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How We Saved for a Holiday

March 18, 2013

As you may know I am off to the Digital Parents Conference this week and some of the companies sponsoring the conference have donated some prizes for bloggers attending to win. One such company is RAMS and they are asking bloggers in the RAMS Loose Change Round Up to write about how they might budget, save or share ideas to get that loose change in your pocket to build into something bigger. The prize is $500!

Since I love a good giveaway I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring as saving money is something I love to do. When something as awesome as a trip to America come to fruition thanks to our saving money then I say to give it a go. It doesn’t have to be a holiday, it can be a car, pool or something else.

What I Did to Save Money for Our New York City Holiday

Coffee – Don’t go out for coffee or don’t buy coffee.  How much is coffee these days? $4? $5? More if you need something to eat or you are buying for the kids too. Whenever I was tempted to buy a coffee I would think to myself, “Do I want a coffee here in the local shopping mall or do I want coffee at Starbucks in NYC?” Guess where I chose? NYC.

Saving Money

Drinks/Water – I take water bottles from home for all members of the family everywhere I go.

Saving Money

Snacks – Similarly I take a bag of snacks from home  where ever I go. Doesn’t have to be fancy but it means if we are out longer than anticipated then I have something handy for everyone.

Say No – Not only to yourself but to the kids. Say no to the choccy frog or lollipop at the check out. Better still – tell them before you head out that they won’t be getting anything so there are no expectations

Menu Plan and Shop with a List – I do it every week and I share our menu plan here every Monday (or Tuesday) it keeps from the pantry and fridge groaning with food I don’t need and I am not throwing food out at the end of the week.

Shop at Aldi – it is seriously cheaper for the staples at Aldi. Yes I know this means visiting two supermarkets but it saves me so much that I am happy to do it. Plus I went once a week, sometimes once a fortnight as I had a list and I just got everything I needed, which means no ducking to the supermarket multiple time a week.

Shop at Discount/Grocery Clearance Stores – I have mentioned these guys before – very handy if you have a chance to check them out, I have saved lots of money picking up items we need from here.

Stay at Home – don’t go to expensive restaurants or cafe’s to have meals, stay at home and have an indoor picnic for something different. Or fire up the BBQ.

Rebates/Allowances – are you getting everything you can from the government? I saved our rebates/allowances we received after filing our tax return which added a nice lump sum to the holiday budget.

Tiniest Man at Library

Visit the Library – I love books, as do my two boys. Going to the library and borrowing all books, magazines and DVD’s we want is just the same thrill as buying them. Trust me. Even more so as you are not spending any money to get that thrill.


No Magazines – speaking of magazines, I just don’t buy them anymore. I know they are lovely to look at but again I used the line for myself, ‘do I want to buy them here at the local shop or in the Barnes and Noble store in America’ guess which one won out and by the way they are heaps cheaper in the US.

Giveaways – enter giveaways for things you need. Lots of bloggers are doing them now for all sorts of things. Just in the past 2 months I have won $140 in gift cards and last year I won quite a few. (including $1000 gift card from Target!)  While they don’t help for purchases overseas, I use them for groceries or when the boys needed new clothes. Kellie from Three Lil Princesses hosts a blogger giveaway link up every Sunday so it’s easy to see in one spot where the blog giveaways are.

Reward Cards Saving Money

Join Flybuys and Everyday Rewards – I use them for whenever I shop at the places that use them. I don’t go out of my way to shop at those stores, but since I am there anyway I may as well use them. I redeem them for giftcards although the Everyday Rewards through Woolworths I let sit there and accumulate as they are partnered with Qantas and they go towards Frequent Flyer Points. Plus Everyday Rewards sometimes have a special price on items for members so that’s  a bonus too.

Join Frequent Flyers – as members of Everyday Rewards (which is free to join) you can join Qantas Frequent Flyers for free, which if you happen to fly Qantas anywhere especially overseas, can help get those points up.

Money Box Saving

And last but definitely not least, saving your loose change. Get the noisy coins out of your pocket and pop them into a money box. That’s what we did, we popped it into this adorable money box our eldest made us in kinder one year and banked the coins once it’s full.

Doing all of the above helped my little family of four fly across the skies to America and go on an awesome holiday. It is amazing how it all adds up!

Do you have any tried and true money saving tips that got you something you wished for?

  1. March 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    So many great tips Janelle – quite an inspiring story saving to take your family to New York!

  2. Mary Preston
    March 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

    It all counts. I love nothing better than to find ways to save.

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