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Welcome back to the 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week series!  I’ve sure missed writing this series.  But I am excited to have completed the big task of blogging every day for the entire month of January.

I hope you found the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series helpful.  If you missed it, be sure to check it out.  You’ll find 30 ways to save more money or bring in some extra income.

It’s been a long time since I wrote about the ways we’ve saved money for the past week, so some of these are ways we saved over the past month.

The 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week (Month)

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week 62 This week, we're saving money on drinks and vacation.

Car Rental

As I mentioned in my goals for the year, we plan on taking a beach vacation this year.  While I refuse to feel guilty about taking a family vacation while we’re still in the midst of paying off debt, that doesn’t mean I want to splurge on every aspect of this trip.

I knew I needed to put in our rental request now.  Although it’s only January, car rentals tend to book early.  Especially if you want a mini-van.  In the past, I searched for specific vans.  Though I’d look for coupon codes and try to get the best bargain, renting a van for over a week is expensive no matter how you cut it.

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week: Saving on Vacation CostsThis time, I broadened our search more than ever.  I accepted other brands of cars that we don’t typically drive.  We’re willing to bend our rules to save half the money we’ve spent on rentals in the past!

(Wondering why we’re renting?  Our van is beloved and paid off…but it does have quite a few miles on it.  Not worth risking a breakdown several states from home.  It’s still cheaper to rent than to justify buying a newer van early so we can take it on a trip.)

Birthday Party

Our kids get to have a birthday party every other year.  This year it was my daughter’s turn.

Our boys have begun to request things like laser tag or trips to baseball games with friends.  So I started to ask her where she might want to take some friends.  But before that came out, I rephrased my question.  “What do you want to do for your birthday party?”

Turns out she was excited about a simple sleepover.  It was actually not as noisy as you’d expect a group of girls to be!  And we saved a lot of money by keeping the party simple.

It’s well worth asking before you assume your kids want the expensive idea.

5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week: Garth Brooks!!

Concert Time!

In lieu of Christmas gifts, my Hubby and I decided to buy tickets to a Garth Brooks concert.  I’m so glad we did this!  Not only did it simplify my Christmas shopping and cut down on household clutter, but the concert was amazing.  (Best concert I’ve ever been to, hands down!)

I’ll take making memories over buying “stuff” any day.  We also kept our meal simple and avoided buying alcohol at the concert.  That saved a lot of money, too.  (Though to be honest, I mostly didn’t drink because I hated to stand in a 20 minute line for the bathroom and miss out on parts of the concert!)

Self Portioning

From time to time I reevaluate our bagged lunch situation.  While at the store, I looked at pudding cups.  Then realized I could do better by making a box of pudding at home and portioning it out.  Ditto for pretzels, applesauce, and much more.

Sometimes those preportioned bags and containers are worth it when it comes to convenience.  If it saves you from hitting the drive thru, it’s totally worth it!  But for now, I’m happier doing it myself at home.

Read more about how we handle packing lunches in our home.

Infused Water

I realize drinking just water is cheaper and probably better for you.  But sometimes you want more flavor.  I’ve been experimenting with infused water recipes.  We really liked apple cinnamon!  When I use groceries I have on hand, this doesn’t cost too much to make.  And it’s a delicious alternative to pop or juice.  (Cheaper, too!)

If you’ve got a favorite infused water “recipe”, be sure to leave me a comment about it!  I can’t wait to try some new ideas.

Those are the latest money saving ideas we’ve used!

I’m so happy to be back to blogging about this!

Make sure you tell us all about how you’ve saved money lately, too.