Colorado skiing and snowboarding can become very expensive, very quickly. It is also possible to make round trips to the mountains without spending a dime on much of anything. It is possible to stay in the world of sane, Front Range prices while staycationing uber-expensive mountains.

Dehydrated camp food is a staple for me during long ski staycations

Food is going to be something that will eat up much of the fun budget, but it is so easy to save money in this area. It can also be a lot healthier and can enhance the trip by substituting healthy foods that your body craves before, during and after full days of skiing and snowboarding for calories consumed at crazy expensive restaurants.

It may sound trite, but packing food can easily save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over a season spent playing the snow.

That camp stove isn't just for backpacking

Dehydrated meals cost about $6 and feed two people. Add boiling water, wait a few minutes, and mow!

I go to the point of bringing my camp stove along with me so that I can heat up leftovers and enjoy something warm in my belly. On the days before I head to the mountains, I'll often make a big batch of chili or something that transports well, reheats easily and is delicious. I also keep dehydrated meals in my stash. They are pretty much non-perishable and I really like them.

Raw food will set you free

Your body will be happier than your pocketbook if you decide to eat lots of raw food!

Skiing and snowboarding are calorie burning activities, and replenishing our bodies with a lot of fruit, vegetables, nuts and other raw sources of pure nutrition is one of the best things we can do. I utilize these types of foods on the drives to the resort, or even on the long haul from the Front Range to the mountain towns. Not only do they fill my body with what it needs to have great fun days on the slopes, they also are great energy sources on the drive, which can drag. An apple for a boost at Denver, cashews and a banana at  Georgetown, then a celebratory handful of raisins as I pull into Frisco are a part of the ritual.

Put the 'BYOF to restaurant' ratio where you need it to be

The patio in the Thunderhead Lodge at Steamboat

There are great restaurants in the mountains, and I love dining up there. The thing I avoid is eating every morsel of food during my Colorado 'staycays' at pricey restaurants. When I take care of my own breakfast and dinner, I can happily plop down $20 on a slice of pizza, yogurt, coffee and a huge chocolate chip cookie. I don't mind that it is so expensive up there. I really don't! Part of the money goes to convenience. Not having to leave the mountain for lunch adds vertical feet to my day. Then, part of that money pays for the view, which we all know is priceless!

I'll pay for this view with lunch any day of the week!