TikTok's Practical Dinner Plate Hack Will Save You Money While Camping

There's nothing like a good hack to make life easier, and there's nothing better than a camping hack, especially when navigating a trip in the great outdoors with your family. Once you've settled with all of the practicalities, you can really enjoy your time outside. And why not? There's so much to see and do. We've figured out the top-ranked U.S. state for your next camping adventure. Or if you have your sights set on the East Coast of the United States, we've sourced the most budget-friendly national park. 

While camping certainly offers a break from urban demands, that doesn't mean it's not a lot of work. There's the task of setting up the perfect RV campground, plus the chore of preparing meals for a family in a more restricted kitchen than what you'd find in a house. With that in mind, we've come across a TikTok hack using reusable plastic food baskets and parchment paper that can help ease up some of the cleaning demands after cooking while camping. Plus, it's cheap and cute, too.

Use parchment paper over baskets to save on paper plates

TikTok personality @StrangelySimilar has a lot of tips for camping since she and her family live in an RV. In her TikTok video, she shared her tip: Instead of using paper plates, she bought reusable plastic food baskets and lined them with parchment paper. "You can get parchment paper," she began, "that you literally just set inside of the basket, and you serve your food and you reuse the baskets, and then you just throw the parchment paper away." The parchment paper ended up costing less than paper plates.

There are several options to try this. There are 12-inch deli squares available aplenty online, and they help prevent grease from seeping through from food onto the baskets. Plus, they're very affordable. The TikTok creator in this video pointed out that her RV kitchen was tiny, and washing dishes was really difficult to do in such a small space. So, the parchment-paper hack was a trick to make life easier and minimize costs while staying in an RV.

Some liked the idea of washing reusable dishes better

While @StrangelySimilar shared her trick of using parchment paper in plastic baskets instead of paper plates, others were skeptical of the idea. Some pointed out that where they lived, paper plates were still cheaper than buying parchment paper squares. "Doing the math, it's definitely cheaper, at least for me in Ohio, to just buy paper plates," one person wrote.

Others pointed out that washing regular plates was by far the cheapest way to serve food. "For us, we have a very small sink and by the time I put my cooking dishes, knives, etc., in it's pretty much full," the content creator noted. This seemed to be a popular comment in regard to an ecological footprint, as well. Constantly throwing away products after every meal struck many as an unsustainable way to camp.

Still, others pointed out that this trick only worked with certain foods. Soups or anything saucy was completely out of the question with a hack that involved serving meals in a basket lined with paper. Other comments pointed out that the content creator didn't need to buy plastic baskets and could just put the parchment paper on regular plates. "Lol ok yes, but the baskets are cute and feel like we're getting a treat," she replied. So, it's a personal decision. There are also compostable options for parchment paper. However, those choices weren't always the cheapest.