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8 Tips for Saving on a Family Beach Vacation

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. All opinions are my own.

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8 Tips for Saving on a Family Beach Vacation

We recently took a fun trip over to Clearwater Beach, Florida and it was amazing. Growing up in New England, I was more of a lake side traveler or an up in the mountains girl. However, when we moved to Florida my salty side came out and I’ve found myself craving the ocean more and more. Unfortunately, the idea of staying on the beach for a week was giving me and my wallet anxiety attacks. I decided to search some hotels that I had drove by in the past to see how out of reach a beach week was. Well, I think my credit card laughed at me.

We had already taken several road trips over to Orlando, have a trip to Kiawah Island booked for Thanksgiving, and back to school shopping is something I guess needs to be done. So, my gypsy soul was not working in my favor when it kept putting a beach vacay in my mind.

Then one morning, I realized I could still wake up to ocean waves and have my toes in the sand for a week, I just needed to get in to the right state of mind. I needed to do it on a budget and plan it right.

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Here are my 8 Beach Vacation Budget Tips that made my Family Beach Trip Possible

  1. Skip the hotel! Sure there are perks to staying at a luxury hotel, but there are also perks to staying at a vacation rental. Like a kitchen and more space for starters. We found some beautiful 2 bedroom beach cottages for as low as $50 a night.
  2. Eat Meals In! With a beach rental, you most likely get a full kitchen, which means there is no need to eat out 3 times a day all week. This is a huge money saver! We did easy breakfasts in the house each morning. French toast bakes, cereal, and breads I cooked ahead of time, all took about 5-10 minutes to serve. We also made lunches and packed a cooler each day for the beach. We brought sandwiches, chips, veggie, and dips. Plus, all our drinks, a soda on the beach is usually at least $3.
  3. Eat Out Early! When we did go out to eat, it was usually for dinner because after a long beach day everyone was tired and hungry. However, we tried to get off the beach and to dinner early to beat the rush and to take advantage of any early bird specials that restaurants were offering. Plus, this is usually when the sun is starting to get incredibly hot anyways, especially the Florida sun, so it was nice to be able to cool off inside. Our favorite restaurants on Clearwater Beach are Crabby Bills for their amazing king crab legs and full kid’s menu and The Pavilion for their delicious hotdogs. The Silverking Tap House also is a great place to relax and listen to live music while enjoying a beer and some delicious appetizers.
  4. Bring Your Own Beach Gear and Supplies! In the Florida sun during the middle of summer, my family has gone through a bottle of sunblock in one day. So, we brought a case. I’ve seen sunscreen at the beach stores that cost about $20, the same bottle that costs $6 at home. Same goes for beach toys and floats, every beach store has isles of them but they feature a hefty mark up. Plan ahead and buy the stuff you don’t have at home. Also consider bringing your own beach chairs and umbrella, or plan to sit on a blanket from home. Clearwater beach like many Florida beaches offer chairs, umbrellas, and cabana rentals, but for almost $35 a day, you can save a ton by bringing your own.
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  5. Stop at the Visitors Bureau! On Clearwater Beach, there is one right by the playground on the beach. This is the perfect place to see what free and inexpensive activities are happening. Clearwater Aquarium let’s their rehabilitated sea turtles free off of Clearwater Beach so if your visiting at the right time you may get to witness an amazing experience. The Visitors Center is able to give you all of this information plus they have coupons for almost every major attraction. Our favorite free things on Clearwater Beach are walking Pier 60 at night to watch the performers, watching the Sunset Cinema’s outdoor movie under the stars on weekend nights, and of course relaxing on the beach and catching a glimpse of dolphins jumping in the ocean as the sun sets.
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  6. Try to Book Off Season! If your traveling south, the weather will allow you to book off season. Try booking for a long weekend once school vacations are over, or into the fall or spring. In the Clearwater area, the water stays pretty warm through part of December. Plus, if you’re traveling from up north, like New England, even the mid-winter temperatures down here aren’t as bad as some summer days on Old Orchard Beach.
  7. Skip Buying Souvenirs! In every beach town souvenirs are everywhere. You can get just about anything imaginable with the local beach printed on it, from t-shirts to shot glasses. Instead of racking up a hefty tab at one of the beach shops, bring a mason jar (or a plastic bag) and bring home a cup of sand and a few seashells. Once you get home, clean off the shells and write the beach and date on them with a permanent marker and arrange the sand, shells, and picture or two from your vacation. You likely already own a mason jar, and finding seashells makes for a fun afternoon with the kids. Our favorite place to find seashells near Clearwater Beach is to take a short drive up to Honeymoon Island Beach, where the surf is a little stronger. We have found amazing shells there. If your adventurous, rent a kayak and take a short ride out to one of the small islands on the gulf coast.
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  8. Use the *Fuel Rewards® program! As I have said in prior posts, my favorite way to save on travel this year is with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program. The current offer, “Instant Gold Status“, rewards members with an automatic 5 cents a gallon savings on every fill-up (up to 20 gallons / visit). Plus, when linked to your credit card, you earn rewards on everyday spending at participating merchants. I earn additional rewards when I buy my weekly groceries at Winn-Dixie, which is right next to a Green Market Café that the kids love to stop at for lunch. There I earned a reward of 10 cents for every $50 spent. When my rewards are stacked, I save big time on fuel. While on our beach trip I continued to earn rewards at the Palm Pavilion, Silverking Tap House, and Five Palms Rental. All places I would visit anyways, however this year I’m earning some amazing savings at the pump, which allows me to continue to plan more amazing road trips!
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Have you signed up for the Fuel Rewards® program and earned “Instant Gold Status” yet? What are you waiting for? It’s free to sign up and you can start saving immediately! Head over to the Fuel Rewards® site to register and take a look at the long list of online retailers, stores, restaurants, travel locations that let you earn rewards. These are places you likely already shop and eat at, why not put some savings in your pocket while you’re at it?

