Thrifty Frugal Tips – this post is cross-posted to Jamie’s I am a Money Magnet’s Thrifty Tip Tuesday.
Ever taken long car trips and tried to figure out where your money went when you actually got to your destination?
It has happened to Bear and I more times that I would like to admit. Now, we have a fail safe way of “safeguarding” our money from blowing out the window as we drive down the road. This is what we pack when we travel back home, going out for an all-day at the barn or are heading to a horse show! (If we go to a horse show we will take our portable grill)
Here are our tips for a Frugal trip:
1. Hydration – I fill our gallon jug with lots of Ice (I start bagging our ice a week before we leave so my ice maker makes plenty of “free” ice) and pour in our home-brewed Tea, along with a few cans of soda (diet Mtn Dew) and some bottled water (with crystal light packets). All purchased prior to leaving and with coupons. Now when you stop to fuel up – you are only paying for fuel and not 100% marked up drinks!
2. Snacks – I pack a box of ritz crackers, a loaf of bread, a small baggy of Dill Pickles (free food for a diabetic), chips, Lunch Meat, cream cheese tortilla wrap-ups w/ham/turkey, Fruit (apples, bananas, cantaloupe, honey dew, grapes), hardboiled eggs, thermos of hot soup (you would be amazed at how long this keeps), Peanut butter and Jelly, Sliced Cheddar Cheese – Medium and Sharp, Pre-cooked bacon (made the night before), Small container of Mayo & Mustard, small set of Salt and Pepper shakers, Plastic forks, knives, spoons, and paper plates w/napkins. Put only the items that need to stay chilled in your ice-chest – the rest put in a small box.
3. Create a check list for each person/animal and make sure you review as you are packing items into their bag/trailer – DO NOT OVERPACK – you will be sorry if you do! I made a master list for day horse shows, overnight shows, day trips, or trips back home. This makes it easier for me to just grab the appropriate list, make any adjustments (based on weather or length) but keeps me from reinventing the wheel each and every time! If you are going to the lake for the weekend – do you really need the hair dryer, curling iron, and all that make-up? Really? Be honest with yourself – me, I’m in it for the fun and the motto “Less is More” works for me.
4. I keep a baggie of all kinds of samples of lotions, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, toothpaste that is strictly for travel. I am not packing those huge bottles when I can get by with a couple of the sample bottles! I just check to make sure I have enough for the time we will be gone and throw it in the bag. I also purchase with coupons the handi-wipes and keep several tucked away in different locations – I keep one on ice so if it is hot outside you can cool off for a bit with one of these.
5. Medicine! Very important – be sure that you have pill boxes for each member of your family and fill enough to cover each day you will be gone. This eliminates the issue of having to carry the bottles. I have the labels that they give you on your receipt pasted in my planner for each and every pill that I put in the box. This is in case of an emergency you can give this to the medics/nurses or doctor.
6. Jewelry – leave it at home – why bring it and chance it being lost.
7. Fuel – did you know that most convenience stores will put a hold on your card of anywhere from $1.00 – $100.00 if you pay at the Pump. AND THEN THEY CHARGE YOUR CARD FOR YOUR ACTUAL PURCHASE! True story – I paid at the pump and filled our big truck up – took $85.00 but the store held $100.00 on my card and then held the actual purchase of $85.00 on my card – this was my debit card! This hold was held for 3 days over a weekend! Once the store rolled their tapes – the $100.00 hold was released but it took THREE DAYS to release! It pays to go in use CASH or CARD INSIDE the store – STOP using the Pay at the Pump feature.
8. Get a list of ATM’s from your Bank that will allow you to withdraw from them without a charge. It’s nice to know which ones won’t charge you an arm and a leg just to give you YOUR money!
9. Make sure your phones are charged and at least one charger is packed. Turn your phones off while traveling – going in and out of service will tend to drain your battery. Bear and I have some great conversations as we are driving down the road. It’s a good time to talk about everything and make plans for the future!
10. If you have people that will be taking care of your horses/dogs/cats/ or other animals or your home while you are away – take the time to write down all instructions, important telephone numbers.
11. If there are toll roads you will be travelling on – be sure to have some cash and change handy – nothing like rolling up to a toll booth to find out you spent your last $3.00 on that soda and candy bar!
12. Last – don’t pack the house – I promise it will be there when you return and most of all – HAVE FUN!