Creative Ways to Tip This Season: Free Gift Cards and More

How many people do you have in your life who are on your tipping list for the holidays? The hair stylist, school bus drivers, teachers, the trash man, the postal clerk or delivery person (there are rules on type and amount), the baby sitter or nanny, the coffee barista and anyone else who provides you a regular service, may all be expecting a holiday tip. At least one service provider of ours actually leaves an envelope just for the purpose. Most of us forget to add tipping expenses into our budgets and may be left with a surprise when we … Continue reading

Ways to Keep Kids Busy During Their Holiday Break

  Tis the season for parents to rack their brains coming up with ways to keep their children busy during the extended holiday break from school. Whether you will be home alone with two kids or you’re hosting a house full of hooligans in the days leading up to Santa’s arrival, consider the following holiday-themed boredom busters to keep your sanity intact: Activity Pages:  Print out free Christmas coloring pages from the Internet.  Not only do the jolly images provide for hours of holiday fun, but also, they’ll save you precious cash during a time when most moms and dads … Continue reading

Money Saving Ways to Prepare for Christmas Now!

Yes, the summer is still here, and temperatures may still be in the 90s or higher, but it is a perfect time to start making some preparations for Christmas right now. From gifts and decorations to food and entertainment, making the right moves now will be big savings during one of the toughest seasons for the budget. Stock up on the following items during the summer and fall, while you still can. Fresh Produce You’ll get the best prices on fresh produce right now, thanks to the bounty of late summer. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, corn and other fruit and vegetables … Continue reading

Frugal Holiday Ideas for Leftover Wrapping Paper

You know all of those little extra pieces of wrapping paper that are too small to use? Do you save them anyway? I do. I always feel guilty throwing them out, but it is very rare for me to find that I have presents small enough to use them. Most of the presents under our tree are for the kids, so they tend to be larger and usually made out of plastic, not small like jewelry. Then there is the time after the gift are unwrapped. What do you do with all of that leftover gift wrap that winds up … Continue reading

How to Shop the Holiday Deals

Starting in late October, I am online several times day to check my favorite deal websites. Why do I do this? To get the best bargains for my Christmas shopping, of course. If I see a great sale or clearance or other great deal, I pounce on it and whittle down my Christmas gift list. Of course, it helps to have a real plan in place. I keep track of all of my holiday gift purchases, so I won’t overbuy. I list who the gift is for, and I keep a running total of how much I spend per person … Continue reading

Quick Ways to Make Holiday Cash

The holidays will be here before you know it. Instead of breaking the budget to pay for your gifts, food, decorations, events, etc., why not make some quick cash. You’ll thank yourself in January. Gather Your Gift Cards Most of us have a few gift cards laying around. Now is the time to take advantage of that. Either use the gift cards to purchase the things you need for the holidays, or trade them for cash. There are many companies online who will pay you for your gift cards, and you can also sell them on Cragislist or Ebay. Gather … Continue reading

Three Ways to Find Money Around the House

If you need inspiration to de-clutter your home, think about all of the money you could find! It is inevitable. Whenever I do a good attack on clutter or go searching for someone’s missing item that they had to have yesterday, I find money. Sometimes this is literal cash, while other times it is something that can be quickly turned into cash. Here are some of the areas where money may be hidden in your home. Old birthday and holiday cards How many birthday or holiday cards do you have laying around somewhere that are stuffed with cash, checks or … Continue reading

When You Need Cash

Do you need more cash flow? Well, there are really only three ways to accomplish this. Let’s discuss them. Earn more money. The best ways to earn more are: • Ask for a raise. Seriously, why not? Think hard about your accomplishments and provide a good case. It doesn’t hurt to ask. • Take on a second job. Seasonal labor is always in demand. You can help a retailer over the holidays or a gardener in the summer. Depending on your skills and time, there are almost limitless options. • Look for freelance opportunities. Can you “sell” one of your … Continue reading

Five Non-Cash Ways to Help Animals/Shelters this Holiday Season

This is the time of year when giving and helping is foremost on everyone’s minds. It’s natural to feel a little more generous and charitable right now, and many with pets want to help animals less fortunate than their own. However, sometimes the desire to give outweighs the means. If cash is tight there are still other ways you can contribute: 1) Time: Commit to spending an hour every week (or every other) at a shelter. Shelters are always looking for volunteers for a variety of jobs. (Not just for cleaning up, but for extra help during fundraising events, rescue … Continue reading

The Slime Craze is Causing a Glue Shortage

Has your child taken a sudden interest in slime? It seems to be the newest, hottest, trend among children, tweens, and even some teenagers. The slime craze is so popular that it is causing craft stores to run out of glue. Slime is a homemade substance that can be made in any color. It starts out sticky and becomes a gelatinous substance that can be pulled, stretched and squished. There are plenty of recipes and photos of slime on Pinterest. A pastel rainbow colored version is called “unicorn poop.” Some kids are making slime that corresponds to a holiday (such … Continue reading