Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 16, 2019

We had a wonderful time in Maui. So, the thriving part of my weekly post was easy and enjoyable.

We saw so many flowers. This one is a protea blossom.


A banyon tree that took up almost a block in Lahaina….

Beaches everywhere……

And so much more!

Now, the thrifty part…. I will start by saying that traveling is not inexpensive. We had a lot of friends and family help us financially to be able to go on this trip. It all started when our daughter sent us 2 plane tickets for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Wasn’t that sweet? We thought so. So, people helped a lot. But, we also needed to save diligently for months to be able to do this on our limited budget.

The first thing Rob did was make out a budget. It was modest, compared to some travel budgets, but he was realistic in the fact that Maui is an expensive place to be, we needed to rent a car and a spot to stay, and food would be outrageous. We knew from day one of our trip how much we would need to spend on each category. We stuck to it. We frequently checked in with each other on how we were doing.

We flew out late in the day. It was less expensive.

My aunt went with us. She, along with the rest of us, searched on-line diligently for an affordable option to stay in. We ended up with a condo unit with a kitchen, bedrooms, etc, and it was very near to our daughter’s apartment. It had a pool, which Patsy enjoyed the most—one day she stayed in there for 3 hours or more. It had a washer and dryer, and I took soap pods with me.

We went to Safeway on the first morning and stocked up on groceries. I used all my Safeway rewards I had been saving to get a free box of butter, a package of bacon and some bananas. We packed a few food items in our backpacks and suitcases–a loaf of cheese, 2 boxes of cereal, nuts, even mayonnaise, and a baggie of packets of hot sauce and ketchup that had been saved when someone had too many in their take-out order over the past couple of years. (We don’t get much take-out and there aren’t very many extras, but they sure came in handy in this case!). We also put in empty baggies, but still had to buy a few. I put in a small amount of taco seasoning.

You don’t even want to know how much I spent at that Safeway during the week. My daughter was told that it was the 2nd busiest Safeway in the United States, and I believe whoever told her that! We stepped gingerly around crates and boxes and people unpacking them, picked things from near-bare shelves, and wound our way from the bread aisle where bread was $7.50/loaf, to the dairy where the milk was at least $6/gallon.. The 18 eggs we bought were around $5, and I thankfully found a less-expensive option than the $13 case of water.

Even with the high prices, it was cheaper to cook our own food, than to eat out every meal. A meal was typically $15-$25/per person, except McDonald’s, where I was surprised to find the prices about the same as at home. I was determined that Rob’s diet would not be blown, so we happily got the $1 Diet Cokes and iced tea, and limited the French fries to one time. Also, what we cooked was very healthy.

We chose to cook meals of things like tacos, sandwiches, salads, etc.

My daughter had some food she wanted used up, as she is moving home at the end of the month. So, we gratefully worked that into our meals. She also let us “borrow” her olive oil, Lowrey’s seasoning salt, and a few other things.

We went to Costco one morning on our way to somewhere else. We were going to eat out that day, but so many people grabbed a substantial snack at Costco, that we didn’t end up stopping anywhere. We got water much less expensively there than at Safeway. I could have got a rotisserie chicken for very reasonable there, but we had no where to store it as we were sight-seeing.

We packed a picnic for the all-day trip. There are no restaurants on the top of the volcanic mountain anyway. We often ate breakfast, or lunch at the condo, went off exploring, and then returned to the condo for the next meal, eating snacks in the car if we needed to.

We went out one time to a restaurant. The name was Brick Oven. If I look excited, it’s because I was over the moon. The food there is ALL gluten-free. I could have anything I wanted from the menu. And, I did! I had fried mushrooms, fried mozzarella sticks, French fries, coconut shrimp, fish and chips…….you get the drift! Now, to clarify, we ordered several things and shared, but I ate some of each, and am still smiling at the memory. I did not get even a tiny bit sick, although I would have deserved to ’cause that’s more fried food than I’ve eaten for many a day…..

We chose simple, inexpensive entertainment. Some things did cost money, but they were not expensive. We drove to look at beaches. The ones who wanted to walked out closer, the rest enjoyed the view from the car. One time, my daughter coaxed me down a long, long set of stairs to a gorgeous beach below. I loved it! We drove around a lot, just looking. We looked for turtles several times, but will have to go back another time if we want to see any:)

My aunt and I went to 2 quilt shops. It was fun to see different fabrics. I bought a few pieces with some money I had been given for my birthday. We went to a lavender farm, that had a large area with various blooming plants to wander though, in addition to the lavender. We went through a free museum, highlighting Lahaina history. We strolled under the banyon tree.

