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Old 01-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #1
stayhomemom77
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One Year to Save!!

Alright! I think enough time has passed since Christmas that our "spending brain" has subsided and we are now able to start being frugal again.

I am totally stealing this idea from oopsiDAISY from a couple of years ago, but I am going to try and fund my upcoming (at this point only in my head ) trip over Christmas break using only "found" money.

I currently have a change jar that's classified for vacations in general but since we are hoping to go on a Mediterranean cruise at the beginning of the summer, I can't use that one specifically for Disney until after that trip.

I do however, have an actual Disney jar that contains $13.60. It was originally intended as a present for my niece, but she had a special request for me that I ended up getting her instead (a Cinderella plush). I had intended to just use it for another birthday gift (I have several nieces and nephews) but her sister's birthday is in May, so I may as well commandeer it.

I don't really have a total in mind yet...I just wanted to begin and watch the savings add up.

So far I have...

$39.65 in rewards dollars for a survey site (which I will cashout to paypal)
$36.70 in quickrewards (which I will use to buy Disney gift cards)
$13.60 in the change jar

...for a total of $89.95!

I have a grocery budget of $125 a week and I have been working on my food storage for several months so I have a good bit put by. I spend about $50 a week on milk, yogurt, eggs, butter and fresh produce. I will still be taking advantage of any good deals and sales that become available each week but I would like to get the shopping down to $100 a week so I can divert that extra money into an account just for Disney.

Saving money for the next three Fridays, however is going to be tricky since I overspent last week on a freezer pack from the butcher and I have basically $50 a week left. I'll do my best though. Every little bit helps, right?

And lastly, we budget $60 a week for gasoline. When we travel out of town to visit family, we use all of it (and sometimes more ) but on the month's when we don't...there's always something left over. DH gets paid monthy...so if there's any of the gasoline budget left in the account when payday rolls around, that will be tossed into the Disney fund as well!

Please fee free to join in with your Disney saving tips, tricks and plans!!

Last edited by stayhomemom77; 02-17-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:15 PM   #2
VbChristy
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Dont drink soda in restaurants and try and use coupons as much as possible. Or when you are eating out. Get an appetizer and an extra soup/salad and then split the main course.

Don't eat lunches out most days of the week. That really adds up.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #3
stayhomemom77
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That's a great tip for people who dine out regularly!

I am jealous of the extreme couponing you guys can do in the states. Here in Canada, it's pretty tough to save more than a few bucks using coupons. I wish I could go that route to lower my grocery costs.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stayhomemom77 View Post
That's a great tip for people who dine out regularly!

I am jealous of the extreme couponing you guys can do in the states. Here in Canada, it's pretty tough to save more than a few bucks using coupons. I wish I could go that route to lower my grocery costs.
Where I live you cannot save much with coupons either. The only high value coupons we get are for toiletries. I save some with coupons and sales but not that much.

I am trying to save by using up the food that I have and planning for meals better.

We also try to travel as cheaply as possible.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:03 AM   #5
uccats97
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I think the days of extreme couponing are over.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:04 AM   #6
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All of the companies caught on after that show aired and now most stores do not double coupons anymore. The coupons are less valuable themselves as well. For example, $0.25 when you buy 4. It's disappointing.
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1979-2000 Too many WDW day trips to count!
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:10 AM   #7
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I still have luck at Target where you can combine Target coupons with a manufacturer coupon. I do this and keep my eyes open for the special gift card with purchase offers. I also use my red card for an additional 5% off and just pay it off before I leave the store. I find the best savings on toiletries. I also love the clearance at Target. You can get some really great deals if you look! And don't forget you can buy your Disney gift cards at Target and use the 5% red card discount too. I don't fill prescriptions enough to get the pharmacy discount but you can use that 5% coupon in combination with everything I've already mentioned.
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2001 DL/CA offsite, 2002 WDW offsite, 2003 WDW offsite, 2005 WDW offsite, 2007 WDW offsite, 2009 WDW offsite (Spring), 2009 WDW SSR (July), 2010 WDW ASMovies, 2011 WDW offsite (June), 2011 WDW, MVMCP Doubletree DTD (December), 2012 WDW offsite (June), 2012 DL/CA, minus the kids, offsite (December), 2013 WDW Princess Half Marathon weekend ASMusic (Feb), 2013 WDW AoA Cars Suite (June), 2014 WDW Pop Century Mother/Daughter trip (March/April), 2014 WDW Pop Century Birthday Surprise (July), 2014 WDW POR Tower of Terror 10 Miler (October)
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:41 AM   #8
mum of two pirates
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credit cards