Plus, once you’re signed up, you can send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by earning a reward or using their card at a participating Shell station, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal. And there’s no limit to how many friends you invite or how many times you earn.

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Tips to Remember:

There’s a 20-gallon limit on fill-ups. Get the most out of your rewards by filling up when your tank is low.

*Fuel Rewards® savings earned through linked credit card offers could take up to 5–7 business days to post to your Fuel Rewards® account

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*RESTRICTIONS APPLY. TO QUALIFY FOR THE GOLD/SILVER STATUS OFFERS, YOU MUST BE A FUEL REWARDS® MEMBER AND SWIPE YOUR FUEL REWARDS® CARD OR ENTER YOUR ALT ID WHEN YOU FUEL AT A PARTICIPATING SHELL STATION. WITH GOLD STATUS, YOU WILL RECEIVE 5¢/GAL IN FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS ON EVERY FILL-UP. THE 5¢/GAL REWARD FOR GOLD STATUS WILL BE COMBINED WITH OTHER REWARDS IN YOUR FUEL REWARDS® ACCOUNT. IF YOU ARE AN EXISTING FUEL REWARDS® MEMBER, YOU WILL RECEIVE GOLD STATUS FROM 6/5/2017 THROUGH 12/31/17, THE “EXISTING MEMBER INTRODUCTORY PERIOD”. IF YOU ARE A NEW FUEL REWARDS® MEMBER, YOU WILL RECEIVE GOLD STATUS FOR THE INITIAL MONTH YOU JOIN THROUGH THE LAST DAY OF THE MONTH, 6 FULL CALENDAR MONTHS LATER, THE “NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTORY PERIOD”. THE LAST 3 MONTHS OF THE EXISTING MEMBER INTRODUCTORY PERIOD OR THE NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTORY PERIOD (COLLECTIVELY THE “INTRODUCTORY PERIOD”) IS THE “QUALIFICATION PERIOD”. YOU WILL RETAIN YOUR GOLD STATUS DURING THE QUALIFICATION PERIOD, BUT YOU MUST MAKE 6 QUALIFYING FUEL PURCHASES TO QUALIFY FOR GOLD STATUS FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS, THE “BENEFIT PERIOD”. DURING THE BENEFIT PERIOD, YOU MUST CONTINUE TO MAKE 6 QUALIFYING FUEL PURCHASES TO MAINTAIN YOUR GOLD STATUS FOR THE NEXT 3-MONTH BENEFIT PERIOD. A QUALIFYING FUEL PURCHASE IS ANY FUEL PURCHASE AT A PARTICIPATING SHELL STATION IN WHICH YOU SWIPE YOUR FUEL REWARDS® CARD OR ENTER YOUR ALT ID AND FILL UP WITH AT LEAST 5-GALLONS OF ANY GRADE OF FUEL. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ARE A NEW FUEL REWARDS® MEMBER AND REGISTER ON 6/15/2017, YOU WILL RECEIVE GOLD STATUS THROUGH THE NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTORY PERIOD (I.E., 12/31/2017). YOU WILL NEED TO FILL UP WITH AT LEAST 5 GALLONS OF FUEL AT LEAST 6 TIMES DURING THE QUALIFICATION PERIOD (I.E., 10/1/2017 AND 12/31/2017) TO MAINTAIN GOLD STATUS DURING THE BENEFIT PERIOD (I.E., FROM 1/1/2018 TO 3/31/2018). THEREAFTER, IF YOU CONTINUE