Anybody that follows my wife Emma will know that we love to go to holiday in Florida. It has been our holiday of choice several times a year ever since I proposed to her in Disneyworld Magic Kingdom back in 2013 . You don't end up going somewhere a lot without learning a few way in which to save money or effort for yourselves whilst there. As such I will be sharing with you some of the money saving that we ourselves do whilst there.
America loves coupons and we love coupons too!
Many outlets will have a coupon book that you can get for free or a small charge. On top of these many stores within America will also have coupons of their own to use as well. These coupons can be gained their websites, specialist websites, people handing them out or newspapers/magazine. Best thing as well is that you can just load many on your phone which they will scan.
Many places will even have a free coupon book at the front of the store or restaurant to be used at places around Florida, from restaurants and stores to attractions and events.
Refills to go, please
Nearly every restaurant within America does infinite refills on some of their drinks such as soft drinks and coffees.
As such you do not have to hold back on your thirst whilst eating, sometimes you will not even have finished your drink and it will be refilled. But when you are at the end of your meal you can even ask for your drink to be refilled to go! This means that you now have a drink for any bit of travelling you will now be doing and with the hot weather within Florida is well worth it.
50 Cent cans
Going around places like Walmart can a hike at times, with how much walking around the store you might have to do.
Outside the entrance of every Walmart we have been to are vending machines where the cans are only 50 cents. 50 cents for a nice cold can is brilliant, especially since you could be paying over $1 for a bottle within the store.
My wife and I will often get a can for the drive this way.
Dealing in divides
Just like here in the UK there are many great deals to be had when in supermarkets.
In some American supermarkets when an item is on a buy so many for such amount, the items are reduced in price singularly as well. This means that if you only want a single item rather than a couple or more then you can.
Emma discovered this when checking the price of a 2 liter soft drink. There was an offer of buy 5 for $5 and the bottle was $1 rather than it's regular price.
Quarter Quarter Quarter
There are several toll roads around Orlando, and they are my bane when navigating at times.
It can be really easy to accidentally take a toll road, some routes will take you briefly on a toll road but you miss your turning or there is no avoiding the toll road. For example the road to and from Orlando International Airport is a toll road, it did have two toll areas but from our last trip in February 2017 it has been reduced to only one but the toll increased.
As such you should always carry several dollars worth of quarters in your car. I say quarters only because some are unmanned and will only take coins! You can collect an envelope to pay the toll later and some car rentals will pay for you but this costs extra and can be an extra worry over your head.
Don't end up having to pull over and ask someone paying at a toll booth if you can change a dollar bill for quarters! It isn't fun, but thankfully when I had to do this the guy was lovely and really understanding. Also always check your route to see if it is a toll road and if it can be avoided.
Use that FairFx
The FairFx is a pre-paid currency card, my wife and I use it every-time we are in America.
Being pre-paid that means you can limited yourself to an exact spending allowance but it is incredibly easy to top up using their app or online.
In the UK we are really lucky that the majority of our ATMs are free to withdraw money, this isn't the case in America.
ATMs in America there will usually be a fee in which to pay for a cash withdrawal at an ATM, then you will also have your bank fee and sometimes there will be a fee because of where you have used the ATM. If you do have to get some extra cash out during your trip then it is better to make it a larger amount than running the risk of running out again.
Emma and myself will always use our FairFx cards to pay for most things when we are in America. There are some places however that FairFx doesn't work at, such as Target, places that might not take card or where it is better to use cash as a tip. As such we always try to bring enough dollars with us.
Fuel up in more ways than what you think
In the UK you normally wouldn't even think of having something from a petrol station or that it could save you money.
Our favourite place to fuel up in Florida is RaceTrack. The main reason, other than fuel, is to make a slushie! Each RaceTrack we have been in will have several machines in their drink section, with multiple different flavours to choose from, or mix together. There are also soft drink machines where you can pick from multiple different soft drinks and add a vast host of flavours into it, such grape, strawberry and blueberry to name a few.
We have also tested their hotdogs, during RaceTrack's Dogtober (yes it was a thing and nearly everywhere was playing on October puns), where their hotdogs were even cheaper. We had a massive surprise in that their hotdogs are really nice.
This means you can save a lot of money with just quick things to eat or drink whilst travelling or want something light.
Head to the Outlets
There are multiple outlets scattered around Orlando, so take advantage of them.
The three that my wife and I frequently visit are the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets and Orlando International Premium Outlets. All of which are centered around Kissimmee. These three outlets all have our favourite stores and as such we normally have a plan in which to visit them or even go round efficiently, otherwise might be there a while.
The majority of outlets are all easily accessible from the US-192 or I-4 roads, which is where many holiday makers will be driving along whilst vacationing in Orlando.
Take a drink
Sounds silly doesn't it but it is a great money saver.
Drinks in many parks will be more expensive than those outside with the only bonus being that these drinks will be cold. This can be easily overcome by either freezing a bottle of drink or having a frozen core water bottle (many different versions to pick from).
There are also drinking water fountains around parks, Disney even have a talking one! Take advantage of them by using them or filling up a empty bottle. If you don't want plain water then you can get mini squeezable containers of squash. There are multiple places to get them either bring them with you from the UK from stores such as B&M, Poundland or regular supermarkets when they on offer, or get them from places like Aldi (yes America has Aldi too), Walmart or Target.
My wife and I will usually buy a cheap cooler (polystyrene), unless one is at the villa, to keep drinks in the car whilst out and about. We also love to freeze Capri Suns, by the time we are done in the park the Capri Suns will usually have melted enough to drink but still be cold.