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Frugal Vacation: Think Outside the Gift Shop

Sure you want to take a little piece of your summer vacation home with you. But will one more mug, keychain, pen or snow globe really preserve your memories? Here is how to bring home the souvenirs, but in a practical way.

Gift shops are usually loaded with overpriced merchandise that you can often get elsewhere for less money. Often, the souvenirs don’t even have any connection to the vacation at all. One of the recent episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight showed Mama Gosselin on vacation, loading up on toys and play purses that could probably be purchased at her local toy store. Just because you purchased it on location doesn’t make it special.

If you really want that mug, check out the local grocery store instead. In the summertime, our grocery store often sells items that have the name of the town printed on them. While they are still more money than I would like to spend on a mug (10 cents at the local thrift store), they also cost about half of what the exact same mug costs at the local gift store.

Did you know that there are plenty of souvenirs to be had for free? Yup, and I bet that they will be more meaningful than that keychain or coconut frog which will eventually find its way into the garbage or yard sale.

Two of my favorite souvenirs from the summer are a bottle of beach sand that we collected (my son even brought it to school to show his class) and a magnet that I got for free at the local library (where I loved to visit).

Photos generally have more meaning and help you recall those special moments quite nicely. You can turn your digital photos into screen savers on your computer, calendars, t-shirts and yes even mugs and keychains.

You can read more blog posts by Mary Ann Romans here!

Related Articles:

Ways to Save on Vacation Lodging

Frugal Picnic Night

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com