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By kay winters
If you stay at a hotel over the weekend you can usually get a half-priced room because business people stay there during the weekdays and not on weekends.
Don't forget to get up early enough to eat a Hotel or Motels free breakfast buffet if they offer one as this will save you from buying breakfast and coffee. These are usually just bagels, muffins, donuts, juice, coffee nad milk, but it sure beats paying for it! These usually end at 10 or 11 AM, so be up by the crack of 9:AM. When you check in, be sure to ask if they DO have a free breakfast buffet and if so, what are the hours.
Save money on coffee by making it in your hotel room or bringing your own already made coffee in a thermos or instant coffee and creamer and a plug in water kettle. These kettles also work wonderfully to cook instant foods like Cup-of-Ramen and instant Mac and Cheese.
When traveling by car or train, bring a small cooler filled with pop and water, this will save you from buying water and pop at over a dollar a bottle! And, instead of wasting space in the cooler with ice, open half a dozen water bottles and pour the top 2 inches of water into a cup (to drink later) then put the caps back on and freeze them for your ice to cool your other beverages. Then when the water is at it's slushy & just-right consistency, enjoy that crisp refreshing super-cold drink. Ice cold water, Mmmm, Mmmm GOOD!
Instead of buying your kids little toys at each stopping place along the way. I'd always go to the dollar store and buy around 5 (good traveling) toys for each child and store them in a secret place in the car, then when they holler and beg for or a toy from a store along the way, or complain about being bored, I'd give them one of the $1 store toys. Sometimes, I'd let my then 5 year old son go with me and pick out his own $1 store toys. We'd just stop at the dollar store on the way out of town on the way to our family cabin in the woods (which was really a mobile home on 10 acres).
We don't have a lot of money to do much over the summer when my teenage son is out of school, so this year I have been requesting free information packets about neighboring states. They send tons of info about driving tours and sights that don't cost anything to go see. The price of gas eats up what little budget we have but with taking our own food and seeing natural sights that don't cost anything we can still have fun.
By Christi from Paducah, KY
Wal-Mart announced recently their expectations of lower than normal profits due to skyrocketing gas prices. Wal-Mart's core consumers are people in the lower and middle class who often live from paycheck to paycheck. I am not worried about Walmart.