A Few Frugal Things-
– We planned a trip to Austin to visit my brand new nephew!!!! By switching our visit from December to a 4 day weekend (MLK day) off of work in Jan we saved over $500!
– We booked our own hacker fare by flying there on Frontier and home on Southwest to take advantage of the best prices and times.
– We didn’t pay for any bags or snacks on the flight. We only took free personal item bags on the way there and we were able to bring a few extra bags home for free because of Southwest’s free bag policy.
– Instead of booking the closest hotel for $110 a night we price shopped and stayed a few minutes farther away in a Hyatt House Suite style room for $75 a night. We loved it and would definitely stay there again.
– The hotel included the amazing continental breakfast pictured above! So every day of the trip 5 people ate a huge hot breakfast included in the price. We also ended up with a lot of free fresh fruit including bananas, apples and oranges, free tea, creamer and togo cups.
– I forgot my toothbrush so the hotel gave me one. It was the second worst toothbrush I have ever used but I made it work for the weekend. They also gave us free bottled water at check in.
– Entertainment while we were there was not expensive either as it mostly consisted of spending time together as a family enjoying the new baby, trips to various thrift shops including the $1.49 per pound Goodwill and we also ate out a couple of times enjoying famous Austin tacos and BBQ.
– My mom made a huge pot of amazing split pea soup to feed the entire family while we were there and my brother in law made spaghetti and meatballs. My mom also made us ham and egg sandwiches so we saved a lot of money eating out and the ham was given to them by some friends.
– Almost our entire family sells items on eBay so it’s really fun to see what everyone is buying and reselling.
– We bought a Jeep brand carry on rolling bag at the Goodwill outlet for $2.99 to bring our purchases home.
– It was a horrible weather weekend during our trip so B ended up having to buy a jacket and I bought some sweaters (for $1.49 a pound at the Goodwill Outlet) and we borrowed some stuff from my sister and her husband. Still not even a small fraction of what we would have paid to bring more luggage not to mention the pain of hauling it around the airport.
– Because the hotel was like a little suite we ended up with left over paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, coffee, etc. I loaded it all into a bag when we checked out and brought it to my sister’s house. I showed her the bag of loot to which she replied “Awesome!” That’s why we are best friends!
– My dad got my sister a free sewing machine when a friend moved. I slowly and frugally bought her everything she needed to start sewing. With a brand new baby she doesn’t have much time but I taught her to use the machine and we made her reusable nursing pads that she liked a lot better than the disposables.
– We enjoyed free snacks and drinks on our flight home with Southwest but unfortunately their free cable wifi wasn’t set up on that plane so we didn’t get to watch free cable.
– When we returned to our car at the airport our tire was flat and after a short wait Airport parking services put air in it for free.
Not So Frugal-
– Traveling isn’t cheap but it’s so worth it!
– We blew a tire on the side of the highway on the way to the airport!!!!!!!!! Thank god we had an extra tire under the SUV and YouTube to show us how to lower it to the ground. We didn’t miss our flight but we did have to skip the cheaper satellite parking and park directly at the airport for almost twice the amount per day but this was a good call because we arrived at the gate as the plane was boarding.
– I now have no spare tire and need to get a new one. The good news is the ‘spare’ tire wasn’t a spare but a full sized tire.
– I finally mailed myself an ancient Milk Crate that I had bought in Austin a year ago and my sister had been storing ever since. I wanted to take it home for free on the plane but the ancient nails proved a deterrent. We underestimated the price of shipping. Oh well it’s a really cool décor piece (according to me, not B).
– We didn’t remember snacks for the flight home so I treated us to ice cream at the airport that actually was a very inexpensive snack before a long flight.
– I am very thankful that one of my best friends watched Gimli our puppy while we were gone and we paid her the going rate for in home pet sitters even though she said she would do it for free. He had two loving people to play with and take care of him and I consider it worth every penny. They even bought him snacks and a toy.
– I sold a couple of things on eBay right before our trip and had to mail them out at the last minute. I wasn’t excited about adding the post office to my list of stops but extra income is always appreciated.
– I made a mistake in the title of an eBay listing saying there were 7 books instead of the 5 listed and pictured and didn’t realize until after someone bought it. I told the person and they wanted a refund. I ended up relisting them for more money and they resold right away so I made more in the long run.
– I had to bring some of my own products to the hotel like shampoo and conditioner. Then we used some of the hotel’s non-chemical free stuff. This doesn’t bother me because it was only for a few days.