Coupon Your Way to a Family Vacation

February 14, 2012 | Posted By: Shannen Bayless | Categorized in: Finance, Shopping, Travel
Weíve had a pretty mild winter where I live compared to the past few winters. Especially after last year when we had so much snow we didnít know what to do with it. I still canít believe we had days in January and February where my kids played outside without snow pants!!

So while weíve been enjoying this mild winter, I canít help but think about where I like to spend my vacation at this summer. We will spend a lot of time at my parentís cabin for sure, but Iím dreaming of a beach vacation some place. My husband says Iím obviously dreaming because we donít have money for that this summer. My plan is to prove him wrong and start saving for that beach vacation in Florida or South CarolinaÖmaybe.

Start a ďVacation StockpileĒ

One thing I did last winter/spring after we decided we would take our kids to the Outer Banks of North Carolina was to start a ďvacation stockpile.Ē Every time I would find a good deal on something I thought we might use on vacation, I bought it and put it in the extra stockpile area of my basement.

We were driving to North Carolina and renting a beach house with friends, so I stocked up on snacks and other items that I thought we might need during the week. Everything from fruit snacks, granola bars, chips, crackers, pasta, pasta sauce, and water were included. I bought some ďjunk foodĒ too because part of the ďfunĒ of being on vacation is eating!

We drive a minivan, so I knew we would have enough room to bring some of these extra foods and save money rather than paying for these things at the high priced grocery stores on the coast of North Carolina. So if you can, I highly recommend starting your vacation stockpile today.

Actually ďsaveĒ the money youíre saving each week

The next thing Iíve started doing this year in hopes of having some extra cash for my beach vacation (or even just a long weekend trip some place close) is actually saving the money I save each week. By this I mean determine your total savings for each shopping trip and put that into a separate vacation account.

Many banks offer separate vacation accounts where you can put money in but not take it out until June (this is extremely helpful for someone like me!). Even if you only saved $5 this week, put it into that account. I just did my weekly local grocery run, and saved $20.02 by shopping the sales and using my coupons. I came home and transferred that money to our vacation account.

Now if I have a really good week coupon shopping, I may save a lot more than $20 and may not be able to afford to transfer the entire amount (remember, Iím a stay at home mom on a limited grocery budget). Instead, maybe Iíll just transfer the amount in coupons I used (sometimes Iíll have near $25 just in coupons to use).

I realize that simply putting $20 or $30 still will probably not afford me a beach vacation, but it will help. Maybe the money I save could be used for a night at a nicer restaurant on the beach, buying souvenirs, buying everyone a few new outfits to wear while weíre on vacation, or maybe the money I save each week will just cover the cost of part of the gas itís going to cost to drive.

Bargain Buys

This seems like another slow week for great Bargain Buys, although I did save $20 at my local supermarket and saved another $40 at Logli this weekend. Oh how I love 10 for $10 sales and double coupons! Here are a few bargains that I noticed for this week: Target has deals on Dannon Activia yogurt, Mentos UP2U gum, Flintstone Vitamins, and Purina Dog Food. At Walgreens, look for bargains on Sundown Vitamin D vitamins (MONEYMAKER!), Got2B Stylers (FREE!), Gillette Mach 3 Razors, Disney vitamins and Huggies diapers. At CVS you may find bargains on One Touch Glucose Monitor Systems (FREE), Nivea lipcare, Got2B Hair Stylers, Dove shampoo, and General Mills cereal. Remember these deals are good through Saturday, February 18th.
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February 14, 2012 | Posted By: saamfam03
Great ideas!! I feel inspired to "coupon" my way to Disney!
February 15, 2012 | Posted By: HeatherS4
Awesome saamfam03! If you're interested in tracking your results and sharing your progress with us, I'd love to share it with our readers! :)
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