Tag Archives: saving

Tips for Saving Money on Fuel this Summer


For many of us, summer is officially here as our kids are now out of school for the next twelve weeks or so. If you’re like me, then this means you’ll be spending a little more time in the car driving from place to place. While I’m thankful that my son is only 4 ½ and I don’t have to do the extended amount of driving that many people with multiple kids who are older do, I will still be spending more time running around town than usual over the next few months.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that with the high cost of fuel today and the extra miles we’ll be putting on our vehicles, we’ll be spending more money this summer at the pump. If you’re interested in learning how you can save money on fuel this summer, keep reading. I’ve done a little researched and found out about some out-of-the-ordinary tricks for saving money on fuel.

  • Service Regularly – Many of us are guilty of driving an extra 500, 1000 or more miles than we should before getting our oil changed and our vehicles properly serviced. This mistake can cost us money though…in fact, this can cause us to spend up to 20% more in fuel if we’ve got something like a bad air filter in the vehicle. So, make sure you get your vehicle serviced when it’s due – every 3,000-5,000 miles depending on your vehicle.
  • Air Up the Tires – You may not realize this, but it actually costs you more money to drive a vehicle that has slightly deflated tires then it does to keep the tires full. Did you realize that when you drive on tires low in air, that you could be wasting up to $5 for every $20 of gas you put in your tank? So, next time you prepare to go on a lengthy trip (say an out of town wedding that your little one is the flower girl for), air the tires up and you’ll enjoy better fuel mileage.
  • Use the Garage…For the Car – I know, right? What a novel idea…using the garage for the vehicle! I’m guilty of this myself – sometimes I park in the driveway instead of my garage because I’ve got too much stuff in the garage. However, during the summer months, it’s important to get the garage cleaned out and start parking the car in it because your car will stay cooler in the garage. Why is this important?  Your A/C uses fuel to run and when your vehicle sits outside in the summer, it gets extremely hot inside, which causes your A/C to work harder once you start it…costing you more money in fuel. So, park it in the garage and lessen the load for your A/C this summer.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog post and found the information helpful. While Kids Formal is dedicated to providing high-quality children’s formal wear (flower girl dresses, boys’ suits, girls hair accessories, christening gowns, boys accessories, etc.) we do strive to provide our customers with valuable information all parents can use. Hopefully, this article has done that for you!

How to Save Money on Fall and Winter Clothes for the Whole Family

I know I’ve talked about how you can save money on the kids when it comes time to clean out their closets and update the outgrown clothes, but I haven’t talked about how you can save money when shopping for the entire family as fall and winter approach. And, as you know, clothing expenses aren’t just limited to the kids. After all, adults like to freshen up their wardrobes from time to time too!



So, how can you bring some new styles to your closet, as well as the kids’, this fall/winter without breaking the bank? Here are a few ideas:

  • Sell the clothes you don’t wear anymore. While we all know the time and effort behind hosting a garage sale, the truth is that garage sales are still excellent for helping people get rid of the stuff they don’t need anymore…AND make money. If garage sales aren’t your thing, then consider selling the clothes that are in good condition on eBay. You will be surprised at how easy it is to sell unwanted items (including clothes) on that site. Regardless of which method you choose, you will get rid of the unwanted clothes and make money that can go towards new clothes this fall/winter for the entire family.
  • Be savvy and shop online for everyone. If you’ve read this blog for long then you know that I’m a huge supporter of shopping for kids’ clothing online, but I’ve just recently started to shop for my own clothing online. It isn’t because I can’t find good deals online for myself or my husband, but instead it’s because we are the ones to sacrifice as we’re always replacing our kids’ clothes due to their growth spurts. However, there are times when we need (and deserve) to add a few new items to our closets too and I’ve found that I can actually save a lot of money by shopping online. I like to watch the discount sites like zulily.com and shoebuy.com as they run a lot of sales for adult clothing. (Tip: don’t order anything that isn’t on sale…)
  • Take advantage of card discounts. Finally, make sure you take the time read the store flyers about upcoming sales and specials for their customer card holders. While I’m not one who likes to charge up my credit cards, when it comes to saving additional money on things we need and are going to buy anyways, I do it. I just make sure that I take the money out of my checking account and set aside for the credit card immediately when I get home so I don’t get surprised with a big balance later on.

Hopefully, you’ve found these tips helpful. We all need new clothes from time to time…especially mom and dad in the fall and winter, but that doesn’t mean we have to go into debt in order to do it. What are some of the ways you save money on clothing.

Wedding Travel on a Budget

The summer is almost here and for a lot of us that means that a wedding is about to take place. While we all love attending weddings, the out-of-town weddings can be a bit burdensome, especially for those who are trying to save money. Even if you aren’t actually in the wedding, traveling to attend one isn’t necessarily cheap. However, there are some things that you can do to help minimize the cost and ensure that the wedding is an enjoyable experience.

