Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vacation, here we come.......

In an effort to liven things up around here, I thought I would write about being frugal on vacation.  Only a hard-core couponer would think a post like this is "lively". Good thing my husband does not read my blog - he would be rolling his eyes about now and thinking "I need to get her out more often".

This is kind-of a silly way to spend time and effort couponing and saving all year so that you can have a great vacation, only to spend time searching for coupons/deals when you get there.  AWWW, come on......get over it - especially if this extra bit of effort ENABLES you to take the vacation and it keeps your frugal skills sharp.

No Brainers
Eat when the Senior Citizens do....a lot of restaurants have early bird specials AND the crowds are not out and about yet.  IF you have a late breakfast AND an early dinner, you will have plenty of space for the all-important large helping of vacation icecream or dessert. 

Share.....a meal. This way, you will have left over space in your tummy and extra $ for the vacation icecream or dessert.  

Speaking of the vacation icecream or dessert, if you are renting a place that has a kitchen, buy your own.  You could blow the bank and spend $20 at the grocery store and have enough icecream/sprinkles/cones to suit everyone for several nights.  It would cost $20 for one round of icecream for the average family if you bought it out.

Don't want to cook, but don't want to eat out?  Pick up a rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked meat at the grocery store, along with some sides.  For less than $20, you could have a nice meal with little to no effort. Harris Teeter has pork and ribs, that are in the same hot section as the rotisserie chickens.  They also have sides that you heat up in the deli section.  Last time we were at the beach and were having seafood, I picked up a hot pork loin for our non-seafood eating friends.  They loved it!  This also makes you feel "rich".  If you are like me, you would NEVER buy that stuff at home, but on vacation, you can splurge.  PLUS - it's a lot less than eating out!

IF you decide to cook and need a small amount of an item, purchase it from the salad bar.  I am going to be cooking every night on vacation and will need a little onions and celery.  Getting it from the salad bar means that it's already chopped up AND I will get ONLY what I need.  None will be wasted.

Give it some thought throughout the year......
I heart rainchecks.  I shed a small tear when I actually use one because I know I am going to miss it so much.  Similar to the squirrel that gathers nuts for the winter, I "gather" rainchecks throughout the year to use on vacation. (That was a bad comparison, I admit...but I just couldn't help it.) It thrills me to no end to use them when I go on vacation.  I match my coupons up with them before we leave to go on vacation.  NO, I do NOT sit around the beach house clipping coupons and doing the matchups (or at least I won't admit it!) We are staying at my Mom's beach house, so whatever is left over can be used by her and other visitors later. Nothing is wasted.

Buy Local
I take what is "ready" from my garden with me to the beach, but whatever fresh produce that I still need, I buy it from the local farmer at the roadside stands.  There is even one stand that has boiled peanuts.  I am sooo looking forward to supporting HIM!

Hit the local thrift stores/Goodwill/Salvation Army
The beach that we go to (Surf City/Topsail, NC) has some KILLER thrift stores.  Their prices are fantastic!  Last time we were there, the hubby needed some swim trunks.  I got him a pair for $1.25.  Most of these stores are supporters of some type of charity, so even if the shorts did not work out, I could've donated them back and it would be like me making a $1.25 donation.

Have Fun
Whatever you do, have fun and take lots of pics!

Do you have some great ideas to add to the list?  Leave a comment to share it with others.


MochaMutt said...

Missy, have a great vacation! You guys have worked hard for it.

MochaMutt said...

Missy, if you see any good coffee shops on your trip, please let us know on We are always on the lookout for a good coffee roadtrip!