4 Tips to Plan A Holiday Meal on a Budget

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This year, like most years in the past, we’re having Christmas Eve away from home, but Christmas dinner is at our house. With three small kids under 9, we want them to have memories of Christmas in their home, while they roll around on the ground amid their new pile of loot. So in an effort to keep the pennies in our piggy bank, I’ll be shopping for the big meal plan on a budget and with a plan.

4 Tips to Plan a Holiday Meal on a Budget

1. If you have a smartphone, use a coupon or savings app like Walmart’s Savings Catcher to find.

2. Plan your meal, down to the last ingredient. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to make something and I end up missing a critical ingredient {and substitutions usually end up tasting pretty weird}.

3. Shop your pantry before you venture out to the store. Chances are you’re sitting on at least $300- $800 worth of food that you can use for any large meal. With an average grocery bill of $145, these figures actually make sense.

4. Try this meal planning/couponing site to do the work for you! After your meal is planned out, and you’ve accounted for what you already have in stock, you can find coupons for the items for which you still need to shop. How cool is that??

So what do you do or use to keep the money in your bank account when preparing for the upcoming holiday meals?

Sweet Homemade Gift Ideas, Plus a Bonus!

Big News! Time is running short…..don’t miss out!

It’s getting down to the wire….the holidays are here and you may have a few special folks in mind who deserve a present….but what to give them? Here are some sweet & easy gift ideas, plus a bonus that could take your gift giving to the next level this year!

Sweet & Easy Gift Ideas

  • Home baked cookies, sweets or deserts
  • Hand made bookmarks for the readers in your life
  • A tin filled with candies & manicure goodies for someone special
  • Some pencils, erasers, stickers and hand sanitizer for a teacher (or two)
  • A photo book with cherished pictures from this past year for a grandparent

 

I happen to heart the last option for those family members who may not live close by. They can keep memories in their own personalized photo book. (more…)

Create Your Own Unique Photo Memories….on a Budget

Hi everyone! I’m in the holiday spirit today….are you? When I say holiday spirit, by that I mean I’ve got my to-do list for the most part under control and I’m not losing my mind thinking of what else needs to be done/made/cooked/baked/bought. And when it comes to buying gifts, I’d much rather DIY it. Narrowing down my “vision”, creating it and then leaning back and marveling at it all gives me goosebumps! How about you?

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We all make and/or receive friends’ cards this time of year with cute pictures of their family members. But did you ever look at them and say “next year, I want ours to stand out, I want to make it my own”. The image here is from a card we made a few years ago when our boys were younger. It was ok…..just ok {meh}. But today I’d like to highlight an easy way to create your own unique photo memories and more! (more…)

Striving for Financial Freedom? Easy Ways to Save Money

If you know me or have been following along, you’ll already be familiar with the story of how I went from bringing home the bacon to becoming an Accidental Stay-at-Home Mom. I wouldn’t change anything and believe that this is exactly where I was meant to end up, even if it did mean losing my good paying job {sigh}.

None the less, my husband and I have always strived for financial freedom. We’ve learned how to sacrifice, do things ourselves where we would have otherwise hired help or contracted work out, and down size. The only thing we didn’t change about how we live is our address. It’s been super important to us to remain where we are, mostly for the sake of our children. Not that the talk about selling the house and moving hasn’t happened, oh about 317 times in the last two years, but we’ve made staying put a priority.

We have discovered ways to save money and shift our efforts to ensure we’re able to stay where we are for the time being. Today I’ll share easy ways to save money, some of which we employ daily in our lives. (more…)

Sew a Mid-Length Maxi Skirt

I’ve been wanting to do another sewing post for a while now and the time was finally right for this project. We had a horrible winter here and now that it’s warm, I’ve been finding myself wearing skirts every single day. They’re staples in my wardrobe and they need to be in yours too! (Sorry, not telling you what to do) Today I’m going to show you just how easy it is to add them to your closet in no time. I’m going to walk you through how to sew a mid-length maxi skirt.

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3 Steps to a Cleaner Home That Won’t Leave You Feeling Overwhelmed

Since I became a stay-at-home-mom I noticed one thing and it stood out to me very early on. My house used to be a lot cleaner when I worked full time and my older kids were in daycare. Now I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t go back to how things were. But it took me a while to come to grips with the need for a strategy for my home which was now my full time nest. When I was in sales, my car was my nest and it was nicely organized to work for me during the workday. Then I’d come home and because I didn’t see the interior of my home between 8:00AM and 5:30PM, any sort of mess didn’t stand out to me.

In the time I’ve stayed home with the kids and brought a new child into this world, I’ve quickly developed a strategy to keep my home in working order. Because we’re usually on the go and have to plan things around nap time, I’ve had to segment my day. There’s a reason why there are so many blogs out there dedicated to things you can accomplish “in a nap time”, like it’s an official time reference now. Well, today I’d like to introduce you to my plan of attack in only 3 steps to a cleaner home that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. (more…)