Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Purple Coneflower
Purple Coneflower
A Missouri Native

I may be late to the party. Even so, I am going to post three tips, or as they say these days – hacks, which can help one to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. Sound good?

Tip #1 – Think Smarter, Not Harder

Apple Slicer

As I posted in 20 Things We Do to Stay Healthy, we eat an apple each morning. The honeycrisp apples we get from Aldi’s are so delicious – crunchy and sweet. We use an apple slicer to section the apple. But sometimes, the apple is wonky. The stem is off center, which makes using the apple slicer difficult. You can try putting the apple slicer off center and then try to show it who’s boss, but that takes A LOT of muscle.

This morning I had the brilliant idea to turn my wonky apple upside down, and it worked great. Unfortunately, I did not have, what would have been an even more brilliant, idea to take a picture of the process, so you will just have to take my word for it. It works. So think smarter, not harder and have that apple a day to keep the doctor away.

Tip #2 – A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Back of Micro Lite with lake and trees reflected on the back window.

Now that you’re feeling all healthy from your daily apple, make some camping reservations at a Corps of Engineers campground. Dan and I love these campgrounds because they are very nice and so economical. Since Dan has the National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass, we get half off these campgrounds which translates to about twelve to thirteen dollars a night for full hook ups.

Here’s the tip to make things easier. Again, I am late to the party. For three years, every time we made a reservation, Dan would have to go get his wallet to retrieve his National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass. Then I’d have to type in the number from that pass, so we could save the big bucks. However, I recently learned from the Corps of Engineers (COE) Camping Facebook group, the number from the pass can be saved in your account’s settings.

Here’s how: Sign on to recreation.gov. Go to My Account and then to Passes. From there, go to Interagency Passes. Enter your number, save and if you’re like me, thank the Lord above you finally know about this. What will I do with all that extra time?

Tip #3 – Buy Local

Sign which says "You are always welcome in Missouri State Parks."

We don’t need a lot of time to visit one of our Missouri State Parks. There are a number of state parks very close to home and even more if we want to drive a bit. Even if you don’t live in Missouri, it’s probably the same for you. So, what’s the healthy, wealthy and wise tip here?

The past two or three Decembers (and maybe even more), our Missouri State Parks have offered a special promotion on gift cards. In the past, with the purchase of a one hundred dollar gift card, a twenty-five dollar gift card is thrown in for free. I don’t know if this will be offered this year, but I’ll be watching. If it is offered, with a little planning, one can save twenty percent on camping. Pay with your cash back credit card, and save even more. Reserve with your senior discount, and you can’t afford to stay home! See where I’m going with this? Yes, we’re going to Missouri State Parks in 2022!

How about you? Do you know of any state parks which offer discounts? Do you have any good tips for this healthy, wealthy and wise post? And I’m curious, were any of these tips helpful? If not, you can request a full refund.

How’s that for a deal?

