So during this tour, I've had alot of time to think. And one of the things I've concluded is that the cheapest way to tour, is to ride in groups of 3 (or multiples of 3). The 2 most expensive things while touring is... 1.Overnight accommodation and 2. Food. (this assumes you don't travel to a distant location to begin or end a tour and have to pay shipping, travel fare, etc)
I came to the conclusion that traveling in 3's would be the cheapest and easiest way to go, mostly because of food and how it is packaged for sale. But also because of energy expended hauling food miles before it's consumed
3 bike tourists can...
eat a dozen eggs
a pound of bacon
drink a quart of orange juice
eat a loaf of bread in a day (and a jar of peanut butter/jelly)
kill a 12 pack
eat a half gallon of ice cream
eat a 1lb box of pasta
eat a bag of tortillas
and so on...
I buy a box of pasta and it takes me 3 meals to eat it, and usually I wind up pedaling it 200 miles before its finished. I buy a pound of rice and I haul it for a week or more before it's eaten. Pasta/rice/tortillas are my staples while touring and I usually carry all 3, or at least 2. All this food is weight that groups of 3 might not have to carry because they can eat it in one sitting. Bicycle tourist are not backpackers... we generally pass a place to resupply daily.
And splitting campground costs and hotels also drives the costs down. I would probably stealth camp less, and stay at either State Parks or private campgrounds more is I could share the cost
I've been on the road as a solo tourist for over 8 months, and I prefer to travel solo. I stop at every KOA for the sole purpose of going to the counter, and asking the cost of a campsite and then decline to stay because I'm not spending $35 to set up a one man tent. I have not stayed at KOA on this tour (but I have heard that the KOA near Manchester Beach SP in CA is a good deal)
The groups of 3 might not be perfect for all cycle tourists. For some it might be in groups of 2 or 4, depending on how much food is required to fuel the group.
I think traveling solo is the most expensive way to tour. It's the way I prefer, but sometimes I think that travelling in a small group would be better. I would also not have to buy a newspaper daily. I guess I'm cheap... but these are the things I think about