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Old 06-07-2012, 01:48 AM   #91
Blackbeltdisneygirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyjinx3 View Post
[/B]


This is me too!! We have been going every year (this is our third) and I feel very blessed to be able to do it. But I am like you...constantly saving....and I feel so happy when money goes into that Vacation account. It is totally worth it.
It is so much more stressful this year for me. Last year's trip we just took our tax return and paid off the trip, so it was a bit easier. Though, b/c it was in May, I didn't have a lot of time to earn spending money. We managed to earn more than enough, but I was stressed. I keep feeling like I am not going to make it. I don't know why. I guess I am just nervous doing it this way. In 3 months I have saved close to $3,000, but I am still freaking out. I guess I just like to have things paid in full way in advance so I have time to save for spending money. Plus now I have to pay for flights b/c my mom put them on her credit card. She is giving the kids $100 each towards their flights, so I just have to come up with the balance after the $500 comes off. Oy. You are right though. It is totally worth it. In my city we just lost 4 teenagers in a major car crash this week, and it was so very sad. The whole community has really pulled together, and one of the teens was a student at our karate school, so I have had a rough time. It really made me think about the time we have with our kids and how fast it goes. I feel this is the only time I have with my kids before the make their own way in the world, so I will spend the money now and worry about the rest later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dismom55 View Post
Saving some $$$ here and there during May, I put together $180. and deposited it in my Disney account today, just had to share with some people who I knew would appreciate the gesture. It was just from taking the bills left and putting them aside and not spending them, sure did add up fast. Going to do this again next month or rather this month. Want to see how much I can come up with by the end of June.
Good job!!!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #92
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What a wonderful thread, have really enjoyed reading everyone's personal saving tips!! My biggest problem with saving money is that I go out far too often and spend so much on a night out so really need to find 'less expensive' things to do to pass the time! and these change jars sound interesting!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #93
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Our upcoming WDW trip is a little different than most - an incredibly good and generous friend and her family have offered up this year's DVC points to us for FREE. Our room will be taken care of, which is a huge chunk of the cost of Disney, especially since we'll be staying at BWI. The only crimp in this perfect scenario is we have to use the points before the end of September, and we were JUST offered the points. We have about three and a half months to save up to buy park tickets, plane tickets, food and spending cash. I am not working at the moment, and we have been living paycheck to paycheck from my husband's job. We do not use or have credit cards of any kind, and prefer it that way - we both had credit card issues stem from previous marriages and have decided if we don't have the cash for it, we don't need it.

We are doing a number of things to save up for this trip - couponing, raising the AC to a higher temperature to cut back the light bill, cutting out ALL fast food. I have also been making more basic food at home out of ingredients we already have, like home made bread and veggies from the garden. We will be having 2 yard sales before we go and have been clearing out some unused storage items and putting them on eBay. Any time you get a five dollar bill back as change, put it aside- you'd be surprised how quickly that adds up. Since I am unemployed, I have started a dog walking service in my apartment complex (this also helps to get me ready for the marathon that is the World Showcase), and all money from that is going into the Disney fund. All extra change (check your sofa!) is being put in a big jar that will be emptied before we go, but the biggest contributor has been how I manage the checking account. Previously, whatever was left over at the end of a week just carried over into the next week. Now we are keeping the balance low (but still keeping enough to pay bills) but removing whatever is leftover on a Friday before the paycheck comes in, and putting it in the Disney fund. Last week was rent so only $50 got transferred over, and today an extra $250 got put in. So far I have about $1300 saved up, but still have quite a way to go before I hit our sweet spot of $3000 - in three and a half months! Wish us luck!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:16 PM   #94
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I forgot to add, the Disney fund will be mostly converted into Disney gift cards or Disney Dollars after the plane tickets are purchased- that way, there is no temptation to spend it anywhere else but Disney!
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:18 PM   #95
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As far a clothes go I outlet shop, Ross, Marshalls, T-J Maxx and clearance rack shop in major dept stores. I don't buy just to buy. I just scored a jacket, sweater, running pants, 2 long sleeve shirts, a white strappy summer top and a nice t-shirt for 50.00 dollars at a local dept store. Sweet..


