Sunday, April 7, 2019

My Frugal Ways this Past Week 4/7/19!

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We went on our anniversary trip to Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina this past week.  It was a such a great time with so many wonderful memories.  

We love to travel and being frugal helps us get there.  Our no spend January helped pay for the trip.  

We decided to take our small truck to save gas.  The price of a gallon of gas was kind of low going down but went up quickly as we came back.  

I ordered gift cards for fast food places before we left with some of my Amazon Affiliate money and we stopped at those while on the road.  

Just a little note:  We were so impressed that how fast we made it down there.  Without any grandchildren with us, we seemed to fly down there in record time.   Big mistake.  You need to get out and enjoy the view.  Just smell the fresh air and walk around some.  We started off with an all over soreness that thankfully left by the next morning.  

Biltmore Mansion was beautiful and it was fun touring the inside. We have been here once before but it's been over 20 years.  Really,  I can't imagine actually someone living in this big beautiful house.   

On the outside they have a farm and conservatory that you can also walk through.  The tulips and daffodils on the path to the green house were so pretty.

It was so good to see all the blooms that won't be here in Michigan for another 2 or 3 weeks.

The next day we ended up at the Lake Lure area and climbed up to Chimney Rock (ok we took the elevator most of the way-there is no shame).  So beautiful.  

Then elevator man told us we needed to walk to see Hickory Nut Falls.  It's so pretty and beautiful and the walk is level, he said.  While we were standing there thinking about it, we talked to another lady that said it was well worth the walk and it was only a 1/4 mile up the path.   

My question is, does level mean something different in North Carolina than Michigan ?   Listen, it was pretty much a climb.  And that lady, yeah, she was nice but really, that path was a mile and 1/4 instead of just 1/4 mile.  

In the end, the beautiful falls were so worth it. The falls were memorizing as they cascaded off the tallest mountain. There was no way to get all of the falls in to just one picture.   You know, we would have missed this if we would have known the truth.  

Another note:   Don't believe anyone- read those signs they have on the trail heads.  

Our desk in the hotel room always seem to look like this.  We brought some groceries from home and bought some fresh bread from the local store for sandwiches in the evenings. We also bought some Bengay!

With the free hotel breakfast and our sandwiches in the evening we only ate out once a day.  Well, there was that one day I just freaked out and couldn't handle another waffle so we used one of the gift cards.  

Another note: We went to a place in Asheville called Biscuit Head..the cat head biscuits were just delicious (just my honest opinion).   

We bought the things we always need and want from the south that we just can't get as easy here, We stocked up on Luck's Pinto beans and White Lilly self rising flour (enough to last us for a long time).  

Back home and back into our frugal mode, we picked up a bale of hay that someone put out by the curb last night.   

I also made enough baked spaghetti with spaghetti squash noodles yesterday (Saturday) to last for two days.  Leftovers are great when you need to finish unpacking. 

My Goals this week:

Help husband to clean the wood pile (we didn't use all the bengay yet).

Plant a grow box with the lettuce that has started in my winter sowing jugs.  

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Mazie1956 said...

I wish I had known you were going to be in NC! I'm in Flat Rock (Henderson County) about 18 miles from Biltmore. I would have offered to meet you at the TGIF at Biltmore and treated you to lunch. I buy a yearly pass (most years) and enjoy going over and just wandering around the grounds. Next time you come, check out the Carl Sandburg home (if you haven't already); I'm in walking distance of it. Glad you got your White Lily flour; it does make a world of difference imo.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

You kidding there is a Carl Sandberg home? Oh how I wish I had known but i guess like you say, it is something for another time I guess. I always am afraid of announcing ahead of time where we will be on the blog so I tell the week after. I would have loved to meet you though and would have meet you right there. I'm going to look up his home. Maybe there is a solution to that problem and I can meet people somehow. 'll have to think hard about it. Thanks for coming by Mazie.

Cheryl Kimbley said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip! What a 'house'! I can't imagine living like that. Everything looks like it is blooming and flowering down there. How pretty.
Glad you had a lovely time.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Thanks Cheryl, It was so big and very beautiful. I am sure they considered it home. I imagine them with lots of guests to help fill it.

Lana said...

