Romantic weekend getaway, Cinco De Mayo party, and more!

As I mentioned on Friday, I was really looking forward to this weekend. My 5-yr anniversary was on April 28th, but we decided to celebrate this weekend. I am SO BLESSED to be married this hottie!
Here are some fun, cheap, or free things we did this past week/weekend:
 THURSDAY:
Watching the segment before mine. Brooke and Darin are hilarious! I seriously love them.
 Look! Twinners! We wore the same outfit, only inverted. Here’s to blue, black, and leopard.
…and here’s to grimy toddler hands leaving smears on my leggings. Woops.
  • Finally got my business cards in the mail. It’s about time I finally got around to ordering some, sheesh!
  • Enjoyed some nice weather outside with water play. I put the water in a cookie sheet for my baby so she can splash in it…she LOVES it. She scoots it all over the deck too, which is hilarious.

FRIDAY:
Packed up and headed out for our FUN CHEAP OR FREE Romantic weekend getaway! MAN we were looking forward to it. My husband and I trade off holidays. He planned Valentine’s day, so I planned our anniversary. Here are all the ways we saved this weekend:

  • I found these printed skinnies at Target for $11. I brought them home because I couldn’t tell in the dressing room if I loved them or not (they are pretty loud!).
Remember my “sale shopping tips“?? TRY THINGS ON! These pants looked ugly on the rack, but I tried them on anyway.
I was pretty sure I liked them, but decided to take them home and check them out in a different setting. Once home I still couldn’t tell, so I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook, asking if I should keep or return them. The verdict? Keep! I’m glad I asked.
And yes, the toothbrush makes the outfit.
Don’t be afraid to return!! If you can’t tell if you love something or not, sleep on it. Bring it home, try it on in different light, and ask your friends. Dressing rooms make it hard to know if you will love something or not, so bring it home, but RETURN it if you don’t love it!
  • To save money on not having to pay a sitter for the weekend, we found friends to watch our kids for us for FREE. Awesome friends? YEEEEEEES. We will watch their kids for them overnight in exchange. SO worth it.
  • We went to Park City, UT, an adorable up-scale resort town only about 45 minutes away from us. It was the perfect distance for a quick getaway.

Right now is their off-season. No more snow, no holidays, and it’s not summer vacation yet. It is THE PERFECT time to get a good deal on vacations. This is also the same for October; great cheap month to travel.

 I got us a SCREAMIN’ deal on a hotel room using KSL.com, our local news, classifieds, and daily deal website. I was trying to find a daily deal on a weekend stay, but found their “last minute travel” page. I was able to get a $100+ per night hotel room for $58! Remember, if you book your travel within 2 weeks you can get amazing last-minute reservation deals.
(Reminder, see my HUGE list of daily deals sites HERE)
We checked into our hotel then hit Main Street to walk around and look at the shops. 
 We had a ton of fun trying on all the things people pay waaay too much for!
You know those $11 jeans I was telling you about that I was a bit nervous about keeping? Turns out I’m right on target fashion-wise!
(P.S…recognize my $5 shoes?)
Stores were FULL of identical pairs.
This one pair in particular? $168.
Mine cost $11.
Which ones are cooler?
You decide.
We had an absolute BLAST walking around main street. The shop owners were so happy to have “customers” that we made best friends with like, 10 people! People were giving us their business cards, asking us to hang out, giving us free stuff, it was awesome. My advice? Travel off-season! You get treated like royalty.
We, of course, had to stop in for one of my favorite treat – caramel apples.
Mmmm…
At $6 a pop they are NOT a good deal. But hey, a little indulgence is ok once in a while!!!
Everything in moderation.
 
After “shopping” (is it technically shopping if you don’t actually buy anything??) we took a nap at the hotel before dinner. OOOHHH luxuries of life…
We got all dolled up, then headed to dinner. My husband is a total meat-and-potatoes guy, so I surprised him and took him to a restaurant that he’s always wanted to go to:
It’s expensive, so we hadn’t gone before. But thanks to my amazing hubby, we had this baby:
That’s right, a $100 gift card!
How did he get it?
Taking a 20 minute survey.
Yup.
You heard me.
Remember my preaching HERE? I’m telling you, they ARE worth your time!

