Counting our remaining supplies…Prepping to leave…No wastefulness here…Our food costs in Kenya for three months…


We’re not as tidy as we used to be but there is no cupboard space for food. None of these items will be packed to travel with us. “Use ’em or “lose em.”

In a perfect world, we could pack up our equipment, clothing, and toiletries and hit the road in 15 days.  It is not that easy.  If money didn’t matter, it would be less of a concern. We’d “pack and go” leaving food and household supplies behind without a thought.

Money does matter and using up our supplies makes economical sense. Gosh, if money didn’t matter, we’d have a strong, competent helper traveling with us to pack, carry our bags with nary a thought of excess baggage fees.  In a perfect world.

Here we are, 15 days and counting until we board a plane for the necessary two days of travel to get us to Mpumalanga, South Africa. (It took us a minute to figure out how to pronounce that, “Puma, Langa”). 

As time flies at this late date, we begin to access our supplies, determining what to keep, what to toss, and what to give away. One biggest consideration is our remaining food.

In an effort to live as “normal” a life as possible everywhere we go we purchase basic foodstuffs and household supplies.  You know, all the food in the cupboards and on the door in the refrigerator plus paper supplies (baggies, paper towels, toilet paper, parchment), insect repellents (for body and air), bar soaps, etc.

We’ve discovered that approximately halfway through any of our extended stays, we begin to take note of what we need to use up before departing. Our lifestyle allows for no wastefulness, nor do the countries in which we live. Cautious use of power, water, and the accumulation of trash are a big concern for all of us in today’s world.  We’ve especially conserved power and water with the many outages over these past months.

Our budget is fixed and we make every effort to maintain the integrity of its intent. We have no allowances for wastefulness.  If I use a zip lock bag for a chunk of cheese, if it smells good when empty, I store it on the door of the refrigerator for one more use. 

When we order ebooks, we choose a few from the thousands of “free” ebooks to offset the cost of purchasing one for US $8.95, in order to bring the average cost down to US $3.00 each. Thank goodness we have no books to pack!

This is our tiny freezer.  We’ll easily use what we have on hand before we leave, unlikely purchasing any more frozen meat. We eat nuts for dessert every night. Tom likes peanuts and I prefer raw macadamia, almonds, and cashews, all locally grown. Keeping as much as we can fit in the freezer prevents the possibility of monkeys raiding the kitchen.

In our old lives, if a tee shirt had a stain, I would either try to get the stain out entirely or toss it. Not the case now. We save those for our “staying in” days, wearing nicer clothing when we leave the house. No longer can I jump in the car to drive to Old Navy to buy another batch of tee shirts for each of us.

Paper towels are flimsy in Kenya and still, I use one sheet at a time compared to my prior flippant use of sturdy paper towels. Tissues and toilet paper are equally flimsy but, we’re grateful to have any, using it sparingly. 

This morning we began counting the remaining nights we’ll dine in while checking our remaining supply of meat in the freezer and the food in the tiny fridge. 

With one more necessary trip to the grocery store to purchase water, cheese, nuts, and insect repellent, we’re contemplating the value of dining out for all of our dinners during the final week of November.  This morning, I calculated the cost of purchasing more “dinner” food as opposed to dining out (calculated through our final day here) in order to make a determination:

US $4500.00-Combined grocery and dining out budget for the entire three months in Kenya

US $184.46-Average weekly grocery expense x 12 weeks=US $2213.52

US $129.06-Average weekly dining out expense x 12 weeks=US $1548.67
(calculating an average of 3x per week, including the 6 days for the final week)

US $3762.19-Total food and dining out the expenses for the full 12 weeks

US $737.81- Unused balance remaining in the food budget, which in our minds,  covers the cost of our three day anniversary stay at the Diani Beach resort from October 29 to November 1, 2013. (We actually knew before we booked the resort that we’d have extra funds in our food allowance that would cover the resort expense).

The top of the tiny refrigerator has been used as a cupboard.  Spices are only available in these large containers. The enchilada sauce has no wheat or sugar. The local grocery store Nakumatt has some surprising ingredients, but is lacking in many familiar items for which we’ve learned to improvise, no longer giving it a thought. 

As a result of these calculations, we’ve decided to dine out each of the final six nights in Kenya while using the remaining food we have on hand, adding veggies from the produce stand on the road as needed. Any remaining food and household supplies will be given to Hesborn and Jeremiah (along with the last of the three months of divided tips we’ve given to each of them at the end of every month).

