How Did The Holidays Get So BIG Christmas is so very LARGE NOW!


bp103341_1107_giftwrap_xlIt all started with a few simple gifts. Families had a live tree maybe and a few simple gifts. Now if you don’t provide the moon it seems the children are very upset.

I am personally going back to extremely simple.

This year.

My grandson is 3 he is getting a puzzle and a really big box . (The really big box was his entire christmas wish list/ which I just love) I love this so much in fact he may get one gift every year packed in a really big box!

Everyone else is getting a token gift and a small gift card. The token gift cost $20 or under in many cases just $2.00 and is something that they really wanted. The gift cards are almost all to Amazon , Target , or Walmart (Walmart and Target will allow you to put as little as you wish on a gift card) ( I have a lot of $5.00 gift cards)

That’s it I put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving and hung the stockings (That is it for decor) Last week I did add bows to the front door that I made by hand.


I am more of what Christmas is supposed to be about  instead of giving gifts.

So this year I am done before I ever get started!


In addition I have one on the very naughty list this year so we will see there might be a lump of coal given out as well.

The gift might go to someone in true need!


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Cutting Cost At The Holidays


christmas_treeThis year we moved half way across the country. I had just downsized into a tiny home and then health issues, I mean major health issues hit, so we moved in with my son and daughter in law. I had just given away a ton of my holiday decor and now I have grandchildren to decorate for. My son and daughter in law are just starting out so they had nothing but a tiny really tiny like 12 inch tree. So we scan craigslist and picked up a few items, went  hunting pine cones and sprayed them gold. Stopped at Goodwill after we checked out ideas on pinterest  in addition we stopped at Target with tons of coupons and used the holiday sale (Lots of Ribbon!) (We also used fresh trimmings from the yard) We now have the house decorated!

Food we have been cherry picking the stores for months we stock up on things when they are at rock bottom prices and with so many mouths to feed it has been a blessing today I bought ground beef 93% at $3.99 lb we also have 5 turkeys in the freezers we got 4 of them free with purchases and one 24lb bird that we paid $5.00 for so we will use those as the year 2015 goes on.

I am looking for an exceptional price on Potatoes today I got Ore Ida frozen fries for $1.97 per bag at Harris Teeter that is a great deal so we did as many as we could using all of our VIC cards.

We have stopped eating snacks for the most part. We only eat saltines and jam or fresh fruit right now we are working off of Apples from the Orchard we went to for Halloween we bought two bushels of apples that day for $20.00 we only have about 10 left but after they are gone I will start with the canned pineapple we got free and find a deal on Oranges soon.

I bought eggs last week for .97 a dozen We bought 26 dozen at this price so they will last us awhile.

We eat Eggs or Oatmeal for breakfast, Lunches are leftovers and Dinner I try to find Veggies at low cost in season we eat lots of soups and we watch the lowest stock up prices on meats for dinners.

We drink water and the kids do milk which I try to watch for the very best sales on the Milk.



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Getting Organized For Thanksgiving


download (5)If  you have not started to Thaw your bird think Fresh for a Turkey.

Do a trial run this evening if you are going to travel see what pots or pans you need to transport your meal (be very careful with transport of glass)

If you are hosting try pre-making some items, pre-set the table and tidy up the home.

Keep things simple and your celebration should get off without a hitch.

 Prepare Reheatable Side Dishes, Prep Ingredients, Bake Pies Come up with a cooking schedule for the day of Thanksgiving.
Start to make sides that will reheat well, like casseroles or creamed onions. Prep garnishes, toppings, salad greens and stuffing ingredients. Cook soups and let cool before storing in the refrigerator if you didn’t freeze any options in advance. If your stuffing recipe calls for stale bread, cut the bread now and set the cubes on a baking sheet to dry out. You can go ahead and make your pies, especially  Pecan Pie that needs to cool overnight for a natural do-ahead dessert.

Prep the family with clothing for the holidays.

Does the car have enough gasoline?

Prepare to use leftovers as well.


