Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chocolate??? Oh Yes!!!

Love chocolate? Me too! And amazingly enough, this post isn't about Halloween - what to do with that candy is a whole other post!

We just got back from a fun weekend getaway in Hershey, PA. So, yes, we had plenty of chocolate. I thought I'd give a quick rundown on the fun things to do as well as ways to save money at this location (and really any others as well).

The town of Hershey is all about chocolate - Hershey chocolate that is. Even the light posts are Hershey kisses! That being said, there is a lot to do, but a lot of it is pretty expensive!

Before the trip, I did a bit of research online - this definitely helped us save some money. I went to the Hershey World website and clicked on the coupons page. I was able to print off some very valuable coupons! I also checked my Entertainment membership (the online version of the Entertainment book) and found some additional B1G1 free coupons.

We stayed at the Bluegreen timeshare (courtesy of one of my ebay timeshare purchases).

The first day we were there, we visited the Hershey Museum - this was very pricey, but we were able to save $10 by using Foursquare on our phones - we each could take $5 off admission. There was an exhibit called the Chocolate Lab where we made our own candy bars - the kids loved this. After a day at the museum, we hit the grocery store to stock up on breakfast and sandwich fixings for our condo. Our evening entertainment was a swim in the condo pool and a movie and popcorn in the comfort of our living room (with a fireplace!!!).

The next day we decided to head to Easton, PA to visit the Crayola factory. I am so glad we did as it was my favorite part of the weekend. Although it isn't much of a factory tour, there were so many fun crafts and activities, we spent two hours just playing and creating. Very fun!!! When we arrived I asked if they had a AAA discount. They did, but they had a better "walk up" deal which was $2 off per admission. So, scored another $8 in savings! We ate lunch at McDonald's - not fancy but the kids loved it, and sandwiches in the room for dinner.

That night we went to Hershey Park in the Dark - the kids got to ride the rides, trick or treat and just have a blast! Once again, tickets were expensive, but before we left the condo I called the park and asked if there were any discounts (AAA or other). They didn't have an AAA discount, but the lady I spoke to told me that if we bought our tickets ahead of time at Giant grocery we could save $4 per adult ticket and $3 per kid. So, a quick 5 minute stop at Giant and we saved another $14 (plus didn't have to wait in line to buy tickets at the park).

We woke up Saturday to SNOW - lots of it!!! After a hearty breakfast in the room, we headed over to Chocolate World. Once again, a very pricey day, but my research at home paid off here. We used B1G1 free coupons for the Chocolate Tasting ($20 saved) and would have used my B1G1 free Trick or Treat Trolley coupons except it was canceled due to the weather - oh well, next time! I also had printed out a coupon for 20% off at the Dessert creations. They had a cute cake pop creation for only $3 - really a great deal - it included two cake pops, a bowl of chocolate syrup for dipping and a topping. Plenty for the kids. I used the coupon (saved $.60) and then I had another 20% off coupon so we passed that on to a family heading upstairs.

After all that chocolate, we moved on to the outlet mall for a bit of shopping - first stopping at the management center to show them my AAA card. That scored us a coupon book. We didn't spend much, but did save at least 20% on everything we did purchase thanks to the booklet. Once we were done, we gave the leftover coupons to another family - hopefully they were able to use some of them too!

So, we had a great time, did a lot of fun things, and also saved a little money in the process. I estimated I spent less than an hour researching savings, making phone calls, asking questions and printing off coupons and we saved $52.60 not counting our outlet mall savings - pretty good return on investment!

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