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. This week is a special camping edition as we’ve just had a week away camping in the Lake District!
I promise I’m trying to get better at blogging again.
I know I keep saying that I’ll be around more often and then promptly disappearing again for months on end but blogging has always been my happy place and I genuinely do miss it when I’m not on here.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be a daily blogger again I don’t think but I like to think I still have one or two posts a week in me. I still regularly see something or have an idea that I know will make a great post that you guys will be interested in and I always write them down so I have a huge list of potential posts that I want to write.
I stopped blogging as much when I felt like I couldn’t blog honestly with you – I wasn’t ready to share that my marriage had broken down and it felt wrong to post about a happy family when I knew otherwise. And to just not mention it felt wrong too.
Then I met someone and it felt odd to blog about life because I wasn’t ready to share with the world that I’d met someone and it felt odd to just not mention it.
So… I met someone last year who makes me very happy. He has two children from his previous marriage who are pretty amazing although at ages 5 and 10, they absolutely keep me on my toes when we have them. I’m not going to share anything about the kids on here as that’s not something I’d be comfortable doing but I might share some of the things we do together so if you wonder why I’ve hit rewind and started visiting kids attractions again, that’s why.
I’ll also not be sharing anything about my partner but I’ll call him ‘A’ if that’s OK with you?
Which brings me to the subject of this post… We just got back from a family camping trip in the Lake District which I thought was a great opportunity for me to share some of the ways we saved money with our little camping trip.
1) Can I say that my first way in which we saved money was actually camping rather than a hotel or holiday park in the UK or a trip abroad?
We booked 7 nights camping at Park Foot campsite which is located right on the shores of Lake Ullswater and even with the extra that we paid for the gazebo we took, it still cost around £350 which for a week away for a family of four is pretty amazing if you ask me.
The field where we we pitched our tent was literally a two minute walk from the lakeside where there’s an area which is super family friendly with a little jetty and a shallower area where the kids could have a splash about and paddle in our kayak. Yes. I am part owner of a kayak these days. I know, right?
2) Remember my post about buying a second hand tent a little while ago?
We paid £100 for a huge 8 man tent with a porch extension and it was the best investment ever. It came with the footprint, a carpet and even a cute matching doormat to go in the porch area. The first picture below is the back of the tent to show the size of it – it had a 3m x 3m living area with two huge bedrooms either side of that – both of which were big enough for a double mattress with a lot of space either side.
This next picture is the only view from the front that I can find in my camera roll which shows the porch extension which was a great size and really extended our living space.
What you can’t see from these photos is the gazebo that we attached to the front of the porch – our gazebo is 3m x 3m and was a perfect addition to our home for the week. We kept our cooking equipment and food in the gazebo and whenever it rained, we had our table and chairs in there so we could still sit out and enjoy being outside.
On a slightly wet night, we would have our firepit outside the gazebo and sit in the shelter getting warm from the fire pit (don’t worry, it was a safe enough distance away that we were all safe as well as warm).
3) We planned ahead! I had a list of activities and things to do for both rainy days and sunshine days which meant that we had options every day – no matter what the weather was.
We knew every National Trust property within the area (we have a family pass so might as well get our money’s worth out of it) and I had a few places where I could use my Tesco points and best deals for all the other places that I thought we might like to visit.
We weren’t stuck to an itinerary and we didn’t have specific plans most days but we had plenty of options for when we did want to do something offsite and the deals we’d researched in advance meant that we were sure we were getting the best deal for everything we did do.
4) We made space in our trailer to take just about every outdoor toy that we have for the kids – skipping ropes, planes, archery sets, scooters, bats and balls, bubbles… everything!
Every morning, I’d get them all out and pop them to the side of the gazebo so the kids knew that they had plenty to play with outside. They made friends with so many other kids on the campsite while we were there and played happily with everything that we took – there was no chance of anyone getting bored on my watch.
I also had rainy day activities like colouring and crafts so we had options if the weather wasn’t great. Which brings me to my last money saving point…
5) Great days don’t have to cost a fortune.
Our favourite days were spent in the lake on the kayak in the morning, popping out to find a new playpark or visit a National Trust property in the afternoon and then coming home to chill at the campsite later in the day.
Just enjoying the area around us was so lovely, stopping the car whenever we were out and saw something we wanted to see better and taking a turn off when we saw a sign for something we might like. It was the most relaxing week and I’m definitely a camping fan these days!
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