How to Save on a Great Summer Pastime
Many consider camping among their fondest childhood memories. But who remembered it being so expensive? Gear, gas, food—it can really add up. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. When planning your trip,ensure you’re getting the best deal by looking around for sales and checking out discount sites like Coupon Cravings. Follow some of these tips to keep the great outdoors affordable for even the most budget-conscious camper.
SUPPLIES - Drive right on by that expensive retailer of outdoor gear and instead try these tips from Money Saving Mom to acquire all the camping supplies you need without blowing the whole summer’s budget.
o Check with family and friends to see if they have camping gear you can borrow. (While not everyone may be comfortable with this, it is a good place to start.) Next, you can join Freecycle and see what is available in your area or post a request for camping gear and see what type of response you get.
o Dana O. Crandell of SavingAdvice.com also suggests garage sales and Craig’s List. “Fellow campers will often put good, used equipment up for sale after an ‘upgrade,’” writes Crandell. “A smart shopper can easily gear up for 50% to 80% below retail prices. That portable stove with the little ding in the lid will cook just as well as any.”
GETTING THERE - Although there’s not much the average camper can do about the price of gas, you can control what you get from your tank of gas.
o Crandell recommends group camping trips to cut costs. Many campgrounds also offer sites specially designated for groups, with fees less expensive than standard campsites.
o Drive an SUV or car designed for camping so you can put your gear and supplies on the top rack or in a trailer, so then you can squeeze a few more people inside and split the cost of the gas.
CAMPFIRE COOKING - Ah, the best part of camping for many! It’s easy to get carried away here and purchase food that ends up going to waste.
o Yahoo’s Thom W. Conroy suggests “sticking to staple foods with a few special treats added to the list for a little extra enjoyment.” Pay particular attention to selecting multi-purpose foods (i.e. rice, pasta, stews, and soups) that travel well and are unlikely to spoil. They’re economical and a great source of the needed energy it takes to camp.
o Make meals in bulk beforehand. This way you only need to heat them over the campfire to serve, rather than attempt elaborate preparations in less than ideal circumstances.
Even if you do burn the dinner, take heart—along with the bug bites, stories around the fire, and silly camp songs, those charred hot dogs are what memories are made of.
Be sure to check out the KoozieZ options that we offer on our site before you head out on your camping adventure – and take advantage of this limited time free shipping offer. Apply the coupon code KOOLOFF before checkout!