Normally I like to start off the week with Money Mondays ...well Cyber Monday took over the internet ha ha. Did you all go crazy for Black Friday? Did you buy too much stuff on Cyber Monday? Did you get everyone a gift on your list? Or did you end up shopping for you because you were lured in by all the sales on stuff that wasn't on your list?
Not all the deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday are at the lowest prices for the year. In fact, all merchandise has a season where its marked down to the lowest prices. An example would be like exercise equipment and large appliances are marked down to its lowest price in January and February. So don't despair if you didn't get the big screen TV on Friday you can save even bigger by waiting for the right season.
Are you low on cash already? Don’t give up since there are plenty of ways to still save on Christmas and gift giving. Make a plan to pay cash for the rest of the month so you don't start 2016 by making payments to Credit Cards. That's right Pay Cash for everything for the simple principle you spend less when you pay with cash. It’s super hard to part with the green stuff and you will look twice at all your purchase decisions.
Keep It Frugal will show you some awesome Christmas Gift Giving options to help stretch your dollars. This Frugal gift is an up-cycle that is one of my favorites. It’s a wine bottle that I up-cycled to make into a stylish dish soap dispenser. Pair it with some of your favorite dish soap and it’s a gift anyone would enjoy.
Instructions: Get an empty wine bottle cleaned out (have fun with that J). Then get a beverage dispenser top and some cute ribbon detail and a chalk board label which you can find at Dollar Tree. Then fill the empty bottle half way with water and add the dish soap.
I have had mine for years and it looks very stylish on kitchen sink. If you don't have empty wine bottles, ask a friend to save theirs for you or go to restaurant / bar they are more than happy to give you some. Don't you love it!
Keep It Frugal,
Just wanted to say Thank You to all Frugalistas this Thanksgiving! I am so very thankful for the past year all the amazing ladies that I have gotten to meet, learn and share with. I also want to thank Dayle for all she has done to help Keep It Frugal Blog, Frugalistas Ladies Night Out, the amazing field trips ... she is truly a warrior for empowering women. Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to our Christmas season ahead and bringing you great ideas and money saving tips that will keep your dollars in your wallet.
Today, I am going to give you a money saving idea for the kitchen and all the holiday feasting!!! I love using plastic food bags for kitchen prep and food storage but if you don’t clean and reuse the them they can be expensive to throw out. I have been using these bags from Walmart. They are the Great Value Twist Tie 1 gallon bags...100 bags for $2.88. I also use them for freezing and then double bag it in a freezer bag it really helps with freezer burn for meat. They are also great for putting loaves of bread that you bake for gifts. I use them in many areas of my house. They are super durable and a huge cost savings...try them out and make life and little easier and your wallet a little fatter.
Keep It Frugal,
Let’s talk Turkey Frugalistas. Some years I have drastically failed on keep with my food budget for Thanksgiving. Some years I have done great...what’s key is planning out your menu and shopping this week for your Turkey. Shop your ads, price match and only buy what’s on sale, use a coupon. That might mean that you have to shop at multiple stores or you can price match everything Walmart. Is it worth it? YES! I have spent double what I could have spent when I didn't plan correctly and shopped the week of Thanksgiving. If you are hosting, don't be embarrassed to ask your guest to bring a side dish, wine or dessert. Most people want to do their part so let them!
Here are some tips I stick to when it comes planning Thanksgiving.
Tip 1: Don't buy too big of a Turkey. I used to buy a huge turkey in hopes that the left overs would feed everyone for a week. What would really happen is that everyone would get sick of turkey two days later and not eat my dinners no matter how great I did at making them into a new recipe. Now what I do is buy a smaller one and use the leftovers, if any, and make homemade broth that you can freeze from carcass to be used for soup later.
Tip 2: Don't serve appetizers. Focus on the meal instead. If someone offers to bring one, that is great. Appetizers can get costly and your guest fill up on them which means they eat less of the main course and you end up with more food waste. (leftovers that can't be eaten)
Tip 3: Serve a Soup with the meal. It does double duty because you can use the soup as a vegetable serving. Try Butternut Squash soup. Make the day before and put in the slow cooker the next day on low or warm until dinner is ready.
Tip 4: Shop the food bargains for your Christmas meal. Keep in mind that after Thanksgiving, you are going to be doing this all over again for Christmas in 4 weeks. I saw a great price this week for Pork Loin boneless for 1.29 per lb. I am picking that up for Christmas dinner this year put it in the freezer. Yeah!
So let’s get planning Frugalistas. I saw turkey this week on sale from 47 cents per lb. to 97 cents per lb. Gobble Gobble!
Keep it Frugal,
You might be getting tempted to go to your favorite coffee shop or drive thru to quench your thirst for Limited Edition Holiday flavored coffee right now. Quick question; do you know what the Latte Factor is?
