Friday, November 20, 2015

Spend Less, Enjoy Christmas More Kindle eBook for Just $0.99 - One Day Only!

Get a head start on planning a fun, family Christmas without spending a fortune by downloading the Spend Less, Enjoy Christmas More Kindle eBook for just $0.99 on from 8pm PST today (Friday, 20 November) until 8pm PST tomorrow (Saturday 21 November).

Don't worry if you're reading this on Saturday evening or Sunday. The eBook is still discounted to $1.99 until 8pm PST on Sunday, 22 November, when it will revert to its original price of $2.99.

The eBook is filled with lots of tips and suggestions for planning a fun yet frugal family Christmas!

I would very much appreciate it if you could let me know what you think of the eBook by writing a review on Amazon and/or leaving a comment on this blog. Thank you!

If, after reading the eBook, you have any questions or suggestions for things that you'd like me to cover on this blog, please post them in the comments.

I hope Spend Less, Enjoy Christmas More inspires you to plan your best Christmas yet!


Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas Gifts for Under $10!

After thinking about 5 ways to spend less on Christmas gifts, I came across this cool list of 50 Christmas gifts for less than $10 on the Penny Hoarder website.

One of my favorite suggestions is this cut handmade crochet cat mug cozy for sale on Etsy for $7.99:

Source: QuiltNCrochet Shop on Etsy

I also like the crocheted heart mug cozies from the same shop:
Source: QuiltNCrochet Shop on Etsy

Candles make nice relaxing winter gifts. Candles that fragrance your room are even better. How about gingerbread, cranberry or cinnamon soy candles to fill your home with scents associated with Christmas? Soy candles fragranced with all these scents are available from the Plainjbodyandhome shop on Etsy:
Source: Plainjbodyandhome shop on Etsy
I think these elegant candles look more expensive than they are ($8 each), so they would make the perfect Christmas gift!
If you know someone who loves to drink tea, they'd appreciate these black tea bags flavored with orange peel, cinnamon and cloves. They're great value at $8.99 for a box of 50 tea bags.
For someone who suffers from cold hands in the winter, these long fingerless gloves would be ideal. They'd still be able to do everything they normally do while keeping their hands warm! They cost just $3.72 (plus $2.49 for shipping).

Source: Amazon

So, there you have it! Those are my favorite items on Penny Hoarder's list. Be sure to check it out for many more ideas. Do you have any favorite Christmas gifts for $10?

Friday, November 13, 2015

3 Christmas Lists You Should Be Making Now!

Time is ticking's now just 41 days to Christmas! If you haven't already done so, it's time to write or update these three lists.

Christmas Present List

Write a list of each person you'll be buying Christmas presents for this year. Add the budget for each person's present or, if you prefer, a total budget for Christmas presents. If you know what you'll buy for someone or if you have some ideas, write those on your list, too. Remember to take your list with you when you go shopping and update it with the gifts you've bought and their cost after every shopping trip.

If you usually give your family and friends a wish list of items you'd like for Christmas, don't delay, write your list today! The longer they have to shop for your presents, the more likely it is that they'll buy you want you really want!

Christmas Card List

If you write a list of the people you send Christmas cards to each year, you just need to pull out last year's list and update it.

Put the people who live abroad at the top of the list because you'll need to make sure you send their cards before the Christmas mailing deadlines. Find out what the deadline is for each country and write it next to the person's name on your list.

Consider sending Christmas e-cards to some people on your list. This reduces the amount of paper used at Christmas and means that you spend less on stamps. In addition, you can send a Christmas e-card to anyone in the world as late as Christmas Eve.

Although I'm aware of their advantages, only about a quarter of the Christmas cards I send are e-cards. I enjoy making Christmas cards so I like to send as many handmade cards as possible. I also think that it's still nice to receive a 'surprise' card in the mail but I do understand the convenience of e-cards and I'm happy to receive them.

