I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I am sure lots of you have worked up your to-do list for the day and week ahead. After a long holiday break, you may feel a bit sluggish as you get back into the groove of work and projects. Stay focused with the easier tasks first and work your way up to those that require lots of time. If weather permits, take a walk during lunch to get energized. You will be back into the groove in no time. Have a great week everyone!
I'm guessing many of you may still have house guests until tomorrow as they begin to travel back home. There is plenty of college football on television today, but some may be on sports overload.
While out and about yesterday, I stopped by Home Depot for a few poinsettias that were .99 cents for one day only. I did not get up at 5 a.m. during their early morning hours in order to buy them and really thought they would all be gone at that price. My luck was on and they still had plenty. I noticed that people were starting to buy Christmas trees and this got me thinking about a fun activity this weekend with your house guests.
Plan a tree trimming party with your guests this evening. Pull out the Christmas decorations and have everyone help decorate the tree. I bet you will have ornaments that family and friends have given you over the years. How nice will it be to reminisce as you hang them on the tree.
I know there probably are leftovers from Thanksgiving that can be served as everyone works up an appetite. Check out some of the recipes at Good Housekeeping to jazz them up. To get even more into the holiday spirit and cheer, serve some eggnog or warm apple cider. Have Fun!
The retailers are running television ads and the newspapers are filled with fliers for upcoming deals on Black Friday. I am sure lots of you are ready to shop and catch some of those deals. Here are 3 budget-savvy Black Friday Tips to keep in mind as you head out to shop.
1. Make a List & Budget ->This is truly #1. Plan ahead in the next several days for those on your gift-buying list. If you know what gift you are looking for, jot it down by their name. Listen for hints that your family and friends tend to throw out in hopes you are listening. You are, of course. Write out a budget that truly reflects just how much money you can spend on gifts. More importantly, stick to that budget. Here's a Biggie ->Leave the credit cards at home and use cash. 2. Check Online & Store Fliers ->Spend time checking online for the deals at the places you plan to shop. Also, store fliers are filled with coupons and deals too so don't skip clipping those too. Pick up an in-store flier and double check it as you shop around. 3. Pull Names ->Take the pressure off gift-buying for every family member especially if you have a large family. On Thanksgiving when everyone is together, put all the names in a container and have everyone pull a name. You can spend a bit more on that person when you are not trying to divvy up your money for everybody. Ask them to write down 3 wish list gifts and pick from their list. This tip is good for workplace gift exchanges with co-workers and gal/guy pals too.
As you shop around town on Black Friday, remember to stay hydrated by drinking water and to take breaks to eat. Pack on-the-go snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, boxes of raisins, bananas, or nuts. Any of these can help tie you over until you get home to enjoy more of the leftovers from the Thanksgiving dinner. Think of the money you will save by not buying food from the mall food court. Use the savings for stocking stuffers!
Put a sharpie pen in your bag to check off the gift once it's purchased. Talk about organized, that's you! Have lots of fun as you look ahead to shopping on Black Friday and remember to wear comfortable shoes.
In case you have yet to organize and put away your spring & summer clothes for the season, here is a quick tip to keep in mind -->Make sure the clothes are laundered or dry cleaned before storing them away. You don't want perspiration or any other stains to persist on a garment that will be stored away for months.
Only a few leaves remain on the front yard tree. I am going to miss the beauty of the fall colors that were changing as the season began. An empty birds nest remains in the tree. Long gone are the family of birds that once called this nest home. I have been throwing old bread out in my backyard for the birds who fly in and nibble on it. I remember in my youth doing a class project on birds. I did not win for best project, but was proud of my display. When I am working at the laptop, I glance out the back door and watch the birds. I recently saw a Cardinal bird which is one of my favorites. It's bright red color really pops on a gloomy day. I find bird watching very relaxing and it helps me gather my thoughts when writing. I'm a Bird Watcher, now back to work!
During the summer months, I mentioned drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. Now that the fall and winter seasons are here, it's just as important to stay hydrated with water even though the temperatures are not so warm. Keep one step ahead of that sluggish feeling by drinking water.
I was about to make a batch of peanut butter crackers to take along with me while running errands today. It turns out that the new box of saltine crackers I just bought the other day were stale and fell apart instantly. I decided to return them and use the money to purchase another brand that I've had before, but from a different grocery store. Upon entering the store for the return, the lady who checks your bag and receipt commented, "You came back to return these when they were only $1.18." I responded "Yes" and proceeded to the Customer Service desk.
I guess my point is that maybe I could have just not bothered to return the stale crackers and get my money back seeing that they were only $1.18. But, why keep the crackers when I have no plans to eat them. I can use that money for a fresh box. I just may have taken Frugal to a New Level!
One of my friends makes the most delicious fudge during the holiday season. She recently mentioned that she has already started to stock up on the ingredients needed for the fudge when she found them on sale. This got me to thinking about today's blog post.
If you have plans to cook or bake your favorite dishes for the holidays, stock up the pantry now when you find any of the ingredients on sale. I am seeing lots of Buy 1 Get 1 Free items in the grocery store ads and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. You will be all ready to bake those sweet potato pies and more for family, friends, and co-workers.
Opening your window blinds not only let's in nice sunshine, but helps to warm rooms on a cool day. It also can cut down the heating bill by allowing natural light to shine in especially in those rooms that face the front of the house. Let the sunshine in!
I enjoyed all the sunshine that poured in when I twisted the blinds this morning. It was a very cold and frosty night in Atlanta and all over the state of Georgia. I'm drinking my second cup of coffee as I type this blog post and listening to local radio program that spins old school jams on Saturday morning. I enjoy hearing the likes of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and others. The music from back in the day is simply spectacular and you just never tire of hearing it. Here's an idea ->Put on some old school music while doing Saturday household chores. You will be amazed at how much you get done while bouncing to your favorite tunes.
As you may have discovered, I always like to have one day out of the week where I spend no money. It turns out I had two days this week ->Tuesday and Friday. I am trying to reflect for just a bit on how yesterday got a free pass. What does this say about my social life :-) Did you have a day this past week where you didn't spend any money? Just asking!
I'm thinking that some chili would be a yummy Saturday dinner tonight. Let me check the pantry to see what ingredients I already have for the chili and make a list of what I might need. Here's a Tip ->Always check the pantry and refrigerator before heading out to the grocery store to see exactly what you need. Don't forget the coupons!
It's time to make moves in my day and grab my sunglasses. I will need them on this Delightful Saturday!
OK this tip may be a bit out there, but I'm offering it up anyway because it has helped me in a pinch:
Keep several sewing needles threaded with clothing colors like white, black, blue & brown. In case you need to make a quick mend to a button, hem, etc. especially in morning as you prepare for work, the sewing needle will be ready to go. Have you tried to thread a needle in a hurry, it's hard and who needs that frustration.
It's a new month today, the 1st of November. Do a review of your spending from last month to see how well you budgeted. Yes, you are on a budget! The store retailers are already holding some Black Friday sales and we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. Stay on track and keep building your savings as much as possible. Remember, the days of living paycheck to paycheck are over. At least they should be!