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I am a work from home, home schooling Mom who loves her Kids...yep, I think my kids are great. You will find me: Knitting, cross stitch, embroidery and working with felt are things I enjoy for fun. I also love to decorate and find deep satisfaction in decorating my home with great finds and my handmade items.  Gardening is one of my great loves, it like decorating outside!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Laughing All The Way

December can be a hectic time of year...OK lets be honest it starts up with the Costumes in October and doesn't end till a normal size paycheck comes in January.  I thought I would share a few tricks that might help, they sure have helped me Laugh All The Way through the holidays. 

1. Get a gift certificate at the grocer you shop at every week.  Make sure you check if they expire...yes some of them do.  Some you can continuously add onto.  Every week add money to it...this will more than pay for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years dinners.  I have even gone as far to pay for a week of food in November, leaving me with extra cash for holiday shopping.  This is also a good way to give a gift certificate as a gift...just add a little on it each week.  Great for teachers and unexpected guests.

2. Another food trick.  It doens't cost that much more to double a recipe. Make an extra one for the freezer or If you preserve food preserve one and in big bold letter put NOVEMBER on it.  My family has eaten like kings when we were paupers doing this.  Heck when pasta sauce and pasta are on sale buy an extra one.  Make a November/December shelf in your pantry. 

3. Target is another great place to buy gift certificates at.  If you don't use all of the gift certificate up on gifts you can use it on food in January or give it as a gift.

4.  Department stores are another great place, sometimes they carry toys.  But I use them for clothing, my kids are always growing and you all have had those moments when you kids are wearing "floods".  It is also a tradition to get my kids Christmas sweaters and PJ's each year. And I try to buy these in July off the Clearance rack.

5.  Gift certificates at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby are big with me.  Not only do I craft but my children do as well.  So I get allot of gifts hear, I also make ornaments as gifts and this is a good way to supply the last minute bead or two.

6.  I don't think I need to mention the after Christmas sales. I have a wrapping container, yes I have one just for wrapping paper that I bought after the holiday for $5.00.  Each year I go and buy paper, ribbons, bows and tags.  And I scan for some of next years decorations and gifts.  My husband collects Santa's (see Mondays posts) my son and doughtier collect Nut Crackers and Snow Globes. And I collect Snowman.  So I can get quite a few gifts out of the way. 

As you can see the gift certificate and after Christmas  idea is endless. You don't have to do them all just one would ease it up a bit. Also wait for the sales and the coupons.  Make sure keep an eye on expirations and you will have christmase done and paid for in October.  Spending the rest of the year being merry and bright.

Hear are the rundowns on Gift cards If you add to them every week (the stores I dont go to I only get one once a month for $25.00.  Setting aside $5.00 every week for it):

$5.00 = $260.00
$10.00 = $520.00
$15.00 = $780.00
$20.00 = $1,040.00
$25.00 = $1,400.00

There are weeks that I can put $25.00 in and weeks that I can only do $5.00.  But when it comes to the time I need it I know I will have at least $260.00.   I also use this for July, it is a tight month for us.  And it is also great for Vacation time as well.

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