Friday, March 14, 2008

Hitting The Road With Jac

Jac is my mother. In case you were wondering.

Tip Of The Day: Road trips = snack food. How NOT to blow your budget at the gas station on treats.

Tip For The Weekend: Do as I do, and snuggle a baby. Just make sure you get the kid’s parents’ permission first. Or things could get awkward.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: As I’ve pointed out in numerous posts, most situations in life can be vastly improved with the liberal application of food. In short, everything is better with snacks. And/or strong drink.

However, you can’t mix strong drink and driving – no, never, don't even questions this logic. But you CAN mix snacking and driving, in fact, the two just seem to go together. Kind of like snacking and reading, or snacking and watching TV, or snacking and sitting on your butt. Which is my personal favorite.

With a bit of planning and forethought, you can save money when you munch on the road. The key is to buy your treats ahead of time, so you won’t be tempted by the over-priced ones lurking in the gas station.

When I was a kid, my frugal Ma always came prepared for trips with a cooler full of snacks. And not lame ones, either, like carrot sticks and apples. Oh no – my Ma knows how to eat, and the eating she most enjoys involves many fat grams. And simple carbohydrates.

I like to follow in her foot steps when I can, so for our trip to Chicago, I took it upon myself to stock up on the appropriate food items. And, because it is my happy place, I did the stocking at Target.

It’s like God wanted us to eat well on our trip, because almost every single snack item in the store is on sale through Saturday. Seriously. Our trip to visit Piglet has apparently been SANCTIFIED BY A HIGHER POWER. That is, if sanctification involves fruit roll-ups, 4 boxes for $7.

Target also has their store-brand cereal bars on sale, 4 boxes for $7. Nature Valley’s Sweet and Salty bars (I could make a sick joke there, but I won’t) are 2 boxes for $4.

My all-time favorite breakfast – Pop Tarts – are on sale, $1.52 per box. And my favorite portable candy – Hershey’s Kisses – are 2 bags for $4. I adore the Vanilla Crème-filled ones. I could eat a bag of those buggers every HOUR if I wasn’t so concerned with fitting into the front seat of my car. Let alone my pants.

For those of you concerned about your fat intake, 100 Calorie Packs (the Doritos and Fritos ones) are also on sale, 2 boxes for $4. I like to insure that my fat intake is up to par, so I went for the Lays Kettle Chips, $2.50 a bag, and the Target-brand fancy chips, $2.39 a bag.

Ma provided the bottled water (sorry, Al Gore). Which left me only thing to buy at an expensive gas station – a caffeinated fountain drink. I couldn’t resist – the Kwik Trip in Mauston, WI, has this feature at the soda fountain where you can add extra flavoring to your soft drink. I LOVE that! Coke is so improved by the addition of MORE SUGAR.

Parting Shot: The next time you road trip, don’t get suckered into a fat-o-palloza at the gas station. It’s neither cheap, nor fabulous to blow your wad on over-priced, stale and nasty snacks. Instead, buy them for less at Target (or your grocery store) and save money. I can’t guarantee you’ll save on calories, though. Not if you snack like I do.

1 comment:

LaRue said...

On a trip to a festival in Iowa I encountered my first ever "Kum N Go" convenience store. I kid you not. I don't think I shopped in there without laughing hysterically.

And for the record? They only carry Pearson's salted nut rolls in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. It is a travesty that you can't buy them elsewhere. And some places don't even have a DAIRY QUEEN, home of the cheap $1.49 dilly bar. (And I do love the handmade dilly bars with the swirl on the front. They just taste better. I don't know why.)

Have fun with Jac, the Golden Idol, Best Sister-in-Law Ever and the Pig.