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Frugality

Saving Money This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be really expensive. If you are in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner you probably will spend hundreds of dollars on turkey, side dishes, centerpieces, family entertainment and more. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some great money saving tips to help you stick to your budget this Thanksgiving.

Make Dinner- Don’t Buy

It can be tempting to order a premade Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant or caterer. While these dinners are convenient, they are also very expensive. The cost of buying and cooking a turkey and side dishes is much less than the cost of ordering these.

If you want to save money this Thanksgiving, offer to host the meal at your house rather than spending the money to take everyone out to dinner. When family comes over, make the food yourself rather than ordering in.

Ask for Help

Many people hosting a Thanksgiving dinner think that they have to do everything alone. This is not true and is a great way to spend a fortune feeding the entire family dinner. Instead ask for help. Ask each family that is coming to bring a couple of dishes. If you create a sign up sheet, or assign specific dishes like green beans, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie you will be sure to get everything you need without having to buy and make everything yourself. This can save a lot of money while still ensuring a delicious family dinner for everyone.

Stay Home

While no one wants to be alone for Thanksgiving, sometimes travel is just not financially possible. If you only have a few days off for the holiday, don’t fly out of town unless you have the money available. Flights are more expensive around the holidays.

If you do have to stay in town, connect with your family on this special day in other ways. Consider having a live video chat using Skype or another free service. You can also share in the Thanksgiving festivities by making a traditional family recipe. Invite some other friends over and have a special day from home.

Focus on Affordable Entertainment

Many families love to go out to a big football game or spend Thanksgiving afternoon at the movie theater. While these fun family traditions are important, they should not be at the expense of your budget. If you can’t afford the usual family traditions this year, start some new ones. Consider playing board games with your family or host an all family football game in your backyard. You can also rent movies and watch at home instead of going out. Fun family traditions are based on creating memories, not overspending.

Set Up a Gift Exchange

When the whole family is together at Thanksgiving, it is the perfect time to start saving money for Christmas. Rather than buying everyone gifts this year, consider setting up a family gift exchange instead. You could have everyone draw one name for gift giving or could assign each family another family for purchasing. This can really save money and allow you to focus on getting one special gift rather than several less expensive ones. It is a great way to help your family start saving money as well.

If a gift exchange isn’t something you are interested in, consider buying your gifts in advance and taking them to Thanksgiving dinner so that you don’t have to spend money on postage closer to Christmas.

Hopefully these money saving tips will help you have a delightful and affordable Thanksgiving this year. If you keep your budget in mind over the holidays you will be better able to enjoy spending time with your family. After all, who wants to worry about money the entire holiday season? Choose a couple of these tips and start saving.

How do you save money on Thanksgiving?

 

Frugality

Use Coupons To Beat The Recession

When you’re trying to manage on a tight budget, it is often life’s little luxuries that are first to be sacrificed. After all, when you’ve got bills to pay, a mortgage to keep up and quite possibly a family to care for, you can’t be splashing the cash as freely on shopping and going out as much as you might like to – especially during a recession.

While we all have to make concessions during these difficult economic times, there are a number of ways you can allow yourself to indulge in little extras without breaking the bank.

One such strategy is to use promotional codes to obtain money off your favourite products. Also known as voucher codes, these coupons are readily available on the internet. Retailers love to put them out there, as the codes drive customers to their online stores, increasing what is known as ‘footfall’ – the number of people entering the shop, as it were. The promotional codes are great for consumers, as they entitle the user to discounted rates.

Promotional codes can be found carrying money-off deals for a wide range of different consumer products, so you really are spoiled for choice if you choose to use voucher codes to save a bit of money. A particularly useful strategy is to search the internet for voucher codes that apply to products you already buy, in order to avoid missing out on the benefit of the voucher by spending money on something you do not really need.

For example, say your mobile phone provider is Vodafone and your contract is almost up. Perhaps you don’t wish to leave Vodafone but you’d really like a cheaper tariff. A quick search for a Vodafone promotional code on the internet will tell you whether or not there is a code out there that could save you some money on your new contract. If there is, you can simply enter that promotional code when you order your new phone deal online to get your discounted rate, free talk time or whatever the promotional code entitles you to.