But I wold like to talk about washing clothes.

Do's - Use a good product's for me it's tide, downy, and spray and wash with resovle. I find that I can use less and not have to rewash items, which saves money! I shop the sales ad's and stock up and use my coupons. Sometimes target will have a store coupon and you can use a mgr. coupon for added savings.
I turn all my jeans and dark clothes inside out when washing it helps keep the color from fading.

Don'ts - I don't use my dryer very much. This is a energy saver on the light bill. But mostly I do it to save my clothes. I stretch out and shape all my shirts and lay on top of the dryer, I never ever dry my jeans or dress pants or lingerie. The way clothes are made now, they are made not to last, how many times have you bought a shirt, it fit great in the fitting room you wash and dry it and it doesn't fit so great or it's to wide or too short. It's the way that the fabric is cut, to get more piece's per bolt. so by stretching and shaping and not putting in the dryer the fabric doesn't contract or tighten up. It also help with the wear and tear on the garment overall.

For instance my BFf and I both bought a TH black polo shirt. mine is still black and her's is starting to fade, the only difference is I use tide and do not put it the dryer.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #96
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Sorry guys! I have been MIA. I have been so busy I just haven't even turned my computer on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicMark View Post
What a wonderful thread, have really enjoyed reading everyone's personal saving tips!! My biggest problem with saving money is that I go out far too often and spend so much on a night out so really need to find 'less expensive' things to do to pass the time! and these change jars sound interesting!
Welcome! My husband and I used to go out to eat constantly. I never realized how much money I could save by not eating out until I tried! It is something that will either work for you or not, and if it doesn't, then I would try and find other areas in my life that I could trim the fat so to say. Hope you figure it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysmagical View Post
Our upcoming WDW trip is a little different than most - an incredibly good and generous friend and her family have offered up this year's DVC points to us for FREE. Our room will be taken care of, which is a huge chunk of the cost of Disney, especially since we'll be staying at BWI. The only crimp in this perfect scenario is we have to use the points before the end of September, and we were JUST offered the points. We have about three and a half months to save up to buy park tickets, plane tickets, food and spending cash. I am not working at the moment, and we have been living paycheck to paycheck from my husband's job. We do not use or have credit cards of any kind, and prefer it that way - we both had credit card issues stem from previous marriages and have decided if we don't have the cash for it, we don't need it.

We are doing a number of things to save up for this trip - couponing, raising the AC to a higher temperature to cut back the light bill, cutting out ALL fast food. I have also been making more basic food at home out of ingredients we already have, like home made bread and veggies from the garden. We will be having 2 yard sales before we go and have been clearing out some unused storage items and putting them on eBay. Any time you get a five dollar bill back as change, put it aside- you'd be surprised how quickly that adds up. Since I am unemployed, I have started a dog walking service in my apartment complex (this also helps to get me ready for the marathon that is the World Showcase), and all money from that is going into the Disney fund. All extra change (check your sofa!) is being put in a big jar that will be emptied before we go, but the biggest contributor has been how I manage the checking account. Previously, whatever was left over at the end of a week just carried over into the next week. Now we are keeping the balance low (but still keeping enough to pay bills) but removing whatever is leftover on a Friday before the paycheck comes in, and putting it in the Disney fund. Last week was rent so only $50 got transferred over, and today an extra $250 got put in. So far I have about $1300 saved up, but still have quite a way to go before I hit our sweet spot of $3000 - in three and a half months! Wish us luck!
Sounds like you have a great plan in place. Good for you. We just started getting all of our (well, my) stuff together to sell on ebay. I used to collect Barbies, Party Lite, and VC Andrews books, and in looking them up on ebay recently, found they have increased in value for the most part. Party Lite retains it's value if kept in good condition when it becomes retired, so I am very happy. In all, if I get the lowest price out of the ranges I found, I can pay off my trip and pay for all of our airfare. I may even be able to have some left over for extra spending money. I am also selling my T-mobile Blackberry and 3 other Sprint phones, so it is looking good for us! I am in the process of learning how shipping is calculated and such.