I have often wondered how anyone could live in that huge house, too. To me it is so cold with all that limestone inside and of course their furniture was not the relax in kind that we have today. That alone would make it more welcoming. I have always wanted to sit on that big covered porch that runs along the back of the music room. That is the space I can relate to. But to your question about the trails in NC. That one would have been considered easy since it had a flat walkable path. Our middle son and his wife have hiked most of western NC and they hike where they are just climbing up rocks and then there are lots of pictures with them at the top since they conquered all that. They even did that kind of hiking with a baby in a backpack but now that their little one is wanting to walk everywhere they can't do that sort of hiking anymore. I have heard of Biscuit Head and we need to get up to the mountains before the tourist season starts and check that restaurant out. We have not been downtown Asheville in many years. We often want to go in the summer and as soon as we get out there heading up the mountains we are reminded of the traffic and crowds. When we moved here 25 years ago it was not that way and we often just forget. We have never been to Chimney Rock. Time we went! Last summer the roads up around there were washed out for months from heavy rains. A lunch meet up of all the local followers would have been fun! Maybe not for your Hubby. :)

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Hi Lana, i never thought about how they grade the trails. We talked about how out of shape we must be if that was level. We never did hike much before. I love how adventurous your son and wife are. It won't be much longer and baby will be climbing with them.
Now is the time to may be cooler but I don't like the crowds either. They were working on the roads that had rock slides when we came through.
Looked like they were trying to stabilize the rocks more.
I think the rock slides must have happened last year if that happened.

I'm thinking about these meet ups and you right it would be fun. Hubby would find something to do for a little while. have a great day.

Liza Kirschner said...

Such a beautiful place - Asheville is a lovely part of this country! Bengay is an absolute necessity to me! Have a wonderful day!

Melissa Henderson said...

Sounds like a great anniversary trip! The photos are beautiful. :-)

Unknown said...

Hi Vickie and it sounds like you had a wonderful time and glad you got the grocery items you were after too. The flowers are beautiful and it would have been so tranquil walking around there.

I just put in what we bought for groceries in the previous post as we were busy running a craft stall at the local school and raising funds for the local RSL club by running their stall too.

Goals this week is to complete pulling down the grapeyard vineyard 10 - 14' ironbark upright posts together.

Our savings added up to $309.84 last week :).

In the kitchen -

- Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
- Made 2 batches of MOO yoghurt.

In the craft/sewing room -

- Priced and packaged homemade items to take to the school fete to sell Saturday as we are had a stall there and volunteered to run one for the local RSL sub branch club too to raise funds for the veterans too.

In the gardens -

- Did a yard cleanup and got rid of any rotted wood from the vineyard destruction, old grapevines, venetian blinds that were not working and a broken down fan to the tip. It looks much neater and tidier now.
- DH mowed and whipper snipped the yard and we mulched around the mulberry, mandarin tree and native shrubs in the yard.
- DH earned $150 from paid gardening work this week.

Finances -

- Banked quite a bit more money into our bank emergency kitty from savings in most budget categories over the last few months, just over $500 :) .

Purchases -

- Bought a 5 piece fire tool set and flue cleaning kit on eBay saving $175.04 on buying them locally in our country stores.
- Purchased 10 cotton long sleeved t-shirts for me saving $30 on usual prices.
- From the hardware store DH purchased out of his earnings from gardening a 216 m roll of whipper snipper cord (the larger rolls worked out to be just over half the price per metre than the smaller rolls) and a 250kg load furniture removalist trolley on special saving $104.80 on usual prices.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful week :).

sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

Jenny said...

We went to the Biltmore a year & a half ago celebrating our 30th wedding ann. It was a dream of mine to go for all these years. We spent one day touring the house & another touring the gardens & greenhouses.

Here's my frugal list.
I cooked all our meals at home except two. I bought my lunch at a new food truck in town on my way home from errands on Wed. And I had lunch at church on Saturday at a women's event. I paid for both & they both were very good.

I used a coupon for a free box of Little Debbies & also bought some to be used at the women's event. I bought 4 boxes of granola bars & two boxes of Nutty bars all for less than $5, at Walmart it would have cost me around $14.

I won a door prize at the women's event....go figure, I didn't even put my name in. It was a very pretty spring centerpiece.

I packed lunches this week using leftovers.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Asheville is so pretty Liza. We brought some natural pain reliever we got from my sister but there was no potent pain medication in there for some reason. This was our favorite brand so we were disappointed to find out there phone # no longer works and they probably went out of business. So off to buy Bengay ...your right its a necessity! Works pretty good!

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Oh you were busy yesterday Lorna! Sounds like you were successful too! I'm always interested in hearing about your grape vines. There are some old ones in my neighbors yard. I'm thinking about snipping some off to put in our yard soon. They wouldn't care a bit as we used to trim and harvest them.
It's good to hear that your er savings is going up steady. It's always helpful to have that. Have a great week too!

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Hi Jenny, You know that is what we should have done - a day a piece. It would have been great and I bet you loved it! Such a huge piece of property. Congratulations on your 30th and beyond.
That's neat that you won the door prize. I bet the centerpiece is pretty on your table. Have a great day!

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

It will be quite a memory for sure. Thanks Melissa have a great week!