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.

 

Earn Cash While You Travel

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Happy Easter!

April is here and it is time to make  summer travel plans.  Whether you are taking a day trip, driving cross-country, or flying overseas, you can earn free money. While reserving hotel rooms, rental cars, and booking flights, do not forget to start with Ebates
 
On Ebates, you can earn cash back on more than clothes, shoes, or computers.  You can also earn cash from booking travel too.  Some of the hotel properties include Marriott which consists of Courtyard, Fairfield, Renaissance, and Residence Inn.  Hyatt, Hotels.com, CheapOair, CheapTickets, Priceline, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are on Ebates too.