse, just in case. Oh, and a package of cheese & peanut butter crackers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: danhole

          Yes ,I agree sometimes the utensils offered in restaurants just "dont cut it'
          Do they?

        2. We always carry when we go out, a spoon (often, one doesn't come with the service on the table - we use it for transfering ice from our water to our gin on the rocks), a small container of a mixture of cayanne and a hotter pepper, and a tip card in case we transfer too much ice to our gin and can't calculate reliably.

          1. A bottle opener and gum are the only things I have on me at all times. I've been known to carry napkins, hot sauce, and my ramen lapel pin (http://www.ramenramenramen.net/ramen-...) of which I have 2 :p

            I'm amazed at how many people carry hot sauce. The one thing I want to get into is carrying my own chopsticks, not because I don't trust restaurants or the manufacturing process, but just for the waste. My hippie-ish friends do it, and they've got me thinking about joining them.

            1. I need to ask you where you find a list of public microwaves. I've never heard of anything like that.

              You remind me of my mom and her sisters who used to go on vacation and take their own ramen with them and make it in their hotel room.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Miss Needle

                MICRO WAVE SPOTTING
                Your mom and her sisters were thrifty travellers
                It's a process of collecting and referrals and keeping your eyes open.. Universities are a great place to find them. Some grocery stores. There was one at Dominion Store at the College subway station near their snack bar.here in Toronto I haven't been there for a while. Your public credit union will usuallly accomodate your need to use one in the lunch room. and I know of in hospital lunch rooms, that allow public access, that have them available etc.
                Free telephone phone access locations is another list I carry rather than a cell

                1. re: fruglescot

                  Yeah, they were definitely thrifty travelers, at least in terms of food. When my sister and I were traveling to South Beach many years ago, my mom told me about her Subway "discovery" -- you can order a foot-long hero and share it and get a meal for about $2 - 3 per person.

                  However, they used to spend about $1000/night for a suite that I think would kind of negate any food savings -- which goes to tell you that people are selectively frugal.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Their frugality, stretched over time, probably allowed them the luxury of the expensive suite.

              2. Hot sauce! Can't leave home without it! For me it's a small bottle of Tapatio. I keep one in my desk at work, and used to keep one in the glove compartment until the heat killed it.

                1. Salt. I always carry salt.

                  1. I'm a delivery driver so I carry take-out menus with me. I also carry a spoon in case I stop somewhere and need a utensil it's good for liquids and soft foods as well as harder foods and can be pretty handy. I also carry a small jar of hot sauce, water and usually an ice chest/cooler if I find myself near a market where I can buy interesting produce, fish,etc.

                    1. When I travel for biz, I always carry packets of instant oatmeal and a plastic spoon. All hotel rooms have coffee makers, so I just heat water and use one mug for oatmeal and the other for tea (I'm not a coffee drinker). That way, even if the rest of the day is filled with hotel catering food, I've had at least one reasonably square meal.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Erika L

                        My Dad used to drive me crazy on family vacations when I was little by always bringing along a little ziplock baggie filled with granola and powdered skim milk mixed together. I would gaze longingly at the room service menu, then turn back to my breakfast of lukewarm tap water-skim milk granola...grrr. Today, I realize room service is hardly much better and actually really a rip-off - but I still never eat granola for breakfast!

                      2. Because I love hot peppers, and tend toward those restaurants that serve them, I do - when needed - carry a pint of buttermilk with me. Sooooooothing to the palatte, and often (usually not!) on the menu, despite its cooling aspect for various foods. Try it if you like hot. Takes up minimal room in the bag.


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: cayjohan

                          I keep good chopsticks in my car, and also have a set in my desk at work for when colleagues want to go to for lunch. I hate the big plastic ones and the disposable wooden ones, and sometimes I end up in mediocre restaurants...

                          1. re: Dan G

                            Dan, great idea - going into my bag! Quite green when you consider all those disposables and dwindling resources. (And personally, I adore my favorite chopstick sets.)

                            I encourage others to take up Dan's tip.


                            1. re: cayjohan

                              NOT 'STICK'.ING WITH THEM
                              Ok, I' m replacing my disposables with the real thing. This article now has an environmental slant.'

                        2. I'm a college student and my backpack seems to collect random items.
                          I always have a spoon on me in case I throw a cup of yogurt in there for a quick breakfast. Lately I've been keeping a pack of no-drain tuna to add to a .99 side salad and a small can of v8. There's a few of those little tubs of flavored creamer as well so I can buy cheap coffee. I hate spending money for food on campus.
                          I also keep a corkscrew in my purse because... well, you never know when you'll need to open some wine.

                          1. After last nights dinner in an Italian resto,(after asking for more garilc and getting some words from the waiter and who knows what he came back with) I wlll be carrying garlic powder in my purse!!!

                            1. Powdered wasabi and packets of soy sauce.

                              1. After reading these confessions I think I will be adding a spoon to my personal items.
                                The carrying of a pint of buttermilk to quell the effects of too much heat is probably the most interesting item to be disclosed so far.

                                1. I always cary mints. They have been especially useful this week, as we have been gorging on some really great Kielbasa (Polish garlic sausage). Word of advice: don't eat Kielbasa before playing hockey. It was with me for all three periods...

                                  1. Plastic spoon and fork, corkscrew, napkins, S&P, soy sauce, mustard, splenda, at least one piece of fruit, water. I've gotten better....

                                    1. Napkins, hot sauce, those individually-wrapped spoons you get at the Marks & Spencer checkout (though regrettably not sustainable).

                                      After reading some of the replies, I'm thinking I'll throw a corkscrew and some reusable chopsticks into my bag today. Good ideas.