Welcome to a Week in the Life. Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money or time. Or both. The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.
Shopping around for the best price
Our family is planning a trip to Disneyland in November and we are slowly cobbling together the pieces of our trip. We found a fantastic deal on a hotel within walking distance of the park and just needed to track down a good price on flights. I already spend 872 hours a day on the computer, so I didn’t want to waste my entire life trying to save a few pennies. Instead, I made my search short and concise.
We don’t live in an area with a large airport, so I first did a quick comparison on flying out of our small airport or the two nearest large airports, trying my best to factor in the cost of gas, hotel and parking if we flew out away from home. Once I decided on our starting point and flight, I started looking at price differences. I started at Kayak.com, which compares prices across several different airlines and discount travel sites and realized that the flight we were going to take didn’t fluctuate in price much, if at all.
To choose which site we went with, I then headed over to Ebates to see which would offer the highest cash back. They were all very close, but Orbitz offered $1.80 cash back per flight versus $1.40 for most of the other sites. Not a huge difference I know, but it might snag me a corn dog once we’re in the park and it only took a few extra seconds. Once I purchased our tickets, our cash back was deposited in our account within 3 days!
Be your own champion
In case you don’t know, I make a few pennies running this blog. Okay, more than a few pennies, but seriously, thank goodness. I work 984 hours a week on the computer. It’s like a job and stuff.
Recently, I noticed that one of my commission offers was paying WAY less than they had originally offered. I quickly emailed the company and stuck to my guns when the first few emails came back with a less-than-helpful answer. Eventually, after about a month, I received an email stating that they had fixed my tracking snafus and refunded the commission amount I was originally supposed to receive.
Obviously, your situation or your issue won’t be the same as mine. Hopefully, this is a good reminder to stick up for yourself when you feel something isn’t quite right. Mine could have easily gone overlooked (and I’m sure I’ve missed some in the past), but I’m thrilled that a few specific emails and knowing what should have been in my account helped me earn what I deserved.
Recycling our kids’ gear
Once again (and probably for the 6th time), we participated in the twice-yearly Columbia Community Church Children’s Consignment Sale in our area, as both seller and buyer. This is such a fantastic way to clear out our kids’ clothes that don’t fit anymore or toys they have outgrown and pick up new-to-us stuff for a fraction of the cost. We sold nearly all of our stuff, with the few items left over donated to Goodwill.
Even though we were selling and hoping to make a little pocket change, I ended up spending a pretty good chunk of our earnings back at the sale. However, we picked up items that we really needed and would NEVER be able to find in the store for cheap. We found snow pants for both boys for $5, a full Halloween costume for our younger son for $8, Keen and Converse shoes for less than $2 (!!), several long sleeved shirts for $1, pajama sets for $3 and much, much more. Before the sale, I quickly went through our boys’ clothes to assess what we needed and so I didn’t buy duplicates.
At this particular sale, 30% of sales goes to local charities and 70% to the consignor. Without a ton of extra work from me, we made around $150 selling items that were all mostly priced $5 or less. They had record sales this year, with $10,000 going to local charities! I’m proud to support that, while clearing out our closets.
Frugal Living NW has put together a fantastic list of consignment sales in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, you are sure to find a sale near you.
I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week!
Questions of the Day:
Are you a shop-around type of person when it comes to travel or more impulsive?
Have you ever participated in a consignment sale? What’s your favorite place to find inexpensive kids’ gear?
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