Our Frugal Lifestyle

My photo
Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Then We Went to Switzerland

During our holiday in France we popped over the border to Switzerland for 1 night to see my ex-employers and the girl I once nannied :-)

We caught a train on a super discount because we were travelling with Dolly. It's part of a program that the French govt encourage people to travel with children so they get a chance to see and learn. Once in Switzerland my ex-employer had someone pick us up at the station and took us to a gorgeous Hotel Krafft on the Rhine in Basel. My ex-boss also picked up the cost of hotel and meals.
I Love Swiss Simplicity.

I was so thrilled to catch up with them. And the girl has now become a stunning young woman. Brought up wealthy with everything she wants and yet she is kind, gracious and thoughtful. I am so proud of her and have missed her a great deal over the past 15 years years.
My ex-employers met us in the evening for a delicious dinner in the hotel restaurant. This was perfect because Dolly and The Rambling Expat got tired and were able to go to bed while I stayed on and chatted for another hour. Eventually they left me and I may not see them for quite a few years. I stood on the cold dark street waving them off, feeling very sad.
View From the Balcony.
However not only did they treat us to the hotel and meals but also slipped 500 Euros into my hand!!! This paid for our 3 France-Switzerland return tickets and much more. A gift I was very grateful for. Due to such a gift and the kindness of friends and family we were able to keep our entire trip costs down and not use my Credit Card once. I actually returned home with money in my purse which can go to other necessities of life and contribute to my early retirement..

Anyway, moving on... the Hotel Krafft follows some green principals. No cute little bottles of shampoo, the food is mostly organic, the hand towels in the restaurant bathroom are cloth and are washed and reused. This made me feel very happy.
Big Bottles of Products (no minis')
The decor was simple and stunning. Each floor had a bookshelf with glasses, water, tea, apples, books and games and also a table with computer and free internet access. The hotel also gave a free 2 day tram pass each. Which we used to return to the train station for our departure. As we left the hotel we were asked if we wanted a taxi, which we decline to their total amazement! I explained we were traveling on a backpackers budget and only afforded their gorgeous hotel because my ex-Boss paid. The tram was only a 3 to 5 minute walk away and went to the station. So no changes or difficulty.
Bookshelf full of goodies.
View of Our Tram Line to the Train Station from our Balcony - just a skip away..
It was a long trip just for a dinner meet up, but wonderful to see the family I had lived with for 2 years anyhow. Also staying in a hotel room 1 night, just the 3 of us... allowed us to regroup as a family. And with the generous money gift I was able to budget for other items in our life.


  1. Just found your blog and have found it fascinating! What a nice reunion with your former employers, and very generous too! Silly question, but I'm wondering about the hotel not having mini bottles of shampoo, etc---Are you meant to take the big bottles with you or do you leave them for the next guest? I will enjoy visiting your blog again to browse around!

  2. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    The bottles are left for the next guests, that way there is less plastic in landfill. We actually topped up our 2 mini soap and shampoo bottles that were getting empty for the rest of our holiday.

  3. My beady eye spotted that the bottles in the bathroom are L'occitane which is quite a high end product. In my previous 'spend spend spend' days I would buy this. To be fair it does last quite a while but I have not bought any for ages. In fact I am well stocked up as I had some bought for me as a gift at Christmas. However when it runs out I won't be rushing to buy any, those days are gone !! :-)


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.