I have some exciting news to share – we’re moving! Our four day trip to our soon-to-be new home (North Carolina) managed to take up most of our month! Tons of preparation went into it because this wasn’t exactly a vacation – we needed to see as many apartments as possible in a short period of time.
Photo credit: © Sunny studio/ Dollar Photo Club
We saw 13 apartments in two days, all the while getting lost repeatedly in the Charlotte area. And when I say lost, I mean the kind of lost where “oops! Looks like we’re now in SOUTH Carolina” actually happened. It was worth the bit of stress we endured because we found a lovely apartment to call home and we’ll be moving in by the end of this month!
So here are a few things we did to save money on our road trip and two extra frugal things we did at home.
1. Road trip casseroles.
I knew that we’d be tired after a 10hr drive to our destination and back home, so I made casseroles for both “arrival” days. I split them into two disposable baking pans and popped them in the freezer until our trip. On the morning of, we packed a cooler full of ice and some other goodies (see #2 below) and brought one casserole with us to heat up the day we got to NC (benefits of renting through AirBNB: ovens!). We left the other casserole at home to prepare on the day we got home. This is something we will always do from now on! It saved us money and it was nice to know that dinner was covered after a long non-stop drive.
2. Crockpot freezer meals.
In addition to our “arrival” casseroles, I also packed a couple of crockpot freezer meals into the cooler as well! And yes, I brought my slow cooker on our trip (doesn’t everyone? 😉 ). While all of the recipes didn’t work out (as a blogger, I totally took this as an opportunity to recipe test!) it was great to have the frugal option of eating at “home” each night of our trip.
3. Air BnB Rental.
We decided to book our vacation rental through AirBnB. Our NC schedule was pretty hectic so we knew we wanted a nice, homey place to unwind after back-to-back appointments all day. The biggest benefit for us was that it allowed us to experience an area that we’d be moving to shortly as locals – it was centrally located to various neighborhoods we were considering prior to our move, so it was great to be able to really get a feel for each area.
4. Homemade Chipotle bar.
We tried Chipotle for the first time on our trip and WOW were we hooked (yes, I realize I’ve been living under a rock)! While the food was great, we realized it would be pretty simple and inexpensive to make ourselves. So I tried to remember everything we loaded our burrito bowls with at Chipotle and recreate it at home. Our burrito bowl bar consisted of: homemade pico, white rice, spanish style chicken, pinto beans and guacamole. We made more food than two people can eat for one meal, so we basically ate “Chipotle” for every meal for an entire weekend and it was glorious (and cheap!).
5. New Glasses.
After wearing my previous pair of glasses for far too long, I finally bought a new pair from Zenni Optical. I’d heard good things about Zenni Optical, but I set my expectations low because I didn’t know what to expect from a $20 pair of glasses. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised and while the lenses aren’t of the same quality as my previous pair (they’re lighter and harder to keep clean), they’re much sturdier and more stylish than you’d expect for the price! I’ll be purchasing more in the future for both myself and my husband.
What frugal things did you do last month?