The Latte Factor is that those daily runs for coffee add up to some huge bucks. The average fancy coffee costs $4 or $5 or even more depending on the type, size and how many extras you want to add in. So let’s just say you go get coffee 5 times a week at $5 dollars a piece that makes $25.00 per week times 4 weeks in a month and that's $100.00 a month. So my challenge and question to you is What’s your Latte Factor? Is it $100.00 dollars a month is it more? What could you do if you saved that money?
Instead of buying a Pumpkin Spice Coffee could you make your own at home? Yes, you can! For the cost of one coffee shop /drive thru coffee you can get a Pumpkin Spice Creamer, Sugar cookie or Peppermint flavored and make a least a 10 drinks at home and have some change left over. I found these at Walmart this week and many more ...yum yum!
Keep it Frugal,
Want to know how to keep a Frugal Mindset among all the hustle and bustle of the Holidays approaching us? Don't try to go on a strict financial diet starving yourself and then when you can't maintain the diet you, go on huge binge shopping trip. You need to be realistic.
Here is an example; instead of buying all new decorations, work with what you have first and decide to get maybe one or two “new” things to add to the décor. When I say “new” things, I mean new to your house. Check your thrift stores in your area first. They always have Holiday decor from dishes, linens, wreaths etc. Then if you can't find something that fits with your décor...head to your Walmart.
Why do I love Walmart? They have great prices that the everyday person can afford, great style and quality! Their new collection of Christmas decor, dishes and linens are out and they are fabulous. They have the new Pioneer Woman line and the Better Homes & Garden line. I recently found some goodies that would not only give your decor a face lift but were at Frugalista prices. Yeah! I am not sponsored by Walmart and they don't pay me for my opinion! I just like to share my frugal finds!
Here are some frugal finds that I found recently at the Huntley Walmart that I am loving...check them out!
Now that we have decided to have a Finance Free Christmas and pay with cash, here are the next steps.
My husband and I had to adjust our Christmas gift giving for our family this year. Last week, our water heater gave out and I have a big repair on my minivan scheduled for next week. So my husband and I discussed over dinner, that we would have to scale back the amount of money spent on gifts for family. He was awesome and completely got it! What makes this situation better is that because I have a Baby step 1, a $1000.00 emergency fund saved for emergencies (like water heaters ha ha) we didn't have put anything on a credit card. So even though I had my Christmas budget set and all my gifts done ahead time...we still need to scale back because we need to build back up that Baby step 1 -$1000.00 emergency fund in the next two months. In the next week I will give you some ideas for gifts, crafted store bought and homemade. I will also tell you how I have all my Christmas gift giving done ahead time. So Frugalistas...make your list!
Keep it Frugal,
Well, we have all survived the ghost and goblins of Halloween yeah! And it always seems that Thanksgiving is just a hop, skip and jump away. Then its Black Friday and we magically arrive into the Christmas season wandering around the stores, trying to get gifts, decor, food and more. We are in full throttle Christmas mode! Run to entertainment activities, send Christmas cards, take pictures and trying to make this the best Christmas ever!
We start stressing about all the stuff we have to buy. And because we haven't planned, we fall into the trap of financing our Christmas! Right now there are tons of magazines with articles on how to budget for Christmas and each article I have read always has something about choosing the right credit card to make the most out of your Christmas purchases with getting more points, cash back etc. The truth is financing your Christmas is a bad idea. Statistically you spend more when you use a credit card than you would have if you spent cash. Those great offers the stores and credit cards give you end up costing you more in interest and fees come January. Because the likely hood of you paying it off in January is not going to happen (statistically). In fact, the credit industry is counting on it and that's why they really ramp up their marketing with commercials and sweet sentiments that this could be your best Christmas ever with Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express etc.
Now that my partial rant is done, let’s talk about a plan to have a Finance Free Christmas! That's right Frugalistas, we don't have to fall into that trap. We can make a plan now!
First, let’s talk about a Christmas budget with your significant other or if you are single, talk it over with a trusted friend who will support you and not tempt you into spending more money. Once you have established a Christmas budget, make the choice to use cash only! And I really mean it. CASH ONLY. If you can't pay cash for it, you can't afford it!
Maybe you need to adjust the budget at this point and do some planning on where you can shop to get the best deals for those on your Christmas gift list. Maybe you can give handmade gifts instead. You have 51 days until Christmas…ouch! But you really do only have 51 days and you can do a lot in those 51 days. You can rack up credit card debt that will take you well into June of next year to pay off or you can choose to have a Finance Free Christmas. Let me paint a picture of what a Finance Free Christmas looks like…
Lovely thoughtful gifts that you bought or made that don't have an interest payment gift tag on them, food that you aren't paying for (and digesting) in February, no bills that have to be paid so you can have a great financial start to 2016.
