No Vacation With the ‘Rents This Year — and a Giveaway

The beautiful beach at Wildwood Crest, NJ

Have you ever mooched off your parents and tagged along on vacation with them? Mr. Saver and I have — for the past five summers, in fact. Ever year for three decades, Mr. Saver’s parents have rented an efficiency room in the lovely beach community of Wildwood Crest, along with two-thirds of his dad’s side of the family. It’s like a family reunion on the beach, and we weren’t too proud to stay in the 2nd bedroom for a few days each year for free. We’d try to give them money, or bring some of the food (they’re Italian — they bring trays of chicken cutlets, eggplant parm and so on), but we’re rebuffed every time. They’d usually stay anywhere from 5-8 days, but we’d only come down for a few, that way they’d have time to themselves. Which is the least we could do.

Here in New Jersey, Wildwood Crest is one of the nicest beach communities in the state — it has miles of boardwalk, rides, games, food — and most importantly, wide, clean beaches with free admission. Yes, that means 99% of our state’s beaches require a daily or monthly beach pass that helps pay for the maintenance and staffing.

My favorite thing to do was go boogie-boarding with all the cousins – I could do it all day. Enjoying a Kohl’s soft ice cream cone or a funnel cake on the boardwalk rank up there, too. There are fireworks on the weekends, cocktails on the balconies and card games all night.

But this year, my in-laws called off their trip (the rest of the extended family is down there now, calling and telling us all about how the waves are, where they’re going to eat, and the latest gossip). They thought they’d save the money, what with all the family weddings, the need for a new car and other expenses. I was sorely disappointed by the news, but really, we were merely benefiting from my in-laws’ extreme generosity for the past few summers.

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To enter the giveaway, leave your best money-saving tip below in a comment on this post and will choose their favorite one! All entries (comments) must be posted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 16 to be considered — so be sure to tell us how you save money!

28 comments to No Vacation With the ‘Rents This Year — and a Giveaway

  • meeyeehere

    I separate what I can spend every month and with the little bit that is free I put it into savings for emergencies

  • The best money saving tip is education. The more educated you are about ways to save and make money, the possibilities are endless!

    I only see decades out after high school how important education is now. If only we could make everyone in their teens realize this fact now.

  • Gina

    My biggest Monty saving tip is to set a budget and STICK WITH IT. I find that couponing really has helped with the food budget.

  • Laura H

    My best money saving tip is very basic but particularly if you work in an expensive city like NY bring your own lunch. Whether it’s a sandwich, oatmeal or fruit it really cuts down on a daily cost!

    • Nicole

      @Laura H: Most definitely! I work just outside of NYC — and the costs are comparable if you buy lunch. I’ve been a brown-bagger for years.

  • Charissa

    Here is my money saving tip for the masses:

    Always buy secondhand. If that option doesn’t work for your current situation, make it yourself. If you lack the skills, save up your money and buy the best you can afford. Perform regular maintenance on the item to ensure its longevity.

  • Red

    My best money saving tip… Hmm… It would have to be recording your purchases! Since starting the blog and doing daily updates on my spending, I am much more critical of the purchases I make. If I make a stupid purchase and have to stare at it for a month? I know it won’t be up there the next month!

  • Cathi

    My best saving money tip would be to automate the finances. This way I don’t have to worry about the late fees or even postage as it’s all done for me.

    I also try to watch for things to be on sale and never pay full price for anything.

  • Peggy

    My money saving tip is to always wait at least 72 hours before making a huge purchase. Most times I forget all those “I want” items after sleeping on it. If an item is still lingering in my mind, the 72 hr waiting period is usually enough for me to read reviews (and possibly re-evaluate), find coupons, and price compare between stores.

  • So far, my best money-saving tip is making my own laundry detergent. Using Borax , Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and soap flakes, one gallon of detergent is costing about 14-cents a gallon instead of close to $1.00 or more a gallon for store-bought.

  • Soha Molina

    My best tip is to stick to a list and don’t buy what’s NOT on it.

  • Holly

    The beach is always a great time!

    My best money-saving tip is to set up individual accounts for irregular bills (i.e., auto insurance that is paid quarterly) in ING and have a portion of the total automatically deducted from checking each month. Then you will have it saved and ready when the bill comes.

    Then, when the bill arrives, I try to pay it in full from checking instead of using the $ in the ING account. Then I move the total that had been saved in ING toward debt repayment or to stocks.

  • Wow- sounds like you have some pretty sweeeet in laws! That beach looks beautiful- I have always wanted to explore the east coast in more depth.. one day.. one day.

    Hmm my best money saving tip.. all the ones I was thinking about were already mentioned (automate your finances, use cashback or reward credit cards)…

    My best money saving tip I would say is to BYOL (bring your own lunch) at work. Saving $8-$10 a day really adds up. This also means avoiding buying Starbucks every day too =) Instead, put that money in savings and watch the compound interest gr-o–o-o-w! =)

  • Sherry

    My favorite money saving tip is to hunt for my own food here in Alaska. Moose, caribou, deer, and mountain goat. Who needs Safeway?!

  • My best money saving tip has to be to negotiate everything. There are always people who will trade a few bucks for your business. I save $5 on each haircut because I cut a deal with my barber last year. Plus, what’s the worst that can happen? They’ll say no and you’ll have to pay the regular price?

  • I love generating my spending money using rewards and point sites so I don’t have to spend real cash. 🙂 <3!

  • Sam


    I try to save money on my vacations by booking them using a credit card that offers that best rewards/cash back. I also try to book my travel,hotel and car through thereby earning points on side which when accumulated could translate into awesome gift cards in popular stores. It also helps to get some gift cards on the side by using swagbucks. I use them to do them to do my regular internet searches and redeem for gift cards.

  • Now I want to go to the beach…well, not Galveston, but a pretty beach…

    My money saving tip: Automate your finances as much as possible. Automatic retirement contributions ensure that you are saving for your future and you don’t even see the money in your paycheck to spend it. By having automatic savings contributions pulled out of your checking account, you can easily reach your goals and build a safety net (again, if you don’t see the money, it’s harder to spend it). By automating your bills, you don’t have late fees. I’m a huge fan. 🙂

  • Jan

    Thank you for the giveaway.

    I like to save money by using coupons whenever I can. Also I do a lost of research before buying something, so that I know which brand gives the best value for money. In fact I never almost walk into a store to buy something off the racks.

  • Wildwood Crest is beautiful. We always used to go there when I was growing up, and my family is headed down next month!

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