Save Money Playing the Drugstore Game

I like to save money in as many areas of my life as possible. That way I can spend that savings on things I actually WANT to spend money on. I can add it to retirement savings or save for our next trip, or whatever else has come up. One way I have saved our family a quite a bit of money is playing the drugstore game. Major drug store chains like Walgreens and CVS can offer you some pretty hefty savings. Especially when you combine store coupons, manufacturer coupons, sales, digital deals, and more.

I have not paid real money for toilet paper, shampoo, and toothpaste in a very long time. My makeup, many snack foods, and a lot of other stuff I have paid pennies on the dollar. How? It takes some practice. It takes some time. And there will be some trial and error. Please believe me when I tell you that. The first time I went to CVS with my deal planned out they were out of a lot of things I wanted, my kids were with (BIG MISTAKE) and I didn’t know the layout of the store.  I left mad at myself, frustrated with my kids, and annoyed that I had spent money on things I didn’t really need. (Hello dark chocolate)

The first thing I would recommend is to start small! Also, join some social media pages that are dedicated to coupon use at these places. You will learn a lot from these people. Then start saving coupons from the paper, ask close friends or family if they use theirs as well, if not have them save the coupon section for you. Many people dumpster dive at gas stations for the left over papers, I don’t do this, I am not that into it! But it does work. There are also online sites that are great for printable coupons, coupons.com is the most reputable site I use.   Get yourself to the dollar store for a notebook and folder or binder to keep your coupon stuff organized. You will thank me later for this one.

Download the apps for the stores that you want to coupon at because they will have opportunities for you to save more, view their add in advance, and give you digital coupons. I also recommend going to the store as early in the week as possible. If you go on Sunday or Monday they are more likely to have the things you want in stock. Familiarize yourself with the stores in your area and be real friendly to the staff, it will come back to you in spades.

These are my best tips for getting started in the drugstore game. Lets face it, you have to buy toilet paper, toothpaste, razors, and more anyway. Why not figure out how to get it for free, or for very little of your hard earned money?

Good luck, try not to get frustrated. It takes a few trips to really get to know what you are doing. Don’t give up if your first trip or two is a flop. Pretty soon you will be getting lots of necessities for little to nothing, and have fun doing it!

 

Thanks for reading!

Amber

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5 Romantic Getaways

If you are looking for ideas for a romantic getaway or to plan a romantic anniversary trip then check out these five romantic destinations. You won’t be sorry!

  1. The Italian Country Side: Italy is chock full of romance and the countryside is breathtaking. If you are looking to get to Europe in the near future, Italy is sure to be the  best spot for romance. The views are spectacular, the countryside is lush, the food and wine are amazing. You are sure to love the quaint villages, restaurants, and shops.
  2. The Greek Isles: Need I say more?  How can you not feel romantic strolling down dramatic white stone walled buildings delightfully positioned in contrast against those perfect blue shimmering waters?  Up and down the staircase and winding alleyways, tons to explore!  Enjoy a drink or two while watching the sunset!  Best thing yet, hop on a boat for a cruise or sail around the islands found here. You won’t be sorry.
  3. Kyoto, Japan: Walk hand in hand as you explore historic shrines, temples, quaint tea houses and more.  Plan the trip to Kyoto, Japan in the  spring and you can stroll underneath cherry blossoms in bloom!  Traditional and tranquil, this city is filled with romantic gestures and designs.   You could spend a year exploring all Japan has to offer, so stay as long as you can.
  4. New Orleans, Louisiana: While many consider it a party paradise, it is a magnificent place for a romantic getaway for couples. The French Quarter, the architecture, restaurants, music, and sites will have you in the mood for romance. Perfect for a long weekend for Valentines Day or a special anniversary.
  5. Newport, Rhode Island: This charming city by the sea has everything you could want in a getaway with your partner. Walk the rocky shoreline up to the Historic Cliff walk, have a candlelit dinner at one of many quaint restaurants, go on a winery tour, cuddle up by the fire. Newport, Rhode Island will leave you breathless.

Tips To Save Money On Vacation

Traveling is awesome, but it can also be expensive. If you are trying to get more travel in on a tight budget then try some of these ideas for some extra savings!