Another great time to use promotional codes is when you are doing your weekly grocery shopping. During the recession, most of us have had to take luxury items off our shopping lists to save money. But with promotional voucher codes that save you a certain amount of money off your bill, you may just be able to treat yourself to that favourite cheese, a good bottle of wine or something sweet for the kids.

Simply search the internet for voucher codes and the name of your local supermarket. For example, if you usually do your shopping at Tesco, a search for Tesco vouchers may well give you money off your bill when you order your groceries online rather than in store.

Voucher codes might not seem like a big deal if you use them just once or twice but used over time the savings really add up and make a positive contribution to your budget.

Voucher Seeker

Frugality

Save Money On Your Cellphone Bill

student rate

Sometimes all you have to do for a deal is ask. But a lot of companies are cutting back on deals and sprint is no exception. I called them up several different times a just asked “Is there any deal I can get on my plan” and they always told me no.

So what I did is look around the net for any site that could get me a percentage of my bill cut off. I then stumbled onto Student Rate. They can get you a bunch of discounts at different places. For instance, with sprint it will give you 15% off your monthly bill, for AT&T and T-mobile it’s 10%. They have many other discounts available.

The only catch is you must have an email address from a school. You don’t actually have to be going to the school but you have to be able to access the account.

I use it to save the 15% off my sprint bill and it adds up. Try it today.

What site do you use to get discounts?

 

Frugality

Winter Holiday Cards Sale

Vistaprint is having a sale for a limited time only on Winter Holiday Cards.  You can get a set of 20 winter holiday cards for only $1.99. There are many designs to choose from including cards that you can add your own photo to. Go check it out because it’s for a limited time only. Stock up on cards now.

Vistaprint – 20 Holiday Cards for $1.99

Frugality

How Penny Auctions Work And A Few Tips

Penny auctions are becoming quite popular after the recession when shoppers are looking for good deals. True, penny bidding might get you some very good deals, but they are very unlike traditional auctions. Without knowing what these penny bids are, it is very risky to try to win listed items because you can lose a lot of money. This is How Penny Auctions Work?

What is a Penny Auction?

Unlike a traditional auction, penny auctions are not free to be bid on. Every bid you place, you need to pay a certain amount of money. This is very unlike real auctions. Also, you cannot place any bid amount that you want. You can only place a bid that would increase the price of the item by 1 cent typically (in some cases, it can be 2 cents as well). The way the penny auction makes money is by selling the individual bids.

The cost of each penny bids varies depending on the penny auction. At Quibids, which is one of the more famous and well known penny auctions, the cost of a bid is 60 cents.

How do they make money?

To find out how Quibids can give away such deals like a camera for $10 or Macbook for $50, let’s do a small math problem:

Suppose Quibids had an auction where the Macbook was given away for $50, which is not typical but one of the lowest prices of a Macbook. You might think that is a great deal, but let’s look at the auction in more detail. For the Macbook to sell at $50, there would have been 5000 bids because each bid increases the price by 1 cent. When 5000 bids are placed, it cost a total of 5000X$0.60 = $3000. The typical cost of this product might be around $1000, so that is still a cool $2000 profit for Quibids. So the site still makes money even by giving away Macbooks for $50! Usually a Macbook auction might go higher.

So the important thing to remember in penny auctions is that except the winner, everyone else loses money through the unsuccessful bids. So, if you really want to find good deals on penny auctions, you must make sure you are the winner of an auction no matter what. If things go bad and you are forced to place a lot of bids, you can always use the ‘Buy it Now’ feature of Quibids to purchase the item at the market price. This greatly minimizes losses.

3 tips to not get taken for a ride

This also brings an important point – don’t bid on items without the “Buy it Now” feature. Without this feature, you can easily be outbid on penny auctions and you will end up losing all the bids that you have used for that auction. Also, try to bid small at least in the beginning until you learn the process of penny auctions. As I already said, these are quite different from the traditional auctions that people are used to. Finally, remember that the best times to bid on penny auctions is during the non-peak hours, which are usually the mornings and office hours. Weekends tend to attract a lot of bidders and thus a lot of competition, so try to avoid them.

I hope this helped you learn How Penny Auctions Work.

Have you ever tried penny bidding? Would you?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links that I make money from to take a trip to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.