6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.



For the past year or so we in the Brownie Mom household have been tightening our belts in the hope to pay off debt, live more modestly and become a more cohesive family unit in the process. It's been fun to find ways to cut back here and there while still finding ways to have fun and enjoy each other.

Last weekend we were excited to be able to FINALLY travel to Kentucky to see my parents and their new home. They've lived in the house nearly 6 months and we haven't been able to go down to even check it out! While planning the trip I calculated how much money we would need. I found that it is amazingly cheaper to buy grocery items and pack them in a cooler to eat along the way than it is to stop at fast food restaurants, so that's what we did.

About half-way to Kentucky we pulled off at a roadside rest area. As Brian grabbed the cooler and rolled it over to the picnic area, the boys were happy to get out and run a little. I was happy that we wouldn't have a mess to clean up in the van when we arrived at my parent's home.

As Brian made sandwiches and passed out water to drink, I wiped down the picnic table. As I looked around it occurred to me that the area was actually quite pretty. As we chewed our food and chatted one kid after another began to walk around, stroll along, climb and basically relax as the gentle breeze wafted through their hair.

I couldn't help but notice that the pavilion had, at one time, been bombarded by birds and therefore bird-poop. They did an decent job of ridding the birds by making it nearly impossible to perch or build nests in the pavilion, however, nearly wasn't good enough. The nest was there in spite of man's best effort.

I snapped photos. Brian took a breather, stretched his legs and rummaged around the van doing whatever it is guys do to make life easier on the family during our trips. All I know is that we had much less grumbling, much more laughter and a lot of snacks along the way.

The kids noted that this was one of the best trips we've had to Kentucky. I have to say, though it was a quick trip, it was much easier and done with less money than we've ever managed to use before.

The moral of the story? Thumbs up for bringing a cooler of food on road trips! Less stops, happier kids and more money left in the wallet.


Too Many Hats said...

Sounds wonderful! We have done that and it works well.

Eleanor Joyce said...

Love it - and love the pictures. We travel a lot, and when we take the time to actually prepare stuff like this the trips go much more smoothly!

Kristie. said...

Shelly ~

My mom lives eight hours away and we usually pack ham and cheese sandwiched, drink, and snack for the ride. We all know that once we reach our destination, my mom with feed us plenty.


Ness said...

Nice family weekend!

Just started following ur google friend connect sis.