  1. Join relevant social media groups– If you know where you would like to go, check out groups on Facebook and other sites. A lot of times there will be locals, or people who have been there and done that. They will be able to guide you to deals in specific areas.
  2. Travel Insurance- Research your travel insurance options. Think of how much you are spending on a trip and decide if its something that you need. If you want it, do some searching for the best options and prices. Sometimes you can pick it up for next to nothing.
  3. Consider a Night at the Airport- Seems weird right? Hear me out. If you have a early morning flight home, say 6am…you have to be to the airport by 4ish, up by 3ish… If you are traveling alone or with a partner why pay for a night at a hotel when you are checking out so early? Get to the airport in the evening, have dinner there and find a cozy corner to hunker down for the night. I don’t recommend this with kids because but adults can typically handle this no problem.
  4. Eat At Your Hotel- You don’t have to eat all your meals there but if you can get a hotel room with a mini fridge and microwave you will save a ton. You can eat all your breakfasts and many other meals there. And of course try to get a hotel that offers free breakfast.
  5. Air BNB-  Air BNB and others like it are a great thing! They are all over the world and its great to have the luxuries of a home. They are often cheaper then hotel rooms and more comfortable. Before you book your next hotel check out what other options there are. Don’t be afraid to check nearby towns as well for even cheaper options for just a little extra commute. We have booked several times in different areas and always been very pleased.
  6.  Groupon- Groupon and other sites like it are great for traveling. Whenever we go on trips we always check them out in our area for dinner and activities. We have saved a ton, and found some really fun things to do that we would not have normally seen. Their app is super convenient and easy to use.
  7. Free Days- If there is a specific museum or attraction you know you want to go to check out their website or give them a call in advance. Many places have a day a week that is free or greatly discounted at certain times. Doesn’t hurt to check!
  8. The Road Less Traveled- Don’t be afraid to check out non tourist places. Especially in places you feel comfortable traveling. For example, if you want a beach vacation in Florida, don’t go to Coco Beach or Siesta Key, try Navarre Beach. Half the price, half the amount of people. Amazing beaches. And you  just might find your new family favorite destination.

I hope some of these tips help you out for your next vacation. There are so many ways to save money while you travel. Don’t be afraid to try different things and different ways to save. It is your hard earned money and your time. The  more you save, the more trips you can take!

Thanks for reading,

Amber

Some Of My 2018 Travel Plans

This is set to be a big year for me for travel and adventure. In April I will be heading to Amsterdam with my mom! I am leaving my husband and kids to head to Europe for a long weekend. There are many places that I can’t wait to see during the three days we will be there, but I am especially excited to see the Tulip Festival. My kids are super annoyed that I am going to Europe without them, but hey, moms get to do stuff too.

In June, we will be headed on a family trip to Branson, Missouri. I can’t wait to check the whole area out and see what there is to see. My in laws are camping at Table Rock Lake but camping is not my idea of a good time. I like comfortable beds, showers, and no bugs. We are planning on getting a Air B&B with my brother in law and his family. I can’t wait to hang out with my little niece for 4 days. She is an adorable little nugget.

In August we are going to Rapid City, South Dakota. While I have been there my husband and kids have not. I can’t wait to do all the classic stuff like Mount Rushmore, Wall Drug, the Badlands and more. I am hoping to talk my dad and his wife into joining us. Can you believe my step mom has never been farther from Minnesota then Wisconsin?

Finally, In December we are doing a cruise with my parents and my in-laws to the Caribbean. That should be interesting. I might just throw someone off the boat in the Bermuda Triangle…but I will try to be good.

These are the bigger things I have planned for the year but I have a lot of other ideas for day and weekend trips. I hope you will enjoy reading about  my adventures as well as all the great information I plan to share in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Thanks for reading,

Amber

Best Travel Apps You Might Not Know Of

It is a fact of life that people rely on their smart phones for a lot of things. With a million and one apps out there, everyone has their favorites. Below is a list of 7 great travel apps that might be a great fit for you!

1.Track My Tour is like a real time travel journal that you can share with your friends and family back home while you travel. You can mark on a map with photos all the fun things you did at different places on the map.

2. Hailo Available in many large cities from New York to London. Helps you to hail a cab without actually having to hail a cab. You can also pay your your cab fare through the app.

3.Hopper Will help you to get the cheapest fares on tickets with their predictions on when those prices will be available.

4. City Maps To Go Will give you maps in advance to all the places that you will be going in case your GPS does not work. They are also stores offline so you won’t have to worry about roaming.

5. Pack Point Tells you what to pack so that you will be prepared for the weather and activities in your destination.

6.  TripIT Merges all of your flight, restaurant, hotel, and car rental confirmation emails in one master itinerary to keep your organized. Traveling can be stressful, this is a great app to keep you organized. For scatter brained girls like myself I like having one place to find all that stuff!

