Monday, November 24, 2008

How To Save Money Shopping For Gifts This Christmas

Here are some shopping tips for discount gift giving this Christmas:

First of all, make a Christmas shopping budget and stick to it. Have a plan for all the gifts you are buying and how much they will cost.

Shopping for Christmas gifts on sale is a great way to save some money. Many stores are starting their Christmas sales early this year so you may find some good gifts this way.

Shopping online may save you not only time, but money as well. Check with discount web sites such as and even ebay. Also consider looking for Christmas gifts on Craigslist as many people have brand new items they could be selling at a great discount.

If you have any discount stores in your area it may be a good idea to see what Christmas shopping you can do there . Dollar stores, grocery outlets, and surplus stores such as Big Lots are full of gift ideas and smaller items you can put together to create a gift basket.

Look around at what you already have. Use a basket you might already have to fill with items and give as a Christmas gift. Make copies of photos and put together an album for friends or family.

If you're crafty make gifts or if you're a good cook give home made food items as Christmas gifts.

Give the gift of time. Take elderly people shopping, on errands or just out for the day. Take the neighbors trash to the curb and back for a month, offer to do yard work or walk and pick up after their pets. A great Christmas gift for those who have kids is to offer to babysit. Not only are these gifts appreciated, but you don't have to go shopping and it's pretty much free.

Christmas shouldn't be about money and gifts. Just enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Save Money On Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends while enjoying good food. Here are some tips that will save you time and money so you can focus on celebrating this holiday and not worry about going broke.

  • Plan ahead. Make a list of items you'll need to buy, how many people will be coming, how many place settings of dishes you'll need etc. This way you can set a budget and are less likely to be caught off guard having to make a last minute overpriced purchase.

  • Make the feast potluck. Have each guest bring a dish. This not only saves money for the host but will also save time and each person feels like they are involved in the celebration. Make sure to delegate a dish to each guest or some how keep track of what each party is bringing to avoid too many, or not enough, of each item.

  • Buy a larger turkey. Butchers at most grocery stores will cut the turkey in half for you, even if it is frozen. Larger turkeys are usually cheaper per pound, so you can save money by either sharing the turkey with a friend or relative, or saving the other half for Christmas or New Year’s.

  • Shop early and take advantage of sales. Stick to your menu plan and buy only what you'll need. Start looking at local grocery store flyers and websites to see if there are any good deals or coupons offered.

  • Do not buy unnecessary decorations. Make your decor from nature using twigs, leaves, pine cones etc. If you must buy items like a tablecloth, search your local thrift stores and try not to make it too holiday specific so you can use it over again after the holidays.

  • If you really want to save money and contribute to the meaning of Thanksgiving, consider spending this holiday volunteering at a local soup kitchen. You will be helping people less fortunate while sharing in the meal. This may become a new tradition for your family.

  • Finally, think about inviting an elderly neighbor, military family or member, or other people who have no one to share Thanksgiving with to join you. This is in the true spirit of the holiday and you'll get more from this than any amount of money could buy.