Friday, April 11, 2008

Staying frugal on the road

Sorry for the light posting this week; I'm out-of-town for work, pulling long days and feeling exhausted enough at the end of them that it's hard to muster the energy to post.

Despite the long hours, stress, and tiredness, I'm still remaining relatively frugal. A few things I'm proud of on this trip:

  • Planning for snacks and treats. I've been craving the salty and the sweet, potato chips and chocolate bars. On previous trips I've told myself I shouldn't eat that junk, then ended up spending over $15 in a week on a series of over-priced teeny-tiny bags of chips and a couple of candy bars. This time I've stretched a $2 bag of chips and a $3 bag of candy out over days and days.
  • Asking advice of locals. A few of the people I'm working with live in this area, and they've been very valuable. For example, I learned that most convenience stores here sell reasonably tasty, filling pretzels for cheap (the ones I've found are 50 cents so far)-- way better than a $2 pastry. And they've pointed me to cheap yet quality eats that I'd never have found on my own.
  • Bringing my water bottle. Bringing it from home saved the couple bucks on buying the first one; refilling it and toting it around instead of buying beverages is saving more every day.
  • Buying large lunches that will last. I don't have a refrigerator, but when I pick big meals for lunch that can safely last a few hours, they can serve as snacks or even dinner.
What do you do to keep costs down while on the road and/or under hectic circumstances?

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