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Monday, May 10, 2010

How It All Started, Part III

If you missed out on parts one and two, feel free to catch up.  I have already covered how I learned to save money at the grocery store, and at thrift stores, but there is more.  I learned throughout my frugal journey, that you can save money on other things as well.

One of the biggest issues for us was vacations.  With tons of kids, vacations can get very expensive, unless you know how to do it properly.  First of all, check the hotels website to see when their rates increase.  Try to schedule your vacation before the rates go up.  When you book a room, get one with a kitchen!!  This alone will save you hundreds of dollars on your vacation.  Once you arrive, go to the grocery store and stock up on drinks and snacks, as well as food for meals.  If you have a full kitchen in your room you can cook in your room and not have to pay for expensive restaurants.  If you do not feel like cooking large meals, then grab some frozen pizzas and (one pan) skillet meals.  These are simple, and the kids will love them.

Also check to see if your room has a DVD player.  If so, make one night a movie night.  Many hotels have movies available at the front desk that you can check out.  Pop a pizza in the oven and watch movies all night.

Find free activities for the family.  If you are going to a coastal location then take advantage of the beach.  If your kids are anything like mine, they will never get tired of it.  If your hotel has a pool, spend the day at the pool.  Check to see if the area offers things like fireworks shows or festivals at certain times during the year.  You can also ask the hotel where the nearest public park is.  There are tons of free activities everywhere, you just have to look a little and maybe ask the locals.

To sum up my entire journey I would say the most important thing is to think before you act.  Avoid impulse decisions and use your common sense.  Oh, and one more thing, forget about what others say!! Most of the time they are just jealous because they do not know how to do what you do, SAVE MONEY!!

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