Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homemade Yogurt in the crock pot
I attempted to make homemade yogurt in the crock pot last night, it came out pretty good.  My daughter likes it alot.  The link for the recipe I used is below.  If you really do want a yogurt with the consistency that you find in stores, you should follow the geletin tips at the bottom.  Otherwise, it tastes great and I'm going to make some frozen yogurts for the kids too!
Frozen Yogurt recipe

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 3 in Vacation savings Myrtle Beach series
Some tips for the trip:
If you're driving, pack snacks and a cooler for drinks.  You don't want to have to stop too much and pay for overpriced snacks at gas station/minit markets/etc.  We normally take some fruit snacks/pretzels, Peanut and butter jelly sandwiches, cookies, etc.  You know what your family snacks on so stock up before hand. 
Pack the car so that you have easy access to the things you'll need on the road, such as:
Diaper bag
This is an important part of your trip, make sure you have the necesseties not only for the beach but for the trip down.  Spending unexptected money on the way may hurt your "fun" budget for when you get there. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 2
Ok so you've found the best place for the money and now you just have to wait...ah waiting to go is the worst part!  In the meanwhile start planning.  Make sure that you have all of the necesseties such as clothes, beachwear, sunscreen, etc.  because yes, there is Walmart there, but you will still pay higher prices at the beach. 
Plan on taking whatever you can, if you can take your laundry detergent/dish liquid/cleaners---take them.  If you've decided on a condo, they usually come fully equipted with a kitchen.  Yes, we do eat out, but for lunches on the beach, snacks, and even an occassional dinner you will need to plan accordingly. 
Take a cooler for the beach (and for the seafood you may pick up...we'll talk about that another day) Beach chair, sunscreen, a camera (and film if you have a regular camera), batteries, toiletries, sand toys, swimwear, etc. That's all more expensive at the beach.  If you plan ahead, you can watch for the deals where you live and have it all ready for when you leave. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Family Friendly East Coast vacation Series

I've decided to do a series this week on a favorite budget friendly vacation spot of mine, Myrtle Beach.

Day 1
First, booking your place to stay.  Normally I start looking in January to book our vacation for July/August time frame.  The reason being is that you have the most choices available.  Sure you can grab a place around the time you're ready to go, but it's more than likely going to cost you more because you won't have as many choices.   Going with Family?  Get those plans nailed down first.  I can't tell you how many times i've made plans with someone that didn't work out, but if you are confident that you have the right people in line, it can save you even a greater amount of money.  For instance, if I were to find someone who needed 1BR I could split the cost of this condo and we could live happily ever after.  You have to be sure of that, because even if you both go in your own direction, you  have to spend the week with them.  I've searched and searched, done a lot of research on my most favorite place to be, the beach. I live on the East Coast, so that is mainly my destination for a value vacation for the family.  My family consists of 3.  For all the reasearch I've done, I always come back to Myrtle Beach for the most budget friendly.   Typically I can get an ocean front 2BR condo for around $900 for a week during peak season.  That's a great price for the entire East Coast.  Normally I search VRBO or Home Away to find deals on condo's directly from the owner.  Normally it is a little more cost effective rather than going through a realtor.  Condo's in the same building are priced at a higher cost going through a realtor.  Based on the qualities that you want, you can have a pool, elevator (which is important because you'll be grocery shopping), restaurant's on site, etc.