Road Trippin’

file6071284660910I originally posted this brief article about gas price comparison websites about two years ago.  I know it is worth sharing again just in case you plan on hitting the road for the 4th of July.

Bahamas on a Budget

1432468965246Every spring break, I have always wanted to take my children on a nice vacation.  However, lack of planning has normally kept us at or near home.  Last year, I made up my mind that we were going to the beach.  I was not sure what beach, but I wanted to go anywhere with 75+ degree temperatures and white sand.  After much research, I decided to travel to Bahamas for these three reasons:

1.  Price and length of flight.
2.  Cost of accommodations.
3.  The Atlantis.

To start, Southwest flies to the Caribbean now.  Southwest’s free baggage policy is a big deal to me.  I purchased the tickets for $300 each in September of 2014.  Also, the flight was about two hours long.  Gotta love a quick flight.

If you going to the Bahamas, you HAVE to visit the Atlantis!  I have seen the commercials on TV and yes, it lives up to the hype.  However, the hype comes with a price (that I was unwilling to pay).  So, I found the next best thing.  The Comfort Suites Paradise Island.  For about half the price ($977.82 to be exact), by staying at Comfort Suites, I received complimentary breakfast & WiFi and full access to the Atlantis.  Yes, full access!  This includes the water park, beach, aquarium and the other resort amenities.  

Upon check-in to the Comfort Suites, they gave my husband and I a card verifying our identity.  Every morning, we took a five-minute walk to Atlantis and showed our card to enter the property.  We were then directed to a service desk where they looked at our card again and checked our names against a list.  Then we received our wristbands for the day.  It was a very quick & painless process.

A Few Facts
-I earned $24.85 with Ebates by staying at Comfort Suites.

-There is an automatic 15% gratuity  added to food purchases at Atlantis.
-I bought a case of water and divided it amongst our suitcases before we left home.  I saved tons of money by pre-purchasing water.  Of course my children thought I was crazy.

10 Stores Where You Should Never Pay Full Price for Children’s Clothes‏

file7291257953126As a mother of three, I am constantly on the hunt for bargain priced clothes.  All of my children are seven years apart, so hand-me-downs are not really an option. With over fourteen years of experience of shopping for children’s clothes, I know when & where to catch the best sales.  Here are some of the stores where you should never pay full price: 

1.  The Children’s Place: Join their email list to start receiving tons of coupons.  They have a great selection of clothes at their outlet stores too.

2.  Gymboree: Just for signing up for their email list, you receive 20% off & free shipping on your first purchase of $50 or more. Although the some of their regular priced merchandise is priced higher than the competition, it is quickly marked down.

3.  Old Navy:  Just about Monday, they have a sale of 20%-30% off at Old Navy, however, you must read the fine print.  You cannot use most of their discounts on merchandise listed as Everyday Steals, Today Only Deals, and a few others.

4.  Lands’ End: Lands’ End almost always has some type of promotion.  I have never paid full price for anything since I started shopping there a few years ago.  The discount is usually 25% or 30% off.  If your child must wear uniforms to school, this a great place to shop.

5.  Macy’s: How many times have you heard their commercial jingle, “One Day?” Well at Macy’s it seems like their One Day sale is more like a 7-day sale.  Between promo codes and coupons from Sunday paper circulars, you should never full price.

6.  Kohl’s: Between their Yes2You Rewards, Kohl’s Cash, promo codes, and coupons, there is always a discount to earn and/or redeem.  On Kohl’s website, they sell expensive baby gear such as strollers, car seats, and cribs.  The discounts can save you tons of money when purchasing these big ticket items.

7.  Baby Gap: Like Old Navy, Gap usually has a 20%-30% off sale on Mondays of each week.  At the end of the seasons, they’ll even have half off clearance merchandise which works well shopping off season.

8.  JCPenny: On any given day of the week, you can always some type of promo code on their website.

 9.  Carter’s/OshKosh B’gosh: Every time I walk into Carter’s, they are having some type of sale.  They have even extended their sizes to a 12!  If you have children of multiple ages and want to dress them alike, this is a great place to shop.

10.  P.S. From Aeropostale: If you like Aeropostale, then you will love their children’s store, P.S.  They carry sizes 4-14 and offer the same discounts as Aeropostale. Just for signing up for their email list, you will receive 20% off your first purchase.  They often have a 25% off sale too.

If you are shopping online, always remember to start on Ebates.  Also, shop off season to maximize your savings.