Save money with coupons, so you can travel more
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Baby B that I even considered using coupons, and it was because I watched a television show called Extreme Couponing.
It made me think. Maybe we should consider using coupons more often? If nothing else, we could save money on the items we’re going to purchase anyway.
So I decided to give it try.
I started collecting random coupons that I found in newspapers and decided to redeem all of the diaper coupons that I had collected. I was pregnant with Baby B at the time and was trying to get organized, so I felt like we needed a bunch of diapers for when he arrived.
As I stood in front of the diaper section contemplating my various coupons, a helpful woman approached me. She literally grabbed the coupons right out of my hand and began schooling me on the world of couponing.
I walked out of the store with two giant packages of diapers costing me a total of $5. I was so excited that I called Cameron to tell him about my victory. I remember that moment vividly.
Of course, he just laughed at me and my excitement towards “getting a deal”.
We often read comments and emails from readers stating, “I would love to travel more but I just don’t have the money”. We like to challenge these readers (as well as family and friends) to make minor changes in their life so they can save the money required to travel more.
For example, if you use coupons on everyday items that you’re already purchasing, you can easily save $100 every two weeks. After each shop, look at your receipt and take the ‘saved’ money and put it in a separate savings account. Call it your “Travel Fund”.
This is the important part of the formula – you have to actually take those savings and put them directly into your bank account (shoe boxes just don’t cut it anymore). If you stick with this easy plan for one year straight, you will have accumulated $2,500 in this travel fund.
Sound simple? That’s because it is!
It doesn’t need to be complicated and it shouldn’t take too much effort.
If you really want to get the most out of your savings, look for items that are on sale. Then use your coupons on those sale items. But you’ll need to do your research to find where the best sales are – this requires patience and vigilance.
There are also stores that allow you to “stack” your coupons (use multiple coupons on the same item), but this typically requires the coupons to have different barcodes. If you find a store that allows “coupon stacking” you’ll definitely find a lot of savings (sometimes you’ll even be able to get items for free!)
Keep in mind, I’m only talking about basic household items. Because we have seen firsthand how coupons can save us money, we now look for online travel coupons.
Couponing (if that’s even a word?) has opened our eyes to a world of savings – similar to our experience with air miles programs. There are loads of travel deals out there, you just need to know where to look.
For example, if you book online using the promo code for CheapOstay you can get up to 50% off hotels plus an additional $20 off by using the coupon code provided. Or, if you want a vacation deal that combines your flight and hotel, you could try the Promo Code for Southwest Airlines Vacations, where they have deals to destinations like New Orleans, Arizona and Vegas.
By taking this extra step and doing some research, you can save an additional $20-$100. Now, to some of you, this might seem unnecessarily tedious. Well, you’re not wrong. It does take additional research on your part, but if you play the game you’ll find more money in your “Travel Fund” at the end of the day.
For our upcoming trip to Europe we booked all of our hotels online (this is the first trip EVER where we have all of our accommodations sorted out prior to arrival – my how the times have changed!).
One of the websites we use frequently for hotel searches is Hotels.com. A good example to illustrate the simplicity of online coupon codes – you can receive a $20 rebate with a 3-night booking using Hotels.com. You simply click the coupon code link, copy the code that is provided, add that code at checkout when you make your booking = you save an additional $20. Not bad for only a few clicks?
Obviously deals are constantly changing, but the point we are trying to make is that too often we see people overlooking coupons. It’s typically these same people that say, “I don’t have enough money to travel”.
If travel is important to you, do your research and look for coupons codes before you book online. It will save you money, which can be used for important things like sampling local craft beer!
Have you ever used coupons for travel?
Share your experience and feedback in the comments section below, we’d love to read about it!