Friday, July 6, 2012

Frugal Travel Accomplished By Eating In

As we wrap up this holiday week, I am ending with a final post out about recent trip to Bayfield.  Frugal living allows us to splurge on the things we enjoy, and travel is at the top of the list.  It is a summer tradition for us to spend the summer solstice in Bayfield, Wisconsin.  Many frugal folks may find this an ideal area to camp, but we are not a camping family.  Instead, we allocate most of our travel budget to lodging, and keep the rest of our expenses small.  This is pronounced in the area of dinning.

When in Bayfield we stay in the Ada O'day Condos.  Complete with gas grill, full kitchen, and a washer dryer.  It is home away from home, and that means this frugal wife/mom cooks the meals.  During our 2012 trip we ate out once, on Madeline Island.  I spent most of the meal wondering how the bill reached $35 -- two burgers and two grilled cheeses.  Sure, if you eat out a lot this may seem normal, but we don't eat out a lot.  And the quality of food I prepared at home blew away the food in the restaurant.  Here are some photo highlights.

And the point of this post is -- if you want frugal travel, stay in a place where you can cook up a storm (assuming you know how to cook).

Dinner the night we arrived:  leftover pizza, cottage cheese, and scrambled eggs .  Cleaning out the fridge at home was a great way to use up items that would have gone bad.

Breakfast of eggs topped with salsa, berries and sausage.  All brought in a cooler from our home.
Dinner Night 2:  grilled hot dogs (from farmers' market in Madison), beans, cheese, and berries.  The  berries were bought at the Bayfield Farmers' Market on Saturday.

Breakfast Day Two: more eggs and salsa, bacon (frozen at home and helped keep the cooler cool on the drive) with yogurt and berries.  Again, all brought in the cooler.

Dinner Night 3: wild rice (from home cabinet), corn, mushrooms and garlic scapes, grilled pork chop, and split pea soup.  The meat was from the Bayfield Farmers' Market and is too date the best pork I've ever prepared.  The condo even had a slow cooker....I made the soup in the AM and it was simmering while we were out enjoying the area.

Reusing ice cream cups for the kids beans....the condo did not have toddler friendly dishes.

$5 for berries -- brought us breakfast and snack foods for 2 days.

Cava -- from Spain, inexpensive alternative to Champaign.  Purchased back in Madison.

Brown bag popcorn:  again, from home cabinet.  Oil, kernels, salt, brown paper bag and 2 minutes in the mircowave.  Stick to 2 minutes.  The second night I went closer to 3 and can tell you it takes time to air out burned popcorn smell from a condo.....thankfully the smoke alarm didn't go off!
Lunches consisted of leftovers, and the one meal we ate out.  In all, I spent less than $100 on food because we bought items in Madison (which is less expensive), bought local items in Bayfield, and prepared most of our food in the condo.

Next year (yes, the reservation is already made...and we got the smaller condo and will save $45 a night -- advance planning saves money) I don't think we'll eat out at all.  The exceptions will be the ice cream shop and the cafe for coffee.

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