keeping the costs down

Looking for some tips or advice on camping or where to camp? Post you questions or comments here. General Camping information.

keeping the costs down

Postby mummeee74 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:09 pm

You may have noticed by now I talk too much and can't help myself so I just have to start another thread.

We have this problem when we go on holidays we like to spend money, could be too much sun or just pure delusion. But I would like to go away very frequently (ie. at least once a month) plus a few weeks here and there. The powered site fees plus petrol are enough on their own.

I am looking for tips on how to keep the costs lower, what things do you do?

I think the biggest thing for us will be to take everything from home (food wise) so that my hubby stays out of the supermarket!! And I am sure the kids must eat double what they normally do at home, so I need to allow for all those extra snacks etc. Also if we get a water filter that will save me buying bottled water all the time.
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:41 pm

Firstly, try and get into bush camping. $5+ a day per person or similar adds up pretty quickly. I know its hard with kids, but maybe wait until they are a bit older and they will probably enjoy it more than van parks too.

Filter is a great idea, especially with Sydney water the way it is :mrgreen: . I usually fill up a 20L jerry and that lasts a while. Also have a pipe that holds about 13L for showers, don't really use it any more though.

Actually, another good thing about bush camping as your generally atleast 30mins from town, so there's less inclination to pop in for a few things, or go check out the markets :lol:

Taking your own food of course helps but ads heaps to the time, I usually like to eat out at least 1 night when camping... getting a good mental database of where the top pub meals are 8)

And don't worry about talking too much, the internet will cope :mrgreen:
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Postby HGMonaro » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:31 am

Agree regarding taking your food from home! Get organised and you can take small portions of things you might need a little bit off, but don't what to buy a whole box off just cause you get the urge. If you've got room, a couple of plastic jerry cans of water could save you having to buy it. We're pretty finicky with our water and usually buy some if the local supply is on the nose.

Find some activities that don't cost much... things like fishing, bushwalking. Photography with a digicam can be a cheap activity. Go places that the kids can swim and has a playground. Play games with them, both outside and indoor. Take a kite for windy days.

We geocache which doesn't cost much once you've got a GPS unless you drive around lots (which we do!)
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Postby amanda » Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:53 am

Take along board games in case of wet weather - saves you from paying for indoor activities eg. movies etc. Sorry, can't recall your kids ages, but when we have kids along we always take their bikes, and they're happy to ride about for hours on end exploring new things.
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Postby bugsssy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:41 pm

Another good thing to do is buy things in bulk a few weeks leading up to going away and then pack the portion you’d normally eat or use in the time frame your away.

Also if you are like us we take a bar fridge that we got for nothing away with us to the caravan powered site. Buy a meat pack from the butchers and freeze things to use over the week or two that you’re away. Most butchers do a good cheap meat pack that has a few steaks sausages mince and another cut of meat for $30-$40 that will last for a week and that will include having a hot breaky one or two days.

Make up a water jerry can full of cordial for the kids to use at there leisure when they are coming and going and just top up with some ice and more cordial if it gets a bit warm to cool it down. Just keep it in the shade and that’s the kids happy.

Take another family away with you and split the cost is another way to do things on the cheap.

ill come back to give you a few more just have to deal with a 6 month old who is not a happy camper atm.
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Postby mummeee74 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:31 pm

I think you are right Ozzy seriously considering bush camping, we would probably enjoy it more too. I do like the parks for some purposes but I love the bush so the quicker we can go bush the better, probably safer for them to be honest as this time I was constantly dragging my 1yo off the busy road.

HG Monaro - what is geocache??? Yep the kids aren't the expensive bit, they love playing in the dirt! We do lots of playing games, cars, riding bikes, swimming and just going for a walk.

Amanda - they are only little 1 & 3, the 3yo is just getting into snap which is fun, although she seems to win ;) and the 1yo has absolutely no interest in board games unless they are chewable LOL But we try and do quiet things with the 3yo while the 1yo sleeps in the arvo.

Thanks bugsssy, actually splitting the cost with another family is a great idea, so is the water bottle, I have their water bottles filled for the day and just top up as needed but a bigger one might be easier in some aspects. Ha it's funny about the meat pack, poor DH he was lusting after someone else's bbq while we were away as I took pre-prepared spaghetti for one night and noodle stir-fry for the other night, as they are easy to prepare and basically just heat and eat. He just wanted a steak, but honestly it's a bit hard to watch the kids and cook a bbq and prepare a salad at the moment but we are working on it LOL

I am actually thinking bush camping might be the solution and my 1yo might be less reluctant to run away, as he is always trying to get to the playground or follow the road etc.

