How to Use a Discount Travel Site to Receive the Best Disney Deals

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by Cassie on April 16, 2014

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Summer of 2013, Disneyland Vacation with Grandma and Grandpa

Are you planning a trip to Disney sometime soon?  What about a trip to Southern California? Well, check out our tips and experiences and find a coupon code too for more money off your trip! 

Well, either way, we wanted to share this thrifty tip with you for this specific travel!

We live in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S., so when you are a family and you want a vacation, it often leads to somewhere in Southern California, and often Disney makes it on the list.  Despite Alex’s groaning, the rest of the family likes to go to Disneyland.

In fact, we went in our unthrifty days in 2001.  Shortly after we got married.  It was part of the “Show Me Just How Much Debt We Can Get Into“ stage.  As an “unthrifty” traveller, a trip to So. Cal and Disneyland was not cheap! In fact, during that trip – we will call it what it really was: “Debt-land.”

Well, several years later after we paid off over $100K in debt, we had a goal to take our family to Disneyland as the first vacation after becoming debt-free. Our kids really wanted to go and we really wanted to take them!

You can bet your bottom dollar that we shopped around this time and were determined to get the absolute best deal! This a few years ago.  I spent many hours and much time to get the best prices on everything.

When I put together my “own” package by getting hotel here, tickets there, etc.  I had my total price in hand.  Well, I decided to stack this up against travel agents and companies to see if they could do better.

I contacted several different agencies, but one of them was one that is headquartered in our backyard – Get Away Today.

Well, to make a long researching story short…… we ended up buying our Disneyland package through Get Away Today.

They ended up having the best prices that I could find on my own by piecing together the best of the best on my own.  In fact, going with an all-in-one package with them, vs. piece by piece myself, it was around $11 cheaper!

I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but more than just it being cheaper by $11…. they had free gifts for the kids, all of the reservations done by them in an easy package that required very little work, transportation, transfers, coupons, cancellation refund and even extra Disney perks that only come with booking through a company or Disney directly – but at the lowest price through Get Away Today!

Now, the nice thing about what they do is find the best prices based on what you want and they are personal, friendly, easy to work with and very helpful!  Their website is one of the easiest to use, which is GREAT because I spent lots of time on their site by trying several different options to see what came out on top!

Basically, what we wanted was a “good neighbor” hotel as this was much cheaper than a Disney hotel (but they also have the best prices on those, they are just naturally more!), a hotel within walking distance, as well as shuttle so we had both options. A free breakfast, family perks and swimming. 

We also kept our dates flexible, which is just another step in getting the absolute best price!

In the end, our trip was a HUGE success! It was fun, stress-free, all as planned and we received everything without a hitch.  We had one of the easiest trips in terms of planning and executing because we bought a package, which is always a plus – but even better, it was cheaper!

Get Away Today specializes in Disneyland trips.  They have been around for a while and so they now have many destinations globally and Southern California in general.  We do not know if they are the cheapest and best for the rest of the destinations since we have not traveled to those since knowing about them, but since they have a great reputation for Disneyland and millions of satisfied travelers, it is probably going to be one of the best deals for other trips too! But of course, you can always double check this with simple searches on their site.

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Head to their site HERE to see all of the Destinations and Options

One comment I wanted to make on this topic.  Last year, Grandma and Grandpa took us to Disneyland.  I was in charge of the package since my parents trust and know my deal hunting skills.  Since it had been several years since traveling with Get Away Today, I did the same process of finding the best deals for what our requirements are and then searching many package and individual options on Get Away Today.  

Again, we were actually going to get tickets and more from Get Away Today as it was again cheaper than anything else I could find. But at the last minute, there was only one option that was better.

My parents went back to school when all the kids left the house as adults. Well, my mom had entered an academic competition and the nationals competition was in Anaheim, CA.  Because hundreds of students were coming into Anaheim, CA for this competition, the association putting the competition on received a big discount for theme park tickets by reserving hundreds of them. So we ended up getting our tickets through this association this time, but the only way we could get it was in my mom’s name and she had to show proof that she was one of the contestants in the competition as well as photo i.d.  These tickets were the only tickets that were cheaper than any dozens of other options we found.

I took this to be encouraging that although we didn’t use them last year when Grandma and Grandpa took us due to the special circumstances, in the future, this is what we will be doing as the competition discount was once in a lifetime (the association goes to a different location each year – we just lucked out that it was Anaheim and that she was a contestant)!