Good luck, and again, great job!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysmagical View Post
I forgot to add, the Disney fund will be mostly converted into Disney gift cards or Disney Dollars after the plane tickets are purchased- that way, there is no temptation to spend it anywhere else but Disney!
That's what we do, along with the no credit card thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesTimone View Post
As far a clothes go I outlet shop, Ross, Marshalls, T-J Maxx and clearance rack shop in major dept stores. I don't buy just to buy. I just scored a jacket, sweater, running pants, 2 long sleeve shirts, a white strappy summer top and a nice t-shirt for 50.00 dollars at a local dept store. Sweet..


But I wold like to talk about washing clothes.

Do's - Use a good product's for me it's tide, downy, and spray and wash with resovle. I find that I can use less and not have to rewash items, which saves money! I shop the sales ad's and stock up and use my coupons. Sometimes target will have a store coupon and you can use a mgr. coupon for added savings.
I turn all my jeans and dark clothes inside out when washing it helps keep the color from fading.

Don'ts - I don't use my dryer very much. This is a energy saver on the light bill. But mostly I do it to save my clothes. I stretch out and shape all my shirts and lay on top of the dryer, I never ever dry my jeans or dress pants or lingerie. The way clothes are made now, they are made not to last, how many times have you bought a shirt, it fit great in the fitting room you wash and dry it and it doesn't fit so great or it's to wide or too short. It's the way that the fabric is cut, to get more piece's per bolt. so by stretching and shaping and not putting in the dryer the fabric doesn't contract or tighten up. It also help with the wear and tear on the garment overall.

For instance my BFf and I both bought a TH black polo shirt. mine is still black and her's is starting to fade, the only difference is I use tide and do not put it the dryer.
I am looking forward to getting to buy brand new clothes before Disney! I am currently in the process of losing weight with my doctor's help, and in just under 4 weeks I lost 11 pounds! I am excited because I have been sick for a long time and haven't been able to lose any weight. When it is time to shop, I will probably still shop at Lane Bryant, but their coupons are great, so I save a lot of money. Maybe I won't chafe so bad this year if I am wearing properly fitting clothing! I combine store and manufacturer coupons at Target too!

I am the same when it comes to washing laundry. I always have been. My mom always said my bedroom looked like a Chinese laundromat when I was younger b/c they used to (and maybe still do) hang up their clothes instead of drying them in a dryer. I have hung most of my clothes since I was a teenager. Now I use a clothesline, and it makes me very happy to do so since it saves me money AND keeps my clothes looking great. My family's gi's always look better than everyone else's at the karate studio b/c we only hang them to dry. I usually use Tide, but have used other kinds and not had any issues b/c of hanging my clothes. I am actually considering making my own soap for laundry, and have started saving containers in order to do just that! Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:48 PM   #97
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Alternative money saving: How to save money on food:

Hi again everyone! I am in the process of embroidering a million Mickey head balloons on our matching t-shirts for Disney, so I thought I would write another post for alternative money saving while I babysit my embroidery machine.

I thought it might be nice to talk about alternative ways to save money on food. Everybody has to eat after all, right? Might as well try and eat cheaper than you are used to! Eating cheaper does not mean you have to eat a lesser quality of food. In fact, in my house it means the direct opposite! We eat better tasting and more healthy food as a result of finding alternative ways to "hunt and gather". As I've mentioned before, about two years ago, my family went through about a year of extreme poverty. We weren't prepared for it as we had always been able to make things work. Add to that my getting sick, and we barely made it out of that mess. I knew we had to do something different, so I tried to figure out where I could trim the fat, so to say, and where we could do things completely different to accomplish the goal of feeding our family, having a home, etc... These alternative methods have given us the chance to turn our financial circumstances completely around. Now we have the ability to pay for wonderful vacations, pay extra on all of our bills including our mortgage, and have peace of mind. So...choose a couple pointers, are use them all. Any small change can accomplish huge savings.

