Bah… Humbug Mountain State Park

We are headed off to Humbug Mountain State Park here in Oregon today for some camping and good times with The Girls and some friends and their kids.  We will be back next week to share pictures of our activities.  Until then here are some of my camping on a budget ideas.

Plan ahead!  We planned this out months ahead because coordinating 2 or more families to camp together is just a logistical nightmare.  But more than that we had to plan out what we will eat and how to get that much food for cheap.  So we found coupons and waited until sales and bought the hot dogs and hamburger patties for super cheap.  We did the same with water bottles, soda pop, and the sweets.

Use your benefits! My Husband Extraordinaire is a Veteran and one of his benefits is that he gets an Oregon State Parks Pass and we can camp for free.  Another benefit is his National Park Pass and we get into National Parks (Like Crater Lake National Park here in Oregon) for free and a huge discount on camping.  So when we think of camping the first place we look is at the State Parks to reduce costs.

Meet in the middle! We are not traveling all the way to where our friends live and they aren’t traveling all the way to us.  We are camping at a place that takes each family an equal amount of travel time.

Mr. Picky is not with us this week so our families do not have to stick to a Gluten Free diet while camping.  That reduces costs considerably and it also makes it easier for the 4 kids that will be there.  Bring on the PB&J’s!!! We are bringing bikes and hiking boots and leaving our puppy at home with a puppy sitter.  This trip is designed to be as stress free as possible and not a budget buster.

I hope you all have a very fun weekend and I can’t wait to show you pictures and stories of The Girls next week.

Grocery Shopping Tips

All I knew when I began this challenge was that I needed to take a calculator with me to the store because I was going to take another bit of Dave Ramsey‘s advice, only shop with cash.  And by cash I mean we left debit cards at home and had 3 crisp twenty dollar bills in Michael’s wallet.

My first trip to the store with our new budget I had Amelia in my cart, a calculator in hand, a list of essentials woven between my fingers and a pen tucked in my pocket.  It was not easy for me to do this.  I do not enjoy talking finances, it always makes me feel awkward.  But I sucked it up and started weighing the fruit before putting it in my cart.  And nothing went in the cart without being added on the calculator.  Before the end of the trip it had become a game that I enjoyed.

Michael wanted me to remind everybody to round up when weighing your fruits and veggies, you will be much happier having a few extra cents for your coin jars than having to take something back at the checkout.  He likes to check around for a scale that is already zeroed out to make weighing easier.  When you need to calculate the price the formula is: +(Price per pound, such as $0.69) times (pounds, such as 2.75 for 2 and three quarters pounds)

1. Meal plan

2. Make a list

3. Shop with a calculator

4. Weigh your fruits and veggies

5. Round up

6. Cash only

7. Use your staples

8. Get creative

9. Always have a backup meal idea

10. Shop at an inexpensive store such as Winco Foods