TO FILL UP WITH AT LEAST 5 GALLONS OF FUEL AT LEAST 6 TIMES DURING THE SUCCESSIVE 3 CONSECUTIVE MONTH BENEFIT PERIODS, YOU WILL RETAIN YOUR GOLD STATUS. IF YOU DO NOT MAINTAIN YOUR GOLD STATUS, YOU WILL RECEIVE SILVER STATUS. WITH SILVER STATUS, YOU WILL RECEIVE 3¢/GAL IN FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS. THE 3¢/GAL REWARD FOR SILVER STATUS WILL BE COMBINED WITH OTHER REWARDS IN YOUR FUEL REWARDS® ACCOUNT. REDEEM FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS WITH YOUR FUEL REWARDS® CARD OR ALT ID AT PARTICIPATING SHELL STATIONS. FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS ARE LIMITED TO 20 GALLONS OF FUEL PER PURCHASE, PER VEHICLE, OR FRAUD LIMITS PLACED BY SHELL AND/OR LIMITS PLACED ON YOUR FINANCIAL CARD BY YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION, EACH OF WHICH MAY BE LOWER. FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS MUST BE REDEEMED IN A SINGLE TRANSACTION. ONCE YOU BEGIN TO DISPENSE FUEL USING YOUR FUEL REWARDS® SAVINGS, YOU MUST DISPENSE TO THE 20-GALLON LIMIT OR YOU FORFEIT ANY REMAINING DISCOUNTED GALLONS OF FUEL. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ONLY PUMP FIFTEEN (15) GALLONS OF FUEL, YOU WOULD ABANDON THE REMAINING FIVE (5) GALLONS OF DISCOUNTED FUEL. IF YOU HAVE A REWARDS BALANCE GREATER THAN THE CURRENT PER-GALLON PRICE OF FUEL, THE PRICE WILL ROLL DOWN TO THE MAXIMUM CAPABILITY OF THE FUEL EQUIPMENT, AND YOUR REMAINING REWARDS WILL BE SAVED FOR A FUTURE FUEL PURCHASE. DISPENSER MAY REQUIRE A PRICE OF UP TO 10.9¢/GAL. IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO COMBINE MULTIPLE DISCOUNTS AND/OR REWARDS IN A SINGLE TRANSACTION. FOR PURCHASES OF $75 OR MORE, PLEASE GO INSIDE TO PAY. UNBRANDED DIESEL AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS MAY NOT BE ELIGIBLE. THE FUEL REWARDS® PROGRAM IS OWNED AND OPERATED BY EXCENTUS CORPORATION. OFFER MAY BE MODIFIED OR DISCONTINUED AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. NOT VALID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. PLEASE SEE FUELREWARDS.COM FOR COMPLETE FUEL REWARDS® PROGRAM DETAILS AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS. OTHER RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY. ALL TRADEMARKS ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. TO LEARN MORE, VISIT FUELREWARDS.COM/GOLD OR CALL (888) 603-0473.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

How I Saved Money on My Orlando Family Road Trip!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Summer is in full swing and that means I am taking full advantage of my Instant Gold Status from Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program, and hitting the road to make some amazing family memories!