So I just applied and got the Disney Visa. I spent the $500 and paid it off so now I get the free $200 gift card. Then I saw a thread where people were getting the southwest card and 50,000 free points they said it expired. I googled it and found an application called the 800 number and talked to the guy he said it was still goo. So I applied and got it, I will spend the required amount and get the points and fly free to Disney. Right now flights are $600. I should have enough points left over for a one way the next year. Maybe to the flower show. So I also just read that I don't have to pay 100% of my union dues, I only have to pay 60%. SO I wrote the letter and now I will keep $30 more each month and I also stopped the extra $10 I give each month to our political fund.
So that is $480 extra by next dec trip
free flight
$200 Disney gift card + whatever else I get from the card.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:07 AM   #9
AprilRenee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum of two pirates View Post
So I just applied and got the Disney Visa. I spent the $500 and paid it off so now I get the free $200 gift card. Then I saw a thread where people were getting the southwest card and 50,000 free points they said it expired. I googled it and found an application called the 800 number and talked to the guy he said it was still goo. So I applied and got it, I will spend the required amount and get the points and fly free to Disney. Right now flights are $600. I should have enough points left over for a one way the next year. Maybe to the flower show. So I also just read that I don't have to pay 100% of my union dues, I only have to pay 60%. SO I wrote the letter and now I will keep $30 more each month and I also stopped the extra $10 I give each month to our political fund.
So that is $480 extra by next dec trip
free flight
$200 Disney gift card + whatever else I get from the card.
I was thinking about doing that Southwest deal too. Our trip is Jan 2015...so did he say if those points expire or anything? Did you have any trouble getting the card?
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:31 AM   #10
mum of two pirates
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Card

It took about a min to fill out and was instant approval. I asked him and he said if you have no activity in a 24 month period on your southwest account they will disappear. So if you book a cruise then cancel it that counts.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 AM   #11
dpswift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uccats97 View Post
I still have luck at Target where you can combine Target coupons with a manufacturer coupon. I do this and keep my eyes open for the special gift card with purchase offers. I also use my red card for an additional 5% off and just pay it off before I leave the store. I find the best savings on toiletries. I also love the clearance at Target. You can get some really great deals if you look! And don't forget you can buy your Disney gift cards at Target and use the 5% red card discount too. I don't fill prescriptions enough to get the pharmacy discount but you can use that 5% coupon in combination with everything I've already mentioned.
Do not forget to add the Cartwheel app. to the Target discounts. I love the free giftcards with purchase too. It surprises me that sometimes you can find buy 3 of a $3 to $4 item and get a $5 giftcard.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:59 AM   #12
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uccats97 View Post
I think the days of extreme couponing are over.
Quote:
Originally Posted by uccats97 View Post
All of the companies caught on after that show aired and now most stores do not double coupons anymore. The coupons are less valuable themselves as well. For example, $0.25 when you buy 4. It's disappointing.
Every store in my area doubles coupons. Some will only double them up to a maximum of $1, so a 50¢ coupon becomes $1 and a 75¢ coupon also becomes $1. Others will double coupons up to 99¢ in value, for a maximum savings of $1.98.

They scrutinize coupons a little more and many of them will limit you to a maximum of 4 "like" coupons in a single transaction. But it is still possible to coupon successfully. I spent $110 for $360 worth of groceries last month because of the great coupons I had and the matching store sales.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stayhomemom77 View Post
Alright! I think enough time has passed since Christmas that our "spending brain" has subsided and we are now able to start being frugal again.

I am totally stealing this idea from oopsiDAISY from a couple of years ago, but I am going to try and fund my upcoming (at this point only in my head ) trip over Christmas break using only "found" money.

I currently have a change jar that's classified for vacations in general but since we are hoping to go on a Mediterranean cruise at the beginning of the summer, I can't use that one specifically for Disney until after that trip.

I do however, have an actual Disney jar that contains $13.60. It was originally intended as a present for my niece, but she had a special request for me that I ended up getting her instead (a Cinderella plush). I had intended to just use it for another birthday gift (I have several nieces and nephews) but her sister's birthday is in May, so I may as well commandeer it.

I don't really have a total in mind yet...I just wanted to begin and watch the savings add up.

So far I have...

$39.65 in rewards dollars for a survey site (which I will cashout to paypal)
$36.70 in quickrewards (which I will use to buy Disney gift cards)
$13.60 in the change jar

...for a total of $89.95!

I have a grocery budget of $125 a week and I have been working on my food storage for several months so I have a good bit put by. I spend about $50 a week on milk, yogurt, eggs, butter and fresh produce. I will still be taking advantage of any good deals and sales that become available each week but I would like to get the shopping down to $100 a week so I can divert that extra money into an account just for Disney.

Saving money for the next three Fridays, however is going to be tricky since I overspent last week on a freezer pack from the butcher and I have basically $50 a week left. I'll do my best though. Every little bit helps, right?

