Paying for my trip to Germany

Old Jan 1st, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Paying for my trip to Germany

This is the third year that I have kept track of coupon and other various savings or unexpected sources of income.

The total savings were more than enough to finance our trip to Germany this fall - see

The past two years totals can be found at

The items listed are either ones that I have to take an action to realize the savings (redeeming coupons, selling on ebay, etc.) and totally unexpected windfalls (class action lawsuits I knew nothing about until receiving a check, gifts, etc.)

It does not include savings from buying items on sale and does not include the value of airplane trips paid with frequent flyer miles.

coupons - 794.86
Gas savings - 721.13
ebay - 393.40
reward programs - 146.94
class action suits - 102.35
yard sale - 42.50
book sale - 8.00
Craigslist - 50.00
gift cards - 25.00
Missing - 100.00
misc. discounts - 15.20
Free food - 14.55
re-issued check - 47.94
insurance refund - 681.24
change found - .53
Birthday gifts - 220.00
sale of car - 1000.00

Coupon savings were about the same as the past two years

Gas savings (Safeway and Kroger supermarkets)
For the second year in a row, the gas savings increased. Again this was by paying more attention to the promotions that improved the payout such as giving 4 times the normal gas points. One time there were two promotions running concurrently giving 5x the points.

Ebay sales were again much lower than 2 years ago. Most of my good stuff has been sold. Hint - most books have very little value on Ebay or at used book stores.

I sold my 25 year old Bronco for $1000.

I received an insurance refund on the house I sold last year. I thought that the insurance had been canceled during the escrow process. Wrong. Only because I was talking to the insurance agent when paying my mother's insurance did she find out that I had sold the house and the insurance had not been canceled.

I received $100 from, My son received a letter from them saying that he had some unclaimed money. I thought it might have been a con, but in looking it up, I found it was legit. He had a paycheck that was due him. So I entered my information and found out there was $100 for me. I received the money. I have no idea where it came from - the check stub made no sense to me.

There were some unusual gift cards. I attended an open house and the realtor sent me a $10 gift card for attending. Paying my newspaper bill by automatic bank withdrawal resulted in a $10 gift card.

Senior citizen savings were again small. I think I will try to improve this next year.

Money found on the ground was again less than $1.00.

Each of the years there have been checks arriving from some class action suit. This year there were 3 such checks totaling $102.35.

I had lost a check but several months later, the company contacted me to see what happened. They re-issued the check.
bigtyke is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2014, 12:46 PM
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bigtyke - I admire your perseverance and application.

although I am still working, there will come a time when I'm not and there will be less money available for travel. Til then I will try to do at least the most obvious of the above, especially the grocery and petrol promotions, which as you point out, can bring big savings.
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2014, 12:46 PM
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oh, and have a good trip!
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for sharing!! I too always pick up loose change when I see it. In 2013, that amounted to over $50 USD.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Working in our yard, we found a $20 bill in the street which we sent to the charity of our choice in Ireland. Received a note, "We always heard the streets in America are paved with gold, but no one told us about $20 bills!"
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 06:01 PM
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jaja..Irish wit par excellance!!!
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