How to Be Prepared for Black Friday 2013

Shopping for the best 2013 Black Friday Deals? This year, things may be a little different. Be prepared with the following tips, and you’ll get the best prices without being overwhelmed. It is solid advice to get you through the most important shopping day of the year. By making the following preparations now, you’ll be sure not to lose out on those bargains and at the same time, have everything be a positive and fun experience. Prepare for the Changes Swallow that turkey and be out the door by early evening if you want to start your Black Friday shopping. … Continue reading

Why Cash Might Be the Best Gift

Some people feel uncomfortable giving cash as a gift. That was never a problem in my family. In every Italian-American family wedding I’ve been to, the bride carries around a little purse just for the purpose. The envelopes get oohed and ahhed over more than does the sauce maker or the set of bed sheets. I do understand, however, that many people aren’t comfortable giving cash. They often opt for gift cards instead. A recent survey shows that people like getting gift cards, too. According to the 2012 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, about six out of ten people would like … Continue reading

Gifts for Baby’s First Christmas

Are you searching for the perfect gift for your baby this Christmas? Here is a list of the most popular baby toys this year. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes: Babies love music. Keep your baby happy listening to music while on car rides, grocery shopping, or in waiting rooms. Your baby will enjoy the colorful lights that dance across the screen while the music plays. It is easy to hold and has a switch for volume control. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby’s First Blocks: No lights. No sounds. No batteries. This toy is a classic and one that every baby loves. … Continue reading

Baked Gifts

Yesterday began the baking extravaganza. Every year my best friend and I spend two full days baking and freezing for Christmas. We make so many cookies that by the end of the two days we never want to see another cookie. It’s so much fun though and our kids look forward to it every year. As you can imagine it’s quite a mess. At the end of the day the kitchen looks like a bakery exploded so through the years we have come up with some ways to keep the mess under control. The number one thing is to keep … Continue reading

How to Be Prepared for Black Friday

If you are heading out for Black Friday, you might want to consider making the following preparations now, to make sure that you don’t lose out on those bargains and at the same time, have everything be a positive and fun experience. Prepare a Budget Knowing how much you have to spend will keep you on track and make sure that you don’t get caught up in the bargain frenzy and overspend. Have you heard of the envelope system? Take out the same number of envelopes as you have people to buy gifts for. Place the amount of money you … Continue reading

Easy and Popular Christmas Gifts You Can Make

This year, why not cut your holiday gift budget in half or even more by making some wonderful homemade gifts. Forget the crocheted potholders and the macaroni art, the following popular gifts will be appreciated and used. In fact, they are so popular, you might even find a couple of them among the gifts that you get! Baked Gifts From cookie platters to quick breads, baked goods can certainly hit the spot during the holidays. Pick up some inexpensive dishes, loaf pans and other containers at your local thrift store. Pretty containers that your gift recipient can keep are much … Continue reading

Baskets Full of Fun

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like a basket full of homemade cookies, brownies, chocolate sauce and pound cake. My neighbor outdoes herself each December and this year is no exception. Yesterday she dropped off a huge gift basket filled with my daughter’s favorite sweet treats, lovingly prepared in her own kitchen. I love the idea of getting and giving gift baskets during the holiday season. Even if you are working on a tight budget, homemade gift baskets are a great option for neighbors, co-workers, family and close friends. The best way to save when putting together a gift basket is … Continue reading

Food Gifts That Preschoolers Can Make

Around here, food is ragingly popular as a Christmas gift. We bake, and we bake a lot. Preschoolers love helping with that, and food gifts are very easy for a preschooler to make. They’re popular gifts, too. In the summer, preschoolers enjoy the goopy delights of making freezer jam. Get some frozen summer berries and add freezer jam pectin and sugar according to taste and according to the recipe, and you have delicious, super simple freezer jam. If you freeze berries in the summer, you can make small batches of freezer jam all year round. Full of beans? Collect beans, … Continue reading

Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

Any frugalista knows that you should purchase your gift wrap and holiday paper during post Christmas sales to stock up for the year. At many of the Hobby Stores and Pharmacy chain stores, you can easily find it for 75% to 90% off. This can easily save you $100 to $200 in gift wrap costs for the year. But what do you do when have run out of gift wrap or (gasp) didn’t make it to the post Christmas sales? You find free options around your home for wrapping gifts. Here are some things you can try. Use your origami … Continue reading

A Sweet Christmas Morning Treat

German pancakes, also known as, Dutch baby pancakes are a popular sweet treat served on Christmas morning–at least in homes where muffins and crepes don’t reign supreme. What makes the dish special is that unlike traditional pancakes, German pancakes are placed in the oven so they puff up (though they rapidly deflate once they’re removed from the oven), and then they are doused with powdered sugar and sweet fruit toppings. If you are looking to sugar coat your Christmas breakfast this year, consider making the following recipe for Traditional German Pancakes: TRADITIONAL GERMAN PANCAKES Ingredients: 3 eggs, room temperature 1/2 … Continue reading