Living 'Skinny' isn't as difficult as some make it out to be and it certainly doesn't have to cost as much as some people spend. Of course you can keep your stick home and take a mortgage on a new motorhome; eat out at restaurants every night and pay full price for RV parks with spas and indoor heated pools which could cost as much as a 4 star hotel. You can go to all the shows continue to shop in all the shopping malls and buy souvenirs in every state for every family member you have and easily need $3000.00 a month to keep yourself in the manner to which you have become accustomed; or you could give what we do a try...
Living Skinny Part 2 described how we prepared for our Full Time lifestyle by purchasing discount camping memberships to organizations like Passport America, Coast to Coast, Thousand Trails etc. We also own a home park membership which enables us to stay free at two affiliated RV parks. That was a start, but the skinny on being financially sound on the road is learning how to cut your cost of living on a daily basis. First of all, we live in our motorhome. We bought it used on ebay. We sold our stick home and our travel trailer and we have no monthly mortgage or loan payments. We drive to our destinations and park in a campground then use our car to do sightseeing. We have a Toyota Yaris that affords us nearly 40 mpg that allows us to save 2/3 more the cost of gas per year over what those who have a fifth wheel they tow with a diesel dually truck that guzzles gas like a Class A to do their sightseeing.
We enjoy going out to eat as much as any RV'er but we're pretty conservative. We love Cracker Barrel but ration ourselves to travel days. Between stops we'll enjoy a late morning Grandpa's Country Breakfast. They are filling and yummy and we don't usually have to eat dinner that day, just something light. Tuesday is our Pizza Hut Day. We get the $10.00 family casserole (only on Tuesday). It's two 1.5 lb trays of a pasta meal with 5 large breadsticks. Then we go to Burger King and get $1.00 side salads. We eat dinner two nights for less than $15.00. That's 2 people 2 nights for $7 a night. Now that's Skinny. When we go to Golden Corall we get there right before 4:00. Get the dinner buffet at the lunch price and if your over 60 you get a free drink and the senior discount. Fast food dollar menus are just as tasty for a fraction of the full menu price.
We make a point of making a Thrift Store run in every town we visit. We love to dop around Salvation Army Stores, Good Will and Consignment shops. The prices can't be beat and they're even better on the 50% off and senior citizen days. You don't need to shop the mall for designer clothes. The wealthy do the shopping for you and once a year drop it all off at the Thrift Stores for you to indulge...and who would guess you only spent $3 for that $45 sweater...$1 for reading glasses at Dollar Tree are $9.99 at Walmart. Bulk and Surplus food stores (scratch & dent) are so much more reasonable than the chain grocery stores. Yard Sales and Flea Markets in the summer, don't buy books use a book exchange, all campgrounds have one or read online. If you need information on anything Google it. Craigslist, eBay, half.com, Amazon...can't be beat.
These are just a few ways that we live Skinny Full Time on the Road. Next up...The Skinny on Space Saving.