 

7. LoungeBuddy Helps you find airport lounges that you don’t have to be a member of. You might have to pay a small fee, but many times its worth it to wait for your next flight in a calm, quiet, and relaxed atmosphere. And honestly, lounges rule. You should absolutely check one out if you can!

There are many more travel apps to choose from. I personally love CityMapsToGo, as I have almost zero sense of direction and getting lost gives me anxiety like nobody’s business.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate you all.

Amber

7 Awesome Jobs If You Want To Travel

If you want a job that guarantees that you will be doing some traveling consider some of the following career courses.

1.Airline/Cruise line  Working for a major airline will allow you to get free flight benefits for you, your significant other, and your children. The bonus now, you don’t have to be married like the old days. You can have a “travel buddy” your mom, BFF, or spouse. Cruise line employees get to travel all over the world, but are not guaranteed time off the ship at ports. But you will get discounts on travel.

2.  A Buyer If you are a buyer for a major company you will likely fly all over the world checking out products. Companies like Target, Best Buy, etc all have “buyers” who travel the world finding the next cool product.

3. Teach English Countries outside the US will hire you to teach English as a second language. I have a friend who taught English in Costa Rica for two years. It was quite and adventure!

4. Volunteer for the Peace Corp Volunteers in the Peace Corp not only do great work for other nations, but they get to travel and live in other countries. My brother in law joined and lived in Mexico for three years. He met his now wife there and they have pretty much the coolest bi-lingual three year old on Earth. (Can you tell I am biased?)

5. Au Pair Apply for full time nanny/Au Pair positions in Europe. Enough said.

6. Writer/Blogger If you can write books, ghost write, monetize a blog, etc you can work where you can get internet.

7. Web Design/Graphic Design If you can build up a client base you can freelance these and many other jobs that you can do from the comfort of your own home, or a beach…or a cafe in France, its really up to you.

 

There are so many jobs that you can do that will allow you to travel, if that is what you want to do start putting yourself out there and make it happen. People where not made to be still.

 

Thanks for reading, SKOL Bold North

Amber

What I Learned From Our First Cruise

Two Years ago our little family went on our very first cruise. It was a  trip with my in-laws and since they paid for the tickets they also chose the cruise line, time, and destination. That was all fine and dandy with me, as I wasn’t paying for it. I learned a lot from our first cruise and I wish I had been wiser before embarking on our adventure. This is just some of what I learned.

  1. Carnival is a line for young people. And while I consider myself young-ish having kids in elementary and middle school puts you in the old-ish group. Be prepared to see a lot of  young, party like its 1999 college “kids” and early 20’s “kids”. Who by the way, still look awesome in bathing suits, drink like fish, and take over the pool decks.
  2. Budget Friendly If you are on a limited cruise budget then Carnival is for you. They usually have the cheapest fares. A lot of their ships are a bit older, but still very clean and as far as I was concerned, fancy.
  3. Kids Club If you are traveling with kids they have a day care of sorts. They have fun activities for the kids of all ages so you and your significant other can do whatever the heck you want. But if your kids are like mine, they won’t like it and will pitch fits when you suggest they go there and hang out with you most of the time anyway. At first this annoyed me, but when I checked it out for myself, they seemed a bit old for most of the activities.
  4. Food,Food, and more Food If you are hungry on a cruise its really your own fault. They have tons of food to choose from at all times of day. I also had a piece of chocolate cake delivered to my room whenever my  husband took the girls to the pool. (That’s our secret)
  5. Sea Sickness Being sea sick is no joke. I was pretty miserable the first 24 hours until I found some meds in one of the many gift shops. Come prepared with medication, you never know who needs it and its three times more on board then at Wal-Mart or Piggley Wiggley or wherever you shop.
  6. Hurricane Season  Going during the hurricane season will guarantee you cheaper fares. It could also give you, well…a hurricane. A category 2 hurricane brewed up on our last few days out at sea and chased us into shore. The pools where shut down, it was crazy windy, the water was scary rough, and I may or may not have run into walls and random people while walking around when the ship would suddenly lurch one direction or the other.  You get what you pay for I guess.
  7. Bang For Your Buck Finally, you get a lot for your money. Its a great way to see places you might not otherwise go to. It also is a great way to determine where you might want to go on a non cruise vacation.

That is probably enough for now, however I will post more later because with cruising, there is a lot to learn, and a lot I wish I had known before we left. Would I cruise again? You bet. We have a cruise booked for December, that I will share some details about as the time gets closer.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Amber