Guest Blogger: Traveling on a Budget (Part 4)

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I have really enjoyed sharing this Traveling on a  Budget Series with you.  The knowledge I gain from what other bloggers share hase helped me learn how to save even more.  So, now it is is the final post in the traveling on a budget series as shared by Natasha on Saving a Bundle.

A plan was made, executed, and now it’s time for a review! See Traveling on a Budget Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Our trip included driving from Mississippi to Idaho and back, with small trips here and there in between, when we arrived home we had added 4,186 miles to our van.

Our Trip Expenses:
Pepsi $1.59
2 doughnuts $1.78
1 gallon of milk $4.51
Gas $471.08
Macey’s grocery store $9.78
Hotel $69.34
Tracks Transportation to Downtown SLC $12.00
Crown Burger $21.68
TOTAL COST  $591.24

On the way to Idaho we stuck to the written plan, had plenty to eat, and our boys behaved like angels! One gas station we stopped at didn’t have a place to eat, so we drove down the road until we found a grassy place to eat-see the picture above. We like to have them run around as much as possible to get their wiggles out.

While on our trip, I made a quick stop at the local grocery store to purchase hot pockets, yogurt, and Moose Bars (a favorite that only Macey sells). These are items we ate on the way back home-except the Moose Bars they were gone in 15 minutes.

 We decided it’d be fun for our boys to ride Tracks to downtown Salt Lake City one evening-they enjoyed it a lot! Afterwards we were hungry, Crown Burger happens to be one of our favorite fast food places to eat in Utah, so we splurged a bit and ate!

The way back is always a little rough, this time around all but my husband got some kind of bug. It was an extra long trip home. Thankfully we were sick the night we stayed in the hotel so it was a lot easier to take care of everyone instead of being stuck in our van. I didn’t buy enough Pepsi to help with the sick stomachs, so I had to buy some at the gas station. I absolutely believe Pepsi helps calm an upset stomach. One stop included McDonald’s for dinner where we used a gift card from our lovely next door neighbor, thanks Loretta!

I hadn’t really eaten much after being sick, but then we stopped for gas and I saw some Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. It sounded so good! So again we splurged and bought two at $0.89 each-the kids were sleeping.

We were a few miles from home and I realized we needed milk It was early in the morning so the local Walgreens hadn’t opened yet and we didn’t feel like driving to a grocery store. We stoped at a local gas station and they charged us a whopping $4.51 for a gallon! Who pays that much for milk? Once home I went to pour milk for my boys and guess what, it’s rotten! The date was expired by 2 days, my husband had to go back and get a new one.

Overall I was very pleased with our spending and we stayed well under our budget. To show you how much we could have spent by flying instead of driving I put together the following list.

Flying Would Have Cost Us:
Plane Tickets $2,500.00
Baggage Costs $75.00
Mini-Van Rental $1216.63 (not including gas)
Because we can’t take food with us we would have had to eat out increasing our travel expense. Honestly eating out at the airport probably would have cost as much as I paid for all of our food prior to the trip so the two canceled each other out.
Total Cost: $3791.63


We saved $3185.40 driving rather than flying! 

Lessons I learned this time around

  • If we travel in the winter take plastic soda bottles rather than the cans so I don’t have to worry about them freezing (it was a pain hauling them in and out everywhere). If you’ve never seen a soda can burst when frozen, you’re missing out. It makes a HUGE mess.
  • Have a gallon of milk in the freezer ready and waiting for our return so we don’t pay $4.51 a gallon!
  • Pack more Pepsi.

Natasha shares her money saving tips at Saving a Bundle!