What did it cost to take a family to the Carlsbad Flower fields?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by mydogsarelazy on April 13, 2008 - 6:59pm

We decided today that it would be great to take our three girls to see the flower fields in Carlsbad. It was hot and crowded, but still lovely. That said, here is what it cost:

Admission ( 2 adults, 2 kids 1 free baby ) $28.00

Gas (5 gallons round trip) $20.00

Lemonade and Strawberry Shortcake $11.00

Film for the camera, bottled water $20.00

Lunch at the flower fields (kids meals and burgers) $25.00

Total: $104.00

My point: OK this was a nice family outing that lasted half a day, but how can anyone with a family plan on doing anything these days besides just paying their bills? Wow life is expensive these days.

JS

Submitted by nostradamus on April 13, 2008 - 8:00pm.

Very interesting post! It's a startling revelation when you do the math on things, I find myself doing it all the time and I don't even have a family. I put everything on my credit card (since I earn points and cash back) so I have an electronic summary which I can put into my Quicken software and generate a pie chart of where all my money goes. Here's an example from last month.

I'm proud to say the big, blue section is the amount I put into savings.

You'd be surprised (for example, not me but some people spend 5% or more of their salary at Starbuck's). I know a gal who does just that. She drinks $4 drinks at starbucks 3 times a day for $12. She makes about $20 per hour at her job. So Starbuck's is 7.5% of her salary even if you don't count what she drinks on the weekends. Starbuck's is one of my favorite calculations and I've posted about it before. It's good for Starbuck's, bad for your bucks.

Submitted by barnaby33 on April 13, 2008 - 8:13pm.

nostradamus, either you are bragging, or you live like a hermit.

Josh

Submitted by Coronita on April 13, 2008 - 8:32pm.

We decided today that it would be great to take our three girls to see the flower fields in Carlsbad. It was hot and crowded, but still lovely. That said, here is what it cost:

Admission ( 2 adults, 2 kids 1 free baby ) $28.00

Gas (5 gallons round trip) $20.00

Lemonade and Strawberry Shortcake $11.00

Film for the camera, bottled water $20.00

Lunch at the flower fields (kids meals and burgers) $25.00

Total: $104.00

My point: OK this was a nice family outing that lasted half a day, but how can anyone with a family plan on doing anything these days besides just paying their bills? Wow life is expensive these days.

JS

 

Owned :)

1) Film for camera. Why are you still using film? $20 for film and bottle water??

2) Lunch at the flower fields...Ouch. We usually brown bag it. Or you could just have eaten in the malls.

3) Admission: AAA I believe gives you a discount.

 

Actually, try this as a "regular" movie night out. $9+ for adult, $6.50 for kids, not to mention pop and popcorn. You'd easily spend like $50 for close to a family of 4+, if you don't try to sneak food into the theater.  

selfportrait

----- Sour grapes for everyone!

Submitted by waiting for bottom on April 13, 2008 - 9:08pm.

I didn't even know you could still buy film????

Submitted by nostradamus on April 13, 2008 - 9:32pm.

nostradamus, either you are bragging, or you live like a hermit. Josh

You are 0 and 2 but go ahead and think what you like, I really don't care.

Submitted by barnaby33 on April 13, 2008 - 9:36pm.

go ahead and think what you like Ok thanks, I'll do that. I still think you're bragging, though that doesn't preclude you being a hermit.

Josh

Submitted by golfproz on April 13, 2008 - 10:13pm.

You think that's expensive try booking a weeks vacation for a family of 5! The last real full family vacation we did was in 2000 when we went to the UK for 3 weeks. Even staying with family that trip cost $9k (airfare for 5, food, car rental and doing all the touristy stuff).

I just booked a 7 day Mexico cruise for the 5 of us. Even taking cheap cabins (not the cheapest but close), just the cruise tickets were over $4k. We will spend at least another $2k on the boat and doing things in port (the kids wanna swim with freakin dolphins....$100k a pop!).

The last time we did Disneyland it was $600 for ONE DAY.

Yea, family fun can be expensive....

Submitted by mydogsarelazy on April 14, 2008 - 6:08am.

On "film" for the camera....

