Every week I share five frugal things that I’ve done during that week just to show you that the small things you do all add up to a great frugal lifestyle where you can learn to live a fabulously frugal life. I was away on a cheeky break last week so I wasn’t about to post on Friday but now that I’m back, I thought I’d tell you a couple of the things that we did to save some money while we were away.
1) So, from Sunday to Friday last week, I was camping in the Lake District – not my usual Summer holiday and not an experience I thought I would love as much as I did but I had a brilliant time and definitely have the camping bug now! We stayed at Park Foot Campsite in Ullswater and it was such good value – my share of the cost was probably less than I’d have spent on car parking at the airport for a week in the past!
I wasn’t sure whether camping was going to be for me though so I didn’t want to go out and buy a load of camping gear for what could be a one-off trip so I saved myself some money and borrowed everything I needed from my lovely seasoned camper friends – camping chairs, a sleeping bag, an airbed and a head torch were all borrowed to save me buying them although I do think I’ll be buying my own at the end of season sales ready for next year now that I know how much I enjoyed it.
The campsite itself was amazing and was right on the lakeside so we literally had to walk for two minutes from our tent to get to the little pebbly shore of the lake. My photos aren’t great as I didn’t get my phone out that much as I was too busy enjoying myself but I did take this one of the lake when the sky was looking particularly moody one night!
2) Before we went, I researched the area around where we were staying so I knew what we could do in the sunshine and also what we could do if there were any rainy days. I looked at what offers were available for everywhere I had on my list and made sure I had it written down as I knew the internet wasn’t going to be good on the campsite.
One of the places we went to was the Beatrix Potter Museum in Windermere which was a lovely couple of hours. We got the most out of our visit by taking advantage of the activity trail booklet that they gave us at the entrance which encourages you to look for certain things during your visit and explaining a bit more about them. This definitely made us pay more attention and meant that we spent longer there so got more value out of the visit.
Loads of places to activity booklets like this but in the past, my two were never that keen on doing them or lost interest part way round but I definitely recommend them to get the most out of a visit to somewhere like this.
3) Foodwise, we took some basic things with us – breakfast cereal, snacks and drinks etc. but most things we bought when we did a basic shop on the day we arrived. We had a cool box and a million cool blocks which we kept frozen using the freezer on the campsite. We just rotated them around so we always had half of them frozen in the cool box itself and the other half in the freezer ready to swap in. That kept our milk and butter lovely and cool the whole time and pretty much everything else was good in our little camping storage unit.
I took our firepit and the last of my stash of instant fire logs which are basically logs wrapped in paper that you literally pop in the firepit, set the paper alight and within a minute or so you have a lovely burning flame that lasts around 90 minutes. I bought a load last year at the end of Summer on sale for a pound I think but they actually sell for around £3.50 in supermarkets (I know this as we ran out on our last day so bought an extra one). Amazon has them at £21 for 15 though which is a fab deal so I’ll be getting some of those next time.
My main thought when I packed the firepit and firelogs was how much fun it would be to roast marshmallows but actually, the heat from the fire came in very handy as a couple of the evenings were a bit nippy and the fire made it warm enough to sit outside still.
4) We packed very carefully making sure that we covered all eventualities to save us having to buy things when we were there – we had flip flops to wellies, t-shirts to hoodies, extra blankets and more of everything than we needed. Except for towels.
Considering we were staying right next to a lake, had a kayak with us and knew that rain was forecast, we definitely underestimated the towels we would need. A quick trip to B&M for some giant beach towels was all that was needed to put that right though and considering that was the only thing we didn’t have covered, I think we did a good job. Especially when it would have been OK if we’d had enough dry weather to dry what we did take.
5) Petrol was 10p a litre cheaper in Penrith near where we were staying! We checked the Petrol Prices app and could see that prices at home were still higher so on the way home we filled up to the brim at the cheaper prices. It was literally 90 minutes away from home so I don’t understand the difference but hopefully, it’s a sign that prices will drop all over the UK soon.
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