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It can be difficult to save money for our family vacations. We would like to use our income tax return, but sometimes that money has to be spent on unforeseen medical expenses, car repairs, braces for the kiddos, a broken appliance…. you know how it is…. the list goes on and on. And, it can be difficult to save money. Sometimes our paychecks are spent before they are deposited.
Still, I like to look for simple ways to help save money so that we can travel.
Between working and taking care of my family and home, I have very little time for extra activities. But, I try to do what I can to help put some money back so that we can travel as a family.
Here’s what I do:
- Clip Coupons
- Roll Coins
- Side Hustles
- Sell Stuff
Here’s more info:
I know what your thinking? Ugh, Really? Coupons? Who’s got time for all that noise? And honestly, in the summer, we are so busy that I get behind on couponing. But, when school starts back, we spend a lot more time at home and it is easier for me to keep up with it. Couponing is a lot of work, but it is so worth it when my grocery bill goes from $100+ to $20 at the register. And that’s a lot of cash that can go into our savings account for our next vacay.
Even if you’re not crazy about the food that is offered on coupons, you can use coupons to save money on toilet paper, feminine products, shampoo, dish soap, etc.
Need Help? These are my two favorite places to find coupons:
- Krazy Coupon Lady – These ladies basically do all of the work for you. They tell you the sales that are happening at major stores and match the coupons to the sales. They even provide the links for online coupons. It saves a ton of work and time! I get all kind of FREE item coupons from this website – from free paper towels to free cat food!
- All Natural Savings – If you love all things organic, non-GMO, and gluten free, this website provides a constant feed of sales and coupons. They also provide direct link to the coupons, and you can print coupons directly from your computer. You can search through specific needs (organic or gluten free) or search through store deals (Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods). They also share online deals from retailers such as Amazon and Thrive.
Let’s say you have a $200 per week grocery budget, and you use $10 -$20 in coupons. Then you take the $10-$20 and slide it over to your savings account. That adds up to $520- $1040 per year!
Every Wednesday, I check the new deals in my local grocery store. Sometimes you can get great deals without coupons. Sometimes there are great grocery deals that you can combine with coupons to maximize savings. I try to match the sale items with coupon in order to save the most money. If I find pasta or cereal at an awesome price, then I stock up for a month or two (most items go on sale every 6-8 weeks).
I love rebate apps. It may feel like just a dollar here and a couple dollars there, but it is super easy and it adds up fast!
- Ibotta – Ibotta is very easy to use and they have partnered with over 300 retailers – Publix, Costco, Walmart, Amazon, Sam’s Club, Groupon, etc. Just find the rebates you are interested in redeeming (Krazy Coupon Lady is great at listing deals at stores with the corresponding Ibotta rebate). After shopping, take a picture of your receipt. Ibotta matches the products on the receipt to the rebates and puts them in your account. You can sign up for Ibotta through THIS LINK and you’ll receive a $10 Welcome Bonus after your first Rebate. When I first started using the Ibotta APP, I honestly ran to Walmart and bought two packs of gum for $1.92. I then scanned my receipt, received a $1.00 rebate for the gum and then the $10.00 Welcome Bonus showed up in my account. I continued to redeem more rebates over the next two week and received another $10.00 ($5.00 & $5.00) Bonus. It felt good to have $35+ dollars within a few weeks (my product rebates + bonuses). In addition to racking up cash rebates for products and services, you will also continue to receive bonuses if you refer people to Ibotta.
- Check Out 51- Check Out 51 also works similarly to Ibotta. You send in a photo of your grocery receipt to get rebates on particular items.
- Walmart Savings Catcher APP- This APP is very simple to use. Simply click a photo of your QR Code on the bottom of your Walmart receipt. If Walmart finds a lower price, you’ll be refunded the difference. The money is transferred to an eGift Card that you can spend at Walmart. This comes in handy for road trip snacks or other travel items.
- Ebates –Simply sign up and get a percentage (usually between 2% and 15%) of what you spend back as a rebate into your Ebates account.
Roll Them Coins, BOYEE!
We collect loose change (My hubby hates carrying around change) and put it in a jar. I have read that if you fill an entire 2-liter soda bottle with dimes, you will end up with $700. Even if you save only $2.00 in change per week, you’ll save $104.00 per year.
Side hustles are a great way to make a little extra money. The nice thing is that these jobs can be done on the weekends or in the evenings after your day jobs. Most let you work as much or as little as you like. Every little bit helps!
