Free Summer Treats at Busch Gardens #Tampa

Since we live close to Busch Gardens, we go there after work for a walk a few times a week. From the parking lot, through the park and back to the car is over 2 miles. We usually don't even bother to go on any rides, but occasionally we'll stop and see a show if its new. I like to enjoy all the pretty flowers and landscaping, and it's interesting to people watch since most of the patrons are foreigners from South America now. It's winter there and this is their winter break, so huge groups of young teens who don't speak English follow around their guides with flags. It's actually annoying if you get stuck behind a group of fifty to a hundred people like that, so it's one of our challenges to stay ahead of them.

One of the frugal things we do this month, is to get our free daily sweet or salty snack. As season pass holders we're entitled to show our pass at any snack stand and get a free ice cream bar, popcorn, caramel corn, frozen fruit bar or dippin dots ice cream. Usually, we never spend any money at Busch Gardens, we only go for our exercise or to socialize with friends (most have a pass too!) Anyway, its been tough on the diet to get these snacks and stay on track with our diets. It means only a very light dinner and we also throw away the popcorn at half a bag. I know you're thinking, just get half a bag to be frugal. But that doesn't work because then you get a 1/2 bag of old maids and burnt kernels. You have to be able to shake and settle the bag so the good stuff (light and puffy) goes to the top and the heavy unpopped old maids go to the bottom.

Did you get your postcard telling you about the free snacks?
Anyway, this week the afternoon rains have been relentless. Luckily, I've managed to have a weather window to ride my bike home safely and dry, but those storm clouds roll in shortly after. Yesterday when we finished our Publix shop we were going to go for a walk but the rain rolled in, so we just went to the quick drop off area of Busch Gardens and went to the snack stand at the front of the park. We didn't even walk, just went and got our free ice cream. I like to think its being frugal, but some may think of it as being cheap. But as you know frugal is saving money with planning, being cheap is saving money at the expense of others. I guess you could argue that our savings were at the cost of Busch Gardens, but it's their deal - they threw it out there for those who are aware to take advantage of. We asked the employee at the booth how many free snacks they gave out daily and he said not many. He said only 15% of the people have redeemed the offer. That actually seems like a lot to me, since the only notification of this offer was a postcard mailed in June. It's not posted anywhere in the park or on the website, so if you threw away your junk mail you missed out on free stuff all summer.

By the way, don't miss out on next months freebie - Free soda beverage or 20oz Dasani water every day in August.

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