And here is the great news! You still have all the love and memories of Christmas for FREE! No bargain hunting because memories are always the same price!
My Challenge to you is to have Finance Free Christmas! I am going to be sharing my ideas and thoughts with you all on how to have Finance Free Christmas everything from decor, holiday meal prep, gift giving and most importantly focusing on what really matters in life, Not STUFF! Join me in my challenge and share your tips and ideas. Got questions? Join us for “Easy and FUN Frugal Christmas Ideas” at our Frugalista Ladies Night Out Event on Nov. 20th 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at The Pointe Outreach Center, 650 Northwest Hwy, Crystal Lake, IL
Keep It Frugal!
I want to thank all my Frugalistas for coming out for the VIP opening of Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Crystal Lake. It was amazing and so fun. I was super impressed with Emily. She greeted us at the door and told us all about the great deals on fresh food and the best insiders tip for savings. Wednesday is double Ad Day. That means that the Ad from last week overlaps with the new Ad for the week coming up. Double savings Frugalistas ...I love it! I also found out that they carry over 1700 Gluten free products. I got to meet Greg the in house butcher manager and I asked him all about saving on meat. He told me that they always have a special on meat like 99 cents per pound All Natural Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks or Salmon $3.97 per pound. They also grind all the meat there fresh daily and fish is fresh daily. All the sausages are made fresh...I got the Chicken Sausage with feta and spinach. You definitely want to sign up for the email savings because it will let you know when they run special 48 hour sales.
The store was super clean and the produce selection was outstanding. When I met with the HR dept. manager she told me that Fresh Thyme gives to the local food pantry weekly. I personally thought that was fantastic that they give back to our local community. I also really appreciated the salad bar, olive bar and rotisserie chicken.
Keep It Frugal! Heather
Many of you know that I am a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Coordinator, I love to help teach with Dave's help of course how people can get out of Debt and have Financial Peace. My blog and classes are a by-product of me following the Dave Ramsey Plan. I love teaching and sharing all things Frugal.
I have learned so much about being prepared financially for the future...like having a Baby Step 1 $1,000.00 emergency fund in place at all times, getting out of debt and setting up a 3-6 month emergency fund. My husband and I have had to learn the hard way through the recession or as I call it “The Great Depression 2.0”, and even though we did many things right, we still had a hard time with planning for the future.
I think partly because the future seems so far away or we think that isn't going to happen to me or perhaps we think we are prepared enough for what LIES ahead. I used the word lies because believing that you are prepared enough for what is coming your way in life are the lies we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better, pay the victim role or make its some else's job for you not taking charge of your life.
That's some tough love for you this morning and I know it can sound harsh but it’s the truth. I can tell you from personal experience…you must take charge of the risks in your life…financially and legal. Do you have a will? Do you have trust? Do you have a healthcare power of attorney? What happens to your kids if you both to die in a car crash?
I want to encourage you all to come out Friday Sept. 11th, 6:30 - 8;30 pm, at The Pointe in Crystal Lake to see our special guest Rita A. McDade / Cary Family Practice Attorney. She will answer your questions and help you take charge of your life. I have spent time with Rita and she is warm and inviting. She will bring her warmth and compassion to questions we might have about how to plan for our future.
Even if you think you are prepared for all issues in the future...maybe you have a friend that can benefit from Rita's expertise. Don't wait for something to happen which requires emergency decisions by someone else! Looking forward to seeing you all Friday Night!
Keep it Frugal,
It's time the Semi-Annual BAG SALE!
DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS EXCITING & POPULAR EVENT
Shop Your Best Friend's Closet
Date: Saturday August 15, 2015 from
Time: 10 am - 6 pm
Semi-Annual One Day Bag Sale Event!
Hundreds & hundreds of items throughout the shop can be YOURS for $20* per bag.
20% of all bags purchased will be donated to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (nocc)
Ovarian Cancer has affected some dear friends of YBFC,
including our friends Liz, Rebecca and our own Amy's sister.
Join us for savings, fun and supporting a cause that can help save women's lives.
*does not include sales tax
*no other coupons/discounts apply
An added Bag Sale Bonus: Chelsea from Chelsea's Cupcakes will be here!
Enjoy a sampling of her delicious cupcakes or better yet, you'll be able to buy some to take home with you!
Too busy shopping? You'll also be able to buy cupcakes to take home with you! Yum!
Hi! I am an Immanuel Lutheran Stewardship Champion but before that I was a Frugalista! I want to welcome you to Heather's Frugal Living. In my classes, you will learn my easy and savvy tips in how to live large on a small budget.