Ways to Save Money While On Vacation


Between lodging, gas, entertainment, and food, the cost of a family vacation can add up quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a fun getaway cannot be accomplished on a budget. When it comes to traveling, there are plenty of ways to prepare, plan, and conserve your cash so you can get more bang for your buck. Check out the following tips and tricks for saving money while on vacation.

Plan ahead! The more time you allow for preparations, the better chance you’ll have at snagging the absolute lowest prices on things like hotel rooms, rental cars, airline tickets and more. Book your trip during the off season. If flying is on the agenda, save money by opting for round trip flights that have connections. Although this might cut into your time and be slightly inconvenient, it will certainly save you time. Choose an airline company that does not charge a baggage fee. Have friends or relatives drop you off at the airport rather than paying to park for the duration of your trip.

Consider and compare prices on meal plan options or all-inclusive resorts. Depending on the destination, many families are able to save a ton of money by prepaying for their food and beverages.

If your vacation destination is not at a resort, consider meal planning instead. Choose accommodations that will allow you to cook in some, rather than eating all meals out. You might also consider packing frozen foods or preassembled meals in a cooler from home rather than full out grocery shopping upon arrival. After all, popular vacation spots often have a higher cost of living as compared to where you live.

Speaking of grocery stores, many retailers carry pamphlets and coupon brochures so be sure to check the racks on your way in or out the door. If you have questions about grocery stores in the area you will be visiting, send me an email. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have! The same goes for visitor centers. These establishments often have exclusive offers for visitors that will certainly save you money. When booking special activities like a dinner show or activity, be sure to ask if there are any coupons floating around in said booklets. Don’t forget to bring your regular coupons from home along for purchasing snacks and other essentials.

For extra-high priced vacation destinations (like Disney) some families have saved a lot of money on food by shipping a box of packaged items ahead of time. Luckily, most snack foods are lightweight, and shouldn’t cost much to ship.

Explore alternative vacation destinations like a nearby lake or campground. Try to keep your vacation as close to home as possible to avoid costly fuel and general travel expenses. Depending on where you live, a “staycation” might be just as fun as a getaway, if not more!

If space allows, pack your own equipment for fun and most importantly, FREE, activities like biking and fishing.

Before traveling, make a thorough packing list so you avoid purchasing overpriced necessities at your destination.

Check out deal websites like Living Social, Restaurant.com, and Groupon before traveling to see if there are any additional discounts available for things like restaurants and entertainment venues.

Allocate a definitive amount of cash for mindless spending. Avoid using credit or debit cards as these transactions can add up quickly without you realizing just how much money you’ve spent.

Finally, don’t be afraid to simply ask for any available discounts. Military personnel, AAA members, senior citizens, AARP members, first time guests, and even families with young children can benefit from a variety of vacation savings that aren’t always publicly advertised. There is absolutely no shame in scooping up every bit of savings possible, especially when it comes to vacationing! Lastly, enjoy your time with your family. Sometimes the best memories made while on vacation are the ones you can’t buy!



Savannah Area Vacation Bible Schools 2016

Savannah area Vacation Bible School

This list is a big hit every year. Here are the Savannah Area Vacation Bible Schools for 2016! If you know of any more please let me know and we will add them to this list. As I get more information I will update the ones I have (at the bottom of the list with more information, and move them up. This list is by date order:

Savannah Area Vacation Bible Schools 2016!

(If you know of any more please let me know and we will add them to this list)

Vacation Bible Schools In the Savannah Area:

Christ Church Episcopal
June 6 – 8 9 – 11:30 am
Pre -K – 5th grade
Witness the exciting ministry escapades of Peter and Paul, meet face-to-face Christian “rockstars” throughout the centuries, and discover how Christ is present in our own Church. Music, crafts, games, snacks and many surprises.
Register Here

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
June 6 – 10, from 6 pm – 8 pm
Children 3 years old through rising 5th graders
$10 per child
Register Here

