I’m all about saving money. I’m all about finding good deals. In fact, it’s one of the aspects I enjoy about planning a trip. Where can I get the best deal, and how can I get it? So here it is: my go-to guide for saving money and a list of saving tips.
1. The Public Library
The main library in my local town is within close proximity of my office. This is great because I can go during my lunch hour. Not only am I able to check out books that have just been released, but videos as well. Of course, there are about 100 people on the list ahead of me, but I figure, if I didn’t see the movie when it was at the theater, chances are I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to see it. Plus, while I’m waiting for the video to become available, I have plenty of other things to do. Another thing that I like about the public library, is that I can check out the book and/or movie for three weeks at a time. With a toddler, it’s very hard to watch an entire movie, or read an entire book, in a short amount of time. By the time my son goes to bed, and I wind down for the day, I’m too exhausted to watch an entire movie. So usually it takes me and my husband three days to watch a movie.
2. Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa Card
I only charge what I know I can pay off the following month. I like it, because I accrue points for Southwest flights. When my husband and I went to Texas several years ago and rented a car, we were able to not only get a ganga of a deal for the rental itself, but I also earned points from booking through Southwest. I basically receive points for every so much money that I spend. We accrued enough points that when we took a Canada/New England cruise less than 2 years ago, we were able to fly back from NYC using our Southwest points.
3. My Coke Rewards
I’m actually rewarded for drinking my favorite soda. Who knew?! Because of my coke rewards, I was able to book hotels in San Antonio and Austin for a significant reduction off their normal rate. I’ve also been able to create photo books and calendars from Shutterfly using my coke rewards. This especially comes in handy when it’s time for holiday or birthday gifts 🙂
4. Disney Visa Card
This is the same concept as the Southwest card. With a toddler, this has quickly become our favorite credit card. We accrue more points if we use it grocery stores and gas stations. Not only do you accumulate points that you can use to purchase merchandise at the Disney store, but you can also use the reward points to purchase tickets at the Disney Parks. We’ve been able to book a stay at the Aulani (a Disney resort on Oahu) by using some of our reward points, and also at a discounted rate. (more info to come regarding our stay at the Aulani). Sometimes the card has limited offers for vacation packages during a certain time of the year. And when you book a vacation package, you have 6 months to pay it off at zero percent interest. Because of this, we were able to stay at the Disneyland Hotel for the first time (we loved it). So, this gives families the options to try out something new that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to try without breaking the bank. *Please keep in mind that it must be an approved vacation package. When in doubt, please always call the credit card company to verify that the package qualifies for the zero percent interest for 6 months).
5. Target Cartwheel App
Target is my favorite store. And I love checking the cartwheel app to see what kinds of deals are available. My son is currently into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Not only did they have his shoe size available on clearance, but there was also a cartwheel app for 10% off (even including clearance items). We were able to get him light up ninja turtles shoes for less than $10. Less than 2 weeks later, we went to the store, and saw them on sale for $20! Needless to say, we were happy that we bought the shoes when we did, and they have quickly become my son’s favorite shoes.
So here are my money saving tips in a nutshell. Research is key.