Category Archives: Hawaii

Living Cheaply in Hawai’i

I just moved to Oahu from Washington state. I did a little research beforehand on what to expect as far as the price differences but it really is just trial and error, figuring out how to get the best deal. I’ve lived here in Kailua for only a month but I’ve figured out a few things.

1. The bus is a good deal here Most rides are $2.50, $1 for disabled and seniors. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this after I’ve tested it out for awhile but so far it seems like an efficient way to get around.

2. Groceries can be expensive so stay flexible about that you eat. Stock up on nonperishables when they are on sale. If you have the time, go to more than one store to shop the sales and definitely join the reward programs. Try different brands. Something produced locally is going to be cheaper than a national brand shipped from the mainland. For produce try the farmers’ markets. They can be touristy but there is often a more unique selection.

I’m not a fan of Costco and Sam’s Club but it might be an option. I found Target groceries to be significantly cheaper on some items, but not all. It depends on how far you are willing to travel and how much time you can spend.

3. Gas costs more per gallon but it is consistent. All pumps seem to be within a cent or two difference so just go to the closest.

4. There’s no way around it, housing is expensive. Coming from the Seattle area, I didn’t find it completely outrageous. You just have to focus on the area you want to live in and be ready to jump on any bargain you may find. Compromise. You are living in Hawaii. Find something you feel comfortable in but maybe not the same square footage you had elsewhere. Rent first. You want to know the area before you commit to buying.

5. No need to spend much on entertainment. My local library is limited but functional. The beach is free. Some  MeetUps are free.

So, I have a lot to learn about Hawai’i including the language. OK, I’m not talented at leaning languages but it’s helpful to know a few Hawaiian words at least because people do use it mixed in with English conversation. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here so I might as well learn as much of the culture as I can while I have the opportunity. Living on a budget just brings you closer to local life and that’s just part of the adventure of moving somewhere new.


View from my balcony

Less than 100 days to go!

The tickets are purchased, items are being sold, boxes are being packed. It’s really happening. We are moving to Oahu, cat and all.

Much research went into figuring out the cat move. If it wasn’t for her, we’d probably be there by now.

She’s now passed her rabies test and we are in the 120 day wait period. Next step is a health certificate and tick repellent applied by vet a few before she flies. Her paperwork must be sent by snail mail to be there when she arrives.

Alaska Air is the only carrier that allows cats in the cabin to Hawaii. For a 21 year old cat, it seems like a wise choice. Now I just have to pick out an airline approved cat carrier. There are some fancy options but it’s just one flight so I think I’m going with the Sherpa original deluxe carrier.

So, now the project is to sell and give away more things including cars, find a place to live and ALOHA.

Who knew? I guess I’m a beach girl.

I’ve always been more attracted to mountains than beaches but over the past few years I’ve grown to become a beach girl. I’m never going to be that girl in the bikini hang in out in the sand. That’s not for me but having visited Greek, Bahamian, and Hawaiian beaches, I am now a water lover.

My first real impressions of the beach were in college, going to the Jersey shore. I suppose there were visits to Long Island as a kid, but those were brief and unmemorable. So, sorry, Jersey people, but those beaches did not make a favorable impression. I did want to learn how to surf back then, but it didn’t seem like people actually went in the water much. It was all about the tan. Not my thing.

So, having taken a few more pleasant beach vacations, my opinion had changed by the time we bought a condo on Lake Washington. I spent many hours with my headphones and Kindle, hanging out with the ducks and dogs at the beach. It amazed me that people went in the water since it’s cold. It was a special treat whenever the eagles or herons were around. And I had no idea salmon could jump so high.

The best time was winter and spring when it was windy enough for kite surfing. I’d get out on the pier and watch them every chance I got. I could see them from the condo window but it was much more fun to have the wind splashing over me on the pier as these wetsuit clad athletes sped toward the pier, only turning at the last minute.

Image 1


Juanita Beach

Now I’m living away from the water as I prepare to move to Oahu, Hawaii. I have to travel seven miles to get to a decent beach so it’s no longer a daily habit.


Mukilteo Lighthouse Park

So, now I’m ready to see what fun Hawaii has to offer.

horses on beach Oahu