Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Cards...Can they be done on a Budget?

It's the most wonderful time of the year....Time for holiday either love 'em or hate 'em.  The big question is, though, can you do them on a budget?  I think the answer is, "yes."  Here are some tips for budgeting for cards this year.

1. Look for deals for free cards.  Shutterfly, Treat, and Cardstore all provide codes around this time of year for free cards.  All you pay is shipping.  Heck, Cardstore even ships them for free so they are completely free!  You may need to sign up for their emailed newsletter to get a code or search or for a code.

2. Postage...its a killer...I suggest only sending cards to those people you are really close to and maintain a relationship with more than just at the holidays.  It really cuts down on the number you need to send.

3. Still having a hard time justifying the money for postage?  Adjust what you are spending on gifts.  A lot of our gifts this year are handmade.  I've pinned some great ideas on my Pinterest board and have even used some of them in the past couple of years!  (What good are Pinterest boards unless you use them? Right?)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Frugal Gift Idea for A Spouse/Significant Other

My husband and I usually skip gifts for each other at Christmas.  I mean, how fun is it when you both have the same credit cards and can check statements online for purchases made with the card?  In an effort to save money, we just don't do gifts.  Well, I've come up with an idea to keep the cost low (i.e. it's not costing me anything but my time) and provide my spouse a meaningful Christmas gift.

Putzing around on Pinterest, I found a pin for 12 Love Notes for Christmas.  I took a look at it and while I like her idea, I think it can be done cheaper and with better notes than the ones she provides for downloading and printing.

I have postcards lying around my house.  I'm taking 12 of them and on each one I'm going to write about significant, funny, sad, or interesting memories we each have but may have not thought about in a while on each one.  Some will be recounting of the story with a commentary on the event as I see it now and others will just be nice things that I feel like I never tell him enough.  I'll give each one to him 12 days before Christmas day.

Not only does this provide a no-cost gift.  It's one I know he'll love the best out of everything that he gets.  It never gets old or breaks and it truly comes from the heart.  And, best of all, Christmas lasts 12 days instead of just one!  I'm hoping this makes the Christmas season this year more special than in the past.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cheap Cleaners

A few months ago I would have told you you were crazy if you told me I wouldn't need to buy cleaning products.  Well, I'm a believer.  I use vinegar all the time to clean bathrooms, glass and other surfaces.   Hey, it kills 99.9% of germs without creating bacterial resistance like other antibacterial cleaners.  It's a win-win.

I make my own carpet cleaner too.  A bit of vinegar and some baking soda does the trick.  Hey you can also use some dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a mixture for laundry stain removal.   Works just as good or better than Oxiclean.

The other good news is also that each of these things cost pennies on the dollar to make yourself which is way better than what you'd pay for them at the grocery store, even with coupons.  They're environmentally friendly and you aren't introducing your kids, pets, and other family members to harmful chemicals.  Another winning situation. :)