We have a Sony DVD camcorder and the three pack of DVD-Rs costs $10.49 and then we also needed a conventional roll of film -- yes we still have an actual camera -- since the baby took the SIM chip out of our digital camera and hid it somewhere.

We bought our bottled water at Walgreens -- 4 bottles at 79 cents each -- rather than paying $2.50 per bottle at the event.

When my wife and I go out on a date, the babysitter costs $13.00 per hour. A four hour date with dinner, a movie, and pay for the sitter goes over $100 easily.

Having a family is the greatest luxury of all in this country. Forget the BMW convertible and the granite countertops. Baby is the most expensive item of all. No wonder many educated people are just skipping having kids or putting childbearing off as long as possible.

JS

PS: Yes, there is a AAA/Military discount at the flowerfields. It is one dollar less per person. Woo-Hoo!

Submitted by Coronita on April 14, 2008 - 7:39am.

On "film" for the camera....

We have a Sony DVD camcorder and the three pack of DVD-Rs costs $10.49 and then we also needed a conventional roll of film -- yes we still have an actual camera -- since the baby took the SIM chip out of our digital camera and hid it somewhere.

We bought our bottled water at Walgreens -- 4 bottles at 79 cents each -- rather than paying $2.50 per bottle at the event.

When my wife and I go out on a date, the babysitter costs $13.00 per hour. A four hour date with dinner, a movie, and pay for the sitter goes over $100 easily.

Having a family is the greatest luxury of all in this country. Forget the BMW convertible and the granite countertops. Baby is the most expensive item of all. No wonder many educated people are just skipping having kids or putting childbearing off as long as possible.

JS

PS: Yes, there is a AAA/Military discount at the flowerfields. It is one dollar less per person. Woo-Hoo!

 

We have a Sony DVD camcorder and the three pack of DVD-Rs costs $10.49 and then we also needed a conventional roll of film -- yes we still have an actual camera -- since the baby took the SIM chip out of our digital camera and hid it somewhere.

Ah yes. Like my dad's dvd camcorder. I hate to say this, but you sort of walked into the cost on that one, because you wanted the latest and greatest. You could have settled for a camcorder that has a built in harddrive and just transfer it to a computer where you rip them onto normal cd's/dvd's that costs pennies on the dollar. Or you could have settled with the camcorder that uses digital tapes, and transfered that to the computer and cds/dvds. But, oh no, you wanted the camera that writes directly into that funky small dvd format that costs more per disk than normal dvd's...... :) The good news. You can now make an argument to get a new HD- camcorder. Just make sure it uses a builtin hard-drive.

The cheaper alternative, is buy the mini dvd's in bulk. You don't need the ones from sony 3-pk. And yes, they sell them in bulk. Search on amazon. BTW: I never have spent money on normal blank CD's and DVD's. Ok, maybe the cost of tax and a postage stamp or too. In the past there's always deals from staples/bb/etc for "free" cd/dvd spindles. And I typically stock up 2-3 of them each time. In fact, my closet has a couple crates full of blank cd's dvd's that will take me years to consume. You laugh, but that's at least a few hundred $ i didn't have to shell out on media. You just have to get in the habit of shopping around, rather than buying spotaneously priced items.

Just curious OT question for folks with kiddies in general...I have 2 year old kid. I take a lot of pictures. But, use my camcorder less. Even when I do, I rarely go back and look at the video I shot, let alone edit them, let alone make my friends and relatives sit through an afternoon watching them (I thought my friends and family would have better things to do). Is this generally the case for everyone else, or am I just being a bad parent? :)

Why are you buying 4 individual bottles of water at walgreens? Buy your family 4 waterbottles, and fill them up with water from gallon you normally get for $1 at the groceries. Aside from wasting money individual bottles, you're also not generating as much trash with the extra plastic containers you end up tossing.

I know, I sound cheap. But this sort of thing adds up,especially if you go out a lot...You really don't need to be shelling out $4 on water and $11 on blank media each time you go out.

 

 The shortcakes are a wash. I guess you could have brought snacks, but then again, I would have opted for the shortcakes myself :)

 

 

 

 

selfportrait

----- Sour grapes for everyone!