How I Saved on My Orlando Family Road Trip

This month we did an Orlando Family Road Trip and I saved big time at the pump. Remember Shell is currently giving members of the *Fuel Rewards® Program “Instant Gold Status” which rewards members with an automatic 5 cents a gallon reward on every fill-up, up to 20 gallons, for at least 6 months. However, by using my Mastercard that is linked to our Fuel Rewards® card before and during our trip, I was able to earn additional rewards and then stack them to get the most savings. You can sign up for the Fuel Rewards program and start saving with Instant Gold Status here (it’s free, no credit card required!).

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Tips for Saving with Fuel Rewards® card

Book your hotels ahead of time. By planning out your road trip stops and hotel stays ahead of time, you are able to get the best valued hotel. Book your hotel through the Fuel Rewards® website, powered by Priceline, and you not only save from pre-booking, you also earn 20 cents a gallon (up to 20 gallons) off your next fill-up for every $300 spent. When I was booking our hotel a few weeks ago, there was over 400 hotels to choose from, so finding a hotel that fits your needs is a piece of cake!

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Choose restaurants that allow you to earn rewards. Taking a road trip and vacationing with children can be a lot of work. I try to pack snacks for theroad, and quick options for our hotel room, but when it comes to full meals the last thing I want to do on my vacation is cook for 3 picky kids. Within a 5-minute drive of our hotel we found several pizzerias, a full Italian restaurant, a lobster house, and my husband’s favorite a Brazilian Steak House to eat at. Don’t feel like pizza or steak? No problem, there were 133 restaurants in my search of Orlando alone. At the Sinha Brazilian Steak House we earned 10 cents per gallon rewards on our next fill, up to 20 gallons, not too shabby for food we would have tried anyways!

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Stock up on your vacation must haves before you leave. Shopping at hotel gift shops or grabbing a poncho from a kiosk in a theme park will easily drain your budget. Instead, plan ahead, the best part of road tripping is that you aren’t limited to a small suitcase. Do most of your shopping ahead of time at stores that allow you to earn rewards. Before out last trip I stopped at Winn-Dixie for snacks, drinks, refillable cups, clip on fans, and all sorts of things that I knew I would find myself buying at a theme park. I saved on the cost of everything, plus I earned 3 cents a gallon on our next fill, up to 20 gallons, for every $100 I spent.

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Plus, every woman knows the need to shop for new clothes or accessories before a vacation, right? Head over to the Fuel Rewards® site for a list of online retailers that let you earn points as you shop online. These are stores you already shopping at, and more than likely already doing it online, so why not put some savings in your pocket while you’re at it!

With all these ways of earning rewards on top of the 5 cents a gallon Instant Gold Status reward, it is so easy to earn rewards, stack them and save at the pump. Don’t forget to sign up for the Fuel Rewards program here.

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Tips to Remember:

There’s a 20-gallon limit on fill-ups. Get the most out of your rewards by filling up when your tank is low.

Fuel Rewards savings earned through Mastercard Offers could take up to 5–7 business days to post to your Fuel Rewards® account.

Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473

How to Save at The Pump with Shell and The Fuel Rewards® Program

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shell, in which I was compensated. All opinions are my own.

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How to Save at The Pump with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® Program

Summer is upon us and for my family that means road trips! As a family of 5 who loves to travel, we spend a lot of time driving because it is the most cost-effective way for us to be able to get out and explore. Whether we are traveling all the way up to Boston to visit family, or finding a fun place here in Florida to spend the weekend, we enjoy being on the go. This also means we go through a lot of gas, so I am always on the lookout for the best way to save at the pump.

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Shell has been my go-to gas station for as long as I can remember because they have such convenient locations for me. There was a Shell gas station close to my parents’ house growing up, close to my first job, close to my house when I moved out on my own, and now that I have moved across the country, there is still a location less than a block away. When I learned about the *Fuel Rewards® program at Shell it was a no brainer for me to sign up, when a company you are already loyal to, gives you a great way to save money, you do it!

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So, I was thrilled to have the recent opportunity to team up with Shell on a 5-part series throughout the next 6 months to bring you, my readers, travel and money saving tips while showing you all the awesome ways you can save with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® loyalty program’s “Instant Gold Status”.

