Assorted Frugal Trips

Still more frugal tips to help you save money on everyday life and on special travels. Use these thrifty hints to live better while spending less.

Make Motel Reservations in the Motel Parking Lot

I went to the website and checked out the price of the motel. When I went in to register, the price was much higher. I mentioned the website price to the counter clerk and asked for that rate. She told me it was an online only special and that she couldn't match it. So, I went out to the parking lot, fired up my laptop computer, and made reservations. Armed with my reservation number, I went back inside and she gladly honored that rate.

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Useful Souvenirs

Instead of buying souvenirs that just take up space and collect dust, buy something useful that will still remind you of the good time in that area. Some ideas are storage baskets, regional foods, cook books, and clothing that you will actually wear.

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How to Dress For Alaska Life and Travel

Casual -- and in layers. Temperatures in Alaska can change within minutes, and often do. The sun plays hide and seek with the clouds. A beautiful, warm sunny day can suddenly turn overcast and rainy. Don't assume that just because it is summer that it will be hot. Start the day with several layers and peel them off as you warm up. It's handy to have a backpack or tote of some kind to stuff them into when you aren't wearing them. You'll want them handy so that you can put them back on as you cool off, depending on both the weather and your activities.

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Bring a Jacket and Gloves

When traveling to northern areas, or to mountainous areas, bring a jacket and gloves with you or plan to buy them before you go home. Beautiful, sunny days turn chilly as soon as the sun goes down. If you'll be out on the water, you'll be extra glad to have them.

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Substitute Local Snacks for One Restaurant Meal Each Day

Replace one restaurant meal a day with local foods you buy at roadside stands, street vendors, the farmer's market, a local bakery, or a specialty shop. You may also find food bargains when touring manufacturing plants, visiting museums, or at other entertainment venues.

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Recreational Vehicle Travel Can Be Both Frugal and Earth Friendly

You may know that my husband and I've spent a decade and a half or so full-time RVing -- living and traveling in a recreational vehicle. Throughout that time, we've been teaching that the full-time RV lifestyle can be very economical. We've also been teaching how it can be a very efficient way to live, a lifestyle of conserving energy and natural resources. Now, with frugality being the new buzzword and family vacation time fast approaching, major newspapers and TV stations are featuring RVs, RVers, and the benefits of RV travel. So, we'll say it one more time: one way to have a very frugal life and travel is do it via recreational vehicle.

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Ask For Rain Checks or a Substitute If Sales Items Aren't Available

Rain checks are usually available if the store you are shopping in is out of an item that is on sale. The rain check is a voucher or coupon the store gives you, which you can use at a later date, when the item is back in stock. This is great if you have plans to return to the store before the rain check expires.

If you are traveling through an area or otherwise may not be back to the store to use the rain check, ask for a substitute. Some stores will let you buy a different brand at the advertised price. Others may offer a similar discount on a different model or size.

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Thrift Shop Souvenirs

Look for souvenirs in second hand stores and thrift shops. You're apt to find a good selection of coffee mugs, t-shirts and sweatshirts, and other items with the logos of local businesses on them. You may also find cookbooks from community clubs and area churches, plus those featuring regional foods. You may also find locally made arts and crafts, such as pottery and hand tied fishing flies.

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Frugal Donation Tip - Craft Supplies

Schools, day care centers, and other non-profits can use office, art, and school supplies. They can also use holiday decorations. Craft supplies, especially those found in nature, such as seedpods and seashells are useful frugal donations.

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Travel the Shoulder Seasons

Travel the shoulder seasons for pre and post season discounts. Motels, campgrounds, theme parks, and various other attractions routinely have lower prices before and after the prime tourist season.

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