Frugal Accomplishments on Vacation This Past Week

Last week, my family went on a great, frugal vacation to the seaside. We're lucky to have a family member who owns a place we are able to stay in by the sea, so we are able to keep the cost of our vacation down to just the food for the trip as well as transportation there and back (fortunately not too expensive).
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My three oldest, having fun on the beach
This is a trip we do every summer, and it's one my kids really look forward to all year, as do I. It's exhausting (who knew going out to the beach and playing in the and and water all day could be so tiring?) but worth every second of it. You can see from the pics just how much they enjoyed themselves...

One thing I like best about beach/seaside vacations is that the water is free; its fun and we don't need to pay for entertainment or to do other touristy things- the beach is more than enough...

Here's what we did frugally this past week while on vacation- we left on our trip Sunday afternoon and arrived home Saturday night. We spent Friday and Saturday at my dad's house, mid way between the seaside and my home.

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Before we left, I made soup from leftover chicken drippings and rice, to eat for lunch.
I ground gluten free flour.
Mixed up 3 batches of gluten free bread mix to bring on our trip.
Used up the leftovers and veggies that would otherwise go off, to make a salad to eat for lunch and to bring on our trip, so food wouldnt rot while we're gone.
Froze stuff from our fridge so it wouldn't rot while gone.
I knew I wouldn't have the means of cooking legumes while I was away, but didn't want to only use expensive animal proteins, so I took along 2 lbs of chickpeas that I soaked, cooked, then froze, to eat on the trip.
Before we left, we stopped at a cheap store where we bought a super cheap bathing suit for Lee (he'd outgrown his other) as well as super cheap sun hats for the kids.Once we left, I found out that we could pay a child fare for the inter city bus, and buy a round trip ticket instead of two one way tickets, so we got three reduced fare tickets instead of three full fare, which lowered the price significantly.
When we arrived there, we went to a free concert at the local city plaza, saw a free sound, light, and water show, and kids played in the fountains there- all free. While there were definitely things we could have spent on at the plaza, such as a moon walk, go cart racing, or buying these light up flying toys, we specifically didn't do any paid activities or buy any expensive junk that my kids saw and were requesting, since there was enough there free to enjoy.
Bought a bathing suit for Lee very cheaply, as well as cheap sun hats for the kids.

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We needed to stock the places we were staying at with groceries, so went to the big supermarket that was cheaper but further away, instead of buying cheap local stuff. We bought some cheap treats, as well as easy to make travel food, even if it's a little more expensive, since it is still much cheaper than eating out. (We didn't eat out once on our trip!)
Went to the beach- free but extremely fun.
Made homemade gluten free bread, and a big veggie salad with chickpeas (that I brought along) for supper.

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Made more homemade gluten free bread to be for sandwiches at the beach.
Again, a frugal fun day at the beach- totally free, extremely fun. Used sunscreen that brought along, that we got from a neighbor who was giving away a box of toiletries, etc....

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Did research and found the cheapest place to buy replacement glasses for Mike after he lost his at sea. Got glasses for cheaper than we usually buy them for locally. They threw in 2 straps to hold glasses to your face in the water, for free.
Bought a treat for the kids- Popsicles for 25 cents each.
Went shopping and bought the kids and myself some cute, very cheap clothes.
Had a picnic on the boardwalk overlooking the sea, with leftovers from supper the night before.
Foraged samphire, purslane, and Spanish flag berries.
Stretched the mince meat I served for dinner with mashed chickpeas, grated zucchini and grated carrots.
Made a chickpea based brownie.
Made homemade vegan flax based mayo.

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Frugal fun day at the beach again.

While at my dad's, my brother showed me a cool deal's site, and I found a 4 person tent on sale there for very cheap, so I ordered it online.
I also found a pair of snap on sunglasses on Amazon really cheaply as well, so I ordered them for myself.
My dad served miso soup made with homemade miso and stir fry seasoned with homemade miso instead of soy sauce.

My dad gave me a bottle of homemade red lentil sweet potato miso. :-D
Got discounted bus fare for the ride home from my dad's.

Did you manage to have any frugal fun times this summer? What was your best frugal summer experience this summer? 
When you go on vacation (if ever) what do you do to save money? What is your favorite kind of frugal vacation?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. We try and save money on vacation. We live by the beach so we sometimes just staycation.

    We went camping for two nights. Not cheap but cheaper than a hotel.

    When we went to the hotel vacation I packed food including dinner for two nights.

    1. The concept of staycation sounds awesome... but knowing me, staycation would just mean staying at home, doing nothing...
      I love camping- it's super fun!
      What food did you pack to bring for supper at the hotel?

  2. we didn't go on vacation at all. husband was on break from "school" so he worked half a day (and he always eats breakfast for free in the school dining room during breaks- so that's one meal saved and he eats whole wheat bread and tuna there, so it's not the cheapest), and i kept working through the summer. childcare was expensive (the babysitter took the baby to fun places to keep him busy, one of which cost a bit of money), and i bought the occasional $1.40 cheese danish, but we still came out way ahead.

    we will be on vacation in a month during the holiday season, and all mine will be paid time off while my office is closed. that's enough for us. we'll see what happens when we have bigger kids.

  3. I just love reading your post. I wish I had this blog years ago when my kids were small. Now I can pass these ideas off to my children who are having babies of their own. Thank you so much for sharing . Tammy Romberg

  4. I'm glad you could have a nice vacation. The children are certainly adorable. I imagined them to be tiny tots, but they are growing right up. It just goes to show that with frugality you can have a nice life even though money is not abundant.

    1. Thank you- that is my goal in life and with this blog- a great life even without a lot of money. Yup, they're growing- Lee is 7, Ike is 5, Anneliese is 2 3/4 and Rose is 5 months! Time flies!!

  5. Recently hubby and I went on a road trip for a night to see a show. We borrowed a car with cheaper gas mileage and had family dog and child sit for free. We chose our hotel across from the venue so we did not need transit. I made food which we ate on the way up and then after we enjoyed the hotel breakfast I made food and sandwiches on the way back. Used a coupon for gas as well. Scored some custom framing cardboard and free coloring in pages for my little girl A cheap and really fun trip. Thanks for sharing yours!

    1. Sounds like a really wonderful trip! Was it a good show?

    2. Thanks for asking it was an excellent show.

  6. We went on a 4 day day vacation and brought along all the food from home. It was more expensive then our usual weekly food budget but still cheaper then buying takeout. Our motel came with a small fridge and we brought along a microwave. The day before we left I made hamburgers, chicken cutlets, rice, sweet potatoes, baked ziti and pizza. We were able to warm up lunch and supper in the microwave. For breakfast we brought along cereal (bought on sale) and bought milk.

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