25 comments

  1. We’re not so much apple people, but we do eat a lot of other fruits over the course of a day. Good tip abut the corer/slicer though. Is the National Parks Senior’s Lifetime Pass available to US citizens only, Betty? As far as tips go, I know I’ve learned several over the years, but nothing is jumping out at me this morning. I’ll have to wake up a bit more and think on that. Thanks for your always informative posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • From my research, anyone can purchase a National Parks Pass, but only U.S. seniors can purchase the National Parks Senior Lifetime pass. You can purchase the pass once you are at your first U.S. national park. The pass covers the cost of entrance fees. I don’t think there is a discount on camping. However, on recreation.gov, there are three other types of passes listed for discounts. So, if you’re to come, it might be worth further research on recreation.gov. Even without the discount, the Army COE campgrounds are beautiful and a deal even at full price – which is about $26 a night for full hook ups and less for more basic sites. We love the COE campgrounds!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Take care of the dollars and the pennies will take care of themselves. You’ve mentioned how you and Dan are frugal because it gives you more money to spend on the things you really care about. For example, all those campground discounts add up to a couple of shiny new E-bikes. I suppose the lesson here is that we need a plan for where our money goes. Otherwise it will leak from our pockets like a sieve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment reminds me of Dave Ramsey’s motto – give every dollar a job. Now I like Dave, but I much prefer Clark Howard. He’s my hero. And yes, Dan knows. 🙂 Being in control of our money gives us options – the option of ebikes, the option of travel, the option to help others. Money is a tool to help us achieve our other goals. It is a blessing, and like all our blessings, we should be grateful and take good care of it. Happy Monday, David, and I hope you have a great week ahead! I always appreciate you reading and your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to listen to Clark Howard’s show every day as I drove between accounts with my job. He is the world’s best bargain hunter! My favorite story of his is how he furnished his vacation home in the mountains of Utah with gently used furniture “rich” people practically gave away. In truth, these wealthy elites were probably poorer than Clark!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I used to listen daily on my commute as well. I still listen to him often. I read recently he is worth 15 million dollars. But what I love most is his kindness and service to others. And you are probably right about the elites being poorer than Clark!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. A few years ago when we moved, I ditched my apple corer. I must say that I haven’t missed it as I can quickly slice and core my daily apple. But, after reading your post, I may go on the hunt for another. Gadgets always catch my eye!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every morning, we have a mixture of apple, grapes, and blueberries. So the Apple slicer helps make quick work of preparing the fruit. I’m not a fan of kitchen appliances that do just one job, but in this case I really do like the Apple slicer. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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    • I apologize for the oversight. I should have explained it at some point. Here in the U.S. these parks are favorites of seniors. I appreciate you being interested enough to look it up. Thank you! Hope you have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. As we were driving home from Texas today, we passed so many state park signs, and I could not help but think of you and Dan. Several times, I mentioned, “we need to visit that park!” I am a true believer in “buy local” and support the communities in which you live, work, and/or stay. It was my number one rule when I traveled and took students: you support the community where you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the tip about the senior pass. I always keep having to enter it. No more. Your tips are spot on. But me and apples never got along. Maybe apple sauce! There are a lot of state parks here in Florida but because of the way the reservation system works right now it is difficult to get even mid week. They are now thinking of changing to “first come first serve” which should really help. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome! I am glad to pass along the tip about the senior pass. I used to think, “why can’t the system remember this?” Better late, than never, I guess. I wonder how the “first come first serve” would work. Do you know about wanderlabs.com? It is free (the basic version). It checks campgrounds for cancellations and notifies you. I have not used it, but I read about it on another blog. Hope you have a good rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just checked out the wander website and it states “We created the WanderLabs online booking software for tour operators who offer tours and activities with limited availability.” Regarding “first come first severed” it will probably be better because as of now what people are doing is making two week reservations in the name of dad, mom, sister, brother, the dog, the cat, etc. and only showing up on the weekend. That means many sites are open during the week but you can’t get one because some shady people are hogging all the sites. Time will tell if it really helps, I believe it will.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I will have to look into the Wandering Labs website more, but I did not get the impression it was for tour operators. Here is the post where I read about it: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/190787949/posts/1228 . The couple in this post used it. Perhaps it started for tour operators but evolved into something else. I was hoping it could help you!
          I believe in Michigan (where demand is high), if you don’t show up within 24 hours, they can give away your spot. Although, again I may be fuzzy on that as we always show up within 24 hours.
          I do hope the reservations in Florida improves. An empty campsite is such a waste!

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  6. You always give good advise and these 3 tips are no exception. For me, an apple a day is another way of saying eat your fruits and veggies. I eat half an organic apple a day. It goes in my breakfast smoothie along with spinach, kale, parsley, celery, carrots, red and yellow peppers, ginger, turmeric, banana, blueberries, flaxseed, and walnuts. I change it up now and again with different ingredients, but this is my go to breakfast. The idea is to eat a rainbow of fresh fruit and veggies.

    We love the COE campgrounds too. The national park senior pass is a must have. I got mine as soon as I was old enough. Back then it was only about $20. I can’t even guess how much money it has saved us — only that it is significant. Even with the price increase, it will pay for itself after three of four uses.

    Buying local, for us, means buying from local small businesses even when we are not a local. We try to avoid the national chains and instead support the local businesses where we are. I can’t say this saves us money, but we feel a sense of obligation and appreciation to a community that welcomed us. It seems the right thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Your go to breakfast is just bursting with good nutrition! I eat most of the things you listed throughout a normal week, but not in a smoothie, and not in one day. Good for you! The pass was $20 when Dan bought it, too, but as you say, even at $80 it can’t be beat! We like to try to local places, too. Even just the last two recent times in Benton and in West Branch, eating out at the local diner was such a pleasant, friendly experience. Why drive hundreds (or more) of miles to eat at a restaurant 15 minutes from home? Safe travels, and wishes to you for more happy adventures!

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  7. […] But honestly, do I care about the increase? No, I don’t. Our state parks are treasures offering a chance to enjoy nature, learn history and recreate in so many ways – walk, hike, bike ride, kayak, go in a cave, swim, fish, whatever suits your fancy – even fiddle-farting. The cost to camp in Missouri State Parks is worth it to me, but even so, I do have a few tricks to lower the cost. […]

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