Trinity Lutheran Church
June 6 – 10 from 9:00 a.m. til 12:00 pm
Ages: 3 – High school
Activities include age appropriate crafts, music, games, drama, snack and classroom activities.
Grades 6, 7 & 8 will be participating in offsite fishing.
Registration forms will be availalbe May 1st in the Church Office and Narthex. Registration is limited to the first 100 children.
Register Here

Calvary Baptist Temple
Journey Off The Map
VBS is open to children who have finished Pre-K through 5th Grade
June 6-10
(912) 351-2288
Register Here

St. Anne’s Catholic Church (Richmond Hill)
10550 Ford Avenue
June  13- 17
9:30am – 12:30pm
Register Here

Wesley Gardens Retreat Center on Moon River (Burnside Island)
June 13-17, from 9-12 noon
Children 3 years old through current 5th graders
$10 per child, cash or check made payable to Wesley Monumental UMC
Register Here and mail or bring to the church to complete your child’s registration. Wesley Monumental VBS, 429 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31401).

Isle Of Hope United Methodist Church
June 15th – 19th 9:00AM – Noon
Children 3 years old through  5th graders
Register Here

St. James Catholic Church
June 20  – June 24
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Register Here

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
June 20 – 24
9 am – 5 pm
Rising Kindergarteners through High School $75 per child
Pre-K: $50
155 Goshen Rd Rincon
Register Here

White Bluff Presbyterian Church
June 27 – June 30 from 9 a.m. – Noon.
No charge! All children age 18 months through completed 6th graders.
Registration opens in Mid May for more information:
Call at 912-927-1731, or e-mail whitebluffpc@bellsouth.net.

St Frances Cabrini 
July 11 –  July 15 from 9:00 a.m. til 12:00 pm
For More Information: (912) 925-5316


Will update when information is available: 

St. George’s Episcopal Church
Vacation Bible School
Not Announced Yet
Call: (912) 925-6517

St. John’s Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here 

Saint Peter the Apostle Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

White Bluff United Methodist Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Alpha United Methodist Church of Bloomingdale
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

7375 Hodgson Memorial Dr
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Little Bryan Missionary Baptist Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Ardsley Park Baptist Church
Submerged Finding Truth Below The Surface
Not Announced Yet
Register  Here

Ferguson Ave. Baptist Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Windsor Forest Baptist Church 
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Kirk o’ the Isles Presbyterian Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here

Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church
Not Announced Yet
Register Here


Preparing To Sell Your House

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In today’s market, selling a house can be very difficult. Many people think that if they had enough money they could do some unique landscaping and work on all those projects that they show on the Home and Garden channel, but then even if you did have the money would you want to put it all into something you are trying to sell? I sat down with Cherise Cartwright, a local realtor with Washburn and Associates, to ask her for a few tips on how to get your house market ready, while staying on a budget.

First, Declutter

Freeing your home of the precious artwork on the refrigerator can be bitter sweet, but necessary. Removing clutter highlights your homes strengths and hides its weaknesses. It appeals to more buyers. Remember, the buyer wants to see themselves in the house, so remove those personalized items and extra family photos off the mantle. Clear off any flat surface like end tables, night stands, kitchen counter tops. Keep paper clutter in a drawer.

Second, Refresh and Renew

Your old house will soon be someone’s new home. So make it just that, new! Remove old towels, shower curtains and floor mats, invest in some inexpensive new ones from a big box store or discount dollar store. If you are a skilled painter, roll on a fresh coat of paint in the heavy traffic areas of your home. Paint is inexpensive and an easy way to cover up wall spots, stains, or chips. Got a Georgia Bulldogs red wall that you love? That may not appeal to a Florida Fan, and may deter them from a home purchase that may have been perfect for them. Keep everything neutral from painted walls to decor.

Finally, Clean and Landscape.

Do a deep cleaning of your house! This means get those carpets shampooed, the baseboards dusted, and those windows sparkling!  Plant some annuals in the flower pots by the front door and trim the hedges.