Submitted by NotCranky on April 14, 2008 - 8:12am.

There are so many free or very cheap that are fun and coudl easily replace atrp to the flower gardens.If we jsut come down to the level of our kids and do the things they like to do with them intently that is valuable too. Next mission with my five year old. Try to find thermals and see if we can get an airplane to take off up into one. Four year old...plant tomatoes. Baby play horsey. When they are older it could be a game of basketball or body surfing. The list is infinite.

Submitted by golfproz on April 14, 2008 - 8:54am.

You fly sailplanes Rustico? I've been doing the RC sailplane thing for years. Finding thermals and staying in them is still a challenge some days.

Submitted by dumbrenter on April 14, 2008 - 8:58am.

fun and no cost things to do with kids

No wonder I find myself spending so much time on this website.

Nostradamus, Is that you monthly or weekly expense thingy?

Submitted by sdduuuude on April 14, 2008 - 11:45am.

FLU - I take very little video footage and for several years, we didn't watch any of it. However, every passing moment makes them more valuable. I think you take that video to look at 20 years later, not 1 year later.

Also, when our kids at age 6 saw video of themselves when they were 1 and 2, it was pretty cool.

Submitted by sdduuuude on April 14, 2008 - 11:47am.

golfproz - you go with Carnival or Holland ?

Submitted by lonestar2000 on April 14, 2008 - 12:37pm.

We have a Sony DVD camcroder and we solved the DVD cost issue by using Re-Writable DVDs. Shoot your movie, transfer it to the PC, then erase the DVD.

We bought a single 10 disk spindle of mini-DVDs when we bought the camcorder...some years ago. We've so far used the top 3 or so of the DVDs and have never had any problems. Six or so of the DVDs we have never even touched.

Once on the PC we edit the movies and burn to low cost standard size DVD-Rs and ship to the relatives.

Simple, cheap, and very effective.

Now for the Disneyland or England trips...we simply do not take vacation. We have a 2 year and a new born at home and most days it is all we can muster just to take care of grocery and other essential shopping. Weekends are filled with much the same, just keeping up with the essentials.

We figure we'll be ready to take a decent vacation to some place other than the shopping mall in about 20 years. By that time the economy may have recovered enough that we'll actually have $5 to spend on non-essentials.

Submitted by golfproz on April 14, 2008 - 12:58pm.

sdduuuude,
I'm going with Royal Caribbean leaving from San Pedro.

Submitted by nostradamus on April 14, 2008 - 1:39pm.

Nostradamus, Is that you monthly or weekly expense thingy?

It was a pie chart generated from quicken data, which I log and track regularly. I like to try and minimize my unnecessary costs. For the particular month I spent $1530.95 on cash, gifts, dining, and other... While some high-rollers think of this as hermetical, I see it as splurging. I don't know how I managed to spend so much on the condo either but I've been doing a lot of work on it lately.

Anyhoo, my point is keep the data, make a chart, and you'll be surprised at how much you can save (or inversely you'll be shocked at how much you wasted).

Submitted by DWCAP on April 14, 2008 - 1:57pm.

Nos,

If you make $22'350/month I have no idea why you even worry about all this. What is that 270k a year as a single male? I think you can afford that house you want. I am all for stingy, but live your life man. Who knows what will happen tomorrow (drunk hits you) and then what good did that much money do for you?

Submitted by marion on April 14, 2008 - 1:59pm.

flu: Why are you buying 4 individual bottles of water at walgreens? Buy your family 4 waterbottles, and fill them up with water from gallon you normally get for $1 at the groceries. Aside from wasting money individual bottles, you're also not generating as much trash with the extra plastic containers you end up tossing.

This is what I do, when I'm disciplined, that is. I don't do it all the time. I like buying my water from wal-mart because I think it tastes the best and it's cheap. I just don't like shopping there, I've seen two different cashiers wiping their noses on dirty rags and putting them back in their pocket. True story. Not only that, Walmart stores always tend to be dirty. Still, from time to time, I go in there to get office supplies, water and their brand of cornbread mix.

