Frugal Wins of the Summer

Frugal Wins of the Summer

Summer is winding down and we are so lucky that we had some wonderful adventures. Below are the top frugal wins of the season.

National Parks Pass.

We purchased our National Parks Pass last October for a trip through Utah and New Mexico. At $80, it seemed well worth it for that trip alone. However, the pass lasts for an entire year so getting to use it on this year’s summer trip seemed like a bonus. We visited 6 different National Parks and did not have to pay a single entry fee. An added bonus was that our pass also let us into Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Oregon.

Our van in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Free zero-gravity chair.

We love hanging out at pools and sunbathing. Matt has often expressed a desire to get a nice zero-gravity lounge chair. We found just the type of lounge chair Matt wanted, for free!  Someone discarded it because the bungee cord was broken. We have a tendency in this country to throw things away as soon as they break. Instead of fixing something, we buy a new one. Matt easily replaced the bungee cord and now we are the happy owners of our own zero-gravity lounger.

Watching a solar eclipse is even better in a free chair.

Free food.

Volunteering at a hot spring for a month should be considered a frugal win in itself because it makes for such an affordable way to travel. However another great perk was that people left behind all sorts of food.  There were designated free shelves so we never doubted whether or not something was up for grabs. It amazed us what people left behind.  We have no shame and we scooped the goods right up.

Who would leave this behind?!

Some of our best finds included organic almond butter, kava tea, bison meat, raw organic honey and an unopened bag of vegan marshmallows. We made it into a game. It was fun to see what people left and then what we could do with it. One night Matt made a “freetata” with discarded bacon, eggs, swiss and cheddar cheese (we did purchase the potatoes). Later we grilled peppers, made cucumber salad and snacked on raw snap peas, all from the free shelf.

Finding a Hydro Flask.

I’m including this only because I specifically made fun of REI selling $75 water bottles in a previous post. And then Matt found one, on a free shelf. It was pretty gross but he scrubbed it out and now it looks (and smells) great. I think it might be a slightly older model, but it does hold 40 ounces and I admit, it does keep drinks cold.

Proud Hydro Flask owners.

Spending $0 on our hair.

As discussed in a previous post, I am currently trying to embrace an awkward hair phase. My hair is growing out and I don’t really know what to do with it. I have simplified my options by not spending any money of hair products, cuts, accessories or tools. So far I have not had to break this streak although I will probably need to buy some more shampoo in the next month or two. I also gave Matt his only haircut of the summer. It looked pretty good and I didn’t charge him a cent.

An Alcohol Free August.

I love high end boxed red wine. I love strong IPAs from random little microbreweries. But I also acknowledge that alcohol is not great my health and a complete waste of money. In 2017 I have drunk significantly less than previous years. I do not think I will ever completely cut it out. As with most things, moderation is key. But during the month of August, I did not drink at all and I like to think both my body and wallet appreciated it.


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