Monday, July 13, 2009

Lessons I Learned While Traveling on Vacation

My husband and I had a great weekend down on the coast Emerald Coast of Florida (the panhandle area.) We really enjoyed our time of doing what we wanted on our “own clock.” I have to say I learned (scratch out learned) was re-taught some valuable lessons about spending.
1) I am the frugal mom, my husband IS NOT the frugal dad. I must admit the bedding at the Inn was as antique as the Inn itself, so my husband needed some pain medication for the kinks in his back. I couldn’t blame him. We made our way to the local grocery store (not a chain) and the 20 count bottle of Aleve was $7! What was I do to, without a coupon nearby, no sales advertised, I put my tail between my leg and bought them. LESSON: When you husband has a sensitive back, always bring supplies from home including your stockpile of pain medicine – especially when your husband takes them like candy (not really.)
2) There were adorable beach chairs down by the shore. They looked so appealing we decided to rent them. I quickly learned, they were not the chair made for a very pregnant lady. We had to go back to our local grocery store and buy some chairs – I could have gotten these SAME chairs at Walgreens for 1/5th of the price. Once again, tail between my legs with my aching back and belly, I bought them. LESSON: Consider needs for your trip. I was at the beach, a secluded one and was spending the day in the sun (on the sand) – what else did I expect to sit on. I should have pre-bought these chairs at Walgreens or Wal-Mart back in town.
3) I was so happy because there was a restaurant I really wanted to visit. It has Floribbean food (Florida food with a flare of the Caribbean). I was thrilled to find a b1g1 ½ coupon. I proudly carried my coupon to the restaurant during dinner time(for peats sake, I AM the Frugal Mom). It was after I ordered that I read the coupon and saw it was good for lunch. LESSON: Read your coupons fine print – haven’t I learned this one already?

4) So with all my journeys to the local grocery store I realized that a pregnant girl likes to snack. I bought a six pack of water or $2 and a package of cookies for $4. So I was only $6 in the hole but I would have loved to also by a bag of chips, some gummy worms, perhaps a few candy bars, etc. What can I say, the beach makes you hungry? LESSON: With $6 (at home) I could have gotten all those things. Instead I got the needs – water and chocolate and waved goodbye to the rest. Bring groceries from home. Had a I planned better, the past 2 -3 weeks of grocery shopping would have included me sneaking VERY CHEAP, on sale items into the cart for the snacks I would desire this weekend.

5) Don’t go out of town during Chick-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day (or FREE Slurpee Day) – especially when they only thing you have been craving is Chick-fil-A for the past 7 months. LESSON: It is not that that big a deal, Ashley.
Are you traveling soon? If so, make sure you plan ahead. Think about medicines, snacks, and basic every day needs. I would definitely research restaurants in the area on the internet. You might even be able to find a gift certificate to a restaurant on - just make sure you read the fine print!


Tonya said...

FUNNY! My favorite hotel to stay at in Orlando is Buena Vista Suites. Why, you ask? Because in addition to the queen suites that sleep myself, my husband, my 14 year old DS, 12 year old DD and 3 year old, the free breakfast buffet every morning and Thursday internet specials...there's a CVS right across the street!!!!! I took my coupons and ECB last month and stocked up on water, gummy snacks, nuts and chips on the way into the parks. I spent $8. Chump change compared to what I would have spent in the park.

Stacey said...

I hope you had fun on your vacay, were you in Destin? I live in Ft. Walton Beach. Thanks for your awesome site!

Marcy said...

I'm ashamed to say I've learned most of those lessons traveling as well! I try not to be frugal on vacation and leave my coupons at home, but it only frustrates me to pay full price for stuff I know I've got coupons for! So, I've learned I stress a lot less taking them along, but not going into full blown savings mode. And realizing in the grand scheme of things it can't be more than say $10 or $20 "wasted". Surely we are entitled to that on vacation! Thanks for the great post!

Frugal Coupon Living said...

Mexico Beach

Kelley Close said...

He he he! I do the same thing! Memorial Day weekend I actually took my coupons with me. When I ended up not getting the best deals I could have gotten, my (wonderful) husband reminded me of the deals I /had/ gotten...and because of that, it was okay to splurge on the necessities (and sometimes even the "cravings"). I must say, it helps in the rationalizing. :-)

Joyce said...

I can definitely relate. It is really frustrating to have to buy something at full price when you know darn well that you have a coupon and can get it for a lot cheaper. We had to do this once for pain reliever. So here is what I do now. I keep my travel toiletries bag always packed. Pack it with travel size or full size stuff you get for free. Then it is always ready to go for a trip and you don't have to remember things each time. Saves time packing and unpacking also.

Joyce @

Elizabeth said...

Why are lessons always learned the hard way? I still hope you had a great trip.

Linda said...

Before leaving for vacation, I find out the locations of the closest Walmart, Target, CVS, etc and print out the map. We buy cheap beach toys and chairs, snacks, drinks, etc. When it's time to leave, find a family who just arrived and give it to them. I also keep in mind that my year long savings effort is what helped pay for the trip! Let go and enjoy.

Marin D said...

My husband always gives me a hard time about how much I pack on our vacations. But it never fails that we need that Neosporin or medicine or those snacks. He isn't complaining when we don't have to make an extra trip somewhere or save money. LOL!