Road trips, toasted marshmallows, and ways to save money on fuel

When we were children we had two favourite car games; the left right game and the follow a car game. I think you can probably guess what was involved. My children are fans too, but my first thought always nowadays when asked to follow a car is ‘How far will it go? How much will that cost me in petrol??’ Playing in the late 80s when you could get a litre of 4* for about 40p was a slightly different prospect.

When we were away in the motorhome I even found myself doing something I have never done before – downloading an app to compare the nearest fuel prices. It was a difficult and slightly scary moment for me; you know you’ve really turned a corner age wise when you start driving past petrol stations and actually noticing and caring about a 2p increase in prices.

However expensive fuel gets though, it’s just not something I’m ever going to be able to go without. Being able to drive to visit friends and family is really important to me, as is taking Belle for days out and holidays. Fuel might be expensive, but to me it’s worth it. Our road trip was wonderful – it gave Belle and I both a much needed break from life at home, it allowed us to visit places we had never seen before, to learn new things, and most importantly, to spend time together.

Mother and daughter

Although our Bailey motorhome actually turned out to be much more economical than I had feared, it was still a shock filling it up for the first time.

“I wonder how much diesel it will take?” I asked Belle through the window.

We watched.

The digits ticked. (I swear it goes more slowly nowadays – is this to make you feel like you are getting more for your money?)

£60.

£70.

£80.

I looked at Belle and she made a face.

£90.

£100.

I gulped. I don’t think I have ever paid in triple figures for fuel before. When it stopped on £108 I was relieved, although slightly concerned that the sheer volume of fuel now on board might reduce overall fuel efficiency.*

Fortunately, before we left I had been to Tesco. Firstly, this saved us a lot of money while we were away on our trip, as we had stocked up the fridge and cupboards with all the holiday essentials like pasta, pesto, wine and marshmallows. I even managed to remember to buy skewers, which I was very proud of, meaning I didn’t have to do any sort of awkward twig whittling.

Toasted marshmallows

It also helped with fuel costs thanks to Tesco’s new Fuel Save scheme, where you can save up to 20p a litre on fuel in any one month.

Lots of the supermarkets do fuel offers of course, but this one is a little bit different as you can build up a discount over the month, rather than having to spend a lot in one go to qualify. For every £50 you spend, you earn 2p off a litre; it doesn’t have to be one big shop though, five little £10 shops would still count. If you do lots of shopping in a month, this could equate to some pretty big fuel savings.

And then you’ll have no excuse for not heading out to visit a new county will you?

*At which point I decided I was really thinking too much about it.

Disclosure: Tesco sent us vouchers to spend in store and at their petrol stations, so we could see how the Fuel Save scheme worked.

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