Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
- Very Best Baking by Nestle has a whole Holiday Village for you to explore
- Bakers Chocolate has a page for Heartfelt gifts that won't break the bank
- Kraft Foods has an Edible Gifts page
- Hershey's Baking has their Tried & True Gifting Recipes
- Betty Crocker has Holiday Gifts From the Kitchen Ideas
- Bright Ideas has all kinds of fun recipes and crafts using M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Twix, 3 Musketeers & Milky Way.
Whatever you choose to bake for your family or friends, make it extra special by attaching the recipe so that the person you give it to can enjoy your gift for years to come!
Friday, November 20, 2009
- Cheerful gift boxes
- Homemade gift card holders
- Doily Gift Wrap
- Printable Mini Shopping Bags
- Yarn Embellishments
- Button Gift Wrap
- Type Written Gift Tags
- Monogram Gift Tags
Remember, the idea is to use stuff you already have on hand, so raid that craft closet and see what you can come up with to use to save even more :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
- Rent a movie from Red box for just $1, (just be sure to return it the next day)
- Go to a sing-a-long, (Some churches or schools do them... keep an eye out for advertisements)
- Get out board games you haven't played in forever
- Drive around to see the lights in the neighborhood or at the temple, (there is a neighborhood that does "The Night Before Christmas" in Taylorsville, around 5400 South and 3200 West. If you haven't seen it, your kids will LOVE it... it is easy to find, it is COMPLETELY lit up!)
- Bake inexpensive treats and take them to your neighbors to spread the joy.
- Go caroling with friends around the neighborhood
- Camp out in the living room with sleeping bags together
- Have dinner on a blanket by your lit Christmas tree
What other things do you like to do around the Christmas Season that increase the size of your spirit but don't decrease the size of your wallet?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I was at Target today and found myself looking at the cutest box of gift tags ever. They were hand crafted and sparkly... I was so tempted. Then I saw the $9.99 price tag and I woke up to the reality that these were something I could most definitely live without. Scratch buying expensive gift tags and get creative by making your own. Even better, why not have the kids hand make them! Family members (especially grandparents) are sure to ooh and aah over their homemade creations. :)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
- Give up the expensive meal date night for a few weeks. I am betting that for some of you, this one little change could save ya between $30 and $50 per trip. Think of it as a short term sacrifice. You will give up Chili's or Olive Garden with hubby for the next few weeks and think of something a bit cheaper, but quite possibly more fun... Maybe you can eat dollar burgers with a bottle of sparkling grape juice and wine glasses at the park with the sun roof open... chatting, laughing, looking at the stars... and then go together to purchase a couple of preplanned gifts THAT ARE ON SALE from your list with the money you just saved. :)
- Put on hold going to see that new movie that has just come out with the family and rent one from Red Box instead. You can save $35 or more on tickets for a family of 4 alone, never mind what you will save on all that popcorn, candy and soda!
- Cut down your grocery costs by having pasta a couple of times a week. This little staple is pennies for the pound, and it is filling too! Plus, there are so many different ways you can serve it, and kids generally love it. Need a few recipes to get you started? Start HERE. Eating healthy? Substitute whole wheat pasta... it is a tad more cost wise, but still a very good value and thankfully, there are much better TASTING choices now at the grocery store! Baked potato bars are another cheap choice... 10lb bags of potatoes are selling for under a dollar quite frequently right now, and topping choices are unlimited. Cheese, chopped lunch meat, broccoli, chili, sour cream, butter, bacon, onions... think outside the box for inexpensive dinners.
- Focus your dinner menu for each week around what is on sale or what is in your pantry or freezer already. Visit your favorite grocery store on line and click on the link for their weekly ad. Plan your meals around what they have the biggest savings on... be flexible. Add clipped coupons to your purchases and you could be taking home groceries for free!
These are just a few things that could help you stash some extra cash quick over the next few weeks. What are some extras you can think of that you can cut out that will help give you a budget for Christmas spending?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DVD Widescreen Edition 2009 $10
Star Trek DVD Single Disc Edition 2009 $10
Julie & Julia DVD 2009 $10
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian Single Disc Edition 2009 $10
Terminator Salvation DVD Widescreen Edition 2009 $10
My Sister's Keeper DVD 2009 $10
Angels & Demons DVD 2009 $10
- Decide with your extended family to give family gifts instead of individual ones... a movie basket with a new movie, popcorn and candy; a board game; a new Wii game (some can be purchased for as little as $15)
- Encourage family members to get together and draw names at Thanksgiving. Decide on a preset amount for the gifts to make it fair... this way you only need to buy as many gifts as you have family members.