- Upwork – Get freelancing work for jobs such as writing, designing, and web developing.
- Fiverr – If you have a specific skill, like digital marketing or graphic design, you can get jobs on Fiverr.
- Freelance – Find other freelance work at Freelancer or Guru.
- Rev – Transcription work. Medical, legal, sports, business audio and video files. Get paid per minute. Get paid weekly (on Mondays) through PayPal. You do have to take a basic grammar/English Test to qualify. It helps to be a decent typist and to have a good pair of headphones.
- Shutterstock or Dreamstime – Sell your quality, high-resolution photos. (Click on Become a Contributor)
- Foap – Sell your iPhone photos.
- Rover – APP for finding pet-sitter jobs
- Website Testing – Get paid to test websites on sites such as UserTesting, Enroll, , WhatUsersDO. Assignments vary and may take between 15-30 minutes each. Each assignment can pay up to $10-12.
- Virtual Assistant – Work from home helping companies with marketing-related tasks and make around $15 per hour. Try these websites: FancyWork, BelaySolutions, Red Butler, TaskRabbit
- Online Teacher or Tutor – At VIPKid, you can teach English to children in China. Become a language instructor through Berlitz. or CheggTutors
- Retail Auditing – Being a field agent through the Field Agent APP is similar to being a mystery shopping, but you send in your information immediately through the APP. Tasks include taking a photo, taking a service, counting items on a shelf, checking prices, etc. I know someone who makes almost $300 a year with this APP.
- Proofreader – Learn how to become a Freelance Proofreader for some extra cash.
Sell Some Stuff
You can do a little spring cleaning, and get cash for your valuable items! You’ll have a cleaner home (and garage and shed), and you’ll have some money for your travel fund. We recently cleaned out all of our DVD’s and took them to 2nd and Charles. The DVDs they sent back home with us (because of overstock), we ended up selling on Decluttr. We made $120 from both sales.
- Sell old phones on Gazelle or at a local EcoATM to get instant cash.
- Sell your goodies at Yard Sales, Consignment Shops, Facebook, Letgo
- Sell old books, DVD’s, CD’s or video games at a store like 2nd and Charles or online at Bonavendi or Decluttr. You can also sell on eBay or Amazon, but fees may apply.
- Sell Gift Cards you’ll never use on Raise
There are several survey companies out there, and they pay a small amount for surveys that you take. You can do some research to find the best survey company for you. Here are a few respected (and higher paying) ones:
- Global Test Market – This is my favorite survey company. They pay with gift cards or through PayPal.
- iPoll – Another survey website that pays in gift cards or cash through PayPal.
- E-Poll – This survey website is great for those who love a lot of tv shows. Your points can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks. Or, you can get cash payments through PayPal.
- Opinion Outpost – You can earn cash and gift cards by sharing your opinions through surveys.
Some companies will offer cash or credit if you refer others to their company/business/services.
- Ibotta – (Already mentioned above) Get $5.00 or more for each friend that joins and redeems on Ibotta. Receive $20 for two successful referrals, $50 for the next five, and $100 for every ten after that. There is no limit to how many people you can refer and no limit on how much money you can earn.
- Ebates – Get $5.00 for referring friends and bonuses are available.
- AirBNB – Get credit from AirBNB to use for future vacations. Get $20-$75 per referral.
BTW, I will be get a credit if you use these referral links from my website. If you want to sign up through these links, you will get the credits/money/benefits, and I will too! Thanks so much! I appreciate it!
Let’s say you want to go on an epic road or cruise trip next year, and you want to save $1500.
Here’s a plan for you:
- Sell old phones, DVD’s, CD’s, Books and other items online or through a yard sale $150.00
- Transcription jobs through Rev – transcribe 20 minutes per week for $10 $10/week $520.00
- Another Side Hustle and/or Online Surveys $20/week $1040.00
- Roll Coins $2.00/ week $104.00
- Rebate Apps (Like Ibotta) $2.00/week $104.00
- Save $5.00/week with coupons and put in savings $260.00
- Walmart Saving Catcher App – Use Your Walmart Gift Card for Road Trip Snacks!
That’s actually over $2100! Plus, you have some money to spend at Walmart for travel size shampoo! It may feel like you’re saving up nickels and dimes, but it really adds up!
Now, we got the money for this:
I hope you found some helpful suggestions in this post! What do you and your family do to save money for vacations?
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