Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frugal living helps me travel more often

Frugal living does not mean that you can't have road trip fun. It means that you are taking money away from the mundane and using it in other areas. In my case, we are trying to live frugally so I can get back to traveling.

The news that I need a new engine came out of nowhere. Thinking about a new car and sky high payments puts me into a tailspin. How am I supposed to go camping or on vacation and have tons of debt? Plus, how wise is it to pay out $16,000 for a new car when the repair is only $3,500?

To me, it isn't smart at all and will only add to my debt load. I'd rather spend money by touring the country instead of paying a loan. I think that it's safe to say that living frugally makes my vacations possible.

Here are three money saving tips that are working for me:


Eating out less 
Whether at home or on vacation, eating out costs money and kills a spending plan. We eat at home and use coupons or search out specials more often now. Taking coupons on vacations may not sound glamorous but those bogo or money off deals add up.

Cutting the cable
Now it's my husband's turn to be twitchy. He misses cable in a big way. To compensate we use Netflix, read books and buy the occasional newspaper. These are all less expensive options than buying cable. Plus, my husband is happiest when his nose is in a (used) book.

Camping
Campers are cheaper than hotels plus it is my mobile office. I have more space to spread out and get more work done than I do in a hotel.

Reuse
Glass jars that spaghetti sauces come in are great for storing leftovers. Soups, chili, gravy and other liquid-ish leftovers work great. Wide mouth glass jars are excellent for storing open bags of pasta, lentils or beans. I use them for camping since knives, thermometers and pointed kitchen tools can be transported more safely.

Plastic bottles and tubs help me save money on vacation. Instead of buying ice, put water in the containers, freeze, and toss into the cooler. It's cheaper than buying ice and they are less messy.

Living frugally isn't always easy. When discouragement happens, I pull out the travel map from my big road trips or re-read my article on surprise road trip stops add fun to a family vacation. They remind me how spending less helps me enjoy life more.