I made our reservations on their website. I signed up for their email list, hoping they would email us a coupon…they didn’t. Bummer. But they did have a box asking for special requests. I mentioned that it was our anniversary and asked them to put candles on the table for us…and they did! (no extra charge)

Remember to ASK.

Each plate was about $50 each (ouch). However, on our menu we noticed a note that said “select eating menu offered until 6:30 pm. Ask your server for a menu.” It was 7:30, but we asked what it was all about. Our server said it was a discounted menu. We asked him if there was any way we could take advantage of it. He said, “not normally…but since it’s your anniversary, I’d be happy to.”

WHAT?! Awesome.

We saved a quick $40 or $50…just by asking.
Remember to ASK.
Always.
Forever.
And ever.
ASK ASK ASK!
And remember, even expensive restaurants that don’t have coupons typically often times offer “preferred dining”. The earlier you eat, the cheaper it is. Just call and ask in advance so you can plan accordingly.
It was the most delicious steak and potatoes I’ve ever had, the dessert was amazing, and we sat and talked and talked and ate and talked for about 2.5 hours. It was absolute BLISS.
FRIDAY NIGHT:
…some much needed alone time! So, maybe this is TMI, but I take a “no holds barred” attitude toward sharing how I save money, so here it goes…
(Children? Turn away. This is for adults only!)
We all know what happens (or what should happen) on a romantic weekend away. Enough said. I wanted to give my husband a little something special, so I went lingerie shopping before our trip. Now, just like Gretchen Wilson’s country song says…
“Victoria’s Secret?…That stuff’s reeeeeeal nice…But I can get the same dang thing on a Walmart shelf half-priced!…And still look sexy, just as sexy…as those models on TV…No, I don’t need no designer tag to make my man want me!…”
Sing it, girl!
She’s right.
Vickie’s has adorable lingerie. But $50? For something I’m going to wear for 2 minutes? No thanks. I’ve had great luck at Walmart in the past, to be completely honest! This time I went to Target. Not as much luck. They had a cute bra that I liked but it was $20. I thought,
“$20? For a bra that I won’t even wear under any clothes?” So here’s what I did…
I bought a cute/sexy bikini instead!
I don’t wear bikini’s to the pool (I’m more of a modest Tankini type, personally) but here was my frame of thinking:
  • It cost about the same.
  • It was reeeeally cute and made me feel sexy.
  • It serves a dual purpose! If we ever go to a beach where I don’t know anyone (like vacation or a cruise), I’ll totally wear it again!
My husband loved it and thought it was really cute! (And thrift of me.) P.S…Pandora R&B Soul Jam radio has great love songs, and it was a fun blast from the past!
So there you go. Dress up. Look sexy. Have fun…but you don’t need no designer tag to make your man want you! Haha, you go Gretchen.

 SATURDAY:

Saturday morning we slept in (AHHH!!!!) then decided to hit up the outlet mall quickly.
Refreshed. Energized. Ready for action.

Online it said our hotel served complimentary breakfast (one of the reasons I went with it in the first place) but they said they only do that during peak season. Lame-o.

  • So for a cheap meal I went to my handy dandy coupon notebook (see explanation HERE under the “junk mail” section).
I found the exact coupons we needed (Arby’s was right by the outlet mall), and saved us 2/3 the price on our meal. Boo ya.

Then we hit the mall! I already had some awesome coupons sent to my phone from this sign I saw a while back:

  • Before shopping I stopped into their information center. About a year ago I signed up for a Tanger “membership”. It’s $10 a year, but you get a free $10 gift card on your birthday…so it pays for itself! They send you exclusive coupons (that are awesome) via email and text.

Also, they have a table with tons of coupons you can just grab.