Thanks for the tips guys, got me thinking!
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:06 pm

I'm going camping in the bush on the 16-18th march, about 2 hours north of Sydney. The actual 'spot' where we camp, probably wouldn't be suitable for young kids if they tend to wander (cliff face within 100m or so) but if you want to tag along we can show yous a nice camp ground nearby, and help out if yous need anything. There's a bush walk along a lil creek, but thats about it there the rest is BYO fun :mrgreen:
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Postby mummeee74 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:16 pm

Oh wow thanks Ozzy, that's awesome! Yep don't think I would sleep very well being so close to a cliff, my little one is fast too when he wants (or perhaps I am slow LOL). However we probably won't be going away in March as my best friend is coming home from a 2yr stint in the UK, so I think I might be disowned if I go on holidays once she gets here! Although I could take them along..... now theres a thought! Thanks so much for the offer though. Got me wondering though where you are off too.....mmmm best keep it secret Ozzy as you don't have Newnes to yourself anymore!
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Postby HGMonaro » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:32 am

mummeee, your kids are younger than I remember! Geocaching is looking for treasure* people have hidden places. You use the GPSr to find the cache, write in the log book and swap some goodies if you want. Site http://www.geocaching.com has full details. My boys (5 & 8 ) luv going treasure hunting!

* It's not really treasure... mostly junk!
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Postby Tassie_Anna » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:23 pm

Could not help but giggle at the mention of your hubby being fussy and drooling for steaks mumee.

Take the option to go bush, it really does cut down on trips to stores and such. As for the meat, old habits die hard... but they do eventually die. We found that because we were often a hundred k or so from a decent supermarket that we simply had to adjust our tastes. Stir fries are great, especially if you take a good supply of herbs and spices and keep them jazzy. Woolies select cans of mushrooms in butter sauce are dirt cheap, keep well on a camping trip, and add a great meat replacement flavour to meals.

After a while, meat became a luxury for us anyway due to the fact that down here there are often huge distances between shopping centres, and way too many places worth visiting between.

Besides, one of the points of going camping is to get away from the world of civilisation, fast food, supermakets at your finger tips, and such like...
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Postby Jok » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:37 pm

When you talk water filter,do you mean just something to put on the end of a tap? If so, you can make a cheapo quite easily.
Gat an inline filter from the hardware store, about 10-12 inches long,
1" or so diameter, fill both ends with filter wool and the middle with
filter carbon, both available from most pet stores. Put a tap fitting
on each end of filter-if you get right size may fit already.
You may need a gauze washer at either end to stop filter wool from
moving, maybe one from a washing machine hose will do.
As for prices etc, I agree with others, just go bush!
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:52 pm

I go cheap, but damn, skimping on meat is just outta the question ::() . Camping and steak... its a given.
If you want to save $$ on meat, just off/near the Hume Hwy at Chullora, is Primo meats, factory outlet ;) Do the hubby a favour :mrgreen: . And its fresher than most butchers too :armsup
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Postby Tassie_Anna » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:56 pm

Sure it might be cheaper and fresher... when you buy it. But, for me, going camping usually means getting to a place where at least a week should be spent. Having read the discussion on keeping a fridge running, that is out of the question. That meat will not be so fresh after a few days, and down in this neck of the woods, overnight camping trips are not good enough.
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Postby freerocketman1 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:00 pm

what we do mummee is stock up on the soft drinks when there cheep, work out what to have for breaky & the main meals [ usually bacon,eggs for breaky mmm yum ] freeze all the meat into each days menue & pack in the eskey when ready to go. we do up stir frys before hand & freeze them that way just cook up the rice & heat the meat. & if hubby likes cakes & all different typs of food get him a camp oven & direct him to dereks web site [ theres some yummy recipes on there ]. gee all this food is making me want to go camping thanks mummee. :***
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Postby mummeee74 » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:22 pm

Thanks for tips everyone!

Freerocketman - yep I menu plan for our trip, I menu plan for at home all the time, makes life easier when I don't have to think about what's for dinner etc.
Do you have to have an open fire (coals) for a camp oven though? I am thinking of a dreampot which I have seen, pricey but safe around the kids and just like cooking in my slow cooker, which I love at home.

Tassie-Anna - Can't agree more, camping is supposed to be about getting away from it all! We just have to ween ourselves slowly.... But you know you could ask your butcher to vacuum pack your meat and it lasts (apparently) for ages in your esky, I am thinking of doing this if we go for a long trip.

Ozzy - We aren't skimping on the meat because of cost, I have just found it easier (so far) to prepare simpler meals where I just have to reheat the main and cook the pasta rather than prepare salads and cook the meat etc while the kids are playing in the traffic! Also my kids are funny with salads, won't eat lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pasta or potato salad so they have this weird combo of fruits, beetroot, cheese, egg and it is time consuming putting it all together, but give them 12mths and things will be different and we can stop perving on other people barbies!! I have heard you mention the Primo factory before, funny thing is my dad used to work at the Enfield train yards and I used to go to work with him quite a lot, sometimes at night etc and that Primo place stunk!!! So if I see the word Primo, which I usually associate with deli meats etc I feel a bit funny. But hey I am sure the fresh stuff is good, just have this flashback everytime I see Primo!

HGMonaro - Geocaching sounds like fun!! Have no idea what a GPSr is but sounds expensive so might save it for when they are older and harder to entertain, I imagine it could be quite addictive though...
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