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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

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

3 Tips For Cheap Holiday Decorations

Now that holiday season is coming at us full force, it is time to start decorating. If you already have boxes of decorations piled in your garage, it shouldn’t cost you much at all. However, if you don’t have decorations from years past, decorating can get pretty expensive. Here are a few cost saving ideas to keep in mind while you get ready for the holidays this year.

Make Homemade Ornaments

Holiday ornaments can be really expensive especially if you are buying anything other than plain glass balls. If you don’t have as many ornaments as you would like, there are some very affordable ways to fill your tree without spending a fortune. Tinsel is very inexpensive and can quickly fill a tree with its silvery sparkle. You can also create strings of popcorn using a bag of microwave popcorn and a needle and thread. Holiday candies and cookies also make a nice touch. Consider purchasing an extra box of candy canes or baking a batch of gingerbread cookies to hang on the tree.

Affordable Decorations for the Home

If you want decorations for your home, paper snowflakes are very quick and inexpensive to make.  You can also find inexpensive holiday decorations at stores like Walmart and Target. If you have a limited budget, consider purchasing one nice decoration to add to your collection and some inexpensive items to fill the space. You can add a little each year as you can afford it and soon you will have all of the decorations that you need. Yard sales and thrift stores might also have some affordable options.

Planning for Next Year

After Christmas sales are a great time to pick up inexpensive items for next year’s decorating. If you want to buy a fake tree this year- wait. You can get them for 50-75% off if you wait until a few days after Christmas. This is also a great time to add a few new ornaments to your collection. You won’t have the same selection as you will before the holidays, but if you get to the stores the day or two after Christmas you will still find some great ornaments for a lot less. You might also want to consider picking up some LED Christmas lights during the after Christmas sales. These lights are more expensive than traditional incandescent lighting, but they do save quite a bit on your electric bills if you can get them at a good price.

As the holidays approach, make sure that you have a holiday budget in place and that you know what you are willing and able to spend this year. These decorating ideas will help you create a beautiful holiday décor without ruining your budget.

How are you saving money on this Holiday season?

Frugality Videos

Quick Tip Thursday: How To Get Cheap Magazines

I just want to give you a quick tip today about buying cheap magazine subscriptions.  I love magazines since they are filled with a lot of great and up to date information.  Here are a couple of places that I go to order my magazines.  One of them is Tanga.com.  They usually have a daily special on a magazine subscription which can result in some really deep discounts.  Another site I visit is BestDealMagazines.com.  I love this site.  It is where I get the majority of my magazine subscriptions because they have $5 subscriptions which is great.  Finally, I like to go to TradePub.com.  This site is mostly trade publications but if you search  through the site you will definitely find things that you are interested in.  I am interested in the Internet and building websites so I tend to go for those.  These magazines can be filled with a lot of great information.

Places To Visit For Cheap Magazines

Tanga.com

TradePub.com

BestDealMagazines.com

 

Frugality

Would You Give This Cheap Christmas Gift Idea?

Every year it gets harder and harder to find a gift for someone. I just thought of a cheap gift that could both teach something and be given each year without being boring.

Coupons!!

If you know someone who doesn’t clip coupons then it’s obviously something they don’t have. I don’t think it would be viable as a surprise gift because you don’t really know what they buy.  Just ask them what items or brands they normally buy, or you can be ninja (and a little creepy) and scope out their pantry.

Then from then until Christmas, as you clip out your coupons just clip some for them. This is really only something that can be done probably a month in advance since coupons do expire, but as a bonus you can teach them how to use coupons to the max and hopefully get them to realize using coupons is a big savings, That would teach a man to fish.

It even saves you money by not having to buy anything but it is putting in some work and showing some love. In this economy, this is the gift to give. If someone took the time to do that for me I would be very grateful. It’s really the gift that can keep on giving.

Check out these great sites for coupons to get you started.

If you need help on this gift just check out my series on couponing. It’s really in-depth and can even help you in teaching the giftee how to use the gift or teach you how to give this gift.

So what do you think? Would enjoy the gift if someone did that for you?