And lastly, we budget $60 a week for gasoline. When we travel out of town to visit family, we use all of it (and sometimes more ) but on the month's when we don't...there's always something left over. DH gets paid monthy...so if there's any of the gasoline budget left in the account when payday rolls around, that will be tossed into the Disney fund as well!

Please fee free to join in with you Disney saving tips, tricks and plans!!
That sounds like a good start.

I use a lot of rewards to finance my trips, too! I don't count my couponing savings anymore. I've been couponing for so long that I rarely purchase an item that is not already on sale or has a good coupon. Coupons have just become a part of my normal shopping routine.

My approach is to cover almost all of my vacation expenses using rewards.
  • I have my SWA credit cards for airline miles, my Disney Visa for the perks it offers in the parks, and my Chase Sapphire Visa for the Ultimate Rewards which are very flexible.
  • We also have a Diner's Club card that we use for our business expenses and almost all of our bills go on it to the tune of thousands of points each month. Those points are pretty flexible, like the Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • I shop online mostly through ebates.com because they give cash back but I also participate in mypoints.com where I redeem for Landry's GCs. Those are good for eating at RFC, Y&Y and at T-Rex. I joined the Landry's Select Club and get a $25 Birthday Bonus every year.
  • I do surveys at e-rewards and e-miles to add to my SWA miles.
  • I keep an eye open for any rebates for items that I normally use and I make sure that I send them in. Those rebates go into my vacation fund.
  • I do the change jar and that money is usually earmarked for tips.
  • We also purchased small DVC contracts so that we can stay in a villa every couple of years. I put $25/week into a savings account to cover the annual dues.
  • I have the Target REDCard and participate in their Pharmacy Rewards so that I can purchase Disney GCs at a discount. They pay for our annual dues, ticket upgrades, TiW card, souvenirs and dining expenses.

I also have a set amount of WAM (walking around money) that I get each week. It's sort of like my spending allowance. It has nothing to do with the household money or our joint entertainment budget. I can use it to buy a Starbucks coffee, rent a video, have lunch with friends or whatever. If I don't spend all of it, I put it into my vacation savings. Some weeks, I have nothing to put in and other weeks, I put almost all of it away.

I think that whatever method that you use to fund your vacation is great if it works for you. I know that CC rewards are not something that everyone can do and owning DVC is not an expense that everyone wants to take on. But those methods are working for me!
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:12 AM   #14
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We use a combination of vacation jar/found money and using credit card rewards to vacation as cheaply as possible.

Last year we flew Phx to Orlando for about $300 total for our family of 4. I jumped on a super deal on Southwest and used all of our saved Capital One airline miles to put towards the airfare. Then, we stayed 7 nights in my dh's parents timeshare = free. We had already saved $700 in our vacation jar which we put towards the Discovery Cove/ SeaWorld/ Aquatica tickets.

The rental car came to $97 for a week after constantly shopping around for deals.
Food was a weeks worth of groceries at the market and about 2 lunches out.

I think we did this pretty cheaply considering there were 4 of us flying across the country.

This year we booked Hawaii, also a super deal I jumped on ($401 pp nonstop from Phoenix). Have enough miles for one free airfare. Staying a couple of nights in inlaws timeshare (free) and 4 nights at Aulani. Got the 4th night free and using $700 of Disney Visa reward dollars towards paying for that. We also have $800 in our vacation jar going towards this trip.

These aren't free trips but I think they are extremely cheap for a family of 4.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #15
stayhomemom77
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Marionnette:

WAM! I love it! I do the same thing, although I've been calling it misc money. I'm totally calling it WAM from now on! Anyway, I take $20 a week for whatever unbudgeted expenses come up and whatever I don't spend gets tossed into the change jar. Like you, I've had weeks where it was all gone, weeks where there was some and weeks where the whole thing got tucked away. Once I have $100 in bills in that jar...I deposit it into the travel fund. I guess I accidentally left that out in my original post...although DH and I overspent during vacation and now I only have $25 to last me until Jan 30th! Guess I'll have to divide the change between the two change jars from now on!

I do something similar with my credit cards here, too. Of course, in Canada...we don't get the Disney Chase Card nor the Southwest card so I can't do exactly what you do, but I do use the cards I have to get free groceries, freeing up cash from the grocery budget for that week. I usually let it build up significantly (I have $33 at the moment on my main card since I cashed in last month) and then, depending on how much I have built up I use it a week or two before we go on vacation.

I would LOVE to buy DVC but DH would never go for it!



kkmcan:

Those ARE cheap trips for a family of four! I do wish my parents or in laws had a timeshare we could help them use...alas...our folks are not great with money, so we can't rely on them. I think we'll have to be the ones to buy a timeshare and let them borrow it for their vacations, instead!
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