Get Away Today has lots of different specials and discounts depending on the month! They also have some great ways to reserve prices and pay slowly (lay away plan) and many other ways to get a deal and not break your budget.

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See their current specials HERE

Even Better

We contacted Get Away Today to see if they have any extra specials that we can share with you exclusively! Well, they decided to give us a coupon code to save another $10 off your package to So. Cal! That’s great because we didn’t even have that! :)

So head to the Get Away Today site HERE and use coupon code:

ThriftyCouple14

By the way – Get Away Today has a “best price” guarantee – which means that if you find a better price (other than a special circumstance like the one mentioned above), they will not only match it but BEAT IT! YAY!

*As far as we know, this coupon code is good for life as long as you use it! They will honor this code for you no matter when you book!

Be watching as we will be sharing more Disney specific savings tips and tricks in upcoming articles under our travel section of our site.  If you are subscribed to our email newsletter, these articles will arrive directly in your inbox once we post them!

See our Travel Section HERE for more budget travel related articles 

See our Travel Pinterest Board

 

Alex & Cassie
 

DIY Lanterns from Coffee Cans

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on April 16, 2014

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These are awesome! Coffee Can Lanterns!

Simply upcycle tin coffee cans into lanterns for festive outdoor fun! Even small/standard tin cans can be turned into a tin can lantern.

These are quite easy to make!

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Just simply create a pattern, poke holes with the right tools and finish how you want (or leave the old rustic look too!) and you are done!

See the steps and details on this project at Design Sponge HERE.

What DIY projects have you made with tin cans? 

See more DIY Ideas

See our DIY Pinterest Board

Photos and idea used with permission

Alex & Cassie
 

Be Intentional Baby Step #30 – Why It’s Important To Keep Going

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on April 16, 2014

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It is step #30 of our Be Intentional Baby Step Challenges!

We hope it has been wonderful, productive and life-changing so far.

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home. We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  • Self
  • Home
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Frugality

See the full list of baby steps HERE.

So, for your last challenge….. Be Intentional Challenge #30:

Why It’s Important Keep Going!

Yes, that is the next step! Easy enough, right?

Well, one of our goals in our lives as been to make changes in baby steps so that they  become a part of your whole life for life.

In the past, when we have tried to achieve goals, we dive in both feet first and then seem to set ourselves up for failure and break our plan just a few weeks later. We tried the “jump all in feet first” approach with our debt and we kept crashing and failing.  It wasn’t until we finally planned to take baby steps that BIG changes happened!

So just as we stated when we started these challenges,  we have adopted that same idea in all areas of life: finances, routines, organization, healthy life living, etc. And that idea is to…. Be Intentional – Taking Those Necessary Baby Steps for Whole Life Change.

We personally started these baby steps to increase energy, efficiency and organization which will propel anyone into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.  And by frugal, we’re not meaning cheap! You can be frugal with no matter how little or how much money you have. It is just being good with the money you have.

In our many years of attempted thriftiness, one thing that we have determined is that you can save a buck here and there and grab deals left and right, but for a truly frugal lifestyle, it requires time and organization.  If you do not have those things, then frugality is very frustrating.

You may have added the challenges each day we presented them, which is great! You may have skipped a few, you may have started later in the game, but honestly, it doesn’t matter where you started…what matters is where you are going.

Don’t get discouraged and don’t get frustrated.  Just pick up where you left off, or even start all over and add them in one at a time at a reasonable pace for you.

Finally, one project that we are working now for you all is a separate 30-day email that you can join for the 30-days that will allow you to be reminded of that day’s challenge. So be watching for this soon! 

We also encourage you to keep in touch with us as we will continue to find ways to encourage you in these challenges as well as lots more fun things and themes to come in 2014.

Here’s ways you can keep in touch:

  • Sign up for our free email newsletter HERE which comes out around 3-4 times per week and shares our most current articles and information in one spot!
  • Follow us on Pinterest HERE where we pin recipes, homemaking ideas, articles, DIY, Gardening Ideas and fun ways to live and save every day
  • Follow us on Twitter HERE where every time we put up a post, it is tweeted
  • Follow us on Facebook HERE where we have frugal discussions, share ideas not shared here and more!