How I save on food and products for our home:
1. Coupons, coupons, coupons! I know I have talked about this before in posts, but it has been the single best decision I have ever made when it comes to saving money. I often hear people say "I would like to use coupons, but I always clip them and forget them." This breaks my heart. I always say coupons are cash. Why give up your dollars when you can hand someone a piece of paper, and it takes the place of your valuable cash? I use coupons for nearly everything I purchase for our home. My favorite and most successful place that I shop at is Giant Eagle, but I realize not everyone has them in their area. I do not run to 4 different stores trying to find the best deal. I think I would spend more time and gas doing this, so I usually stick to one place for the most part. I'm not going to get into all the ins and outs on how to use coupons because with everyone being from different areas, stores will be different. However, I do suggest that if you need a way to save money, coupons are that way. As I have said before, just at Giant Eagle, every year I save over $15,000. To be successful with coupons, you need to try and match them up to a great sale.

I hate paying for TP!! So...I stock up when it is only a couple cents!



I was featured on Sistersshoppingonashoestring.com once for this haul of $500 in free groceries.


I was able to buy those groceries b/c by buying the grands and cinnamon rolls, I earned coupons for free groceries! They paid me to walk out of the store with their food! By the way, the grands and rolls freeze really well, even though the containers say not to freeze them!


2. The trick to being successful at saving money on food is to stockpile. No, I am not a doomsdayer. I don't mean for you to stock up on 40 years worth of deodorant. I do not hoard things myself. It depends on the size of your family, but I try to pay attention to how much of something my family uses in a month, and I keep no more than 6 months to a year worth of something on my shelf. The year timeframe usually applies to toilet paper since I hate paying for that. If you have a smaller family, try keeping 2-4 of something on your shelves. For instance, I keep roughly 6-8 toothpastes on my shelf for my family. That way I never have to pay full price when I start to run out. When I get low, I just watch for a deal and a great coupon. I may leave a store with 100 boxes of cereal, and people say "what are you going to do with all that cereal? Well, last week my focus was on pretzels and deodorant b/c I was getting low, and the week before it was shampoo, conditioner, kielbasa, and bread. So...in three weeks I have managed to stock up for at least 6 months on various food items and health and beauty products. I may be rambling, but my point is that it takes time and patience to build up a bit of a stockpile, but you won't have to pay full price for anything once your stash becomes varied with all kinds of things you use every day. The biggest protests to this method are time and space. I manage to find space whenever I need it, and sometimes that means being creative, but it works. I guarantee if you think about it, you could find some extra space somewhere. We all have areas of the house where we could stand to get rid of something. As for time, initially it does take time, but after you get good at it, it comes much faster and takes hardly any time at all. I am not like the people on the shows that sacrifice family time to coupon.

3. Freeze food! I was brought up freezing things that some people never consider. Bread being one thing, and milk another. I have a deep freezer and really need to buy a stand up freezer soon. Usually I will buy about ten loaves of bread for the kids at the beginning of the month and freeze them. That way I don't have to run out and waste gas because we ran out. I prefer more expensive healthy breads than the wheat I buy for the kids, so I will wait untill they are buy one get one free, then use a coupon on each one since my store just splits the cost in half. I get them for barely anything, but I will buy 20 and freeze them. I buy milk when it is cheap and freeze it. I don't find this works with soy milks and such. We use skim milk, and actually prefer the taste of it once it has been frozen. It is ice cold and fresh tasting when we thaw it. We just set it on the counter for a couple hours, then put it into the fridge when it is partially thawed. Yum. Again, it saves on gas, time, and money. Freezer meals are something I love, but don't find a lot of time for. The point of freezer meals is to do all of your cooking for a week or month, then freeze everything and pull out as needed. It is a very cost effective way to eat, and a lot of us end up eating out b/c we are too hungry and food will take too long to cook. By doing freezer meals, you eliminate that excuse. Flash freezing is another method of saving that I will talk about when we talk about gardening.