When I was married and in the market for a house, all 4 of us (the ex, myself and the two boys) would tour model homes. It was fun and provided exercise by way of the stairs and the square footage in the larger homes. It didn't cost anything, not much gas (we stayed close to home)and it was fun to get decorating ideas. The kids liked to do it as well.

Submitted by dumbrenter on April 14, 2008 - 2:44pm.

Nostradamus, I am one of those crazies who log every expense they make and you are right about keeping the data and charting it. Unfortunately, not a lot of people do it these days. Actually, I get picked on by family/friends for doing this. Well, these are the decadent times.....

Anyway, what impressed me with your chart was that you spent more on gifts than on dining. That says a lot about you.

Submitted by nostradamus on April 14, 2008 - 2:51pm.

If you make $22'350/month I have no idea why you even worry about all this. What is that 270k a year as a single male? I think you can afford that house you want. I am all for stingy, but live your life man. Who knows what will happen tomorrow (drunk hits you) and then what good did that much money do for you?

That is a wise recommendation but like many others here I came from a relatively poor background. I managed a college education by working full-time and getting scholarships in math, which is one of the things I like to do to try and keep my mind from stagnating... So the math thing and pie charts and trying to max out my savings are really part of what I enjoy and who I am. I have reached this level of income only in the last few years and it's hard to suddenly get out and start spending when I got where I am by being frugal. I would not buy a house now if I had 100 wives and 100 babies and 100 million dollars. IMO it is throwing money away. Besides, that was an above-average month, although lately it's getting more common. I bill by the hour and in order to make that much I need to work a lot so I'm sometimes too tired to go out and spend it.

Aside from the house, I do have everything I need and want. I just bought a new car (the mazda speed3, humble yet fun), a motorcycle, a new midi keyboard controller, a new vox amp, a canon XH-A1 AND a canon HG-10, and many more toys. I SCUBA and surf and play vball and travel and go to the gym every day. I would do the same thing rich or poor, most of it is free anyway. When housing becomes more rational, I might take Rustico up on his idea of buying 40 acres in Jamul and building a custom home. I've been looking at homes for years now and haven't seen a single home in SD I liked. I'm not in a hurry though. I'm also saving money for a new industry that I'm starting in. I have an exit strategy from engineering.

I don't like condo living much but it's not THAT bad and every time my neighbors piss me off I smile and think, when I do get that house it will be all the better...

PS my home is alarmed, there is a vicious dog, and I am heavily armed, so don't get any funny ideas. ;D

Submitted by nostradamus on April 14, 2008 - 2:58pm.

Nostradamus, I am one of those crazies who log every expense they make and you are right about keeping the data and charting it. Unfortunately, not a lot of people do it these days. Actually, I get picked on by family/friends for doing this. Well, these are the decadent times..... Anyway, what impressed me with your chart was that you spent more on gifts than on dining. That says a lot about you.

That's great.  Don't let getting picked on bother you, we truly are in decadent times in the true meaning of the word (in a state of decay).

Thanks for the kind words.  I have an extended family (12 siblings all with kids) and it seems there is some occasion for gift-giving around every corner.

Submitted by speedingpullet on April 14, 2008 - 3:10pm.

Dumbrenter - you're not the only one!
I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all bills, fripparies, and savings by the month.

The Husband and I keep a joint 'slush fund' for bill/CC paying, so knowing how much (to the nearest $100) we need to put in it to keep it solvent is vital. Plus it gives us a sort of ad hoc estimate as to how bills increase/decrease during the seasons.

As for the water thing - we're even more hardscrabble!

I treat myself to a bottle or two of 'Vitamin Water' every once in a while.
Once they're drunk (mmm....yummy) the bottles are de-labled and washed.
Then we put Brita Filtered water in them, and use them in the same way as 'store bought' water.
The Vitamin Water bottles are very sturdy, so can be emptied, washed, and refilled many times before they get sent to recycling

Submitted by nostradamus on April 14, 2008 - 3:21pm.

I have a gallon water bottle from Longs drugs which I fill 3/4 full with filtered water and freeze. Then I fill the rest and take it to the beach, so I have ice-cold water all day.

Submitted by marion on April 14, 2008 - 3:48pm.

