(Header image courtesy of https://magicguides.com/free-disney-photos/)
A trip to Disneyworld, or any of the Orlando theme parks, will be an incredible adventure for you and your family, but it will not be cheap! Travel to Orlando, accommodation and theme park tickets can run into multiple thousands of pounds, and that’s before you’ve even thought about spending money. How can you save money for your Disney holiday and make sure that trip of a lifetime is affordable?
Here are the Family Travel Pro’s top 10 ways to save money for your Disney holiday and Orlando trip!
You might also want to check out our post on creating a budget for your Orlando holiday!
Skimming is a process by which you ‘skim off’ amounts of money within your bank account into another account or savings pot. You might choose to skim off money down to the nearest pound or ten pounds every day or every week. For example, if you had a balance of £127.89 in your account, you might ‘skim off’ the £0.89 or £7.89 into a separate account at the beginning or end of the day.
If you did this daily for a year, just skimming anything under a £1 into a separate account, on average you would save around £180. If you skimmed anything under £10 on a weekly basis, you would save around £260 and if you did that daily, potentially around £1825!
Top Tip! Some bank accounts allow you to rename accounts within your online banking system, so perhaps call your savings account something that you find motivational such as ‘Disney Savings’ or ‘Pixie Dust’! It’s always good to have a reminder of what you’re working hard to save for!
Both online and traditional High Street banks are getting on board with the idea of skimming and many now have in-built functionality to ‘save the change’ when you make a purchase, which is another version of skimming. Check with your bank if they can set this up for you or try Monzo or Revolut who both offer this type of service.
2. Savings Jar
Commit to putting some of your spare change each day into a savings jar. You could say that you’ll put all £1 or £2 coins you get into the jar, or perhaps anything under a certain denomination, such as 50p.
There are some great Disney-themed savings jars and pots available. We love these ones over at Amazon. If you like the idea of knowing how much you’ve saved, these digital counting jars are a great idea too!
3. Give up ONE thing
Since we decided to book our latest Disney trip, we’ve decided to give up buying lunch on work days. Instead, we’re making lunches at home in a big batch on Sunday nights and seeing how far this gets us during the week. With two of us saving at least £5 on lunch each day for 4 days a week (no one’s perfect!!), that’s adding up to a saving of £40 per week. Assuming costs of £10 to make the lunches, over the 15 weeks that we’ve been doing this, we will have saved around £450.
Now that won’t suit everyone, but have a think about whether there is something you could give up or save on each week – shop-bought coffees, take-aways, buying bottled water? If a family committed to give up a weekly take away for a year, that could save over £1,500 and get you well on your way to the Happiest Place on Earth!
4. Downgrade 5 products in your weekly shop
Challenge yourself to downgrade or downshift 5 products in your weekly shop. By downgrade or downshift, we mean either shift from a branded product to a non-branded product, or if you’re buying in the luxury or ‘Finest’ range, shift to the range below. You can find out more about this idea here.
We have found some of the best products to downshift on are tinned tomatoes, bread, cleaning products (especially dishwasher tablets), crisps, pasta and rice. Shifting from tinned vegetables like sweetcorn and peas to the frozen varieties also helps avoid waste as you’re only using what you need each time.
Remember to also check the reduced sections and freeze any meat and fish that you can pick up here.
If you could even reduce your weekly shopping bill by £5 a week by downgrading some products, you’d save a whopping £260 per year!
You could take this a step further and downgrade your entire supermarket! Aldi and Lidl get a big thumbs up from us if you’re trying to save money for your Disney holiday!
5. Cashback Sites
Cashback sites are a great way to save money on things that you would be buying online anyway.
Cashback sites, such as Quidco, TopCashback, and KidStart, pay you a percentage of your online purchase price back in cash, if you click through their websites to where you are looking to buy something online.
You can use cashback sites for almost every type of online purchase including travel, tv & broadband packages, insurance, furniture, fashion and beauty products. The percentage cashback you will receive will vary by the brand you’re purchasing from and can vary from less than 1% to over 30%.
