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Saving on Snowboarding and Skiing: Five Frugal Tips

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for December, 2003

*Private Lessons for the Price of Group Lessons
Take a lesson on an uncrowded weekday. Many mountains give these lessons daily at set times, and you may be the only one in your class!

*Half-Day Tickets
Ask if half-day lift tickets are available around 1 p.m at a discount. Sometimes this info is not posted and you have to ask. The afternoon can be warmer and less crowded than the morning. At 3:30 p.m. you might have the slopes to yourself!

*Know That Tune
Save time, the contents of your wallet, and falls. Learn to give a quick tune to your board/s. Buy a Diamond Stone and an edge guide and learn how to use them. "Know your edges." You will learn what a sharp edge and a dull edge feel like. You can keep your edges in good shape and prevent the permanent damage of case hardening your edge. Give yourself a 5 -minute touch up mid-session or mid-vacation. You will ride more safely and more smoothly with sharp edges. You'll save time and finances by skipping the tuning counter.

* Food
The perfect food for snowboard and ski trips: Cook up a baked bean and hot dog (or tofu dog) casserole seasoned with catsup, mustard, and brown sugar or maple syrup before you go on your trip. This yummy dish can be eaten hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner and will keep at room temperature for at least 12 hours. You know how much food can cost at a mountain. Saves time and bucks. A jar of peanut butter and bread or crackers is also handy for trips. Also pocket packets of peanut butter on crackers or cheese on crackers are a handy and filling snack that won't freeze too hard. Drink water!

* Lock
Carry a small cable lock in your backpack, wrapped in bubble wrap. Lock your board/s when you go in the lodge, so you can relax, and find your trusty ride waiting when you come out.

If you liked these tips, visit and sign up for the newsletter (no charge) for more great ideas. Avoid the "2 Biggest Mistakes" people make on their first day out snowboarding. Read first hand reports from snowboard camps and see event and competition listings too.

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