4. Pick a month to eat only what you have in the house. It is a great way to go through your food and figure out what needs to be eaten so it doesn't expire. My deep freezer is full to the brim. I need to do one of these! My mom will do this, and she refuses to buy any groceries unless absolutely necessary. It is a great way to keep yourself from overpurchasing, and to avoid having to waste food that has expired. Eat it before it expires!!!

5. Even if you don't want to spend a whole day doing freezer meals, when you cook a pot of soup or spaghetti, how hard is it to make a double portion and freeze it? It is one small way to have backup meals in your freezer for use when you are in a hurry.

6. Gardening! This is our first year doing our own garden, and it has been fun. I am posting pictures b/c I am proud of our success. If you have the time to till even a small area and plant a couple seeds, your return can be huge! We spend a lot on produce, and I am looking forward to eating from our garden and not having to spend as much on produce. We also plan to flash freeze. That is where say you have tons of green beans from the garden, and instead of putting them in a freezer bag and freezing them, you lay them all out on a cookie sheet, freeze, then put them in a freezer bag. That way they don't end up in a massive clump of green beans. You can pick out a handful because they have been individually frozen. Make sure you date your bags unless you go through them as fast as my family!!!

Here is a pic of our garden from about 1/2 way in our yard. I love seeing the veggies growing big and tall.


Tomatoes!!!


Rows of veggies!


More rows! I see corn off to the right!!!


So cute. Cabbage on the left, brussel sprouts (ew) on the right.


My broccoli is so cute! It is growing so well, and I have never seen it grow, so it is super interesting!


Pretty lettuce, cilantro, sugar snap peas, and more!


We have potatoes, squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, sugar snap peas, watermelon, potatoes, cilantro, basil, oregano, raspberries, radishes, blueberries, strawberries, green beans, lettuce, broccoli, and onions I think.

7. This is a tip that carries over into saving money on utilities, but it has to do with food too. Since we just talked about gardening, lets talk about how we water our gardens. I use the hose, of course, but we also decided to use rain barrels to catch rain for use in the garden to save some money. My hubby hooks our hose up to them and waters the garden. He installed the drains himself. If you are worried about mosquitos, then you put a gold fish in the water to eat the larvae. We had one barrel my hubby used to use for drywall mud. We cleaned it out really well, and it has come in handy. The other we bought at a flea market, but we made sure that it was food grade only. We didn't want something that had housed harmful chemicals to water our veggies with!

Rain barrels!!!


8. We are going to start going to produce auctions and keeping some of the produce, and selling the rest. It is the same place a lot of stores get their produce from, so it can be a significant savings on some of the items we won't be growing in our garden.

9. The most obvious way to save is to eat out less. You all know this one. By planning meals and using some of the above tips, you can avoid spending your hard earned dollars on fast food and other restaurants.

I am feeling the need for a break, so if I think of more, I will get back to you!
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:26 PM   #98
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We are DVC members so the rooms are basically already paid for when we go. We do have to pay dues each year, so last year I rented out enough points that paid my dues fees and still had more than enough for us to take two trips during the year.
Throughout the year I use the Southwest credit card to charge everyday items and accumulate reward points. I then use these for free flights and for 3 years, have had enough purchases each year to also get the free Companion Pass in addition to award flights. (I pay off this cc every week or so)
I use the Disney Visa when they offer triple award dollars to rack up on Disney dollars.
This past trip, 2 kids took the Y.E.S. classes, which resulted in a savings of over $600 on tickets for the group.
Throughout the year, I "save" the little rebate cards, refund checks from ShopatHome, and other miscellaneous small checks to stash away in the Disney fund.
Surprisingly it all adds up to quite a nice sum.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:52 PM   #99
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Do you think its better to put everything on your CC and get rewards $$ or just put the $$ you would use to pay off the card and put it away?
If you use your card for everyday things like groceries and gas, keep a tally and pay it off is it the same?

