We Paid Cash: A Family Vacation

We paid cash!

A testimony from Sara

My husband and I recently took our ten-year-old daughter on our first family vacation. We started planning two years before the trip so that we could save enough cash to be able to enjoy the trip without having to go into any debt.

How We Saved:

We set aside any overtime pay my husband was able to get, as well as the twice-a-year bonus he receives from his employer.

We decided on a road trip as a more frugal option. We drove from Minnesota, where we live, to Pennsylvania, and then to New Hampshire. My husband has family in both states and our daughter was able to meet them for the first time!

A few months before we left, I began collecting non-perishable snacks and bottles of water to pack in the car so we would not need to purchase expensive gas station snacks. By starting early, I was able to watch for sales and use coupons for the snack items.

Our lodging costs were offset as my husbands family generously offered to let us stay with them while we were visiting. That really helped the budget not having to stay in a hotel the whole trip.

Finally, we were able to save money on food because we had a kitchen that we could prepare a lot of our meals and did not have to eat out as much.

It felt so good to just be able to enjoy our family vacation and not have to worry about how we were going to “pay for our trip” once we got back!

We had a great time!

family photo

Sara is a wife and mother of her ten-year-old daughter. She also works part time at a busy optometry office. In her spare time she enjoys reading, baking and running.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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48-Hour: Cash Wallet Package from A Time for Everything (6 Winners)

Cash Envelope System

I’ve been so excited about this giveaway. We ran a giveaway for the Divide-It cash envelope system wallet a few months ago and it was one of our most popular giveaways ever. So I’m thrilled to be doing another giveaway with  A Time for Everything — a blog and handmade business run by a husband and wife who are passionate about people living on a budget and becoming and remaining debt-free.

Dave & Melissa Kaiserman started A Time for Everything as a way to have a little extra income for Christmas, vacations, and savings, but grew to become their full-time family business. Melissa does the designing, fabric cutting, and actual sewing, and Dave takes care of the multiple intermediary tasks… and all of the laundry!

Cash Envelope System

Each item they create is Melissa’s original design and the result of both using her own products and gleaning feedback from others who use them. She has seen firsthand that having a pretty wallet to organize cash categories helps keep joy in the discipline of budgeting, so she offers several different styles from very basic to full-feature so that just about anyone can find something that suits her taste, needs, and budget.

In the shop you’ll also find coordinating accessories and products for kids. All products are made from designer laminated cotton which is lightweight yet very durable, CPSIA compliant, and free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. Plus each item is wipeable on the outside, so sticky little hands won’t do any harm!

MSM fabric choices

Melissa sent me one of these Divide-It Cash Envelope Systems and I have truly loved using it. Not only is it so cute and fun to use, but it’s also very durable. It makes using cash simple and easy! No more messing with ripped or falling apart envelopes!

GET FREE SHIPPING — Through October 30 Only!

Through October 30, 2014, MoneySavingMom.com readers can receive free shipping from A Time for Everything! Click “Apply shop coupon code” at checkout and enter MSMOCT14. (Free shipping applies to domestic orders only, but international customers may leave a note at checkout requesting a refund equal to the shipping amount a U.S. customer would save on that order.)

In addition, anyone who subscribes to AT4E’s newsletter will receive a free download of colorful Christmas spending logs after clicking the confirmation email.

MSM Give Save Spend set

I would also highly recommend checking out the Give, Save, and Spend Wallets for Kids. My kids love these! See more pictures of them here.

Want to know more about A Time for Everything? Check out their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

MSM Oct 2014 giveaway package

Six readers will each receive the following package of products from A Time for Everything:

To enter to win, just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. This giveaway ends Thursday, October 30, at 11:59 pm, CST. Six winners will be chosen and posted next week.

Enter the Giveaway

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How We Saved Today: Cutting hair at home (& share how you saved & you could win a $100 Target gift card!)

Alllume conference

Life has been a little full the past five days — attending the Allume conference (see some of the beauties I got to hang out with above? That was after 1 a.m. and we were still going strong!), spending a lot of quality time with my kiddos and husband on either end of the conference since I always miss them so much when I’m gone, and working with my team mapping out some big projects for 2015.

At any rate, I didn’t get a chance to get a How I Saved post up for a few days and this one isn’t from today, but I am still going to count it. :)

Cutting Hair at Home{I brought home some Scripture tattoos for him from the Allume conference and he wanted to put all of them on so he could be, as he said, “Covered in Scriptures!”}

This is such a simple way to save, but it’s amazing how much it saved. Last week, Silas needed his hair cut. So Jesse got at the little trimmer and buzzed it. It only took him a short while and saved us at least $10-$12! Score!

Last post’s winner of the $25 iTunes gift card was Melinda who said she saved by:

Since I knew I was going to be spending all afternoon at the dentist office with the kids, I went ahead and made chicken and dumplings in the crock pot for dinner in the morning. Planning ahead ensured that we didn’t order take out and spend $60 on dinner. -Melinda

Share How You Saved Today & You Could Win a $100 Target Gift Card

Leave a comment telling us how you saved today. I’ll choose one winner later this week who will win a $100 Target gift card. I can’t wait to hear all the ways you are saving!

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This Week’s $103 Grocery Shopping Trip + Menu Plan for 5

This Week's Grocery Shopping Trip

ALDI Shopping Trip

Bananas — $0.44 per pound — $3.42 (Got $0.25 back from Checkout51.)
2 packages of  Multi-Colored Peppers — $2.49
2 bags of mixed veggies — $0.99 each
Butter — $3.49
3 bags of Gala apples — $2.99 per bag (Got $0.25 back from Checkout51.)
Avocados — $0.99 each
Bag of onions — $0.99
2 cucumbers — $0.49 each
2 boxes of shredded wheat — $1.99 per box
Peanut butter — $1.69

Total with tax — $38.23

Kroger Shopping Trip

2 dozen eggs — $2.99 per dozen
Italian sausage — $4.99
Sliced cheese — $3.49
Travel sized toothpaste — $1
Travel sized body wash — $1.09
Half & Half — $2.69
1 gallon of milk — $2.99
Smoked turkey — $26.63
2 lbs. ground sirloin –5.99 per pound
Total with tax: $65.35

Total for all groceries: $103.58

Menu Plan

Breakfasts

Bacon & Eggs or Oatmeal

Lunches

Sandwiches or Leftovers (We had Protein French Toast and Pumpkin Protein Pancakes for lunch on Sunday.)

Snacks

Popcorn
Fruit/Veggies
Cheese
Apples with Almond Butter
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies
Healthy Cake in a Mug

Dinners

Dinner with our small group — We did a salad bar this week and we brought hard boiled eggs, chopped peppers, salad dressing, sunflower seeds, and avocados.
Leftovers
Italian Sausage and Sweet Potatoes
Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Dinner Out

What’s on YOUR menu this week? Tell us in the comments!

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