Start with food: Instead of ordering take-out on a Friday night, make your own. Figure out the difference between what you would have spent on take-out and what it cost you to make it. Put the difference in a Vacation Fund and watch it grow.
Pizza: Where I live, you can easily spend $40.00 to feed a family of five pizza for dinner. A few years ago, we began purchasing 2 family size, store made pepperoni pizzas at $5.00 each. We add a few extra toppings, enjoy the pizza and save $30 ( $1560.00/yr).
Burgers and Fries: If it`s burgers you crave, form your own burgers from lean beef (or even ground chicken or turkey) and bake a bag of frozen french fries. Not only will you be serving your family a much healthier version of fast food, you can also feed an entire family for just a little more than one “Value Meal” would cost. This saves about $20-$25 ($1040-$1300/yr).
Almost anything considered “fast food” can be made quickly and easily at home. Here are some other ideas:
- Homemade Tacos
- Submarine sandwiches
- Fried Chicken
Do not limit your savings to food: Think of the money that we spend on watching a movie. Seeing a movie in a theater will cost a couple and three children between $30-$45 just for admission. Renting a movie to watch at home will cost less than you would pay for popcorn at the theater. Plus the added bonus of good seating and a pause button for bathroom breaks. Have movie night at home just once each month and you could put $350.00 towards your vacation.
Use a clothesline: You can purchase a clothesline/drying rack for about $20.00 this will save you about $150.00 each year on your electric bill. Wash your laundry in cold water and save an extra $120-$150 Your laundry will smell great and last longer than it would if you dried it in a dryer.
Stay out of coffee shops: Until recently my husband was spending an average of $ 3.00 on coffee every week day. He thought nothing of it until I pointed out to him that $3.00 each day was almost $800.00 a year. He promptly dug out his thermos and now happily takes his own coffee to work.
These are just some of the money saving ideas that my family has used over the years. Some take more perseverance than others, but they all have one thing in common: They will all get you to your vacation destination a lot quicker.