Anyone who knows me knows that I am frugal. Some even call it cheap.  OK, I’ll admit to that. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want to save a buck when possible? So I’ve put together a handy-dandy list of ways to save money on your next camping (or other) trip.

the Frugalista

Get the Gasbuddy app for your smartphone. Seriously, it has saved us buckets of moolah! It’s also exciting to see just how far you can get on fumes to make it to the cheapest station.

Use a credit card that has cash back points. Our visa offered double cash back on all gas purchases for July and August. Perfect for us, since we’re pulling a camper and not getting good mileage.

When shopping for groceries at your destination, don’t hesitate to ask the person behind you in line to use their customer loyalty card. They’ll get the points for gas, mileage, of whatever, so it’s a win-win. If you will be there for several days, take the 3 minutes it takes to fill out the form yourself.

At $5-$8 a pop, a bundle of firewood will set you back a bit, and your money is just going up in flames. Instead, collect firewood. And, if all the fallen debris has already been scavenged, check neighboring­ campsites’ fire pits. Not while they’re there, of course, that might get you shot. Wait til they’ve gone (hiking, to the store, fishing). Don’t take it all at once. A log here and there from several sites probably won’t be missed. Also be the first on the scene when campers pull up their stakes and move on. Go ahead, you KNOW everybody else is thinking the same thing. (Not that i’ve done this, of course)

Speaking of fishing, be sure to choose a campsite beside someone with poles, a boat, or other telltale clues. Buddy-up. Offer a beer (a cheap one, of course-they’ll likely decline). Strategically place a near- empty jar of generic p-nut butter with a few crackers on your picnic table. When they return with their catch, make a big fuss over their bounty. I find it helpful here in Canada to put on my deepest southern drawl. The fishermen love it. “Holey moley, lookit all thayat craaab! Wowee!” We were treated to heaps of just-cooked Dungeness crabs and smoked salmon one night. YUM!

Be brave. Ask for the senior discount, even if you’re only 50. For this, it helps to look your worst. Tease your hair. Smudge lipstick on your teeth. But only if you’re a woman. Cashier’s aren’t always so trusting of cross-dressers. Be clean, though. Nobody likes stinky old people. We saved $3.00 on the putt putt golf next door using this ploy. Also, do your grocery shopping on “senior” days. If they ask if you qualify, just nod your head. Don’t make eye contact! If they ask for id, you can pretend to be hard of hearing.

We’re diligent about returning bottles and cans (­even empty boxes of wine) before we leave a place. It rationalizes heavy drinking. it’s crazy to me that many states still don’t have deposits. C’mon people, think of the environment!

What are some ways to save that you practice? please share your thoughts and ideas, after all, who doesn’t want to save some cash?

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