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Instant Gold Status

Shell has launched an amazing campaign, giving Fuel Rewards® program members Instant Gold Status free through December 2017 and rewarding them with automatic savings of 5 cents a gallon on every fill-up (up to 20 gallons per fill up). If you are not a Fuel Rewards® program member, now is the perfect time to sign up!

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How to Earn Rewards with the Fuel Rewards® program

On top of the amazing 5 cents a gallon savings you receive from the “Instant Gold Status”, you can stack your Fuel Rewards® savings with rewards from the shopping, dining, and traveling you are already doing, by linking your credit card to your Fuel Rewards® account. I was shocked at the number of brands that participate in this program, which makes earning Fuel Rewards savings incredibly simple.

I earn Fuel Rewards savings at the restaurants my family normally dines at, the store I usually by our groceries at, and even the hotels we stay at while traveling. This program has become a huge part of my budget plan both when I’m traveling and during everyday life.

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We have three more road trips planned over the next several months, one to Orlando, another to the Space Coast of Florida, and we will be traveling up to South Carolina over the holidays. I hope you will follow us to learn all our budget travel trips, and make sure you become #InstantGold before your next fill up.

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to

3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shell. The opinions and text are all mine.

Budget Tips for Big families Staying in Orlando

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Budget Tips for Big Families Staying in Orlando

If you are planning a trip to Orlando and are looking for budget tips, let me help! I have gathered some great tips for saving some money for big families staying in Orlando this summer!  You might be going to sight see, shop, visit LEGOLAND, Disney, or whatever else, these tips will come in handy for any of them! 

Some of my fondest memories are taking family vacations, but I know now how hard it was on the budget for my parents. Traveling is a great way to break free of the daily grind, but it can be pretty expensive, especially with a big family! If you eat meals out that alone adds up a lot, and then you gas, hotel stays and more to add in to the costs. Check out my list below for some ways to save in Orlando for bigger families! 

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Ways to Save Money In Orlando For Bigger Families 

Meals At Theme Parks

Meals at theme parks can be pretty pricey! So, trying to eat meals outside the park is a great way to cut costs. You can still get a fun snack while you are there, but not having a full sit down meal can save you a lot of money. You pay a premium price for meals and snacks, but they are delicious. So consider limiting how much you eat at the theme parks when you are visiting! 

Extended Stay America Hotel

We received a complimentary stay at an Extended Stay America in Orlando, Florida close to Universal Studios to help facilitate this post and I was very impressed with everything.  The room was spacious and clean, the staff was friendly, and it was perfect for a family of five to sleep comfortably and save money by cooking our meals before and after the parks.

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At Extended Stay America Hotels you can Stay for a day, week or longer!
You can find multiple locations of these hotels that are right by popular attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and more. Best of all they have a full kitchen, so you can buy groceries and cook your own meals to save money!
Plus head down and grab free breakfast items in the lobby before a busy day exploring Orlando!
Also many of the Extended Stay America hotels have free wifi and a pool for play time fun! 

Outlet Malls 

Orlando is packed full of amazing shopping options! They have three huge outlet centers that are near Disney World! These outlet stores have items discounted up to 65% off, so you can score some great savings, if you wanted to do some shopping! They have brands like Polo, Gucci, DKNY and more. 

Daily Deal Sites For Deals

Depending on the attractions you will be doing while you are in Orlando, consider looking on daily deal sites like Groupons and LivingSocial! Both will share deals on dining out, attractions and more. If you plan your trip a little you can buy tickets to a show for a cheaper value, or a day at Universal Studios! It is a great way to still enjoy fun attractions but at a fraction of the price. 

Buy Tickets to Events in Advance

When you are planning your trip, I highly recommend buying your tickets in advance. Preparing for the shows or theme parks you want to visit will help you to ensure you get to go, and you can save money. This goes somewhat with the option above for shopping deal sites for discounts. Even ordering on Universal or Disney’s website you can still get discounts on tickets from time to time! 