Christmas Food and Drink List

Decide on a menu for each Christmas meal that you'll be eating at home. If you'll have guests for a particular meal, make a note of how many people you'll need to cater for. Look through magazines and cook books and search the Internet for recipes and ideas.

Once you've decided on the menu, write a list of all the ingredients you'll need, together with all the extra items, such as:

  • Sauces, such as cranberry sauce, apple sauce, and mint sauce.
  • Cooking foil.
  • Baking Paper.
  • Snacks.
  • Drinks.
When the list is complete, decide which items you can buy in advance. These could include tinned food, packaged items with a long use-by date, and alcoholic drinks. Buy a few items each week to reduce the cost of your last grocery shop before Christmas.

If you take a little time to get organized for Christmas in November, your Christmas preparations will run much more smoothly in December. So, make those lists now!!!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

5 Ways to Spend Less on Christmas Gifts

Many people spend hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds or dollars on Christmas gifts. In 2014, Americans planned to spend $781 on average on Christmas presents, according to the website, If your budget won't stretch that far or if you want to avoid Christmas-related debt this year, here are some ways to reduce your spending on Christmas gifts.

Start Christmas Gift Shopping as Early as Possible

The longer you have to shop for Christmas gifts, the easier it is to find great gifts for everyone at reasonable prices. Although most people don't like to think about shopping for next Christmas in January, the post-Christmas sales are the ideal time to buy some gifts for the following Christmas. If you do this, make sure you store them in a dedicated place so that you can remember where they are in December!

Another way of shopping for Christmas gifts throughout the year is to buy everyone on your list an extra present for their birthday. Instead of giving them this present, put it in your Christmas storage cupboard. When December rolls around, your Christmas shopping will be finished with the exception of a few extra presents, such as stocking fillers, that you may wish to purchase.

Even if you start Christmas shopping in September, October or November, you'll still have time to find good presents at reasonable prices.

Buy Sets and Split Them Up

You can buy sets of many items, including:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Toiletries.
Once you've bought a set, you could open it up and give one or more items from the set to different people. This is especially a good idea if you see a set of DVDs, for example, that contains DVDs that several different people would like. Since sets generally cost less than buying each item individually, you'll save money.

Last year I bought a set of 3 puzzle books. I gave the sudoku book to my husband, the wordsearch book to a friend, and kept the crossword book for myself! If I'd bought three individual books, it would have cost at least three times as much.

Look for Gifts That Appear More Expensive Than They Are

Some inexpensive gifts look much more expensive than they are. Sometimes this is because they are packaged very nicely. For example, I recently saw fairly large and nicely packaged box of Belgian chocolates for £2.50 ($3.80 approx). It looked as if would cost at least twice that amount.

Take some time to look for gifts that have that expensive look without costing very much.

Shop in Unusual Places

If you shop for Christmas gifts at stores, markets and fairs where many people would not consider buying Christmas gifts, you're likely to find some good deals. You might also find unusual and unique items. For example, local craft fairs often offer a wide range of unusual, interesting and quirky items at reasonable prices. Charity shops/thrift stores often sell new and unopened gifts at lower prices than other stores. Stores in outlet malls can also be great places to hunt for inexpensive Christmas gifts.

Benefit From Discounts and Offers

Take advantage of discounts and offers as much as you can. Look out for:

  • Half price discounts.
  • Buy-one-get-one-free promotions.
  • Buy three-pay-for-two promotions.
  • Clearance items.
It's important to shop early if you want to benefit from the best discounts. In December, there are likely to be very few good discounts and promotions.

Set a total budget for your expenditure on Christmas gifts. Record how much you spend on each shopping trip so that you know how much more you have available to spend on other gifts. Alternatively, set a budget for each person and keep track of how much you've spent so far on a spreadsheet.

It is possible to buy great gifts that will delight everyone on your Christmas list without spending a large amount of money. Start shopping early and shop smartly in order to find the most suitable gifts for everyone.



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