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Vacation fiscal observations

August 18th, 2008 at 07:12 am

There is fun to be had in noting some of the finances from the Montana vacation:

We drove 12 hrs from Seattle to Bozeman. Both DH and I have pretty good bladders - only a couple of "rest" stops. Special note: Near Exit 2 on I-90, the rest stop dependably serves coffee and cookies for "free" but they advertise a small donation. I missed giving the donation heading to Bozeman, so I put a $5 when we came back. After all, it takes a certain something to volunteer to serve travelers coffee and cookies.

DH had noticed that the gas mileage had been pretty crappy for the white 92 Buick Cushmobile in Seattle (about 15 mpg). He got it tuned up and we checked during the trip - 29 mpg! Speed limits varied between 65 - 75 mph; we kept our speed 3-5 mph over. Not the speed demon, but not the pokiest. Noticed that no one was doing the 100mph bit (the speed limit for Montana at one time was "cautious and prudent"). About $150 on gas.

We got about a week's worth of groceries for $75. Grocery prices seemed to run $1 - .50 cheaper for most things, and there's no sales tax on food. Restaurants, however, are just as expensive in Bozeman as in Seattle. Propane prices (electricity, the stove, and the refrigerator ran on propane) were about 50% higher than gasoline prices. $40 for propane.)

MIL took us out for a couple of restaurant meals, and we made a Costco run (she LOVES Costco). I know she wants to "help", but I don't like being too gifted, and its a control issue for both of us. When she volunteered at the MOR and asked us to run some errands with her car, we filled her gas tank just to pay her back a little bit. The Cushmobile was formerly hers; her "new" car gets only 15 mpg!

And what is it about Costco that just makes me sleepy and make poor spending decisions? They must put something in the air or in the samples. Ten minutes in, and I wanted to drool over the cart and load things in mechanically.

2 Responses to “Vacation fiscal observations”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    Yeah for the Cushmobile tune-up! Hope it carry overs now that you're back home.

    I don't know about Costco but at Sam's it's that darn vastness and the hard concrete floors combined with the somewhat dim lighting. Snoozeville. I stay out of there any more!

    Have you considered making a large grocery stock-up purchase on your way home to avoid the grocery taxes at home and the better pricing?

    I love a good tipper/donater! I had an old boyfriend who's mother was the worst kind of giver. If I even remotely paid attention to something in a store she'd buy it for me, God forbid if I said I liked it, cuz then it was mine whether it was something I just casually thought was cute, but not my style, whatever it was God Bless Her Generous Heart she'd buy it. And there was no stopping her! Other folks think you're nuts when you complain about it, but it took all the fun out of shopping - so I can sort of understand how it is with your dear MIL!

  2. baselle Says:

    Lux - we thought about it seriously and actually did make a couple of purchases, but we really didn't have a lot of car and cooler space for a grocery run. We did stock up on the fantastic price on grapes and got a couple of pounds, along with a pound of baby carrots to snack on for the trip home.

    Costco is the same way - dim lighting, concrete floors, vastness ... but if it later came out that Costco was pumping out aerosol barbituates and hypnotics, it wouldn't surprise me a bit. Big Grin

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