Thursday, April 15, 2010

Frugal family day at the Oregon Zoo

My children had no school on Monday so it was off to the Oregon Zoo for us!  I was a beautiful day with just a bit of rain which stopped when we arrived at the zoo. No worries its Oregon and when you grow up in Oregon, this is normal.  I packed a waste free lunch into our trusty old red wagon and we headed off. Lucky for us the rain scared everyone away and there were only about 100 people in the entire zoo. Sweet!  Past trips to the zoo anger me because of all the crowds and crazy lines you had to wait in just to get into the crazy filled zoo. Each time we go to the zoo, this is where we eat. Not sure what its called but its a small pond with some beautiful bronze animal statue's by it. The pond has a small waterfall that is really quiet and nice steps to sit down and eat. Sometimes were lucky enough to have ducks wading in the water waiting for us to drop some food.

So how do you have a waste free lunch? Take a look at the picture and see. First of all I packed each girls lunch into our free lunch bags that Subway offers when you get a kids meal. Each bag had an animal on it which was perfect for our zoo trip. Each child has 2 fabric bags I bought from either New Seasons ( health food store) or Snack Taxi which is also sold in stores and Reusablebags. One is a perfect size for a sandwich and the other is a perfect snack size for crackers. Also each child had their own reusable water bottle. I packed apple slices in my old Tupperware and put everything into a free tote I was sent in the mail. Look how excited one of my twins on the right is about getting a bagel with cream cheese. Too funny.  So far our zoo trip was absolutely free! So far.....

But of course we had to stop in the zoo gift shop just to look at stuff. Yeah, just to look at stuff. 30 minutes later we come out with 4 stuffed animals and $18 gone out of my pocket. Actually that is not a bad price. With a zoo membership you get 20% off your purchase. Rarely do we ever buy anything from these shops because they are overpriced. But I was able to excuse this purchase because I know my girls will play the snot out of these stuffed animals. They are super soft and what child doesn't love a super fluffy stuffed animal? Exactly. Plus all profits go to the zoo and taking care of these beautiful animals. Win win in my book!

You can use this example for many places, not just the zoo. Have a zero waste meal anywhere. Hiking, the park, etc. Just give yourself 30 extra minutes before you leave to go anywhere and you can do this. Also remember to take any utensils you might need and fabric napkins too!

I also found some goodies for you today.  Its a great day full of freebies today!

Head on over to Surviving and thriving on pennies on Facebook and find these great deals:

Free Lever 2000 from Sams Club
Free Starbucks coffee today only!
Free Cascade action pacs
Free Tampax Tampons
Free Stayfree Pads
Free Vital Aid Drink

You will also find a great article by Healthy Child Healthy World about why you should avoid softeners and also how you can watch Food Inc soon!

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