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Why It's Okay to Pinch Pennies

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I’m all about saving money. I’m a Dollar Store, coupon code kind of grandma. And I’m okay with that. I’m not cheap. Meaning, I have no problem spending money on a nice dinner, nice clothing, a vacation, or splurging on my grand babies. But there’s no shame in saving when and where you can. There’s also no shame in asking about available discounts, taking advantage of deals, and using hand-me-downs!

As About Discounts

This is my number one piece of advice for any mom or grandma looking to save some money. If you don’t ask you’ll never know. And my husband always used to say, the worst thing they can say is no! So, why not ask?

Whether you’re staying at a hotel, attending a show or a museum, or eating out, ask about what kind of discounts they offer. I always take advantage of the senior citizen discounts when I can, but a lot of places offer military and veteran discounts, discounts for law enforcement, teacher and even student discounts. Some places don’t post these out in the open, so you need to ask when purchasing tickets or booking anything.


I love AAA! I’ve been a member for over 30 years and my children were members under me as well, for some time. Not only does AAA offer roadside assistance, but you’d be surprised at how many hotels offer AAA discounts for members.

Depending on which membership plan you choose, you receive different incentives, like discounted passport photos, free fuel deliver if you run out of gas, and even free maps and tour guides. Whenever we plan trips with our family, we always request the maps and the booklets. They offer a lot of information on local attractions and even reviews and ratings for hotels. I’ve saved a lot of money and aggravation being a AAA member.

Early Bird Special

I am a big fan of the early bird specials at our local restaurants. And why not? You get to eat earlier in the day, which they say helps with weight loss, and you get to eat the same type and amount of food at a discounted price. I look at it as happy hour for older people. But it’s not just for older people, because my daughter and her husband often take advantage of the early bird special. Not only do you save money, but you also beat the crowds. Just when you’re preparing to pay your check, the flood of people start coming in!

There are usually great deals where kids eat for free too on certain nights and at certain times. Here are just a few of the most popular chain restaurants that offer free kids meals on certain nights.

  • Pizza Hut

  • IHOP

  • TGIF

  • Denny’s

  • Applebee’s

  • Bennigan’s

  • Unos

Any time I take my grandchildren out to eat, it’s usually at one of these locations during the days and hours they offer free kids meals. It’s just as fun and easier on my wallet.

Coupon Books

This is one of my favorite school fundraisers. I love the Kidstuff Coupon Books. They are chock full of awesome deals and coupons at stores that I actually use! I always use the McDonalds coupons to get my grand kids Happy Meals and the Michaels coupons to stock up on scrapbooking and baking materials.

I feel like we’ve all had those fundraisers that don’t really benefit anyone or anything, but just result in boxes of unwanted chocolate or mismatched wrapping paper. But I actually use my coupon book, every single year. And the school receives a huge part of the sale. I view the initial purchase as an investment, really, because I make my money back in savings in only a few purchases. I highly recommend these coupon books because they actually have offers for stores that you’ll use! And the school raises money. It’s a win-win.

Don’t Be Too Ashamed to Save

There is a big difference between being thrifty and being cheap. If savings are available or there are discounts to be had, why not capitalize on them? It would be foolish not to. So keep your eyes peeled and ears opened for deals and offers. It might mean the difference between your children experiencing something truly great and missing out because its too expensive.

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