  • Book Lodging Online. We all know that one of the most expensive parts of traveling is paying for lodging. I can remember when $60 would get a nice hotel room. Now, it seems like a decent room costs at least $150 per night, unless you know where to shop for your hotel room. My favorite place to book hotel rooms is on Priceline, but there are other sites like Travelocity and Expedia that are pretty similar. Basically, these sites help hotels fill rooms. They do this by offering “customers” rooms for a fraction of the price they would get by booking at the hotel…or their website. The cool think about Priceline is that you can enter in the amount of money you’re willing to pay for a room and possibly get one for that price. On several occasions I have booked a room at a 5 star hotel for $65! It’s worth it if you’re looking to save a little money while attending an out-of-town wedding.
  • Leave the Kids at Home. If it is at all possible, leave the kids at home when you head out of town for a wedding. First of all, most children couldn’t care less about the couple in love and tying the knot and will therefore only be bored during the trip. In addition to that, kids are expensive. Some hotels charge extra for more than 2 guests in a room and there is the fact that the kids also have to eat, just like you. So, instead of spending $20 for meals, when you have the kids, you could easily spend $40+ per meal. So, if you are fortunate to have family living nearby who wouldn’t mind watching the kiddos, take advantage of them!
  • Car Pool. I know, this one sounds a little lame, but if you are able to find someone to take the kids for a day or two while you’re at this wedding, then consider car pooling with another (kidless) couple on the way to the same wedding. By agreeing to split the gasoline acquired during the duration of the trip, you could actually end up saving yourself anywhere from $60-$200, depending on how far of a drive the wedding is.

So, there are a few ways that you can save money when you head out of town for a wedding or any other big event. Do you have any additional suggestions? Please share!

Holiday Treats for Kids

We are right in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle as Christmas is less than a week away! What does this mean, aside from the shopping and wrapping? It means that the kids are about to go on Christmas break for a couple of weeks!

I have to admit that sometimes I get a little apprehensive about the school breaks as it is hard to keep little minds busy and out of trouble. However, at the holidays, I do look forward to spending extra time with my school-age son and his little brother, together. One of the things that I make a point to do with my little “big” man is to get him in the kitchen with me so we can bake some of our favorite holiday treats.

These moments are precious to me because I know that my boys are going to outgrow the age where they enjoy cooking with their mom soon. Plus, we never know when our last breath will come so it’s important to make the most of the time we have with our children.  Anyways, if you are looking for some holiday treats that the kids will enjoy making and the whole family will love, here are a few recipes!

Pistachio “Christmas” Cookies:

  • 1 Pkg. Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 Box Pistachio Pudding/Pie Filling Mix
  • 1.4 C. Flour
  • ½ C. Melted Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C. Shelled & Chopped Pistachio Nuts
  • ½ C. Dried Cranberries
  1.  Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir cookie mix, pudding and flour together in a large bow.. Then, add the eggs and butter. Stir until mixed well.
  3. Fold in pistachios and cranberries.
  4. On parchment lined cookie sheet, place rounded spoonful about 1 inch apart and bake for 8-10 minutes.  (Makes about 2 dozen cookies)

Not Your Ordinary Peppermint Bark:

Starburst or Jolly Rancher Candy Canes, Crushed (I use the strawberry, cherry and mixed berry flavors. Will need 1 cup of candy)

  • 2 lbs. White Chocolate
  • 2-3 t. Peppermint Extract
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or, if in a hurry, the microwave.
  2. Add peppermint extract and then fold in the crushed candy canes.
  3. Evenly pour/spread mixture on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Break apart into pieces and enjoy!

Famous Kiss Cookies

  • 1 C. Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 C. Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t. Vanilla

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Stir the peanut butter and sugar together until well mixed. It may appear to be “fluffy.” Next, blend in the egg and vanilla.
  3. On a greased cookie sheet, place cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes. (The tops should be slightly cracked.)
  4. Once the cookies are out of the oven, set cookie sheet on a wire rack and immediately press one Hershey’s kiss into the center of each cookie.
  5. Let cool. Enjoy! (Makes about 2 dozen cookies)

If you haven’t ever taken the time to bake with your kiddos at the holidays, try to carve out a small block of time this year. You and your kids will both make memories that will last a lifetime…and yummy treats that’ll last about 2 days (if you’re lucky!).

How to Save on a New Year’s Eve Dress

Although we often focus on Christmas at the holidays, Christmas isn’t the only holiday during this time of year. For most Americans, there are three holidays they celebrate within a 2 month period: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. The reason we are so focused on Christmas is because that is the busiest of the three holidays. It’s also the most expensive, which causes many people to look for ways to cut costs at this time of year and I’m one of them!

By the time we reach the day after Christmas, most of us are a bit relieved, but still feeling the financial strain the holiday placed on us. However, we have to press on in order to make it through New Year’s Eve. After all, what is New Year’s Eve without the customary celebration? It’s boring!

Okay, so you can’t cut a lot of costs of New Year’s Eve by eliminating the party, but you can save money when shopping for the New Year’s Eve dress with the tips below.

  • Wear an “Old” Dress – Gasp! know, I just suggested you reuse one of your holiday dresses for the New Year’s Eve party. Before you freak out about it, think about it rationally. Choosing a dress you already own for the party will save you a ton of money. And, when you accessorize it differently that you have before, most people won’t even realize that you are wearing the same dress! For example, wearing different jewelry, adding a bolero jacket and/or adding an accent belt at the waist are all simple ways to create a new look with an old dress.
  • Swap with a Friend – Another great way to save money on a New Year’s Eve dress is to exchange dresses with a friend who is close to the same size as you. Basically, you and your friend should take turns shopping for a dress in the other’s closet. Although the dress belongs to someone else, it is still new to you and everyone at the party!
  • Hit the sale Racks – I’m not sure why, but some women have a phobia about purchasing dresses from sales racks. Don’t be one of these people. If you have to have a new dress for this event, then shop the clearance rack at the stores. Most likely you will find the perfect dress for a fraction of what it would have cost brand new!

Remember that the amount of money spent on a piece of clothing is not what really makes a dress “great!” What makes a dress great is the woman wearing it. If she is confident about what she is wearing, then she will naturally be in a good mood. Therefore, don’t focus so much on money when it comes to the perfect New Year’s Eve dress. Instead, look for one that makes you feel beautiful without breaking the bank!