Here is a schedule For Turkey day if you are hosting:

Stuff turkey and put in oven at appropriate time (or if you have a roaster oven you can bake the turkey in there leaving your oven for heating up side dishes and baking dinner rolls)


Put the giblets in water with a little salt and let those simmer. You can use the broth for gravy and the cooked and chopped giblets can also be added to the gravy


Pull out dinner rolls and let them defrost and rise


Set the table if you did not do this yesterday


Put the mashed potatoes in the crockpot


If you have a second crockpot you can put the stuffing in there to warm (if you are not stuffing your turkey.  I always stuff the turkey and have leftover stuffing in a second crockpot)


When the turkey has finished cooking, pull it out


Put the side dishes in the oven to bake (if you did not bake the turkey in a roaster oven)


Bake dinner rolls


While the side dishes are heating up and rolls are baking, make gravy


Take a deep breath


Light candles








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The Holidays Are Some Tough Times To Stay On Budget


Turkeys are cheap I generally try to get 6 birds at rock bottom prices.

I use these through out the year instead of buying lunch meat.

We eat real food and this time of year that means

Sweet Potato

Red Potato






2 weeks ago our store had 93% ground beef on sale for 3.49 per pound we bought enough for 26 weeks worth of ground beef.

We always buy rock bottom price and we always buy in very large quantities.

This allows for variety and for the most dollar for our food budget.

Food is not expensive if you eat real food. Eat in season, watch for the sales and budget accordingly

Harris Teeter has great prices this week on beans and dawn dish soap

Ortega Refried Beans – Sale – $1.00
Coupon – $1.00 off when you purchase two – Click here to print!
Total – $.50 each when you purchase two

Dawn Dish Liquid (9 oz.) – Sale – $1.00
Coupon – $.25 off X 2 (doubled) = $.50 off - Click here to print!
Total – $.50

The Bush Beans are also only .68 per can after you coupon from your Sunday paper.

Ace Hardware has 50% off any one item under 30 dollars on Black Friday.

Watch for sales on what you need (What you truly need) Not just what is on sale.

Note ON SALE simply means available for purchase.


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What does your everyday cost you?


From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, until the time you turn in at night equals what you everyday cost you.

I get out of bed and I go to the bathroom- do you turn on the light?

Do you use water?

Do you hop on a treadmill ?

Do you make a cup of coffee ? What does the coffee cost, the electric , the filter, the water?

Do you put on clothing to go to an office? How much did it cost you to clean those clothes, maintain the wardrobe? Do you stay home and how much does it cost you to keep clothing for your everyday life?

What do you eat for meals all weekdays? What does your rent cost per day for an apartment, for a home? What does it cost to wash the dishses? If you office from home what does it cost to keep you in a computer that is up to date? A Smart phone that keeps you up to date?

Have you ever gone over all of your bills and figured how much you spend on average each day for health insurance? For renters insurance? If you take two weeks of vacation a year at a total cost of $3,000 total dollars for the vacation how much do you have to save each day of the year for that vacation ?

Have you ever looked at what your everyday cost you ? Do you have other people you are responsible for?

How  much does your everyday cost? What items on your list are increasing in price?



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Shopping with only cash!


I spend $100 per week for grocery and household supplies. I start in Jan and if I have cash leftover I roll it into the following week. Several times per year I add $100 for shopping for holiday gifts one of these weeks is right after Valentine this week I have an extra $100

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I have started going to the store one time only per week. I buy only real foods. Last week I bought Boneless Chicken Breast $1.78 lbs Blackberries $1.29 for 8 ounces and bananas .29 lb. I went home cooked the chicken breast made some banana bread and put the food in a cooler in

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Snack Items And Junk Food


I purchase junk food items twice a year and that is all!

I do a very strategic shop and I use coupons galore I only spend $20.00 and I am able to get at least 40 or more snack items and drinks for that $20.00

Little Debbie makes great snack items for cheap


Continue reading Snack Items And Junk Food