We are just completing Week Four of our Lent project. Financially and nutritionally, so far the budget seems to be within our capabilities. Socially, it has been a major challenge.
We could have sequestered ourselves for the 10 days over March Break but that is not our reality. We tend to spend vacations and holidays with friends and/or family. Months ago we committed to spending part of March Break with friends at our cottage and the latter part of March Break with other friends at a cabin at Blueberry Lake Resort in Labelle, Qc, some 20 minutes north of Mont Tremblant. I was committed to bringing my fair share of the food and so we packed as much as we could fit from home (two boxes and two coolers of food). Thankfully, restaurant meals were not convenient to either location so I was grateful that our guests and cabin mates were more than happy with home-cooked meals. We managed a lovely BBQ and homemade birthday cake with 12 adults and 13 children to mark my eldest son’s 13th birthday celebration (thanks largely due to the salads, sides and beverages contributed by friends).
My kids astonishingly did not complain too violently over brownbag lunches at the ski hill but even I had to summon all my willpower to ignore the sizzling outdoor slope-side BBQ and tantalizing bar in the beautiful spring sunshine that we enjoyed over March Break. The requisite trip to Place Bonbon in Tremblant’s pedestrian village was strategically avoided by parking at the Porte du Soleil chairlift instead of at the base of the mountain (though there were a few denied requests nevertheless). In doing so, the kids learned a pretty valuable lesson: treats are a lot more plentiful and economical at the grocery store than in a touristy sweet shop.
Despite our best efforts and considerable self-control, we have $75 left of our food budget to last to the end of March. We’re out of bread, milk and eggs and the last two bananas and apple were shared among 5 people for breakfast this morning. I did however find a little extra Van Houte ground coffee at the bottom of my kitchen freezer this morning, so I for one am pretty chirpy.
The sad truth is, though, that ski passes were still purchased, weekly allowances still dispensed and the Tooth Fairy still arrived…and these are not Basic Needs.
On that note, if you are looking for a beautiful year-round lakeside retreat that was fairly economical, check out the rustic chic of