Frugal living · Traveling · Vacation tips

Seven Ways To Reduce the Cost of Vacation

 

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Like most families, we’ve pretty much always had to be very frugal and wise with our money.  It’s so ingrained in me now to shop the bargains that I just can’t stand to overspend on anything.  I want quality at a bargain price!  (Thanks, Mom!)

Going on vacation is no different – it has to be done wisely, but we can still have the BEST time when we get away, and we also enjoy some splurges,at a fraction of the cost!  Here’s how we do it:

  1. Go to your destination at times when it isn’t peak season.  One place we stayed this month was going through some renovations, so we got a reduced price.  The renovations were on the outside and never even affected where we were.  I can still swim in the pool while they paint the outside walls of the hotel!
  2. When eating out at the restaurants that everyone has raved about,
    • Go at lunch time.  The portions are plenty and the price is greatly reduced.
    • Share a meal.  90% of the time, we share an entree.  Most restaurants serve way more food than one person can eat.  We like the same things, so we generally always share a plate and go away completely full!
    • Avoid the appetizer.  If they bring bread to the table, let that be the starter for your meal.
    • Drink water.  At $2 or more for a beverage, that can add lots to your bill!
  3. Eat the other two meals in your condo.  We usually stay in a place where we can cook.  I’ll fix simple meals, but delicious food for breakfast and supper meals.
    coffee
  4. Buy snacks and water bottles at the grocery store and keep them in the car with you when you’re out. Having an occasional treat can be planned for by taking advantage of the next tip!
  5. Look for specials that are running at your favorite restaurants.  Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Sonic, and lots of other places have specials from time to time.  Search the Internet and see what deals you can find.  Starbucks had half price Frappes when we were at the beach!  That was a great treat on a hot day!
  6. Avoid the tourist-y shops.  They are way more expensive than most stores.  If I need a hat, sunglasses or sunscreen, I run to TJ Maxx, rather than the Beach Shop!
  7. Do things in the area that are free.
    • Bring your own or rent bikes to enjoy the paths in the area.
    • Museums, parks, libraries, outdoor music, gardens, beaches, pools -the list is long of all the things you can find to do that cost nothing extra!

We felt like we truly splurged, but we spent a fraction of the money we could have had we not used our strategies that have become our favorite way to travel!

Were you surprised that not one of the suggestions was to stay with relatives?!  If you do stay with family, only stay a night or two!  “Fish and company stink after three days!” =)

Happy vacationing!

Denise

Frugal living · Shopping

My Favorite Things From Dollar Tree

What isn’t to love about a store that sells everything for $1?! We have a couple of really nice Dollar Tree Stores in our area (let’s face it, some aren’t so nice!).  The stores are well-stocked, clean and orderly.  Like any store, you have to know what items are great deals and what itmes are best to purchase elsewhere.  I thought you might like to know my favorite things I pick up when I’m there!

  • Books – I recently got two books about backyards and gardens that are full beautiful pictures, recipes and great ideas that I can’t wait to implement in my yard!
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Can you believe this $20 book was at the Dollar Tree?!
  • Cotton Balls
  • Nail polish and polish remover
  • Elf Make-up (when available)
  • Puffs 2-pack purse tissues – these are never with the other purse size packages of tissues.  I usually find them with travel-size items.
  • Organizing bins – I love the colors and sizes
  • Greeting Cards
  • Craft items
    • Scissors
    • Craft sticks
    • Styrofoam balls
    • Stickers for card making
    • Glue sticks
    • Hot glue sticks
  • Package envelopes for the mail
  • Helium Balloons
  • Gift Bags – The ones I showed here came from Dollar Tree
  • Seasonal decor for decorating my children’s classroom at church

I’d say that’s a pretty good list of reasons to check out Dollar Tree, wouldn’t you?

What do you pick up at The Dollar Tree?

Denise Signature 150 px