- Even cheaper, see if the extended family is interested in doing a fun dollar store gag gift exchange with their drawn name. We did this one year for our Christmas In July Family Reunion. The best gift was the person who gave my bald brother a set of combs. It was SO much fun and ended up costing my family $4.
- Talk to the adults in the family about purchasing gifts only for the children. This isn't my favorite idea because it only works if EVERYONE agrees and NO-ONE goes back on it. Otherwise, the people who stuck to the agreement and didn't buy everyone gifts just end up feeling lame.
- Agree with extended family to give gifts of time rather than something that is monetary. For example, your family can give Grandma and Grandpa the gift of shoveling their snow or raking their leaves. Or you could invite them over for a night of games! This can take a lot of thought, but with a well planned, short presentation on the true meaning of Christmas delivered to the kids on Thanksgiving, you could get them on board pretty cleverly. :)
What have you done that worked well in your extended family to help trim down gift giving costs?
Monday, November 9, 2009
There are quite a few reasons people go into debt. Some of them may include:
- They want to give their kids every gift they could ever want.
- They forget what gifts they have already bought, end up buying extra and never return any of them.
- They feel the need to give the biggest, best, most creative presents in the neighborhood.
- Lack of planning means too much money is spent on easily remembered people and the forgotten gifts get charged towards the end.
Well, it's time to dump our hangups with a simple, more frugal Christmas. This is a year we all want to be a little more careful. After all, who knows where the economy is going to take us six months, or even one month from now! Today I simply want to get you thinking. It's early enough at this point to make changes that can turn your Christmas around.
If you can't afford to pay for it with cash, DON'T BUY IT! No exceptions! So first, get yourself a little tiny pocket notebook that fits in your purse. This will be where you can write anything Christmas related such as:
- The EXACT dollar amount you come up with, (include your spouse on this decision if applicable), that you can afford to spend on Christmas Gifts this year. (Remember, CASH ONLY!)
- A list of EVERYONE you want to give a present to. Next to the names allocate a SPECIFIC amount of money from the total dollar amount you came up with.
- A list of people you want to give baked goods or something, (not too expensive), that you make yourself.
- A list of GIFTS you have already purchased to which you will add any and all gifts that you pick up.
- Ingenious gift IDEAS that you come up with on the fly.
Now remember... if you forget to put someone on the list initially and add them later that is fine, but you may have to re-allocate funds if this happens and you have already assigned all your money out! Perhaps you should budget to have a little to the side just in case that happens. :)
For the next six weeks my goal is to try and deliver frequent tips and ideas that I hope can make your Christmas a little less expensive and perhaps even a lot more fun! We are going to work at shaving dollars here and there to make your Christmas heavier on the MERRY and lighter on the wallet! Be sure to come back and visit and please share this website with anyone you think could use a little help this holiday season... and as always, don't forget to share YOUR tips for simplifying Christmas too :)
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
- Extra lean ground beef in 2lb or more pkgs $1.79/pound
- Boneless whole pork sirloin (sold in bag) $0.99/pound
- Red seedless grapes $0.99/pound
- Kroger value russet potatoes 10lb bag $0.79
- Small avocados 4/$1
- Medium yellow onions 4lbs/$1
- Large dozen eggs $0.99
- Kroger Orange Juice gallon $1.99
- Kroger mandarin oranges 11oz cans 3/$1
- Kroger tomato sauce 8oz 5/$1 (limit 25 per shopping order)
- 8oz kraft cheese selected varieties 2/$3
- Kroger cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese or dips selected varieties $0.88
- Kroger 4lb bag of sugar $1.79
- Country oven breads 24oz 4/$5
- Keebler Graham Crackers 2lb box $2.99
- 24 pack kroger water $1.99
These items are this price only when you mix/match in sets of ten, so count carefully. (You don't have to have ten of ONE item... you just have to have ten TOTAL.)
- Carnation evaporated milk $0.49
- 2 liter coke products (selected varieties) $0.79
- Tombstone pizza $1.99
- Quaker chewy granola bars or betty crocker fruit snacks selected varieties $1.49
- Large size kellogs cereals or quaker instant oatmeal selected varieties $1.99
- Yoplait yogurt multi-packs selected varieties $1.49
- Buttery Spray or spreads selected varieties $0.99
- Fritos corn chips or bean dip selected varieties $1.49
Prices good through Tuesday, November 10th!(*Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any misprints by the grocery store chains OR by me. Check your mailers to confirm prices, or go here to the Smiths website to look at your local AD's for yourself.)