Friday, May 27, 2011

Save Money on Memorial Day

Memorial Day which was originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died serving in the military. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed a holiday on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30, 1868. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873.

Memorial Day passed by Congress as part of the National Holiday Act of 1971. Memorial Day is celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May. However some southern states such as Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia also celebrate Confederate Day to honor those who served in the Confederate War.

Many advertisers take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday as another way to make money. Unfortunately they never mention anything about the real reason for Memorial Day. Advertisers should at provide extra discounts for those who have served in the military or are currently still serving in the military. If someone fights for our country, why can’t you give them a discount on a purchase? We should embrace our military and treat them better than we currently do.

Memorial Day is usually the official start of the summer season when pools are opened, families begin cooking on the grill, summer clothes are pulled out and people start heading to the beaches. Many families and friends get together during this weekend. Many people also head to the mall to see what sales are offered. If you have to go shopping or spend money this Memorial Day weekend here are 6 tips to save money.

1. Save money on gas. With the cost of gas prices I have cut back on driving here and there and take into consideration the distance I have to drive. Create a traveling zone when driving. When considering driving use MapQuest to map the address and see how many miles it is from your home or office. If the distance is more than the maximum number of miles you are willing to drive do not attend the event. My maximum is 30 miles one way from my home or work.
2. Food. If you are having family or friends at your home keep the menu simple but provide variety. Use different sauces, toppings and marinades to provide flavor and variety. Ask everyone to bring a dish or dessert to help save money.
3. Fun. Skip going to the movies or amusement parks and play games outside such as volleyball, soccer, cricket, horse shoes, sack races etc. to save money and spend more time with your family and friends.
4. Skip the mall. Don't let the media or advertisements trick you into buying something this Memorial Day weekend simply because it is on sale. Most prices during holiday sales are marked up and a discount is given on the marked up price. If you have to buy something at the mall comparison shop and determine which store is offering the best holiday sale. Check online sites to see if you can get a better deal.
5. Budget. Create a budget or shopping list and only buy the things you absolutely need for the holiday. Visit local vendors, food co-ops or discount stores to purchase meats, fruits and vegetables which will be much cheaper than the department store.
6. Free. Check your local newspaper or listen to your local news station to find free events to attend during the holiday weekend.

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