One final thing….. we also have a separate Facebook Group with less than 200 members (different from our Facebook page) where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

Alex & Cassie
 

2014 Entertainment Books Only $10.40 (Tax Break Sale Ends 4/17/14)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on April 16, 2014

We are posting this great sale on a coupon book we use regularly! This is a great price and so we didn’t want you to miss out in case you wanted one! It goes through 4/7/14 and then it goes back up in price!

Have you heard of Entertainment Coupon Books before?  Well, we are going to repost the same information we shared before to explain what they are! 

These are the big huge coupon books that have thousands of coupons to your local restaurants, services and more and gives you 50% off of that service/restaurant, etc.

They are very popular and we usually get two books each year to re-visit some of our favorite places.

Well, we bring this up right now because they are usually $35 plus shipping, but until April 14th, they are having a sale on the 2014 Entertainment Book at $10.40 plus $2.49 shipping for each book.

That’s a 70% savings.  You can buy multiples for your household, or combine orders with friends.

These are also great gifts as it allows you or your gift receiver to eat out, be entertained, grocery discounts, museums, outings and so many more things in your local area for 50% off.  There are literally thousands of 50% off coupons in the Entertainment Book!

The coupons all expire November 1, 2014, so you will also have many months to use the coupons. And to us there is no question about the value of the book. The hundreds of coupons available to you will usually make up the price of the $35 book in one transaction – but you will only have to pay $10.40 for their “tax break” sale (get it…. 1040 = $10.40 ;)).

This book is HUGE and thick has thousands of coupons in it for 50% off or Buy One Get One FREE coupons for the businesses in your local area!

Let’s give you an example of why we love our book each year.  Our local Kroger affiliate (Smiths) shows the $5 off coupon – on top of all your other discounts and coupons!  What this means is that in using 2-3 coupons between now and November 2014, you can make up the $35 cost of the book and have the rest of the hundreds of coupons to literally be savings throughout the year!   And their image on the top of the page highlights the “$5 off groceries” which just tells us this is available in many, if not all of their books!

Here’s an example from the 2012 book, but we get them every year! There were 4 of these in the book, one for each quarter of the year.

Plus, not only does the book provide awesome coupons to help you save off a purchase you’re already making, but they also offer great FREEBIES even without purchase!  Notice just a few of the great freebies below, on national brands as well, that don’t require a purchase.  If you’re out and about, this can be a nice way to either get a FREE snack or  help compliment a small snack or meal!

These are examples of just a few of the hundreds of coupons found each year in these books!

Again, they normally sell for $35 plus shipping, but they are having a tax break sale to drop the price to $10.40 and $2.49 for the shipping.

Head to the site HERE to buy your 2014 Entertainment Coupon Book for $10.40

Note: Coupons will vary by location but should compare in their awesomeness and great value!

See more HOT deals here!

Alex & Cassie
 

Repurpose Egg Cartons to Start Seedlings and Our 2014 Garden Update

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on April 14, 2014

repurpose-egg-cartons-to-start-your-seedlings-for-your-garden

Just like last year, we are going to share our personal garden updates so you can see “how our garden grows!”

So after sharing our garden planning downloads with you, we are now going to share step #1 update and an idea for your seedlings.

We used recycled cardboard egg cartons to start our seedlings!  We also broke popsicle sticks in half to write the plant.  You have to mark them as you will not be able to tell what you have! They all look so similar at this baby stage! :)

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Just fill with your potting soil, plant your seeds, keep them moist and cover with a cover that acts like a greenhouse.  As you can see, plastic wrap is all we used.

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Once they sprout, you will want to move them under a grow light for the next several weeks until it is time to plant in the ground.

Three of our five trays have sprouted and so they are now under the lights!

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By the way, the big tray on top is home to 72 marigold seedlings that we hope to use as natural pest control!

Last year, we made newspaper pots (see how to make these here), but this year, we recycled cardboard egg cartons to start our seedlings this time.  

We are going to have quite the garden this year and you can see our full planting plan here, but this was all that we needed to start inside. 

So for what we have growing right now inside:

  • Tomatoes (2 types)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

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Here’s some pictures of the cute babies that sprouted as of today! Aren’t they just so cute?

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What do you use to start seedlings?

See more Gardening Tips

See our Gardening Pinterest Board

Alex & Cassie