The trip is paid for. And that's a relief. It's always nice to go away when a trip is paid in full. However, that doesn't mean that we still won't have expenses. You know --- money for snacks, gift shop items, alcoholic beverages, and meal tips. You know...extra spending money. We will need it.
So - what's a frugal mom to do? Well, the first thing I have done is use my credit card. That's right. I have used my credit card for anything and everything. You know - gas, groceries, etc. Then I pay it off at the end of the month and I get points. They add up fast. Once I have a certain amount of points, I call the credit card's "Grant Your Wish" Department, and I order some Disney gift cards. Yup.
Seriously. The department is really called "Grant Your Wish" and they really will get you anything you can dream of with your points. So far, I have about $250 in Disney gift cards from my credit card points. And this is money I would have spent anyway on our normal monthly items! Nice. Right? I am still trying to rack up some more points before we leave so I can get some more gift cards.
The gift cards will come in handy for anything. Right now I am thinking we might pay for the park hopper tickets with them. That is the only part of the trip we didn't pay for because we can pay for that when we are actually at Disney and decide to hop to different parks. The park hopper option is not cheap. It runs $60 per person. So it's another $240 added onto the ticket price. Gulp. Yeah. I know. I hate that. But - if I pay for it with the gift certificates - it almost feels like I didn't even have to pay for it at all!
The other option is to use some of the gift cards for the kids. The plan is to give each child a $50 gift card and let them use that for the week. When it's gone - it's gone. But it will make them feel like they have their own spending money and they won't be bugging mom and dad for
Speaking of gifts - I have another way that I plan to save some money. I plan to order some stuff online before we go. Take for instance - pins. Yes. Pins. I guess there is a big thing at Disney where you buy pins and then you can go up to any character and trade pins with them. What a cute idea. But the pins at Disney run upward of $8 per pin. So - I went on Ebay and ordered 25 pins for a total of $11 and free shipping. What a bargain. So, now my kids will have 25 pins, and they can trade all week. What fun for $11!!
I also plan to order some mouse ear hats, and buy some glow sticks at the dollar store. And maybe I might try to find some of those spinning lights. I guess those items are a must for the night time parades. I will pack these things and then each day, I will give something to them before we head off to the parks. Fun - right? And that way I am not spending a boat load inside the park.
Finally, my other plan is to pack a suitcase of snacks. Luckily we are flying Southwest. So there is no fee to check our bags. So, one suitcase will be dedicated to food. I plan to pack peanut butter, cereal, granola bars, crackers, and other snacks that my kids will eat. That way, I will have snacks on hand for each day and I will not be at the mercy of buying food in the parks every time they say they are hungry...which is like every 10 minutes.
So, there you go! If you have any more tips - feel free to let me know!