Now, back to the frustrating search for 11 nights in a hotel in Honolulu. Hopefully, we’ll have this resolved in the next few days to free us to begin the process of packing our boxes to be shipped to South Africa and the no-longer-overweight luggage we’ll be bringing aboard the plane.

Of course, at the end of our stay, we’ll share our total living costs in Kenya for the three full months, including the cost of our safari which by far was the best money we’ve spent so far!


4 thoughts on “Counting our remaining supplies…Prepping to leave…No wastefulness here…Our food costs in Kenya for three months…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    We got back home around 2:30pm this afternoon and by 3:30pm Dan was starting the riding lawn mower and mulching up the tons of leaves on our one acre property. Oh how I miss the Lake Condo already and the beautiful view of the lake and the quiet solitude. This time of the year, there were only two couples staying the entire week.That certainly does not happen in the summertime.

    Thanks so much for your kind words about my writing, I never dreamed anyone would say that. It always takes me so long to put words together because I don't want to bore you to tears.

    On our drive home, Dan and I were talking about your long Hawaii stay and we mentioned wouldn't it be great if we could rent a house on one of the same islands while you are there. And then you mention it too. Maybe it is meant to be.
    But it is always hard for me to plan something so far in advance. Believe it or not, I am not the big traveler in the family. Dan and I have gone on 26 cruises and just about everyone of them he has to start a few months in advance to try and convince me how fun it would be and how we should go.
    We have been to Alaska 3 times and Hawaii 3 times and had a fantastic time. In Alaska we always stay an extra week after the cruise so Dan can fish in Homer. And one of our Hawaii trips was spent in condominiums on 4 different islands. But staying in the US is no problem, it's when we go out of the country that I start getting nervous. And the rough seas on the cruise to Barcelona did not help.

    I love how you are so thorough on your everyday writings. You mention things that I am sure most people would not think of. And that gives us a real insight to what traveling as you are is like.
    And then I read about all the planning that you and Tom have to do and your next trip will take you two days to get there, and I think how silly I am. But I guess we are all different, wouldn't you say!
    Just planning the budget and keeping to it seems overwhelming. But it also sounds well worth it from how the two of you are so happy and content, even when it is really difficult.

    Your friend,
    Pat and Dan too

  2. Jessica Reply

    Pat & Dan,
    You both have surely have traveled extensively including 26 cruises! That's amazing. I bet you've reached the top levels in the loyalty programs on several cruise lines. Do tell.

    After we're done in Hawaii we hope to go Alaska. We'll be checking into it once we get situated in South Africa but we have found a few good options. For now, we'll take a break on the "hunt" for more vacation homes and hotels which we'll explain in today's post I'll be writing soon.

    We're happy for you that you enjoyed the Lake of the Ozarks so much. But, it's hard to return, go through mail, do yard work and get back into the groove. As you know, we don't have much mail, no lawn and a forever changing groove but we too, have tasks and responsibilities of a different type. Everything has a price to pay. There's no "free lunch."

    You describe yourself as uncomfortable in a number of situations regarding travel. You're kidding me! You've done so much more than most people have! You're brave and you've seen so much! Besides, any of us who emotionally survived the 50 foot waves for 3 days on the Epic as the the 4 of us and others did, mental state in tact, is brave. That was one of those life changing adventures.

    Gosh, how fun it would be to hang out together in Hawaii. The guys could fish and you and I could power lounge and check out the quaint shops. All of our dates for our stays at each island are listed in the post of 2 days ago.

    Thanks again for writing, for your kind comments, for sharing your life and travels and for being our "pen pals" in this in the modern world.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  3. Anonymous Reply

    Have you ever thought of ditching the laptops and getting a tablet or an ipad? It seems like it would do everything you need it to do and that you use your laptops for but would be so much less to tote around both in terms of bulk and weight. I just looked at the ipad air and the thing is absolutely freakin awesome! Right now I'm using a samsung tab 7.2 but considering getting me one.

  4. Jessica Reply

    As heavy users, online considerable hours each day and using our laptops to watch downloaded shows,prepare document, etc we are definitely happier with laptops with the bigger screens. We purchased these lightweight Acer Windows 8 laptops before we left the US and couldn't be happier with them. For now, we're content and the weight is not an issue since the airlines don't weight our laptop bags or my handbag, just our checked bags.

    When one is a Windows-person, it's ingrained to the core. Our phones are Android. We chose to give up so much to travel the world and have acquired so much in return. But, old habits don't die easily especially when they work so well.

    Thanks again for writing. Let us know how you like the ipad air when you get it!
    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

<< Older Post Newer Post >>