Cashback sites generally take a few weeks or months to actually pay the cashback but as long as you’re not in a hurry this can be a great way of making some extra cash on things you were going to buy anyway.
It’s also great to remember that you can save money on your actual Disney holiday booking too using these sites. Check out our guide to saving money on your holiday booking using cashback sites for more information.
6. Switching Contracts
With busy lives, we all can miss opportunities to save money on annual contracts by simply renewing each year. Make sure you always get alternative quotes when any annual contracts are up for renewal. Think about costs for car insurance, home and contents insurance, mobile phone contracts, tv & broadband and car breakdown cover.
You can also look to see if you could save on gas and electricity costs by switching provider. Sites such as uSwitch will find the best deals for you in your local area. Bank accounts can also be worth looking at for a switching deal as some can offer cashback amounts for switching.
We know that switching these things can be a bit time-consuming but the savings can be high and think of how you’ll feel knowing you’re one step closer on saving money for your Disney trip!
7. Have a clear out!
We love a good clear out at the Family Travel Pro and we’ve been busy getting rid of things we no longer need in support of our next Disney holiday.
Selling through online sites can be a great way to make some extra cash. eBay is a great starting point for most things but the fees can add up if you’re selling lower value items. Preloved is also worth checking out as this can be cheaper for sellers.
Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are free for sellers and are a great way to sell locally. You won’t have as many potential buyers as eBay but with no selling costs or postage costs this can be a good way to get rid of larger and lower value items.
Car boot sales are a great way to make a few extra pounds on things that won’t sell well through eBay or Facebook Marketplace. If you’re planning on doing a car boot sale, make sure you do your research to find the best ones in your local area. We have done two car boot sales to add to the Disney fund making about £70 and £40 each time (the second time was rained off so was only about 2 hours!).
We would highly recommend reading up on some advice before doing a car boot sale – we found this invaluable as it can be quite a daunting experience. Some of our favourite sites for tips were over on Miss Thrifty and Expert Home Tips.
Music Magpie is a great site for selling technology items like mobile phones and iPads, books, CDs, games and DVDs. These are sold directly to the company rather than to individual sellers and although the value of things like books and CDs can be low, once you’ve got a whole box full of low value items, the total soon adds up!
We added over £50 to our Disney fund using Music Magpie! If you join via this link you’ll get a bonus £5 to start off your savings for your Disney holiday!
8. ‘No spend’ days or weeks
Set yourself a challenge to have a no-spend day or even a no-spend week! A no-spend day is a day where you commit not to spend any additional money during your day and just manage with what you’ve already got in your cupboards, fridge and freezer. By simply avoiding small purchases throughout the day, the pounds and pennies can quickly add up.
A week is a long time to go, but can be done. Perhaps set yourself a challenge to do one no-spend day in week 1, two days in week 2 etc and see how far you can go? You’ll be well on your way to saving money for your Disney holiday before you know it!
9. Visual Targets
Maybe it’s because we are from the generation that remembers the Blue Peter Appeal ‘Totalizer’ going up each week, but we are BIG fans of visual targets for achieving our savings targets.
Why not work with your family to create a visual representation for how much you’ve saved towards your Disney goal – maybe a jar that you put a ball or stone into for every £10 saved, or a poster that you colour in a segment of a target for each goal you hit or every time you manage a no-spend day? Having a tangible, visual representation can be really helpful in motivating you towards your end goal.
10. Freezer and Cupboard Audits
Do you really know what’s in your food cupboards and freezer? Why not spend half an hour going through the cupboards and freezer and writing a list of what you’ve actually got in there? You can then use this list to meal plan for the next week, or even few weeks.
If you’re struggling for inspiration on how to use the contents of your cupboard or freezer, there’s a great website called Super Cook where you can input what you’ve got and they’ll come up with recipes that use those ingredients!
We really hope these tips help you on your journey to save money for your Disney holiday. If you’ve got any other top tips on how to save, leave us a comment below! You might also like to check out our post on how to create a budget for your Orlando holiday so you can get an idea of how much your trip might cost.