This past week was spent traveling and visiting family. It costs more to be away than it does to be home, but we found a few ways to save. Here they are!
When we booked hotels, we chose ones with free breakfasts. They were also the least expensive options, so we weren't paying extra for the food, and it saved us both time and money. We booked through U Promise and got some cash back into Daughter's college fund. We also got a 5-6% discount for booking through them....and another 5% cash back by paying with a credit card that was offering a special this quarter.
|The Home Place - Land Between the Lakes - north of Dover, TN|
|quilt display - The Home Place - Land Between the Lakes|
|restful pigs - The Home Place - Land Between the Lakes|
We packed a ton of snacks. OK, maybe only half a ton...but plenty, with lots of variety. Apples, grapes, peanut butter, crackers, some bread, water, soda, juice, jerky, granola and more, much of it purchased on sale or from our pantry. We also took books, I took my crochet, Daughter brought some school work, etc. We had plenty to do during the travel part of the trip.
We had room in the car to take some things to my parents that they wanted. That saved us postage we might have spent shipping those items at another time. We took home some things as well. By 'some things', I mean that I stuffed the trunk of the car so tightly that there was no air back there. Not even a molecule. :)
|Rolling Bookshelves - Waterfield Library - Murray State University|
We shared food from our gardens back and forth - I took some fruit preserves and fruit butters for them, and we brought home butternut squash, green beans and flower bulbs.
When we ate out, we drank water, shared items, etc. For the most part we went to places we don't have where we live - places we just don't get to back home.
|The Shoe Tree at Murray State University - If you marry someone you met at MSU, |
you can come back here and nail a shoe or two to the tree. Daughter thought this was, well, ridiculous.
Husband and I still need to remember to bring a shoe!
I took a survey and earned $3.
The hotel we stayed in while we were visiting was in the low price range, but had an indoor pool, hot tub and exercise room. It also had a small fridge and microwave in the room, so we were able to put together some light meals in the room, saving time and money.
|smiling with grandpa|
We made a loose plan, for while we were visiting. We adjusted as needed to accommodate weather, schedules, etc., but having a loose plan meant we made good use of our time. That said, a lot of the plan was to visit, and just spend time with family. We were in town for a short time and didn't get to do everything we wanted, but we made fairly good use of the time we were there.
|my brother's new place - so beautiful!|
|some early fall color|
Husband checked "Gas Buddy" on travel days so we'd know what sorts of fuel prices we could get. That helped us plan fuel stops to get the best prices on gasoline.
There was a Mennonite bulk store in the area where we were visiting. We don't have them in our area, so we went and did a little shopping. I got some Real Salt and some sorghum syrup...and cloth hankies! I know I could make some from calico, but these are just so, so pretty. It's something I've been considering for a while - trying cloth hankies - so now I can...once I can bring myself to actually use them (they are so pretty!). We also stopped at an Aldi store on one of our travel evenings and got a few things that were priced better than we usually get at home.
|the church back home|
We spent part of one morning checking out their thrift stores. We enjoy thrift stores anyway, and going in ones we don't shop in id pretty fun, truth be told. We had just watched Aristocats a few days before the trip, and we got Daughter an Arisocats hoodie for $1. It's all new and fleecy inside. We picked up some jigsaw puzzles for my in-laws for .25 each too! It was fun to check things out.
So...yes...most of that is still spending, but we did things that allowed us to spend a little less where we could, and it does add up to some savings compared to just going hog-wild. We budgeted funds for the trip, stayed with the plan and had a good time. We ended our trip under budget - yay!
|giggling with grandma|