In the town of New Braunfels, TX there is a yearly celebration of sausage called Wurstfest. Wurstfest is a week-long party dedicated to German music, beer, crafts, and, of course, sausage. AmBux and I love Wurstfest! We love the yodeling, the potato cakes with applesauce, the pitchers of Shiner Oktoberfest. As much as we love to go to this celebration of Bavarian entertainment, though, we have skipped it the past 3 years in favor of a little event we hold right in our own home: Frugal Wurstfest!
This year’s festivities started with a trip to the store to buy our groceries. We only needed a few ingredients and didn’t even need to buy beer, since we had some pumpkin home-brew left over from fall 2017. It is even more delicious this year. When we got home, I started shredding potatoes and AmBux queued up some Kerry Christensen, Master Yodeler. We grilled sausages on our patio and fried up the potato cakes on the outdoor burner, enjoying the cooler weather and sprinkling rain. We danced, drank, ate our meal, and didn’t have to drive home!
I want to encourage you to create your own versions of Frugal Wurstfest. Our more successful attempts at frugal alternatives begin with asking ourselves these questions:
- What are our favorite elements of this activity?
- Can we recreate these at home for less?
- Will it still be fun (and fun enough for the effort)?
AmBux and I can’t wait to go to actual Wurstfest again someday, but for now, while we’re paying off debt, we are OK with saving the money and having a celebration at home. The price of tickets, parking, food and beer adds up quickly. Almost every year for the past 3 years we have had a conversation something along the lines of:
“We deserve a treat! Let’s forget the saving-money thing this year and just go to Wurstfest!”
“Yeah! That sounds great. Let’s do it. But wait… I see tickets are $15. And even domestic beer is still kind of pricey… and we’ll have to drive there and pay for parking… And then there’s the driving home, maybe we should stay at a hotel.”
“Oh screw it.. Let’s do Frugal Wurstfest again, no waiting in lines either!”
Without fail, this is how our logic circles back around. So, when the November arrives that we are debt-free and going back to Wurstfest in New Braunfels, we will appreciate the people-watching and the yodeling and the overpriced pitchers of beer all the more.