Where I've been, and what I'm doing, and a little something for you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently as I was. I am definitely not trying to make excuses, but life has just been c-r-a-z-y lately. Between work and my social life and my 6 furry babies I just have not has a lot of time to breathe, much less post.

No excuses though- I'm going to keep the good deals and good times coming. As with everything in life, when you fall off track for a bit you just have to get back on and keep on truckin', which is exactly what I'm going to do!

On that note, there's a few new developments I want to let you all know about. One is a trip that we've booked and are saving for, the second two are giveaways!

I booked a cruise for hubby and I to go on in September. We LOVE cruising! Not only is it relaxing and an amazing way to see the world, it's also one of the most economical ways to vacation. The total price of the cruise for both of us was $1,548.00. This is for 7 nights on the Carnival Dream on September 3, with a balcony room. On a previous cruise that I went on in February, I participated in the Carnival Future Vacation program. Basically you put down $100 deposit towards any future cruise, which you apply towards the price of the next cruise. You also get an on-board credit in a certain amount which is based on the length of the cruise you book ($50 for a 3-5 day cruise, $75 for a 6 day cruise, $100 for a 7-9 day cruise, and $200 for a cruise 12 days or longer). You have up to 2 years from the date of purchase to redeem the certificate. For us, it was like getting a $100 on board credit for free!

In addition to that perk, the cruise includes all the food you can eat, and travels to Cozumel, Mexico, Belize city, Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya, Mexico. I don't know of any land-based vacation that includes all of that for around $100 per person a day!

Hubby and I both decided that it would be great to see how much of the cost we can offset of this vacation by doing several things to bring in some cash- (1) Most obvious- couponing (2) Selling items we don't really need want on Ebay and/or at garage sales, etc. (3) cutting back on extras like eating out and unnecessary purchases.

I devised a budget for each category of this vacation, which we're going to do our best to stick by. Here's the plan:

Cruise Cost- $1,548.00
Parking at the Pier- $140.00 (unfortunately there's no way to get around this)
Excursions- $300.00
Pre-Cruise shopping- $100.00
Tips- $200.00 (the cruise line automatically charges $10 per person, per day, which you can edit at your discretion. We typically like to tip our waiters & room stewards a little extra)
Shopping on the trip- $200
Drinks on the ship/Eating out on Shore- $500
Pet Sitting- $250

Total: $3,238.00

We have until June 10 to pay off the cruise, and we set sail on September 3. I don't know for sure if we'll be able to cover the entire cost of the cruise by couponing, but we are sure going to make a valiant effort to pay as little out of pocket as possible! I'll be keeping track of every deposit I make into the savings account here on my blog. The plan is to deposit the amounts that I save at the stores, to see just how much we can come up with. In addition, any rebate checks, gifts, or otherwise found money will go into the pot as well!

Now that you've listed to me ramble on about my upcoming vacation (can you tell I'm a little excited?), I've got some very exciting news for you!!! In an effort to celebrate all of you wonderful readers, I'm going to be doing TWO giveaways very soon! The wonderful folks at CVS donated a $50 gift card for one of my lucky readers/followers, and I've also got a $25 Olive Garden to give away in May when we do no dining out again!! There will be a lot more information on both of these giveaways very soon, but in the meantime spread the word to anyone you think might like to win one of these great prizes! Keep checking back here for more info!

Wishing you all an awesome Frugal, Fun and Fabulous week!!


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