Holiday Preparations: Planning

With the start of November, I know it’s time for me to start planning for the holidays. As of today, we have just over a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving and just over seven weeks until Christmas. For many this is their favorite time of the year. But for others it is one of the most stressful. However, I believe that much of the stress could be relieved by preparing and planning ahead of time. Are you starting to think about the cookies to be baked…the meals to be planned…the house that needs cleaning? This can quickly become very overwhelming. … Continue reading

Vacation Budgeting

Can you afford to get in one more family trip during the upcoming Labor Day weekend? According to AAA, 33 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home during the holiday weekend, despite the fact gas prices are hovering near the $4 mark. Clearly, budgeting for gas is a huge factor for families looking to hit the road on a final summer fling, but it isn’t the only financial element to consider. Crunching numbers can provide a major reality check when it comes to vacation planning. However, by doing the math before you leave home, you can … Continue reading

Budgeting for the Holiday Meal

This year, it looks like we will be hosting Thanksgiving again. It is a preemptive strike on our part to avoid the arguments and indecision about who is hosting and where and when. Plus, we would rather trade the extra work for the travel and knowing that we can just zip our kids into their beds at the end of the day. Another reason that I am looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving this year is that we have our brand new (used) cherry dining room table that we picked up at a yard sale. We can finally seat 10 people … Continue reading

Crunching Thanksgiving Numbers

If you add the hours it takes for a 16-pound thawed turkey to cook with the amount of minutes it takes four hungry teens to devour an entire pumpkin pie, and then subtract the number of times you have to walk over to the kids’ table to break up a fight during Thanksgiving dinner, what do you come up with? In our house you get some cool holiday-inspired math activities. Just because kids are out of school for Thanksgiving break doesn’t mean their brains shouldn’t be exercised. Turn Turkey Day into an educational opportunity by encouraging your children to partake … Continue reading

Make Your Frugal Party Look Expensive

Did you know that you can spend just a few dollars and make it look as though you spent hundreds on your party? Home made and arranged can look just as good or better than catered. And you don’t have to lose the sophistication just because you are saving money and being frugal. Use these tips to make your party look like a million dollars. Focus on the Presentation The presentation of food goes a long way to making your party look expensive. Do you ever notice that people are willing to spend more money on tiny platters of food … Continue reading

Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Settling on a vacation spot everyone in the family can agree upon is only half the battle. Once you know where you are going there is the challenge of budgeting for transportation, meals, souvenirs and other incidentals. The following tips are ones I have compiled from my own family’s cross-country adventures. Some may seem a bit obvious, but the fact is they are effective and have served us well over the years. Hopefully they can do the same for your family as well. COUPON BOOKS. Never underestimate the power of a coupon. I used to completely ignore those kiosks loaded … Continue reading

The ABC’s of Frugal Living: 26 Tips to Live a More Frugal Life

The ABC’s of Frugal Living – 26 Tips to Live a More Frugal Life The frugal living blog at is chock full of great information to help you live a more frugal lifestyle. We all strive to save money and the bloggers in this category are here to help. A: Amazing Dates Have a date night for less! New Cheap Date Ideas A Cheap And Fun Date Idea It’s Date Night Date Night On a Budget B: Budgeting Make a plan and stick to it. Be sure you watch where your money goes each month and try to do … Continue reading