Lovana and I went for walks. Patsy and I swam in the pool. We took our daughter back and forth to work every time. Rob and I spent time at Lovana’s work with her–just sitting at the cafe for a while while she did her thing. I enjoyed wandering through the large hotel where her second job is–so beautiful! One day was spent packing up her apartment, taking things to Salvation Army, and mailing a few things home. I’m so glad she was well organized and knew what she wanted me to help with. We brought the 3 biggest suitcases in the world home with us (I got to manhandle them, so I’m sticking to that assessment!)–it was much, much less expensive to pay the fee as checked luggage than it would have been to ship those things home any other way. We had planned that, so had only travelled with carry-ons on the way there.

We did not go on excursions, tours, helicopter rides, horseback rides or snorkeling trips. We almost got to go to a luau, because at one of Lovana’s jobs they let the employees have tickets for a very cheap price, IF they didn’t sell them all. They sold them all this time, but we were running out of time anyway. There’s always a next time, and alway more to look forward to.

We found so many more things to do than we had time to do! We didn’t push ourselves, but instead allowed hours and hours for spending time with our daughter, reading, stretching out, swimming in the pool and sitting on the balcony watching the waves crash. We had so much fun! We really took time to explore the island. We love the outdoors, so focused on those kind of activities. I have many memories to reflect on during this upcoming rainy, wet, cold winter. And, I still have enough money left over to buy all the tea and hot chocolate I can drink while I sit in front of my cozy, warm fire, thinking of my time in Maui:)

18 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 16, 2019”

  1. How beautiful! I’m so happy for you all! What an amazing experience that will never be forgotten!!!

    1. I hope I got most of it written down so I don’t forget it. I took lots of pictures and tried to record my memories as soon as I could.

  2. It sounds like you had such a wonderful trip. I visited Hawaii twice in the 80’s , and remember how surprised I was at the food prices even then. I can imagine how happy you were at that restaurant. As a vegetarian, I can relate, when a restaurant has plenty of choices for you, as it’s most often not the case. Enjoy those sweet memories!

    1. My daughter, that we were visiting, is also a vegetarian, but she will eat fish and seafood (she knows the proper name for that, sorry, I don’t.). There seem to be lots of options for her there on Maui, and the gf restaurant had good choices for her as well as me. She does cook for herself most of the time, but admitted it gets difficult with all the heat. I noticed that as well. We just didn’t feel like cooking or eating all the time, but we did it anyway! Here in Oregon, it’s much, much cooler and there is less humidity. It would take me a while to adjust if I lived there. She’s going to freeze when she gets home at the end of the month.Good thing I have a fire to build for her:)

  3. So happy to hear that you, Rob, and family had such a wonderful time in Hawaii…and a gluten-free restuarant to boot !!! Many thanks for describing your trip in such sweet detail. While reading through your narrative, it felt like I was there with you 🙂

  4. The pictures are beautiful. It sounds like an amazing time. I am so happy that you got to go to that GF restaurant. That must have been wonderful.

  5. Glad that you had such a wonderful relaxing time with your daughter! And that you found a restaurant that you did not have to worry about what you could or couldn’t eat. Certainly a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

  6. Love the pictures! Hawaii is so beautiful. I would love to go there someday.
    That was so sweet of your daughter to give you plane tickets. Glad so many people helped out to make the trip possible, and you did a great job budgeting for the trip. Sounds like you saw some amazing places.
    I had no idea that food was so expensive there. You surely saved a lot of money cooking at the condo, but I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the gf restaurant. Sounds yummy. Great pictures of you and Rob.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed hearing about it. We had been pre-warned by our daughter about the food prices. We did a realistic budget, so we were ok–but still… was a bit of a shock no matter how much we were told about it ahead of time:). We did save a lot by eating in the condo, but another reason we cooked our own food so much is that I get so sick from eating out. I did not want to ruin even one of my precious days in Hawaii being sick from food. So, it’s more trouble to cook, but well worth it for me in that way as well. I’m glad I like to cook. And, boy did our grocery store seem like a bargain when we got home and re-filled our fridge!

  7. What a great trip! You did a fantastic job of staying within your budget. I’m glad you were able to grab the opportunity. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am so glad we could go, too. We had a great time. Now, we have something to look forward to in the future, because Rob would like to go back someday when he can actually walk around more and see the sights up close. It sounds like a great goal.

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