- Mara and I needed good shoes for our backpacking trip. The shoes that we had simply were not going to work (getting tight for Mara, wearing out for me). So a lot of our shopping lately involved going to shoe stores. We went to almost every place in our town (and the places we missed I had good reason to believe wouldn't have worked either. We needing hiking shoes/boots and we want them to be good quality. We never did find any shoes that fit Mara (she is a size 10 1/2 and I guess that is just not commonly sold) and most places didn't have hiking shoes that fit me either (size 9 1/2 ). But we were able to try on some that were close in size at some stores and figure out what brand/style we liked then we were able to order some that were in our size (and were cheaper than the stores- We saved around 70 dollars between the 2 pairs.) on Amazon. We both ended up getting Keen shoes and are pretty happy with them so far. We ended up only getting them the day before we left on our hiking trip but we didn't have any problems and they are pretty comfortable.
- I bought food for our hiking trips. I bought packages of pasta dishes and rice dishes. It is something that I wouldn't normally buy as it isn't as healthy as cooking from scratch - also it is more expensive with the packages (serving 4 - so we use 2 of them) costing around $3 each to make food for our family like that normally but when I compared them with typical backpacking food (the meals where you just add boiling water - which is the same as the stuff I was buying) we saved a lot of money by buying these packages at Mernards and the Bread store. The backpacking packages generally come in single servings and the ones I was looking at were around $7 each. That gets pretty expensive when you are going on a week longing backpacking trip with a family of 6. I also bought some summer sausage for our backpacking trip. I was able to get it for $3 a pound which is pretty decent price on meat anyway and since this can go without refrigeration that works well.
- At the day old bread store I was able to use a $5 coupon of as I stocked up on sandwich bread and the food for our camping trip.
- When I went into Sports Authority to check on shoes I discovered that they were going out of business. They didn't have any shoes in our size (at least not hiking shoes) but I got the fuel we needed for our backpacking stove for 20% off which made it a very good deal. I stocked up since it was 1/2 the price of what Ken had found it for on Amazon. I also got Jerky for 20% off and they gave my a nice cloth shopping bag to take my purchases home in.
- We did end up having to buy new sleeping bags for most of us as we had issues with most of ours being way to bulky and heavy for backpacking or not warm enough. We did have one mummy sleeping bag on hand thought that would work - it just needed mended. Megan liked it and claimed it (it was one that belonged to my parents when they were first married!) and she helped me to mend it. $50 saved!
- We only had to buy one backpack for the trip - Ken already had one, a friend that was moving had given us one which worked fine for Mara, My brother-in-law loaned us one that worked for Jonathan, I was able to use my dads, We found a good deal on one for Aaron and I fixed up one for Megan.
- We avoided having to buy any new tents by instead buying waterproofing spray and I sprayed the tent the had been mine as a teenager. It is a nice light tent and worked well for the girls. I was also able to use the spray on Jonathan and my raincoats to make sure that they would work and on the backpack that I was using.
I have been teaching Wednesday evening class at church. It is always a fun challenge for me to see if I can have a fun craft using things that I already have on hand. We were talking about binding wisdom around our neck, etc. and I thought it would be fun to make necklaces. I wanted to put the word wisdom on it so I decided we would make our own shrinky beads.
Then cut them into shapes (don't have any pointy edges) and then color with permanent marker. I let the kids do that. That was a little scary turning them loose with permanent markers but they did pretty good.
I know there are other ways that we have been frugal but this post is plenty long and it is really time for me to go to bed.
p.s. I would love to hear how you have been frugal lately!