  •  As a Tanger member I get a coupon book every time I come that only members get. I also get free stroller rental, which is handy.
  • While there, I ASKED the lady at the desk if there are any additional offers going on. Guess what? She said YES! She said that if I went to their Facebook page and “liked” them, I could buy a $50 gift card for $40. I held off because I didn’t know if I would spend $50, but I kept that in the back of my mind.
So I grabbed my coupon book, grabbed extra coupons off the table, and went shopping.
We only had about 30 minutes (I’ll explain why in a second) to shop so I HAD A PLAN (remember my tips HERE? This applies for all shopping, not just thrift shopping!) and decided to go to Children’s Place. I mainly needed items for my kids (growing waaaay too fast) and figured if I only had time for one store, I’d want to start here. (They seem to have the best deals when their stuff is on sale. Remember THIS spree for example?)
Good thing I did.
Right now is a GREAT time to stock up on clothes for next year! All winter (and even spring) items are on sale, and even clearance. You can get great deals! Buy them too big and wear them next year.
They had amazing prices. $1.99 and $2.99 racks? Yes please.
 I scanned through my membership coupon book, and found a 20% off $50 coupon.
I scoured the racks and found TONS of amazing stuff for both my kids. I did mental math as I shopped. Once I knew I’d be near the $50 range I had the checker hold it at the counter for me, then I ran back to the membership desk and bought the $50 gift card for $40.
 I used my 20% off coupon, used the discounted gift card,
And got AMAZING deals on this lot of clothes!
(Sorry for the poor pic, it was hurriedly taken with my phone)
  • I got nice, thick sweaters for Hutch (for next year) and summer polos, $2.39
  • Cargo pants for Hutch, $1.64
  • Shirts and tops for Priya, $1.59
  • Pants for Priya, $2.39 and $1.59
An added bonus? The survey on the bottom of my receipt…I get 20% off the next time I go, and only have to spend $30!
Remember to take surveys!!!
After shopping we hurried over to…a couples massage! My brother got us a voucher for Christmas, so we each got an hour massage…free-ninety-nine, baby!
Remember, daily deals are a GREAT way to get good deals on fun stuff like this! Just use this tutorial to filter them out so you don’t have to weed through them in your inbox every day.

WHEEW. It was a fun day.

SATURDAY EVENING:
We went to a fun Cinco De Mayo party at a friend’s house. It was so cute, and so fun!

As you can see in this picture, my husband is holding Horchata. It’s home-made! You can buy a powder mix, and mix it with water or milk to make home-made horchata. It was soooooo delicious!
They did a lot of inexpensive and FUN things. Notice the sombrero cookies, the mustache cake, and the cups of 7-layered dip. Cute, and clever. They had people bring salsa to see who claimed bragging rights. I made my pico salsa for ease because we had been in Park City.
They had a chili pinata for the kids filled with inexpensive candy from a Mexican market.
They did a fun chili-eating game, I will post this picture as soon as my hubby gets home because it’s on his phone. They bought all different kinds of chilis and peppers from the store. Everything from mild green bell peppers, to jalepenos, and some HOT peppers I’ve never even heard of!
They made a spin board and wrote the different kinds on there. Contestants got blindfolded, had to spin the spinner, and eat whatever their spinner landed on! You couldn’t pay me enough…
It was hilarious.
There was a “grande prize!” square, the winner got a ceramic bull bought at a Mexican market. So fun.
SUNDAY:
I made Quinoa for the first time! It was soooo good.
  • You cook it just like rice, so easy! I just added a little chicken bullion to mine for flavor, but you probably wouldn’t even need it.
  • We seasoned Costco salmon with brown sugar, lemon/herb seasoning, red wine vinegar, rosemary, and garlic (random, I know).
  • We wrapped it in foil and grilled it on medium for about 15-20 minutes…and I died. Literally. Died.
It was sooo good!
We ate it with my leftover pico salsa from the party the night before.
Even my picky eater loved it!

Sunday night I worked on a fun project I’m doing…I’ll post it this week.

WHEEW! That was my weekend. It was fun, cheap, free, and creative. Best one I’ve had in a while! How was yours??
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