February 23, 2016 to March 8, 2016
What a busy couple of weeks. We went on a long road trip so The Man could help his son with some home renovations. I “helped” by keeping the grandson occupied for a couple of days.
Travelling expenses were paid for using a Prepaid VISA that was part of a promo. I made some snacks and cookies to take with us along with a water bottle and a few other drinks in the cooler. The first night out we spent the night in the least expensive hotel we could find, which turned out to be really nice. If you find yourself in Pincher Creek Alberta, I can recommend the Stardust Motel. Very friendly, very affordable, and the room was beautiful.
While we were there, I took advantage of being so close and took the bus to a neighbouring city to visit friends or family. I save 50% off my ticket by buying it online. My friend was very, very generous and let me sleep in her guest room and kept me feed. Another friend dropped off two very large bags of fabric scraps from a friend who had cleaned out two combined sewing rooms. I went through the scraps and was able to donate more than half of them to the thrift store and take the rest home.
Because I lived in this city for a long time, I brought along a pre-paid Parks and Rec pass I had purchased years ago. Lucky for me, I still had several swims left on the card so I spent one morning swimming at one of my favorite city pools and enjoying their sauna. I still have a few left for the next time I am in town.
For entertainment, I spent a lot of time walking, either with friends, family, or alone. My friend lives in a funky downtown neighbourhood, where there are several “little free libraries“. I found another herb book in one while we were out walking. Next time I visit, I will bring along a book or two to leave behind.
When I left, there were several construction project still under way and it was exciting to see the finished projects. I took a walk with my oldest to the Peace Bridge and I enjoyed a free McDonald’s coffee while exploring the newly renovated Devonian Gardens.
One of the advantages of returning to a city you know well is that you know where the deals are. I remembered that the Glenbow Museum is free on the first Thursday of every month. Me and my eldest took this time to see an exhibit.
I did give in and do a little shopping. I spent the day with another friend and we found ourselves at the thrift store. Her 5-year-old helped me pick out a couple new shirts for summer. The friend feed me very well and donated a couple of Christmas themed scraps to my mini hexie project. I also visited an Asian Grocery store and picked up a few supplies that were either much cheaper or unavailable at the grocery stores we usually visit.
It wasn’t all fun and games while I was away. I took my laptop so I could continue to work an online side gig and still earn some money for groceries. The Man also spent this time working on his son’s home renovations. Even though worked himself to the bone, The Man found the time for a few frugal endeavors of his own. The neighboring house was sold and the old owners were looking to clean it out in a hurry. He helped move their old swing set into his son’s backyard. The old owner’s asked if we could use a couch. They would not accept any money for it and they were glad to have it out of their garage. We were very happy to take it. By coincidence, some to the fabric from my friend should work to make throw pillows for our new acquisition.
The trip home was long and started with some adventures. We decided to push through and not spend another night in a hotel. The weather was horrible over the mountain passes, but we were very careful and made it home without incident.
I am grateful that I have friends and family who will feed and shelter us when we come to visit. Not only does that save us an astonishing amount of money but it also allows us to spend more time with them, a truly priceless gift.
How do you save money while you travel? Leave a comment and tell me about your best money saving travel tips.