10 Picnic Hacks to Take Your Alfresco Meal to the Next Level

What’s better than a summer picnic? A super savvy summer picnic, of course! These practical hacks will help you serve smarter, enjoy fresher eats, and have more fun in the sun with your pals. That's what picnics are for, right? Bring your camera. This will be an instagram-worthy event. 
1. DIY serving stations 
Set up a "brown bag buffet" on your blanket by rolling down the tops of paper bags to make serving containers for room temperature snacks like chips and candies. Frisbees can double as plates (just make sure you wipe off that sand from your last beach vacay), buckets of ice double as coolers for bottled drinks, and a big wooden cutting board can make a great tables. 
2. Serve condiments in a muffin tin
A BBQ just isn't a BBQ without the fixins – ketchup, mustard, tomato slices, pickles, sauerkraut, etc. Make all those condiments easily accessible and reduce mess – fill each muffin cup with a different condiment and stick in a popsicle stick. Muffin tins also make serving dishes for devilled eggs, candy, and chopped fruit. 
3. Protect your drinks with a muffin liner
Make sure your cocktails stay critter-free by poking a hole through the middle of an inverted muffin liner and letting it rest over the sides of your cup. 
4. Water-proof your spot
Lay out a shower curtain liner before you put your blanket down and protect it – and your butt – from damp grass. 
5.  Transport spices the savvy way
Such as: in a Tic Tac container or in individual straws secured with tape on both ends. Don’t forget to label each. This is an awesome, lightweight way to transport spices if you’re camping and planning on cooking over an open fire. 
6. Use frozen water bottles as ice packs
Picnic fare like bean and pasta salad, cold cuts, and sliced fruit are best served cold. Keep them at their best, even in blazing temps, by stashing some frozen water bottles in your basket. After they’ve melted, you’ll have extra water to re-hydrate with. 
7. Make use of mason jars
Mason jars are a picnic-goers best friend. Use mini ones to serve individual portions of layered dips, salads, sangria portions with juices and sliced fruit, or, go nuts and bake mini pies in mason jars.
8. Make individual frozen fruit daiquiris 
Whip up a batch of these super simple, 3-ingredient daiquiris (frozen fruit + rum + lemonade), blend with ice and freeze in individual mason jars. When you get to your picnic spot, they’ll be ready to serve. This is a much healthier (and more impressive) alternative to your standard vodka cooler. Stick in a fruit skewer and you’ll be the most popular kid at the picnic. 
9. Sub sandwiches for a stuffed baguette
Sandwiches may be the king of the picnic basket, but let’s face it: they’re a little boring. A much easier and more delicious picnic-friendly solution? The stuffed baguette. A hollowed out baguette is simply the best shell for any filling you want – fresh herbs and cheese, deli meats and cheese, or hummus. Slice individual servings for a meal in a loaf. 
10. Play board-free lawn twister 
Don’t want to rummage Value Village to look for Twister? Ditch the board and play right on the grass! Your Twister board will grow out in about a week. So, if you aren't picnicking in your backyard …choose a secluded spot that won’t have you explaining yourself to an angry property-owner. 

Tags: best picnic foods, picnic hacks, picnic ideas summer dates, summer fun

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