Couponing My Way To The Islands!

Friday, January 27, 2012

~Coupon Preview!~

Go HERE to see which coupons are in the Sunday paper!

Happy Clipping!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

~JBF Dallas Spring Sale!~

Here are some ways to participate in the Just Between Friends Sale this Spring!

• SELL your items and make 65%!
• VOLUNTEER and be one of the first to shop and earn an extra 5%!
• SHOP and save even more money!

For more information, go HERE.

JBF is AWESOME! I want to encourage you all to be a part of it. Mark your calendar for March 22-25, 2012.

Wednesday Blessings!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The offer allows you to complete your federal tax return using their online product for FREE! (State returns are an additional fee.)

Go HERE to get started!

This looks like a great deal!


Monday, January 23, 2012

~Disney Tip-Food & Beverage!~

Did you know that you can bring your own food & beverages into all the Disney parks? This is wonderful! Truly wonderful! The waters were $2.50 each and the snacks & meals were expensive. We only ate dinner at the park once and were not impressed with it. I was very glad we didn't waste any additional money on food that wasn't that tasty!

We took a soft-sided cooler (it folded up well in our luggage) and packed our sodas & water in the bottom with the ice first. We pre-made our sandwiches at the hotel and then also packed all our snacks (crackers, granola bars, etc). We ate lunch everyday from our cooler. We never had to buy a drink at any park either. They have water fountains where you can refill the water bottles. The water isn't great, however it was FREE!

We saved HUNDREDS by bringing our own lunch, snacks, fruit & drinks into the parks.
The thing that truly amazed us was that we were there for 1 week and only saw about 4 other families bring their own food, snacks or drinks into the parks. We were there at a busy time with THOUSANDS of families and they were all just shelling out money for things that would have been so easy to put in a backpack or stroller and bring with them.

What about a dining plan?
For us, it was much cheaper to do it this way. We could have added a meal plan to our resort package, but I'm so glad we didn't!

Happy Monday!


Friday, January 20, 2012

~Coupon Preview!~

Go HERE to see which coupons are in the Sunday paper!

Happy Clipping!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The offer allows you to complete your federal tax return using their online product for FREE! (State returns are an additional fee.)

Go HERE to get started!

This looks like a great deal!


~Disney Tip-How will you roll?~

Here is another money saving Disney tip:

Bring your own stroller! The stroller rental prices were $15 for a single & $31 for a double per day at each park. If you have 2 children and were at the parks for 6 days that would be $186 just in stroller rental fees!

Do you really need a stroller?
YES! Unless you have an older child, I would HIGHLY recommend you using a stroller (even if you typically don't). I don't know any child under 6 that can walk for 12 hours and not get severely cranky. It was nice for my daughter to be able to stroll in between rides. Plus, it was really nice to be able to store our stuff in the stroller.

What if you fly?
You can check your stroller at the gate and it doesn't count as a carry-on. We didn't check any luggage for our trip and simply carried the stroller to the gate. They will stow it under the plane for you for FREE :)

More Disney tips to come....

Wednesday Blessings~

Monday, January 16, 2012

~Disney Tip- Fly vs. Drive?~

This tip may shock some of you...Consider Flying! If you have 2 or less children, it is likely that you will spend more on gas, hotels (on the way) and food just getting there rather than flying. There are usually some good airfare deals to Orlando from Dallas. Don't forget the time you would spend driving. For the same price or possibly cheaper, flying is the way to go. You are not tired from traveling when you arrive. Plus, it is super convenient to not have a car in Orlando.

WHAT? Did I just say it is "super convenient to not have a car in Orlando"?
Yes! It seems like everywhere we went, they charged for parking. Our resort (inside the Downtown Disney area) charged $8 per day for parking. The Disney parks charge $14 per day to park. For a family that stays 6 days it would cost $132 just in parking!

If you stay at a resort inside Disney and use their bus transportation to and from the parks it is FREE! Plus, they drop you off at a convenient location near the entrance. I highly recommend this! It is worth paying a little more for a resort inside the Disney area to be able to use the Disney buses (they run every 30 minutes).

How did we get from the airport to the resort?
Our particular resort did not offer transportation to & from the airport. However, some Disney resorts have a bus for airport transportation. This actually worked out to our favor anyway. I called around to a few shuttle companies to find the best deal. We ended up getting a town car service that provided a booster seat (free of charge) and also one stop off at Publix for a 20 minute grocery run. This was perfect for us so that we could get our food for the week on the way to the resort!

There are many things to consider if you are contemplating flying v. driving. Parking fees, wear & tear on your vehicle, gas, hotel, food & snacks, etc. Last year I had one friend with 2 children (family of 4) that flew and got a great price for airfare (around $200 per person). I also had a friend who drove with her family of 4. The friend who drove ended up spending more than the friend who flew! Plus, the friend who flew had more "vacation time" to spend in Florida.

Please remember that this is all based off being located in Dallas.

More Disney tips to come...

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

~Coupon Preview!~

Click HERE to find out what coupons will be in the Sunday paper.

Happy Clipping!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

~Our Disney World Plan~

We decided back in August that we would take a trip rather than exchanging gifts this Christmas. We have all been excited for months about our trip to Disney World! I have been getting very creative with ways to save for this trip. My goal was to not use any of our savings money, but to 100% pay for this vacation with the extra money that I've been earning. I was inspired to do this by my friend, Christy, that I wrote about HERE. That was a CHALLENGE! Whew!

