The trick to successfully reducing expenses on every day RV living is to make it a lifestyle habit so it doesn’t feel like an inconvenience or that you are “pinching pennies???. Here are a few money-saving tips that are easy to do and will help your dollar go just a little farther While some of these may not be new to you – they may be a good reminder.
Never pass up an opportunity for a discount. Even if it isn’t posted, many stores, restaurants, and attractions have senior discounts. All you need to do is ask. Also, The AARP website is always a good resource for finding discount offers.
The best deal going may be the “America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass. For only $10, you receive a lifetime pass for entrance into all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites The Senior Pass also provides a 50 percent discount on some fees charged for facilities and services such as campgrounds, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. The pass must be purchased in person. Go to http://store.usgs.gov/pass/PassIssuanceList.pdf for a list of locations where you can purchase a pass.
Shop at discount stores
Find discount or dollar stores for your major grocery and supply shopping trips. It may take a little extra planning, but the savings rack up quickly when you do your shopping at stores like Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club vs. smaller local stores. Whenever possible, avoid small town markets, stores in tourist areas, and camping supply stores. Also, avoid buying “RV supplies??? like toilet paper and buy cheaper generic alternatives instead.
Free or discounted campgrounds
Look into RV discount clubs such as Good Sam RV club for 10% discounts at over 1,600 campgrounds; or Passport America for 50% discounts at nearly 1,700 campgrounds. There are a lot of RV discount clubs out there. Just do a little internet research before you join to make sure their list of member campgrounds are convenient for you so you get your money’s worth.
Another great resource for finding free boondocking locations and campgrounds for $10 or less is at http://www.freecampgrounds.com/index.aspx.
And always take advantage of State Parks in your travels, which are almost always cheaper than private campgrounds. Go to http://www.stateparks.com/usa.html for a nationwide State Park locater.
Extend your stay
Stay at campgrounds that offer discounts for extended stays. Not only will you save on gas by reducing your driving miles, you can significantly reduce your per night expense with weekly or monthly rates.
Use public transportation or bicycles
When visiting local sites, check into the availability of public transportation as an alternative to driving. Or for short excursions, riding your bicycle not only saves money, but its a great source of exercise!
Don’t give in to the temptation of using throw-away plates and cups. Spending a few minutes washing dishes each day will not help out your pocket book, but also our land fills.
Eat out less often
One of the easiest ways to save money is to cook more and eat out less. Put together a list of recipes that not only taste good, but are easy to make. Then keep those ingredients on hand so you always have a quick dinner option. Save eating out for a treat or when you come across new and unique places.