Cleaning up the landscape will give the illusion that you have more landscaping than you really do and you won’t be stuck digging and weeding flower beds to keep them up. A few low cost flowers can go a long way. The variety of flower does not matter but the more color the better!

Whenever there is a showing scheduled, bake some fresh cookies! The smell of the fresh baked cookies is an added home touch that you’ve probably heard about before.

Cherise also suggested renting a storage unit for about a month (there is usually an introductory rate of $1 for the first month rent) to put your personal items like trophies, ride on toys, and seasonal items that would usually be in a closet. This makes your home look and feel more spacious. She also suggested buying large plastic bins for books, stuffed animals, dolls and winter coats. These bins went into the climate controlled storage unit. This step makes it easier when it is time to unpack in your new home.

When you are getting ready to sell your house, make sure to try these easy and inexpensive tips and hopefully your home will sell quicker than you imagined it would!


Springtime Events That Won’t Break The Bank


As the sun beings to make a regular appearance again and the outdoor temperature starts to rise, you are probably anxious to get your family out of the house! After being cooped up for the winter months, it’s finally time for some fresh air.

But then you take a look at your bank statement.

Holidays, higher heating bills, and that unexpected trip to the ER for a broken arm have really taken a toll. Perhaps you are trying really hard to stick to that New Year’s resolution of being more financially responsible. Regardless of your situation, having fun this springtime does not mean you have to spend a fortune.

Check your community event calendars for free outdoor activities like 5K runs, street festivals, charity walks, and free museum family days. More often than not, these events are filled with vendors, face painting, food and plenty of other people to make it a fun outing.

Assemble your neighbors and start a community garden, or just plant one in your own back yard. Now is the time to start clearing weeds, tilling the soil, and possibly even planting some seedlings for indoor growth until the temperatures become more consistent.

Make a list of all the local parks in our area and plan to visit each one this season. The same goes for any historical sites, noteworthy venues, or interesting museums. Savannah has so many historical and beautiful places to visit. I learn something new every time we go exploring this beautiful city of ours.

Plan a nature scavenger hunt.

Spring clean your outdoor space — pick up sticks, clear out any lingering weeds, wash the windows, trim the bushes, and freshen up the exterior of your home.

Go for a family bike ride.

If your local high schools allow it, consider going there for an afternoon of sporting events like tennis or basketball. Many of these institutions allow public access to outdoor arenas, fields, and courts when school is not in session.

When it comes to scheduling springtime activities that don’t break the bank, there is a ton of opportunities right around the corner. You just have to get creative! Get out there and have fun!


Coupon Sellers’ Suppliers Receive Felony Sentence


I have said this for YEARS and even dedicated a page to it on my website. It is something I say in every one of my Grocery Savings Workshops as well. DO NOT BUY COUPONS! Why?

When a person buys coupons, they may be inadvertently purchasing stolen property or counterfeit coupons. Even if there is not a direct criminal penalty involved, both coupon buyers and sellers open the door to potential litigation when they buy or sell coupons because they are in violation of the “nontransferable” clause printed on all coupons distributed within the United States. The transfer makes a coupon void. Fraudulent coupons you can buy online (think ebay) are on the rise!

Now we have a perfect example…a few people were just sentenced to prison terms for selling coupons! The kicker? It was classified as a felony! No one needs coupons that bad!

A newspaper called police to say that their coupons were being stolen. They had the men on surveillance entering the building through a loading dock. They would go right where the coupon inserts were kept. They worked as a team to get them out of the building, into a car, and then the couple whose car they were loaded into would then sell the inserts online!

The couple who were selling the inserts were arrested and charged with burglary and larceny. The other two men involved were sentenced as well. One received two years behind bars, while the other received a three-year suspended sentence after 18 months in home detention, and 40 hours of public service.

Here’s the kicker, it only costs a few dollars to buy a Sunday paper! In our area you can have up to 8 copies of the Savannah Morning News delivered to your house!! So please coupon ethically and just buy the Sunday newspaper! People selling inserts only hurts couponers, and makes it harder for those who are trying to coupon the right way!


See full details of this particular case here