How We Travel Frugally on the Plane

Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash

Many articles nowadays talk about frugal travel in terms of finding the cheapest plane ticket, booking luxury hotels with points, get a travel points credit card. Those all seem like common sense but what was the tipping point for us to travel frugally is actually a few things we bring on the plane.

  1. We pack tortilla wraps on the plane.

Yes, specifically tortilla wraps. We used to pack sandwiches on the plane, but usually the mayo, mustard, and the juice from the tomato make the bread soggy by the time we sit down on the plane and THIS GIRL does not like soggy bread. I recently found that if we switched to tortilla wraps, it holds much better and we can pack a much bigger portion in the wrap than a sandwich can hold in between its two flimsy soft bread slices!

I usually would get freshly sliced sandwich meat from Walmart in their deli section because 1) it is much better than the pre-packaged ones, and 2) you can get the proper amount and not waste half of the sliced turkey laying in the fridge at home.

Whenever we go on trips, we get sandwich meat a lot. It’s something easy and tasty. But have you ever gone to the deli? Personally, I don’t usually go up to the deli and ask for sliced sandwich meat, so I always get caught off-guard when the nice lady behind the counter asks me how thick I want the sandwich meat to be. I usually awkwardly say, “um… regular sandwich meat thickness?”

Well, yesterday when I was at Walmart, I saw this sign that blew my mind:

I never realized they actually have names for different thicknesses! Though, the names are not as creative, in my opinion. But now I know when I go up to the deli that I want it “shaved” (I love very very thinly sliced meat).

2. Shamelessly bring your favorite snack

I once saw this girl backpacking through the Appalachian Trail with a GIANT bag of chips strapped on top of her bag as if it’s her most precious possessions on a through-hike. I think after seeing this girl, I have come to terms with where I can bring a big bag of chips. Mr. Code Junkie loves chips, but he does not enjoy flying. So we decided we are going to bring a big ol’ bag of kettle cooked sea salt & vinegar chips (yes it’s VERY specific!) even if it counts as our “personal item.” 

I also bring dried mango and these cocoa covered almonds I found from Walmart. Now, the plane ride is more like my personal picnic time!

3. Bring an empty Nalgene bottle

Ok, it doesn’t specifically have to be Nelgene but I am properly obsessed with them. I first bought one for backpacking because they NEVER leak, you can’t break them even if you drop them on sharp stones, they have a life-time warranty (say what!), and they have a GREAT amount of surface area for me to put all the hiking stickers! I also use it as a hot water bottle in my sleeping bag on cold backpacking nights or cold nights at home. 

At Torres del Paine

This bottle started coming with me everywhere I travel, and it’s really useful. After going through security to pop to the nearest coffee shop and ask for some hot water (for some tea you brought through security) or some hot bean juice (coffee) for Mr. Code Junkie. It saves so much money not having to make a habit of going to Starbucks and being attempted to buy a pumpkin spice latte or that unicorn frappuccino (remember it was a thing?). 

What is the first domino that starts your frugal habits?



How I Saved $70 in Two Hours

My best friend Ms. Bakes-A-Lot came from Ireland to visit us this weekend and it was wonderful to get to spend time with her for 5 full days! On Saturday, she asked me what kind of pie I wanted her to cook while she was in town. Without hesitation, I said “TIRAMISU!” Granted that is not a pie, but she indulged me and agreed to teach me how to make tiramisu. 

So we went on a road trip to Walmart to shop for ingredients. While we were in the store, Ms. Bakes-A-Lot asks me if I had a mixer. Being the minimalist-wanna-be, I have eliminated almost everything in the kitchen that I don’t use daily. I said, “I have a fork?” Then added, “that’s what I use to scramble eggs,” as a justification that I do not need a mixer in my life.

Ms. Bakes-A-Lot sighed and said, “well, if you want tiramisu, we have to get a mixer; even a handheld one will do.”

Here’s a sneak-peak of the tiramisu bite we made.

So we went to the aisle where they sell mixers, and my eyes went to the biggest mixer there is–the KitchenAid. I told Ms. Bakes-A-Lot I have been making bread and lots of Chinese pork buns lately and I’d love to buy a mixer that can also make a dough. I’ve done my research for many moons now and couldn’t decide whether I wanted a KitchenAid or a Bosch Universal Plus dough mixer. I’ve been lusting over both of them but never pulled the trigger.

Ms. Bakes-A-Lot looked at the KitchenAid prices and she realized that it was on “rollback” (Walmart’s way of saying it’s on sale). She informed me that $199 is a great deal for a KitchenAid because they are usually close to $300! Sure enough, we googled KitchenAid and it is selling at $259.99 online.

Unfortunately, the Walmart we were in did not have a white KitchenAid and I had my heart set on it being white so it matches everything in my kitchen. So Ms. Bakes-A-Lot suggested that we go to a different Walmart 10 minutes away and try our luck. (We live in Walmart-ville here in Arkansas.) When we got to the next Walmart, it was a lot more crowded, and my hopes to find this white Kitchenaid on sale started to diminish. We walked to the kitchen gadget section, and to my surprise, there is a white KitchenAid! But it was marked at $259 while other KitchenAids were $199. After reading the tag, it seemed like the white color was still full price while other colors are on sale. We took a picture of the on-sale tag with the other colors and took the white KitchenAid to the checkout.

Ms. Bakes-A-Lot wisely profiled the checkout cashiers, and we picked the kindest looking person to stand in line for and it paid off! When the cashier rang up the KitchenAid, of course, it said $259 + tax on the screen. I asked the cashier if the price is right because I saw the tag said it was $199. She said, did you take a picture of the tag? So I showed her my picture (while patting myself on the back) and she did her little keystrokes and got a manager to approve the markdown. Off we go with my white KitchenAid! 

So the moral to the story is:

  1. You should never settle for just “good enough,” even in KitchenAid!
  2. Look for a cashier that’s easy to talk to and be nice to them.
  3. Take a picture of the price before going up to the register.

I am now also a proud owner of a lovely white KitchenAid and Mr. CodeJunkie is so excited for the doughs and pork buns I’ll be making!