This trip we are using our Disney Visa. And hoping to pay it off soon. We also have another CC we are trying to pay off. So all your tips are great! We have a deep freezer and should use it more for the storage of meats and making our own bread and stuff. Great tips everyone. Hubby and I are hoping to take a European Disney cruise next year for our 10yr. Gotta save and pay off!! Ahhh.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #100
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My DH and I are currently working through Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. We're both young {24 & 25} and childless {hooray!}, so it seemed like a great idea to go through FPU now while we're debt-free. We LOVE the program, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

We save for a Disney trip by first deciding when we want to go {many, many months in advance}. We check the rates, estimate the cost, and begin saving up in cold, hard CASH. We have an FPU envelope labeled "Disney." We arrange our monthly budget to include X amount of dollars to go toward the Disney envelope. When it's full, we book the trip using our Disney Visa and then immediately pay it off the same day. We don't believe in credit card debt, so saving it up beforehand is the best option for us.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:41 PM   #101
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I like some of these ideas. Good to know when I have to start paying for myself (Im currently 17).
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:29 PM   #102
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Every paycheck, I get $100 disney gift card. I just started this month, so I don't have much saved yet. I have 13 more paychecks left this year, so I will (hopefully) have $1500 saved up for my trip. (Im going for about a month. im taking advantage of my grandparents as they rent a house down there for a few months in Kissimmee. Last year I didn't save well enough so I couldn't stay more than two weeks, but this time I bought my AP so im not freaking out about ticket prices a few months before!) Six months exactly until I leave!

I also have a change jar, I've focused more on using cash and putting my change and small bills in the jar. Every $50 I buy myself a giftcard. Last visit to the world I used my debit card about three times (at the end when I ran out if money on my giftcards) This time im determined not to use my debit card at all. Cash offsite and gift cards onsite.

Reading this thread I am determined to kick my dining out habit (actually, I really just get frozen yogurt. I've become addicted to the stuff!)

I just bought all new clothes (as im going on a non disney vacation to Louisiana in two months and needed something to wear) so those clothes ill be able to wear in the world!

I also need to stop buying nail polish. I have a few dozen bottles and I don't need to buy any more.

I still live with my parents (im only 20 so im going to ride this wave as long as possible) and I dont go to school, so that makes it easier to save for my disney vacations! I work 40 hours a week, which I love and im thankful for.

My parents have a small garden (peppers, tomatoes, and basil) so that will save us some money!

I wish I could get into couponing.


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Old 06-27-2012, 07:33 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by GraceMonica View Post
(Im going for about a month. im taking advantage of my grandparents as they rent a house down there for a few months in Kissimmee. Last year I didn't save well enough so I couldn't stay more than two weeks, but this time I bought my AP so im not freaking out about ticket prices a few months before!) Six months exactly until I leave!
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You're going for a month!!!!! I am super jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a WONDERFUL time!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:08 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Boncho View Post
You're going for a month!!!!! I am super jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a WONDERFUL time!!!!!!!!!
Thanks! Last trip I told myself I wont go back until I'm 21. Well, I figured I was just really grumpy because when I do go, it'll be two months shy of my 21st birthday. (I think I was upset because we always happened to run into the BTG and they always decided to invade my personal space when we did see them! A month gives me a lot of time to avoid the big groups and just relax!)

I get laid off every year in the winter, so I figured why not just spend it down there! I wont be missing any work and I'll have a place to stay. Plus if I didn't go down, I'd be sitting at home doing nothing!
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:28 AM   #105
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