Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My After Christmas Deals

I expect I will get more than this for after Christmas Deals, but here's a start! The food goes fast. I got some marginally healthy stuff in here too!

Buy $25.00 in Gift Cards, Get $5.00 Free

At our local Burger King, if you buy a $25.00 gift card, you can get a $5.00 gift card for free! I am not sure what locations are doing this or for how long, so you could check with your local Burger King for details!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Buy Christmas Items for Next Year Now!

Now is the time to buy Christmas items for next year. If you want specific things, you need to get to the stores as soon as possible. If you aren't too picky, you can get things cheaper in the next week or two. Now I am guessing most clearance sales are at 50% off, but later, they will go to 75% off and then 90% off. I like to buy at 90% off, but I don't need too many Christmas items either. Right now, you can also get Christmas clearance food times as well as long as you don't mind eating Christmas foods now!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Few Good Websites to Help You Save Money

There are tons of good websites out there for savings. Here are a few of my favorites.

Here you can find a lot of good deals, some forums and some free stuff:


Here is a great coupon site. Anytime you order online, be sure to check and see if a coupon code is available!


This is a great comparison site:


Here is a coupon site if you are into coupons:


This one is for rebates. I go though phases with rebates and coupons so I have not tried this site but have had great success with other rebates I found online:


Happy hunting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How a 2 Bedroom/2 Bath Hotel W/ Kitchenette/Fireplace/Jacuzzi Tub, Waterpark, Themepark, Bowling, Gas and Eats for 4 Cost $215.79

We just had a great mini-vacation for our family of four. We stayed in a two bedroom two bath hotel room with kitchenette, jacuzzi and fireplace plus had waterpark passes for 2 days, themepark passes for 2 days, 8 games of bowling and shoe rental and all food and gas to get there for $215.79. It was boatloads of fun and my cheapskate ways weren't offended. As a matter of fact, they rejoiced! We went to the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells and stayed in the Royal African Queen Suite.


Normally this room plus the waterpark passes would cost anywhere from $239.99 on a weekday to $379.99 on a high traffic day.

Every so often, when the Kalahari is going to be slow, they offer some really good packages. This package included everything above except for the gas and eats for $135.49. This includes all taxes.

The waterpark is a blast!


The themepark is also great fun!


Here is the breakdown of cost for us:

Hotel room package: 135.49
I mostly brought sandwiches and microwave meals for us (3 meals): $15.00
Cracker Barrel, our one out to eat: $46.90
Gas @ 50 MPG Prius: $18.40
Total: $215.79

This normally would have cost on a different day and eating out cheaply:
Room and Waterpark: 239.99
Themepark: 103.80
Bowling: 36.00
Shoe Rental:10.00
Cheap out to eat 4 meals: $80.00
Gas at 32 MPG: $28.75


This normally would have cost on a high traffic day and eating out at nicer places for 4 meals:
Room and Waterpark: 379.99
Themepark: 103.80
Bowling: 36.00
Shoe Rental:10.00
Nicer out to eat 4 meals: $175.00
Gas at 17 MPG: $54.12

We saved $282.75 over the lower cost package and $543.12 over the higher cost package. Of course, we would have saved the most by staying home but that also wouldn't have been any fun.

The trick to this is being willing to go when the deals are there. This can be tricky but works for us. We had to go on a weekday for one thing and there was only a 2 week time frame that this deal was offered. They have other deals at other times but this one is the best one I have seen.

Just look how much fun it is to be on a Ferris Wheel!

This is how I look after getting a bowling strike. 

Deals are there to be had if you are flexible and keep your eyes open. Happy deal finding!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

$11.97 Worth of Christmas Cards for $1.17: How Buying Off Season Can Save you Boatloads of Cash

Every year after Christmas, I look at the Christmas sales. As you can see from the photo above, this can save boatloads of cash rather than waiting to buy items at Christmastime. The cards above were $3.99 each which amounts to $11.97. I bought them at 90% off so they were .39 each or a total of $1.17.

I do this with wrapping paper, wrapping bags, ornaments, decorations, anything you can think of that a person might need for the next year. You can see how at 75%-90% off of these items it definitely adds up to quite a hefty amount. The only peril in this is buying too much stuff. In that case, you can easily give it to a thrift shop and feel good for doing that!

Sometimes people think this won't work because they think the items they want won't be available. This can be true if you want things that are very specific. Otherwise, if you can be flexible and patient, you can find items that you will both like and will work for you.

I find the best time for excellent clearance is not immediately after Christmas but more like a week or two afterwards. For me, since I don't really need too many specific items anymore, I sometimes don't even buy anything. So, I just keep my eyes out for what might interest me. If you are just starting your household and you definitely need specific items, going the day (or two) after Christmas is probably best.

I remember when I first started doing this, the hardest part was having enough money for that first Christmas plus buying the clearance items afterwards. It was hard because we were very poor, but the next year I was very much rewarded with not having to buy things! I buy Christmas presents all year long too, looking for buys. After getting over that first year hump, it has been a pay off ever since!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How I Got $93.13 Worth of Items for $35.96

This time of year, Walgreens has some really great deals. All year long they have a number of freebie items but they seem to have more this time of year, plus they have jingle cash. You pay for your freebie items and then within 2 weeks need to use the coupons they give you that add up to the amount the items were worth. Three of the items in the above photo were free. These are:

1. The chocolate probiotics worth $7.00 for free.
2. The toothbrushes worth $2.98 for free. There was also a free toothbrush in the package as they usually have 2 to a package.
3. The vitamins were worth $10.00 for free.

The essential C was buy one get one free, so what would have been $18.98 was $9.99.

The Closys (which I use for the teeth regimen you can read about on another of my blogs) is normally $13.99 but was $10.99.

The Purex is normally $3.99 but was 2/$6.00.

As for the Silk milk and the bananas, someone gave us a $10.00 card  for Kwik Trip last year for Christmas and I rarely go to Kwik-Trip. I was driving by one yesterday so I got the milk on sale 2/$6.00 and the bananas for .38/lb. Then, I had two $1.00 coupons for the silk milk so the whole sale cost $5.63. I used the card so I got the stuff for free plus I have some money left on the card.

Then, because I spent $50.00 at Walgreens (before coupons), they gave me this to use next time I come in (it has an expiration date!) for $10.00 off. I counted that as $10.00 off this order.

Everything I bought with these coupons and the like was on sale or buy one get one free. When I have freebie coupons to use, I don't think "This is all free so I should just get what I want!" I still carefully choose every item to be on sale so I get the most for my dollars possible.

So, the total for all these items was $93.13 but in the end, after I use my $10.00 of jingle cash, I will have paid $35.96 for a total savings of $57.17.