Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saving Money on Roadtrips

This past weekend - the family took a trip down to Kansas City to spend the night at Great Wolf Lodge

It's a water park.
A huge waterpark. 

We've been there once before when Ashton was about 4 - and we all thought it was great.
At Great Wolf Lodge, your water park passes are included in the price of your room and we ended up getting an awesome deal (because I signed up for their newsletter) for their Wolf Den Suite for $233 (with taxes) - it's normally $260 to $360 depending on what night of the week you go. the whole place is fun. 
Kids swim, they have crafts, they get to go to a story time in their PJs.
They loved it.

(Check out later this week for some trip pictures!)

BTW, here's a picture of what our room looked like: 

(The kids fell in LOVE with this room - now they want bunkbeds for home!)


The problem with us going on any type of road trip, is that we end up spending a small fortune on food.

Stop for a drink here. 
Kids are hungry. 
I wanna snack.

Anyone that has kids knows exactly what I mean. 

But, for this trip - other then the cost of our room - we budgeted only $120 for gas and any other misc items that come up. 

(Our room cost is covered by a gift card that we got for Christmas...we had a little over $65 left on it, which covered our dinner cost.)

Anyways. so only having $130 to spend is not a lot considering how much gas costs. 
(Around $3.30 a gallon here.)

Here's how I broke down the budget:
Gas: $90
Souvenirs: $10
Misc Activity: $20
Extra: $10

That was easy..right?

My plan was to spend no money out of pocket for food.
So, I packed a bag full of food to bring with us: 

First, we needed some breakfast food for our morning....

The kids always just eat cereal, so I packed up enough for two large bowls. Then some chocolate cheerios for me. Chris isn't much a breakfast eater, so he'll have coffee and the pecan rolls. The pecan roll-ups I found for only $0.25. The Silk shelf stable milk is perfect for road trips - we had a fridge in our room, so we could keep it cold. 

Next is all of our lunch supplies. Fruit punches, Lunchables and pretzels for the kids. 
(I got the Lunchables on sale for a $1.00 each - kids love them, can't beat that!)
I made some PB&Js for Chris and I to eat and brought tortilla chips for me and another bag of pretzels for him. We ate all of this on the way there...instead of stopping at some fast food joint and spending an easy $25 on burgers and fries. 

Plenty of water! This is essential for us! We were able to keep the bottles cold and just refilled them with tap water as needed. 

Finally...our room snacks. This is our stash for those late night cravings that we all seem to get while we're on vacations. Other then the cherry pie, it's all pretty healthy stuff. 
(P.S. Zone Bars - especially the peanut butter ones are the best thing in the entire world!)

And, since I am seriously the most forgetful person on the face of this planet...
this was my list to NOT forget our sandwiches and other items I stored in the freezer. 

That was almost more exciting for me then Great Wolf Lodge. 

A few months back, Chick-fil-a was having blog giveaways for their kids meals all over the place. 
I ended up winning two different giveaways.
So I got six coupons for free kids meals. 
(Each coupon was for a free chicken nuggets, fries and a drink.)

We have a Chick-fil-a in town.
But it's downtown...all the way on the other side of town and you have to park and walk for blocks to get there, so I never go. 

And I miss it dearly.

(Side note: If you've never ate Chick-fil-a, you are missing out BIG TIME!)

Anyway...I looked up and less then 5 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge -
there was a Chick-fil-a!!!!

I was so, so, SO excited to be able to eat there!
The plan was for the kids to each eat a kids meal, and for Chris and I have to have two of them. It ended that Chris and I couldn't resist and ended up getting ourselves a chicken sandwich, so we will still have two free coupons left over. 

That was a little over $6 for the sandwiches, it was SO worth it!

If you added it all up....that was 

1 breakfast
2 lunches
1 dinner
plus snacks

for 4 people....for practically nothing. 

I love it when I can do that. 

Next week, I'm going to show you how to save money while camping! 
Have a great week!

What are your tips for saving money on road trips? 

I'm linking up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. We hope to be making a road trip soon and we need to save some money. You have some great ideas!

    Renonda @ Snickety Things

  2. Newest GFC follower from the girl creative. I have always wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge. THanks for the tips ;)

    Love for you to follow back when you get a chance.

  3. That is the way my family always does it, we bring along food for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and maybe a few supper depeding on how long the trip was and budgeted for eating out just a couple of times. Saves so much money! Also if you buy special food for the trip (things you don't always have available at home) then we are all so excited about eating that stuff we don't miss going out for the other meals. It is a great idea to take silk shelf milk along on road trips. I will have to remember it. We always pack regular milk which means a big cooler and a struggle to keep it cool the entire time.