The Best Dollar Store Gifts

Dollar store gifts can be inexpensive without looking that way. It is all in how you find the treasures and how you bundle or package them. With more and more Americans spending less and less this holiday season, it is important to find new creative ways to get great gifts for everyone on your list. You can do this through dollar and discount stores. First, take the time to visit a few different dollar or discount stores. They aren’t all created equal. You may find that some offer better deals than others, or offer specific kinds of great gifts. Take … Continue reading

More Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

If you have no clue what to buy for your daughter’s new boyfriend, stop in the movie theater next time you’re passing by. Pick up a gift certificate or a couple of movie tickets. If he’s still in school, he probably only has a part-time job and will likely appreciate a night out with your darling that won’t cost him a big chunk of his paycheck. This is a great gift for others on your list as well and it’s certainly quick and easy. Pick up a nice card and pop it inside. The video store is another option. Give … Continue reading

Five Days ‘til Christmas

Even if some of your local stores look like they have been ransacked, take a deep breath. Even if things are looking awfully picked over and the shelves seem bare at this late date, all is not lost. There are still some practical ideas you can use to gather some last minute Christmas gifts. One great idea is to try shops and stores that you would not usually consider when looking for gifts, or specialty stores you may not shop regularly. A good example -now don’t laugh- is the auto parts store. Now, you might be shaking your head, thinking … Continue reading

Frugal Living Week in Review: December 10th Through December 16th

This past week, we got back to the very practical, from cutting down on waste to stocking your pantry. And there are a few ideas for the holidays, too. Did you miss any of these informative articles? Here they are again in the Frugal Living Blog week in review for December 19th through December 16th. December 10th Ask and Ye Shall Receive Need something? Sure you can go out and spend money for it, but chances are that there is a way to get it for free, just by asking. Here is how. Inexpensive Gifts You Can Make Wow everyone … Continue reading

Re-gifting and Re-using

Many people shy away from re-gifting after having heard horror stories of giving a gift back to the original giver. However, with care you don’t have to end up embarrassed. You can also do “partial” re-gifting. If you or your kids received one of those large popcorn tins with a holiday scene on it, you can re-use it once the popcorn is gone to package another gift. It will work great as packaging for a fragile item, with a little filler inside to help protect the gift. On the other hand, you could use it for one of Mary Ann’s … Continue reading

Party Tips: When YOU are the Guest

My mom taught how to be a “good guest” when I was very young. It stuck with me, so I’ll share a few of her tips here that I’m passing along to my kids. One rule was not to arrive empty-handed when invited somewhere. A thoughtful host/hostess gift is always a nice touch. She also taught me that it is most polite to RSVP with plenty of notice and at the time to ask the host or hostess what I might bring. Many times, people will say, “Oh, that’s all right; you don’t need to bring a thing.” Some are … Continue reading

BAH HUMBUG? 20 Ways to Share the Christmas Spirit with Your Kids

Several days ago, one of my kids said to me, “Mom, it doesn’t feel like Christmas. I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit.” I gulped. What? I had a Christmas tree, lights, decorations, the works. So I wrote down all the fun Christmas memories I’d had as a child. I thought I’d make a checklist, to see how many fun Christmas activities my family could still accomplish (without stress) to make this a very memorable holiday season. (I apologize to readers who aren’t Christian. I only have my own family traditions to access here.) It’s not too late to share the … Continue reading

Save Money Wrapping Your Gifts: Part One

You really can wrap a beautiful gift for super cheap. Don’t spend lots of money on expensive wrapping paper. Instead, try these ideas for wrapping presents: Buy brown paper. Brown postal-type paper is much cheaper than wrapping paper and it can look really nice given the proper embellishments. For instance, ask your children to draw holiday decorations on the paper with crayons, markers, stamps, or watercolors. Or, simply tie a ribbon around it. For an added touch, tie on a jingle bell, an inexpensive ornament, or even a light bulb from a burnt-out strand of large Christmas lights. Or try … Continue reading

Card Games: Go Fish

Go Fish is a game that is far older than I am. I remember the first time I played Go Fish with my grandmother and it was a great deal of fun. This past weekend, I sat down with my daughter and for the first time we played Go Fish together. We were playing with Dora playing cards to give her some familiarity with the cards and my husband sat with her on her side for the first couple of rounds to give her some backup support if she needed it. Needless to say, she loved the game – we’ve … Continue reading

Family Activities: Building Fun Baskets for Teachers

Make a family project to honor your child’s teacher or teachers. One of the best ways we can help to immerse ourselves in our child’s school experience is to help teach our children an appreciation and respect for their teachers. Creating baskets for teachers is one of the ways we as parents and our children as students can demonstrate that appreciation for the teachers who spend hours every day helping our kids to learn. Some of the fun basket ideas that you can put together include: School Supply Basket – Fill a gift basket with school supplies that the teacher … Continue reading