We’re leaving tonight for our big road trip. I’m a bit nervous about the car ride with three babies, but I’m hoping the excitement of getting to our destination will outweigh that. In order to ensure a better trip, I’ve been shopping. And not just recently. I started planning for this trip, or any trip for that matter, quite a while ago.
See, the key to getting the best deals and the most for your money is shopping ahead of time. Buying things when they are a good price, not just when you need them. Now, I’m not saying you should buy things you don’t need, but that you should buy the things you need even if you don’t need them at the time. Make sense?
Let me give you an example. You will always need toilet paper. If it goes on sale for a great price, plus you have a coupon, buy it. Even if you have 3 giant packages at home. That way, you won’t run out and need to buy toilet paper when it’s not on sale or a great price.
Now, you’re probably thinking, what if I don’t want to store all this toilet paper? Or what if I don’t have the money right now? That’s ok. These are just some tips to get you thinking. It’s taken me quite a while to get in this mind set, and I don’t always have the money to buy extra toilet paper, but whenever I’m shopping, I’m always thinking about what will save my family the most money. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy that extra toilet paper, and sometimes it’s not.
But, enough about toilet paper….for our trip, I was on the hunt for great snack items, toys to occupy the kids, and a few travel accessories.
Snack items were pretty easy. I had some small packs of pretzels and goldfish crackers leftover from Valentine’s clearance, plus I found energy bars for me and my husband on clearance. I also bought some baby food pouches that were on sale, plus I had a $3 off coupon. Done.
To occupy the kids, I headed to Target. I used their “Cartwheel” app on my phone to save an extra 20% on clearance school supplies and stationary items. I got my 4 year old some coloring/activity books for less than $3. For the twins, I dug into my “gift” closet (the place I store cheap items I find throughout the year that I think will make good gifts or prizes for my kids or other people’s kids) and found some stuffed animals from the Valentine’s clearance.
Which leads me to one other tip….if you want to get the best price on clearance items, you must be patient. I know you see 30% off, and want to buy the item immediately, but if you don’t need it desperately, just wait. It will most likely be there when it is time to get marked down to 50% off, and if you’re really lucky 70% off. That’s how I found this awesome Skip Hop suitcase for less than $9 (regular price $29.99.)
I also found some great deals at Babies R Us. All clearance clothing and accessories were marked down to $3. Since my twins barely leave the house, we are lacking in the shoes department. I found these cute shoe/sock things with non-skid bottoms for only $3 (regular price $12.99.)
Now, I know I’ve thrown a lot of information at you, and I hope it’s not too scattered. I’m trying to do a million things at once before we leave….but I want to leave you with one last tip for the actual transportation and hotels.
I made all of our reservations online, so the first thing I did was go to ebates
It’s free to sign up, you get a giftcard when you sign up, and you get cash back on all your purchases. I found Priceline.com, clicked through their link, and earned an extra 5% cash back on the already great deals I got on our hotels and car rental.
So, now we’re set for our trip. The kids are packed, my husband is packed, the snacks are packed. Wait. What about Mom?! Isn’t that how it always is?! Better go pack myself!