Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The best vacation ever!! We were there opening day 2010!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How to save for a family vacation

According to Money Magazine, the average family spends around $1600/ year on a vacation each year. One might ask, "How do you afford this?"
First,  choose a practical destination that the whole family will enjoy.:
Going on a long plane ride with small children is probably not the best idea. Neither is going to Europe, where you must walk a lot, right after you have knee surgery.
If you like to hike, Tofino, BC is highly recommended. We spent a week there and loved it. It has great geocaching there too.
Cruises are great and are family friendly if you need them to be, and don't have to be if you don't have children. We are currently considering cruising again this summer. This will make 7 for us if we choose to go that way. I recommend using Royal Caribbean for the Caribbean and Holland America for Alaska and New England. If you are looking for a vacation for a special needs person then try Autism on the Seas. This group was on our last cruise aboard the Freedom of the Seas, and was excellent for individuals with special needs.
Second, determine cost:
If the average vacation costs $1600, then divide that by the amount of time you have to save. Breaking it down into smaller weekly amounts to put back helps you to see smaller chunks of money are easier to save than trying to come up with the whole sum at once.
For example:
$1600/ 6 months planning time = $267/month
$267/month / 4 weeks in a month = $67/ week
$67/ week sounds much easier to save than $1600 for a vacation, and it all evens out.
I do not recommend ever living outside of your means, and this means vacations! I love to vacation, but I would never put something on a credit card and carry a balance. For more info. on this, see my Travel page. Proper planning is the key!
Third, plan for spending money and extras:
If you price a vacation for $1600, there might be taxes or fees, so plan for this. Especially when cruising or going to Disney. You will always want to go on tours,eat snacks, or buy souvenirs, so make sure you plan for this.
I once went to a hotel and brought just enough cash for the room, however, when I got there they had a $100 deposit fee that I had to put down up front. I got the money back at the end of the stay, but that was $100 cash that I didn't have to purchase with during the three days I was there. Luckily they had an ATM and I had money in my account to cover it.
Last, book your vacation and enjoy! You will have a good time planning for the vacation as well as spending the time taking it. A study done by Science Daily reported that people planning a vacation tend to be happier than those who don't. I think that the thought of having something to look forward to is the key. Also, a change in one's routine is always good for your brain.

Monday, December 31, 2012

After Christmas Shopping Day Two

This time I visited three stores and saved $257.00 off retail!
I spent just $169.12 for $426.12 worth of items that I can use for birthdays, baby showers, and my home.
My first stop was Target. My total retail value was $267.65
My subtotal: 121.64 Total Savings: $146.04

Friday, December 28, 2012

After Christmas Shopping 2012

Total Retal : $540.64 (pre-tax)
Actual Retail : $266.29 (pre-tax)
Total Savings :  $277.35 (pre-tax)

Target Savings:
My best items - Thomas & Friends Risky Rails Bridge Drop - reg. $59.99 on Clearance for $41.98- $14.00 MFC = $27.98 Final Price
Savings = $32.01
Playschool Rocktivity Walk n Rider - Reg. $44.99 on Clearance for $29.99 - $5.00 MFC =
$24.99 Final price
Savings = $20.00
 Wal-mart Savings
My best items - Nerf Laser tag - reg. $34.00 on sale for $17.00 - $5.00 MFC = $12.00
Savings = $22.00
Dove Men + Care gift set - reg. $14.84 on sale for $7.25 - $2.00 MFC = $5.25
Savings = $9.60
Norelco All in one trimmer - reg. $19.97 Rollback - $14.97- $5.00 MFC = $9.97
Savings = $10.00
Reach Floss - reg. $.97 - $1.00 MFC = FREE + $.03 money maker
Michael's Crafts (my best store for savings)
Total Retail = $208.36  My Retail $68.16 (after tax)
Savings = $145.97 (pre-tax)
14X18 Black Frame - Reg. $34.99 40% off frames sale = $20.99- 25% off frames coupon from app = $15.74 Final
(5) Christmas 4X6 Frames reg. $14.99 on sale for $4.49 - 25% off coupon = $3.37 ea.
Initial travel mugs - reg. $5.00 on clearance for $1.50 - 15% off educator discount = $1.28 ea.
The Michael's app saved me $12.10 extra off frames and my educator discount saved me an additional $3.37 off my total.

Family Dollar Savings weren't as good as anticipated, but I still had pretty good savings on laundry detergent.
(3) Purex 150 oz. reg. $8.00 Buy 2 Get 1 Free store coupon = $16.00/3 or $5.33 ea.
Reach Floss reg. $1.00 - $1.00 MFC = FREE
Sparkle 6 Roll - Reg. $5.00 - $.50 store coupon - $1.00 MFC = $3.50

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thirty-One gifts sale

Right now you can purchase Thirty-One gifts at extremely discounted prices. Please click on the link below to view their outlet sale. Prices up to 70% off!
All-In-One Organizer - St. Andrews Hole-N-1
Products ship right to your door! Hurry, prices end December 28, 2012 at noon. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pay it forward

After the lady in Kohl's told me to "pay it forward", I was excited to actually have the opportunity to do so one day. I was coupon shopping in Branson in the Kitchen Collection store when I had a coupon I didn't need. The man in front of me was buying a bread machine for his wife for Christmas. I asked him if he had the $5.00 off $30.00 coupon. He said no. I didn't need mine so I gave him my coupon. He was glad to get it, and then when the lady rang it up, it doubled to $10.00 off. He was really excited then and turned to me and said, "THANK YOU!" I was really glad I was able to share the kindness that the ladies in Kohl's showed me on Black Friday by giving me their Little Tikes Fire station. So again... To them I say "THANK YOU!!!"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stationery card

Scripted In Glory Religious Christmas Card
Seasons greetings with personalized Christmas cards from Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday Bargain

Thanks to two nice ladies, in front of me in line at Kohl's, here is my best bargain of the day. There was only one of these left in the store, and one of the ladies had picked it up for her son. I sent my mom looking for another one, with no success, we had 20 min. to wait in line and talked to the ladies in front of us. They were really nice and I commented on the reason why I wanted the toy was because it was a fire station and my dad, husband, and brother-in-law were all firemen. They thought it was interesting, our family history of firemen. When we worked our way up to the check-out, and were about to part ways, they gave me the toy out of their cart, and said, "Your family has a history of firemen and ours is police. We don't need a fire station in a police family. LOL!" We tried to protest, but they wouldn't have it. They simply told us to, "Pay it forward." So to those two ladies, that I didn't even get their names, THANK YOU! My nephew will be enjoying his new fire station, and his daddy will be very happy too.

Original retail - $24.99
Black Friday Sale - - $12.49 - 20% off Kohl's coupon = $10.00 - $10.00 Kohl's Coupon = FREE
Finding two nice ladies on Black Friday madness = PRICELESS