I have a coupon drawer and I collect various coupons and deals for such a time as this. Then I get them all out and mix and match for the best trip. This was a mini-trip which lasted a day and a half.
I often use Priceline, name your own price for hotels. However, this time, I found a hotel deal through a radio station. It was a 2 room hotel, with a fireplace and Jacuzzi tub. It also had a kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator. This hotel had a pool and hottub and free breakfast as well. I got a special deal for this hotel for $60.00 for this room!
We went out to eat at a nice restaurant. A couple of years ago, I was offered a deal through restaurant.com to buy as many $25.00 coupons as I wanted for $2.00 a piece. These coupons could be exchanged for different restaurants and never expired so i bought about $40.00 worth. My husband and I have been enjoying these coupons for 2 years now and have eaten at many nice restautants! With these, you have to spend $35.00 at the restaurant and give an 18% gratuity (which the servers love!). My husband got a Walleye Dinner with a root beer and a banana cream pie and I got a Spinach Salad with creme soda and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. We sat outside next to the lake and a fire which was really very nice! This dinner including gratuity cost us $27.69. We could have spent that elsewhere and got a lesser meal but this was a very, very nice dinner (although I must admit, I thought the salad was small.) We dug into the pie before I forgot to take photos!
We had a nice breakfast for free at the hotel and it was very good for a hotel breakfast. In my calculations, I figured this as free for the medium sized number above too but if we had went out, it would have cost maybe $15.00-$20.00 plus tip.
We had supper at Dairy Queen. I wasn't very hungry so my husband and I split a shrimp dinner for $6.21. Later on, we got some blizzards and that cost $8.00.
My husband had been wanting to see Lynard Skynard for a few years. I heard they were going to be in the area, only an hour from us and advance tickets were only $20.00! So, I bought 2. Shortly after I bought them a friend said she was probably able to get some for free if anyone wanted any, but these were non-refundable or this blog would be super rather than pretty good! LOL! But I saved $10.00 by buying them in advance. There was the most amazing rainbow right before the show!
My husband drives a Honda Insight which gets 70 MPG! So we traveled 246.2 miles but only spent $12.25 on gas. (The mileage varies..this photo shows 75.6 MPG!)
So all in all, it was a really great time and we only spent $165.41. If we had gotten free tickets to Skynard, it would have been only $125.41. But we could have easy spent much more. I used a conservative estimate of $381.85.
But we could have easily spent:
Meal number 1: $45.00
Meal number 2 (breakfast) $20.00
Meal number 3: $20.00
Meal number 4: $40.00
Zip Line $90.00
Lynard Skynard (we have seen tickets for $70.00 a piece) $140.00
Food/Drink at Concert $20.00
This is a high estimate for a total of $554.00 for a difference of $338.59. This is a $.19 an hour raise for a years worth of work, tax free!