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Meals for Moving Day

by Rebecca Alwine - September 22nd, 2021

Meals for Moving Day

In a perfect world of PCS moves, our spouse is around to supervise packers, our children are at hourly care, and our friends are coming over with buckets and mops to help us on our final cleaning. But in the real world of PCS season, you may have to move without your spouse, while the packing days fall right after the end of the school year, and all your closest friends are moving too.

Over the past seven years, I’ve been lucky enough to have my spouse around during most of our PCS pack outs. This last time, we had such a short time between when orders (finally!) dropped and when we had to report that there was no option of having him around. Luckily, my oldest two were in school during those days.

PCSing and packing out alone

My toddler and I had it all under control. Or so I thought.

The day before the packers were coming, I realized I wouldn’t be able to leave the house to go pick up lunch. It is an unspoken tradition to feed the movers lunch on moving day. We have always treated our movers to lunch and drinks and usually allowed them to choose what they wanted for lunch. But this was not going to happen this time. To save you the same trouble I had, I’ll share with you the results of my brainstorming.

Cook something

This was my first thought. Well, I’ll just cook something! I have my trusty instant pot, and I can make anything quickly in that. I had a friend in Germany who cooked a homemade meal for her packers on the first day. She said they liked to have something warm and hearty when they were working.

Of course, this does require that you have dishes, spices, and all the ingredients handy, which could increase your kitchen “do not pack” area. And then I’d have to do dishes, which is something I vehemently oppose in a regularly stocked and lived-in kitchen.

Order in

A few fellow spouses suggested that I order pizza or something similar that would be delivered by a restaurant. Did you know that even Uber has this service? Uber Eats has been recommended by several for just this situation.

But pizza is often overdone, and the movers get tired of it quickly. Heck, I get tired of it when on the road moving. And, takeout can get expensive, be unpredictable, and leave some things to be desired. Deciding where to order from is hard enough when feeding my family, let alone trying to feed a team of packers.

Have a friend grab something

I really like the idea of asking a friend to help here. You know all those times people are saying, “Let me know if I can help,” here’s a real way they can help. Have them pick up sandwiches at Subway that you call in, or box meals from Taco Bell, whatever is decided upon. Plus, then you get a few more minutes with a friend before you move!

Unfortunately, I really wasn’t stationed in our last place long enough to have a big enough group of friends to ask for help. And no one lived close enough that would have the extra time to help. But I do intend to not only use this option in the future but offer it to others when they’re in this situation.

Purchase ahead of time

When thinking about having a friend pick something up, it struck me: Why not pick something up in advance? A sandwich tray from the commissary, even a frozen pizza from Wal-Mart could easily be cooked in the oven, saving both time and money.

That’s what I decided to do. I used my local Wal-Mart, which has grocery pickup, to place an order for:

  • Water bottles

  • Gatorade

  • A baker’s dozen of donuts

  • A carafe of cold brew coffee

  • A tray of pinwheel sandwich wraps

  • A 24-pack of individual chip bags

  • A veggie tray

  • A bag of apples

Sure, it seems like a lot of food, but it lasted for two days, fed my packers, my toddler, and myself and cost me maybe $35. I had some paper products already, probably from the last military move. The best part? My movers loved it. They loved that I had provided them lunch and that it was original.

What have you done for food when stuck in the house alone for a pack out? is a community of military and veteran families helping each other with our biggest military moving needs through trusted reviews. Help us help each other and submit your reviews today. Together, we can truly make a difference!

Rebecca Alwine

Rebecca Alwine is an Army wife, mother of three and lover of her adorable pirate dog. Over the past 15 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, lifting weights and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her days consist of working out in her garage gym, audiobooks and pretending to cook while her Instant Pot and Air Fryer do all the work. Her motto: work smarter, not harder.