A Special Dance-cation version of Frugal Friday! Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:
(and a few frugal fails as well)
We spent our week in Collinsville, IL and the surrounding area for Annabeth's dance nationals. This is Annabeth's third year competing but our first year traveling for nationals.
I planned our original housing based on the schedule from the past two years and I booked a very affordable house (through Airbnb). The original housing was going to be around $550 and would house our family plus the grandparents/aunt who were coming. When the final schedule came out, I learned I would need more nights than I had planned for. The house was rented for those additional nights so we had to switch to a hotel. The hotel was more the double my orignial housing budget and more than our total trip budget. We borrowed the difference from our savings and plan to pay it back ASAP!
We did pay for a few attractions - Mark had been to Meramac Caverns as a kid and really wanted the kids to go too. We paid for our family as well as our guests and a souvenier for each child. We paid for one large family dinner as a thank you to our guests who drove/paid for hotel rooms. We also splurged and had lunch out at the arch ($37 for three of us BUT the best meal of the trip!)/bought souveniers ($15) for each child at the arch.
Other than that we had FREE (minus gas) fun!
We saw the World Bird Conservatory which was awesome! We saw so many beautiful birds, had a nice walk in the woods, and enjoyed a class about birds which included a bird flying right over the kids' heads!
The kids and I enjoyed Horseshoe State Park, the Collinsville Library, and the World's Largest Catsup Bottle.
At the arch, my sister treated Annabeth on the ride to the top. Owen and I enjoyed just exploring the free museum and the grounds around the arch.
We did luck out and the last minute hotel reservation was a hotel that had breakfast and dinner included as well as an indoor pool. The kids had a lot of pool fun with friends and it was fun to see other dance families at each meal.
I saved all of our water and coke bottles to recycle when we got home. I also saved many of the plastic cups from the hotel lobby and all of the brochures that the kids took from everywhere. I know that we did create lots of waste by eating in the hotel 2x a day and they used styrofoam plates/bowls. I tried to help make a little difference by saving and recycyling what we could.
Overall, we had such a great week away! The kids had a great time and we enjoyed cheering on Annabeth and all of the Style dancers at Nationals!
The kids and me below the arch on a sunny summer day
Thankful for time to explore the world with them!
- When we got home, I began a new training with my Usborne Books & More business. I am looking forward to finishing the training soon and expanding my book business. This month there is a $30 Kit Special so if you have ever thought about joining Usborne Books & More NOW is the time!
Happy Savings to All!