Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forget Black Friday - Really Save Money This Christmas Season

Well it's getting close to Christmas and the stores have already started putting up their displays. It seems to happen earlier every year!

With the thought of buying all those Christmas gifts looming on the horizon most people focus on Black Friday as their biggest money saver.

Try something different this year! Follow the simple steps below to have a less expensive and just as joyful holiday season.

Make a list and stick to it
Just like Santa Claus has a list, so should you! Make a list of everyone you want to buy for. List everyone including family, friends, teachers, co-workers, bosses, etc. Now go through your list of people and cross off all those you really don't need to give a gift to this year or that you could simply send a Christmas card. Try to include only the most important people in your life on your gift list.

Next, with your list of the bare minimum to buy for - add a dollar limit to every person. For example we spend $20 for every sibling, $40 for parents, $10 for teachers, etc. Let's face it - it's not how much you spend that makes the gift special it's how much thought and love you put into making or buying it.

Plus, if these people truly cared about you they won't want you to go deep into debt for them. Everyone knows how the holiday season can add up financially.

Think About It
It's time to get creative. Now that you have your list of people to buy for and a dollar limit for each person it's time to brainstorm ideas. Everyone wants to give gifts that the recipient will truly love and cherish. How many times have you gotten an ugly sweater, a funny looking tie, or perfume that smelled terrible? Just some helpful advice, do a little bit of research before choosing a gift. When I was 8 years old, I received 6 pairs of earrings and I didn't have my ears pierced.

List a couple ideas for each person. Try to recall what this person talks about, what they do in their free time, and what they need. Sometimes it's important to give people what they need and let their wants be put on hold a while. No matter what you decide make sure it's useful, wanted or needed.

Now that you have an idea of what to buy - shop around. If it's on sale during Black Friday - that's great, but let's face it most items for sale on Black Friday are what I call "nice-ities" - stuff that's nice but not needed. Check the ads for the gift ideas on your Christmas shopping list.

Another thing to consider is would it be cheaper and/or easier for you to make a gift for someone on your list. Such as a new mom might love a scrapbook filled with pictures of her new baby and space for her to add more in the future. Make sure it would be cheaper for you to make it. Sometimes it actually costs more to make stuff yourself, so do the math.

Follow Santa Claus's lead and make a list - you can check it twice if you wish. Trim it down - only the most important people. Next, create a budget and stick to it or even spend less. After that you need to brainstorm a couple different gift ideas for each person. Lastly, shop around for the best deals.

Using these simple tips will help you keep Christmas from breaking the bank and keep your stress level down. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cut Spending

After reading a couple of the blogs I'm following, I've realized I spend way more than some on groceries. For my family of 5 plus 2 dogs and 2 cats we spend $150-$200 a week.

Now I know prices vary throughout the country and world. I live on the East Coast of the USA in Maryland. The price of milk here is $1.99 at Aldi's and $2.99 or more at other grocery stores.

When shopping at Weis I try to use coupons in conjunction with sales. That is where I buy name brand items like: laundry detergent (dye-free), meats, pop-tarts, cereal, snacks for lunches, and soda.

For the staples, I shop Aldi's. They have the best prices in my area on dairy, fresh and canned veggies, and paper products.

I've just started planning out our meals for the week prior to shopping and sticking to my list. Before I just went to the grocery store and whatever looked good is what I got along with my list of necessities.

Any advice or suggestions. Please let me know what has worked for you. I'm willing to try anything.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Advertise Here

Advertise your business here.

Share your product or service with the wonderful women who read this blog and connect with other moms.

Ads must be family friendly and relevant to the site. Some acceptable topics include: family friendly products, maternity, organizing, time management, kids and baby products, plus lots more.

Ad placements are sold in 1 month increments at $10 a month.

After you submit payment via PayPal, send an email to including your 125X125 graphic and the link you want the ad to promote.

Printable Weekly Family Planner

Here is a free printable weekly planner you can use for your family. It has spaces for up to 3 children. It only has 3 children because that's how many I have :) If you want a planner that has more spaces so you can fit all your kids let me know and I'll make one and add it to the site.

Use this calendar to keep track of appointments, school projects, after-school activities, and lots more.

Click here to download in PDF.

Contact Me

Hello, my name is Kim and I'd like to share a little bit about me. I'm a stay at home mom to 3 great kids and devoted wife from Maryland.

Some of my passions (besides my family) include: photography, journaling, organizing, gardening, finding and creating printables, and definitely bargain hunting.

I've been working online since 2000 and have pretty much tried everything out there. I finally realized that I dislike selling and really enjoy blogging.

If you have any helpful tips, advice or words of encouragement please feel free to leave a message or contact me.

Ways to Contact Me:




Monday, October 12, 2009

Yummy Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread
Created by Linda Butler

This recipe for pumpkin bread came from my mother, Linda Butler, who came up with it. The bread is very moist and almost cake-like in texture. It has a wonderfully sweet flavor and is a staple in our household around October and November.

Here are the ingredients.

3 eggs
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. nutmeg
1 teas. baking soda
1 cup Crisco oil
1 large can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 teas. salt
1 teas. mace
1 teas. cinnamon
2-3 teas. molasses


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix in large mixing bowl with electric mixer the eggs, sugar and oil. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix for 2 minutes. Spray 3 loaf pans with cooking spray. Cook in oven for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before moving to kitchen towel or cooling rack.

Slice, eat and enjoy!