Pack Essentials 

Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, refillable water bottles, rain ponchos, and such. If you are hit with a downpour and buy a rain poncho you could pay twice as much at a theme park! If you have younger children and have room consider packing a stroller so you don’t have to rent one when you are out. The reusable water bottles are great, so that you can keep refilling them while you are out. Buying a new bottle of water each time with a larger family can really cut into expenses! 

Buy Snacks 

If you can head to a Walmart, Target, or other grocery store. Pick up some snacks for your family to have during the day. This is great for a day at the pool you have snacks handy, and you aren’t paying a ton for something you can buy for less. If you stay in a hotel with kitchen like the Extended Stay America Hotel, making meals in, can save a ton! They have a fridge and stove, so it can feel  more like you are at home! 

I love cutting cost where I can so we can spend more money on attractions! A vacation is a great way to create memories that last a lifetime! I hope these tips can help you save some money and have an amazing stay in Orlando! 

5 Tips for Saving for a Summer Vacation

This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

5 Tips for Saving for a Summer Vacation

Saving for a Summer Vacation

It is officially the start of summer!  Even though down here in Florida summer seems to have started several months ago.  For my family and I, the best part of summer is traveling.  We love taking road trips over to Orlando, or spending long weekends at the beach.  However, as a family of five, traveling can add up quickly.  So, it is important for us to save ahead for all our vacationing plans.

Top Tips for Saving for Summer Travel

Plan ahead: I try to plan our summer travel a couple months before school let out for the summer.  This gives me plenty of time to search around for the best locations and the cheapest travel dates.  This will help save you money and also give you an idea of exactly how much you need to save.

Sell Old Stuff During Spring Cleaning:  With 3 kids, our house gets cluttered quickly.  While we are spring cleaning each year, I declutter every room in the house and items that are sellable are either brought to a local consignment store, sent to online resale sites like Thredup, or we hold our own yard sale.  This is a fairly easy way to earn a chunk of the funds you’ll need for your vacation.

Make your Credit Cards Work for You:  I hate having debt, however I have several credit cards that work to save me money.  Two examples are my Disney Chase Card and my Hilton Rewards American Express Card.  I use these to buy everyday essentials like gas, groceries, and medicine throughout the year and then make sure I pay them in full every month.  In turn I earn reward points towards free travel.  I save my Disney points for trips to Disney World and I use my Hilton Rewards on a lot of our hotel stays.

Cut Down on Your Monthly Expenses:  Try buying in bulk or shopping your local farmers market to save on your grocery bill.  Walk wherever possible during the nice spring whether to save on gas costs.  By taking a close look at your average monthly spending and tightening your budget, you should be able to take a small chunk of money to set aside for a vacation.  When you’re on your dream vacation, you won’t be thinking about the $4 coffees you gave up.

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Save on Diapers: Having children in diapers is a huge expense!  We had 3 in diapers at one point and I remember counting down the months till they were all potty trained, so we would have a raise in funds.  However, there is easy ways to save on diapers like switching to Luvs.  Once the twins came we made the switch and our wallets thanked us.  

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Why Luvs are a great diaper option:

  • Features Super Absorbent Leakguards and NightLock Plus™, its largest absorbency area ever, Luvs Diapers lock away wetness and absorb even more than regular Luvs.
  • With large refastenable stretch tabs, fastening Luvs diapers is super easy for parents, plus they can rest assured knowing that they’re giving baby a secure, snug fit again and again.
  • Luvs knows that between laundry, play dates, snack time, and nap time, you don’t have time for leaks. Luvs makes life easier for busy parents by helping to keep leaks in the diaper where they belong, so baby stays dry and comfortable, even overnight.  
  • A contoured shape hugs baby for a great fit and a super soft cottony material and it softer than ever before so it feels gentle on baby’s skin.
  • The Luvs Money Back Guarantee: Luvs feels so strongly about their diapers that they guarantee them! If you aren’t satisfied with the leakage protection of Luvs, they’ll refund your money.

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Luvs is sharing the luv this summer and offering a great money-saving opportunity with a $2 print-at-home coupon!

The expire 30 days from the date the coupon is printed by the consumer.  You can use this coupon at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold. All Luvs Diapers are included in this particular offer, except trial/travel sized diaper packs.

Now that you have tips to start saving, where do you plan to Vacation?

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