Every once in a while, the Crumb Saver household shares a snapshot of a recent crumb-saving (or wasting!) incident on A Random Crumb. This column is proof that, hey, we’re people just like you! Prepare for a little randomness, a little embarrassment, but hopefully mostly encouragement.  You’ll get a sneak peek at what we actually do to save (or NOT save) in real life, which is motivation to us to stay crumby (in the good way) and (hopefully) inspiration for you join in the crumb-saving action too!

Last week we got home from a long roadtrip across the country. We were gone for about 3 weeks total, drove over 2000 miles, and are still recuperating a bit from the whole ordeal. (In case you were wondering, we did not intentionally plan such a long trip so far into the pregnancy…) So in this post, I just want to share some random thoughts and sundry happenings.

Housing an Army

For a 10-day portion of our trip, we attended a big conference held by our church. (Some estimated 60-70,000 people!) The organization I work for was exhibiting there, so we had the large task of mobilizing, housing, feeding, and otherwise accommodating our team of 10 people for the 10-day event. Needless to say, it was a costly endeavor!

One of the biggest expenses we were faced with was the cost of housing so many people. The most reasonable hotels (as determined by location and cost) were running around $150 per room per night (after factoring in tax). So even if we could stack people 4 deep per room, we would still need 3 rooms for 10 days at a cost of $4500. But of course, with the mix of genders and married vs. singles, it wasn’t really possible to just max out each room. So more realistically, we needed 5 rooms, which amounted to a whopping $7500 for the 10 days. Yikes!

So we did some research on home sharing sites like AirBnB, VRBO, and Flipkey. We figured that with so many people to take care of and other needs other than just a bed and bathroom (think: meals, laundry, and team meetings) we should see if renting a house would be more convenient.

On Flipkey, we discovered a nice little house that was just a little over a half mile away from the convention center. There was free parking (another cost at the hotel), it had high-speed WiFi (essential, you know!), and it was outfitted with a fully functional kitchen as well as washer and dryer. Most importantly, it only cost $1,634.27 for 10 days—inclusive of all taxes and fees! So for slightly more than the cost of one hotel room, we could house our entire team!

Heartache in the Garden

When we got home, I immediately noticed that something wasn’t quite right in our garden. Our healthy Asian pear tree, which was loaded with golf ball sized pears when we left was completely stripped bare and the top one-third of the tree was snapped off. It looked like someone had come by with scissors and snipped off every pear and every leaf off of the tree. It certainly looks like the handiwork of some mercenary deer. Somehow, they knew that we weren’t home and they seized the moment! This was the first time that we had any serious deer problems at our place.

Moreover, our swiss chard was clipped down to the ground, our persimmon tree also had all its leaves stripped off, and all of our ripening blackberries have disappeared (although I think the birds were a more likely culprit for the berries). It’s a sinking feeling to see all the effort in the garden go to waste like that, but we do have some good news in that our sweet pepper plants were undisturbed and we were able to harvest some nice, yummy peppers when we got home. (These are the same peppers I got from Home Depot that were such a great deal.)

Orange lunchbox peppers
Pepper harvest
Now excuse me while I go mourn the loss of my Asian pears… 🙁