Series: Christmas On a Budget

Today is the start of our series Christmas on the budget. I think many of us will be on a budget due to job loss, retirement or like my family, the closing of our business.

I grew up in a family that the holidays were always way over the top. Many happy memories and my mom always made them very memorable and my kids will have those happy memories from my mom like I did.

Here are a few thoughts on gifts:

Gift Cards: My parents always love Gift cards but, this year with many stores closing I will need to be aware of the financial state of each restaurant.

Homemade Gift Cards– In my Sunday school class we make homemade gift certificates. Mind you they are only three but they love to come up with ways to help Mommy or Daddy. Example: Gavin will help do dishes, 1 free hug, Make my bed and we make a cover for them and staple them together.

Gift of Time: I clean houses for a living and I have given my mom a gift certificate for a free cleaning and when she had a party it helped her out and me because it was just the cost of a little time and gave my mom time to work on other things.

White Elephant: On my husband side we always have a white elephant and we have a max and minimum amount you can spend and you only buy one per person. The first year we tried this we had such a wonderful time laughing and enjoying each other. Here are the rules if you would like to try this year.

Time Together: This year on my husband side we aren’t exchanging gifts because last year there was 42 people and the exchange took 2 1/2 hours and we really didn’t get to visit. We are opting for time together this year.

Gift exchanges: when you pick a name out of the hat and you only buy for that person. This way everyone gets a gift and you can stay in your budget.

Host a Cookie Exchange: This is a great way to get a variety of cookies with the minimum of effort. You have to make a set amount of cookies and your guest make the same amount and you each get 1 dozen of each. This would cut baking of varieties and cost of all the different ingredients. I found a great site and here are the rules for a cookie exchange.

Gift Baskets: This is one of my favorites. I would make a gift basket for my Mother in law of all her favorite things. She loved to take pictures. This would be a some of the things I would put in her basket; film, VCR tapes, batteries, photo album and maybe a picture frame. She also loved the lottery so I would add a few tickets.

Homemade Ornaments: We have made Huner Originals for about 17 years. We make one style of ornament each year and give them to Grandma, Aunt and Uncles. I think my mom would be happy if that is all she got, she looks forward to them every year. What is neat about this idea is we have one special ornament for each year.

Look for more ideas in the coming weeks!

Blogging has been a new and exciting experience for me. Tonight, I talked with a man that has multiple sites and a few drop ship sites. He had some wonderful ideas and really got me thinking about my future and my websites. Deal With It, Simply was going to be frugal ideas and tips but now with the economy, I am realizing I am not special. Most of us are frugal and have learned to reduce our spending. I have some new ideas for Deal With It, Simply and am excited to get started. Tomorrow we will Deal With It, Simply!

Freebie Friday

It’s finally Friday and here are a few freebies and free samples

Free Sample of Trutle Chex mix I received mine and they were yummy!

Free coupon book with $27 dollars of saving coupons from Home Made Simple I received mine and loved the coupon for the free cascade rinse aid.

Free Pillsbury Coupon book with $10 in savings and an Emailed Newsletter with recipes, coupons and tips.

Dove Hair Care Shine Therapy A free shampoo and conditioner sample.

I love going to the mailbox when I know I have freebies coming! See you next week.

Thanksgiving savings and tips

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Here are a few tips to save you a little money on dinner.

  1. Make it a potluck, so one person doesn’t have all the stress and expense. My mom does all the cooking but, we all bring something.

  2. Buy your turkey at the grocery store and buy a store brand. You can find great deals and most are under $2 a pound. When you do find a deal buy Two and save it for later in the year.

  3. You don’t need 4 different kinds of vegetables and all the extra work.

  4. Don’t forget those who don’t have a place to go this Thanksgiving. OK I know this isn’t a savings but it’s the nice thing to do! My sister’s in-laws come to my mom’s and I tease because I have waited my whole life to get to the adult table but now I am back to the kid table.

  5. Serve rolls this a frugal way to fill people up and doesn’t cost a lot to make.

  6. Make enough my mom has always taught me it is better to have more then not enough, which is great for me because I always get to take home leftovers!

  7. Don’t for get to use your leftovers and I love to make turkey soup and potato pancakes.

God’s Blessings on you and remember all you have to be thankful for, I thankful for you!

Freebie Friday!

Freebie Friday, Today is all about the freebies! Enjoy and I’ll see you back on Monday!

Benefiber free sample from Walmart

P.F. Changs A great restaurant and if you present them with the attachment when you place a $25.00 take-out order you will receive a free tote.

Pedigree Good bites dog treats from Walmart

Schick Quattro Shaver Allow 4-6 weeks for shipping

Nutrasweet Sample of 9 packets

Frugal Warm Winter

Winter is just around the corner and it is time to get prepared. There are the usual things like putting away yard furniture and raking leaves Here are some frugal things for in the home you can do to make your winter a little more affordable.

  1. Check your home for cold air leaks, I bought plug covers for all outside wall outlets, I could feel cold air. I also made foam covers for the outside wall switch with the foam meat trays. If you would like to learn how contact me.

  2. Lock all windows, you can’t believe all the cold air that comes in when not locked.

  3. In the day open you curtains and let the sunshine in in the evening close them and keep your home warm and cozy.

  4. Check the caulk around your windows and weatherstripping for doors. Our front and a bedroom window needed to be repaired.

  5. Reverse your ceiling fan direction, this forces the warm air down. when you look up the direction should be going clockwise.

  6. Close your closet doors, there is no reason to heat them and save money.

  7. We have a small home so we really don’t get to do this but, you may be able to do this; Close off unused rooms and save heat.

  8. programmable thermostat to turn the heat back when you are asleep or not home. We keep our thermostat at 62┬░ and wear a sweater. I have to say we did it and survived!

  9. Change your furnace filters regularly to keep you furnace working efficiently and give you healthy air.

  10. In the evenings, I put our rugs against the door to keep the drafts out.

I am excited to try a heat grabber my dad made for me. It is a solar box that sits outside and blows the warm air in. I will update you on this and show pictures in a future article.

Have a frugal warm winter!

I love Freebies

Monday, November 10, 2008

One thing I love is freebies. I send away for the Walmart free samples about once a month. I am excited to check the mail and see what goodies have arrived.
Glad® food storage bag sample from Walmart Click here
While you are there check out the other free samples
Currently available at Walmart and including a Mystery Shampoo

Would you like to win a Flip Camera well here is your chance ConsumerQueen There is a list of things you need to accomplish but it is attainable! Very neat site to help save your money.

Frugal freebies what could be better!


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