What I've learned through it all?
If you want something bad enough, write it down! I posted a Disney World Savings Fund sheet on my pantry door for us to look at everyday. I put down every dollar (even cent) that we save. On that same sheet I wrote the breakdown of exactly how much everything would cost. Of course, the food category was not exact. However, we had a very close idea of what it would cost.

This process did not seem like such a huge leap by writing it all down. It has been wonderful to see my daughter bring me pennies that she has found. She has loved contributing to the fund. That was my goal! I wanted her to feel like she was part of us getting there too. I believe that she will have a great appreciation for something that she knows that we worked together as a family for. Yes, I realize she is young. However, this is a great lesson at any age.

It is never too early to start teaching your children the value of money and teamwork...Two things that they will need great knowledge of the rest of their lives.

In this series I will be writing about ways that I saved the money for Disney World and how we saved money once we were there. Literally, we saved HUNDREDS by doing a few simple things!

Wednesday Blessings~

Monday, January 9, 2012

~2012 Financial Goals!~

Well, it's that time of the year to set those money goals. This is an exciting time for me as I challenge myself more each year. It is amazing what you can accomplish with a plan.

Now that you have had a week to come up with some goals...what are they? Here are a few of my 2012 financial goals:

*Save 25% of our income
*Tithe to our church (We've done this for over 10 years. I always like to include it.)
*Give to a ministry (more to come on that at a later date)
*Give $$ to a family in need
*Save $$ for a mission trip
*Save $$ for our island trip
*Save $$ for family camp
*Give supplies to a family in need
*Stay within budget in every category
*Use what I have on hand. This may not sound like a financial goal, but it will save me money to use up some supplies instead of replenishing.

Most importantly, my goal is to be thankful for what God has given me. I want to use our resources to the best of my ability. My goal is to be the best steward possible with GOD'S money.

Monday Blessings~

Friday, January 6, 2012

~HUGE Coupon Weekend!~

This is Sunday is going to be a HUGE coupon day!!! Get your scissors ready.
Go HERE to find out which coupons to expect!

Happy Clipping~


~January Spending FREEZE!~

Spending freeze in January!

Sorry, I meant to mention this to you all earlier this week. (No sugar or caffeine has made me NOT on my "A game" this week.) My household is on a "spending freeze" for the month of January.

What does "spending freeze" mean?
We don't spend any money on anything other than groceries & gas (aside from regular bills). This cuts out small purchases that add up, meaningless shopping, eating out, etc.

Starting a new year off by saving a chunk of money dramatically increases your ability to keep the momentum going throughout the year. I try to always make January one of my big savings months.

Is it too late to start?
Absolutely not! Start today!

Can't wait to hear how you all do. It is a new year and this is the time to make some changes in your financial forecast. You can do it!

Friday Blessings~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

~The Fast is in Full Force!~

Wow, 2012 is here! Is everyone making goals for the year? Have you kept them thus far? I sure hope so. Setting goals and hitting them is such a fantastic feeling!

My hunky hubs and I are on day #4 of a fast. This year we are fasting more than we ever have. It is tough, but wonderful at the same time. We have cut out television, sugar, caffeine, red meat, processed foods, eating out, etc. Basically, we are only eating what grows from the earth (fruit, veggies, whole grains, beans, etc). Which cuts out pretty much everything that we enjoy!

Why do a fast?
We have been doing a January fast for years now. We believe it is the best way to start off a new year. We believe that cleansing our bodies, minds & souls will bring us closer to God. Trust me, it works! Sometimes I wish we fasted all the time. It is so peaceful to spend time in God's word and to not have the interruptions of life. Sadly, you realize how out of alignment your life really was when you do a fast.

Benefits of a fast?
For us it is to feel closer and to hear from God. Just yesterday I got a word "DISCIPLINE" after praying specifically for a situation. It takes discipline in all areas of our life to succeed. We must be disciplined to stay on budget, keep our goals, to not be obese, you get my point. Everything comes down to discipline. So, yes this is one of my "words for the year".

Okay, I'm fully aware this post may be strange for some of you to read. It was not at all what I had intended to write today! Oh well. Just rolling with it in 2012 ;)

Coming up this goals for 2012! Get ready, they are ambitious!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 2, 2012

~Happy 2012!~

Happy 2012!

2011 has been a strange year. I can't really put my finger on exactly why, but it has been different than the past. 2011 was full of extreme highs and some extreme lows. It didn't seem like there were many days that were just normal. Don't get me wrong, I was loving the extreme highs. However, the lows were just that...LOW.

Honestly, I try my best to stay positive and to treat others the way in which I would like to be treated. However, it just didn't always work out that way.

This year has also been the busiest of my life. I have felt like I have been running (sprinting) trying to catch up with my life and I'm always one step behind. Do you feel like that?

I do my best to prepare, plan and create a nice home. However, I've had to loosen up a bit to stay sane this year. I've had to become okay with a little clutter and to be okay with things not in their place. I don't want to miss out on my life because I was so hung up on the need to not have dust on the furnishings. This has been a struggle for me.

We started a fast on January 1st and I am really going to try to re-calibrate my life during these 21 days. I need to re-evaluate and prioritize things. I'm believing that 2012 is going to be a fabulous year!

I pray health, healing, increase and abundant blessings for you and your family. Thank you for being a loyal reader. I pray that you take away something from this blog each time you read. I pray that I'm providing you with a way to save money that you may not have tried before.

Happy New Year!