Are you guys aware that reportedly plastic leaks from the bottles into the water. The exception would be that hard plastic, forgot the chemical name for it, but the health store I go to serves water samples out of those containers.

I'm sure there is some leakage, but I haven't researched to what extent. Anyway, I do intend to research it as I have thought about this.

Nostradamus, (or anybody else)you might want to be careful about posting your income on a public message board, golddiggers lurk everywhere-even on Piggington. A young woman, with no education, itching to have a baby and looking for an easy way out, would love to latch onto you. I might be more cautious then most, I don't know.

Submitted by NotCranky on April 14, 2008 - 4:11pm.

"You fly sailplanes Rustico? I've been doing the RC sailplane thing for years. Finding thermals and staying in them is still a challenge some days."

Golfproz<

I don't have a history or flying any model planes. My oldest is five and I recently noticed that he doesn't just play with paper airplanes he studies aerodynamics. This was prompted by videos he rented about an air show in Oshkosh where he learned about bernoulli's principle and a book of foldable planes with instructions for experiments. We have thermals in our front yard that the red tail hawks use to gain altitude. The other day I saw two of those little light weight plastic grocery bags float up about 700 feet over the hills next to my property.I think they came off the roof of the house being built next door. The next excursion with my kids was borne. I might cheat and make a hot air ballon out of crepe paper and send it up with manuafacture heat if the thermals are a flop for us.

Submitted by nostradamus on April 14, 2008 - 4:17pm.

Thanks for the warning Marion but there are few here who can identify me (Rich, John, Rustico, perhaps one or two lurker friends). To everyone else I'm just another anonymous, full-of-sh!t blogger who calls himself Nostradamus. Even if you did know me in real life you wouldn't guess my finances unless you are one of my clients. I don't ever rendezvous with women I've met online, I can spot a gold digger a mile away and I don't dress in a manner which ever attracts the type anyway. I met my last 3 gf's on the beach.

I believe the plastic you like is polycarbonate. This is the water bottle I use.
polycarbonate

Submitted by sdduuuude on April 14, 2008 - 4:24pm.

This is a pretty interesting thread.

I've always watched my money closely - in fact, maybe too closely (I should spend more time making money and less time counting it) - and feel that everyone underestimates their spending unless they explicitly enter every detail into Excel or Quicken as demonstrated by nostra.

This is especially true on vacations and construction projects of any magnitude, be they $100 or $100,000 jobs.

The cheapest trip I ever did was $300 for two people camping in Mexico for 7 full days. That includes everything and we went about 600 miles south. This was pre-kids about 9 years ago.

In general, camping is a great low-cost way to travel.

golf - We did a Holland trip out of SD recently. It was excellent. Best thing was being home 15 min after getting off the ship. You'll miss out on that with the LA trip, unless you live in LA. I hope to do it again, although - back on topic - it was pretty pricey at $3500 for wife and 2 kids in 1 windowless room. It is only something I would do after securing a long-term contract and only once every couple of years. We were very cheap on the shore excursions, though. The cruise line kills you on them. We did watch people swim with dolphins in Cabo and it was pretty neat. We brought our own booze, too. Pack it in water or juice bottles (depending on color) or they'll take it from you and give it back at the end of the trip. I won $800 in poker tournaments. That brought the cost down to $2700, but not a cost-saving technique one can count on every trip ;)

We've looked into Europe trips also and decided that even though we could afford it, we didn't want to afford it.

Submitted by golfproz on April 14, 2008 - 5:19pm.

Rustico

Check out the Torrey Pines Gulls club. Your 5 year old should get a kick out of watching a RC sailplane contest. They fly in several different locations like Poway or Torrey Pines (on the cliffs).

http://www.torreypinesgulls.org/

Be careful, it can cost you a fortune if he gets into this. More likely that dad will get hooked though!

Submitted by NotCranky on April 14, 2008 - 5:25pm.

Thanks so much golfproz. We will check that out.Thanks for the warning on expense too!

My 4 year old keeps saying you should really play golf dad! Where do they get this stuff? Bless his heart.. he probably thinks golf is relaxing? Maybe for some of you!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.