7 Video Tips to Save Money Now for Christmas

7 Tips to Save Money Now for ChristmasThe holidays are coming up quickly, and I want to share with you tips to save money for Christmas because the last thing we want is to have credit card bills that need paid off in January because that is a financial stress. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people have credit card bills from shopping during the holidays, so watch the video below to get 7 tips to save money for Christmas that have helped our family so we aren’t paying off Christmas items after the holidays. If you start now, you can save money to help pay for Christmas.

 

 

 

If you can’t see the YouTube video, head over to my channel here, and be sure to subscribe. And for those of you who like to read the post instead of watch the video, here are the 7 tips to save money now for Christmas.

1. Set a budget
Determine how much money you are going to spend on Christmas, and set a budget. To figure out how much you’ll spend, look back and calculate how much you spent last Christmas. That should give you an idea of what you think you’ll spend this year. It might also help you realize that you spent more than you planned and that you need to cut back on some Christmas items or presents this year. But when setting a budget, be sure not to set it too tight because it’s nice to have a little wiggle room for last minute purchases. And don’t forget to include in your budget the extras such stocking stuffers, Christmas cards, and holiday home decorations.

2. Begin Saving Now
After you’ve determined how much you think you’ll need, then break it down into how much you need to set aside each month to reach that goal. If it seems like there is no way you can set aside that much money each month, especially since the holidays are in a few months, then at least set aside something. You’ll have some money saved that will help out toward some of the holiday purchases for this year. You may also want to re-evaluate the amount and price of gifts you are purchasing for others. And look to see if there are areas in your holiday shopping that you could cut back on so you have enough money for the most important purchases.

Last year, I made it a point to set aside $50 every month for the entire year and place it into a “Christmas” envelope. There were some months that were tight and we had extra bills to pay, so I wasn’t able to put aside money each month, but by the end of the year, we were able to save $500 for our Christmas fund. It was nice to be able to pay for our Christmas items as we purchased them. And what’s even better is that with the money we didn’t spend, we put it toward our goals of paying down our mortgage and increasing our savings.

I realize this year you might not be able to save as much as you want, but save what you can now, then starting January try out the Christmas envelope budgeting technique so you can get a head start on next year’s Christmas.

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Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken TacosI’m a fan of simple, easy crock pot meals that taste good and that my family will love to eat. And these Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Tacos are one of those delicious meals that my family loves. It only took me 5 minutes to put the ingredients in the crock pot for dinner. This is a great meal to do for the family on a day that is busy for you and your family.

Here is how to make the Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos:

Chicken Tacos

Ranch Chicken Tacos on Tortilla

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Tips on Using Walmart Grocery Pickup + $10 Off Your First Order

Walmart Grocery Pickup Tips

Walmart Grocery Pickup is a way for you to order groceries online from Walmart and to schedule a time to pick them up curbside without ever having to leave your car. Walmart does the shopping and loads your car for free.

If you haven’t used the Walmart Grocery Pickup yet, head over here to get $10 off your first online purchase at Walmart Grocery.

I used the Walmart Grocery Pickup and am sharing with you a video of how it works and some tips when using the pickup service. Watch the video below or head over to my YouTube channel to see it. And please comment below with your tips when using a grocery pickup service.

Tips on Using Walmart Grocery Pickup

 

 

 

And here are other videos you might like to watch:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Delicious Zucchini Brownies

zucchini brownies

I had extra zucchini from my garden so I made these delicious Zucchini Brownies this week, and my family couldn’t stop eating them. They were so good! My mother-in-law also happen to stop by and we gave her one. She loved it so much that she took a brownie home with her. So these Zucchini Brownies and really yummy! If you have zucchini from the garden you need to use, then be sure to make this recipe for your family. They’ll love it!

 

zucchini brownies in a pan

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6 Tips How to Meal Plan

6 Tips How to Meal Plan

As we move into routines again now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to get back to meal planning, especially with how busy life can be. By planning meals it makes it easier to know “What’s for Dinner?” every night.  I’m sharing a video today of some simple things I do in advance to make meal time run smoothly and not be stressful. Check out the video below with 6 tips to make meal planning successful and make it easier on you every night.

 

 

 

If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube channel here to watch it, and be sure to subscribe while you are there.

 

And for those of you who would rather read the 6 tips how to meal plan, here they are below.

6 tips how to meal plan

1. Create a Menu
Creating weekly meal plans can be simple, and most of us have at least 10 favorite meals that we cook every few weeks. I repeat our favorite meals regularly, but I also try to add in a new recipe or two each week or bring back a recipe that I haven’t made in a while. When I create a menu, I take about 15 minutes and plan two weeks of meals at a time, write down on a paper what meals I want to cook and hang it on the side of my refrigerator. This system works for me.

If you want to take it a step further, you can specify which day you want to make each meal. Some people like Meal Planners such as these Dry Erase Meal Planners here to help them stay organized with their meal planning. Because my days vary with how busy I am or what I feel like cooking or eating that day, I don’t assign days to my meals. I like to know my meals are planned but I like flexibility with which days I cook those meals.

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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Bottled I love the smell of a fresh apple pie cooking in the oven when the weather is turning cooler outside. And I especially love making this homemade Apple Pie Filling because once it’s completed it’s so easy to put an apple pie in the oven within minutes.

 

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When making this recipe, I used to peel, core and cut all of my apples using a knife, but I finally invested in a Johnny Apple Peeler. I wish I would have purchased it years ago because it would have saved me so much time! It peels, cores and slices the apples and really makes the process of adding the apples to the jars so much faster. And my little ones love helping me use the apple peeler. It’s a good product you’ll want to look into having if you plan to make homemade apple pie every year.

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8 Ways to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day & What You Should Know

Amazon Prime Day Boxes Delivery

Amazon Prime Day starts July 16, 2018 at 3 p.m. EST and will continue through July 17, 2018 at midnight EST. Amazon Prime Day is like Christmas in July with all of the amazing deals, and some of the deals are better than Black Friday!

Here is what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day and how to prepare for it:

1 – Amazon Prime

If you are not an Amazon Prime member already you should definitely sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime right now so you can take advantage of all of the upcoming Amazon Prime Day deals! Right now is the perfect time to try it out and enjoy the benefits.

 

2 – Amazon App

Download the Amazon App and you’ll get a FREE $10 credit to Amazon for any $20 in-app purchase when you download and sign in to the Amazon App for the first time. This is for both new and existing Amazon Prime members.

 

3 – Amazon Fresh

If you are an Amazon Prime member get $30 off your first order with Amazon Fresh when you use the code 30FRESH at checkout. This isn’t available in all areas yet, so head over here to see if Amazon Fresh is available in your area by using your address.

 

4 – Audible Audiobooks

Amazon Prime members can sign up for an Audible trial for just $4.95 a month for 3 months. And if you’re not already a member, test out a 30-day FREE trial here and enjoy two free audiobooks.

 

5 – Amazon Music

Get four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for only $0.99 (regularly $7.99 per month for Prime and $9.99 for non-Prime) to get unlimited access to thousands of songs. Head over here to start a 30-day FREE trial of Amazon Music.

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The Best Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

the best soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies recipe

For the past month, my daughter has been asking me to make Snickerdoodle Cookies, so I decided to try making them. These Snickerdoodle Cookies that I made are so good! We loved them so much that I made them three times within two weeks. Mostly we just ate them, but we did give some away to neighbors.

 

snickerdoodle cookie balls with cinnamon sugar

Here is the process how to make Snickerdoodle Cookies. Prepare the dough by using the recipe below. Once the Snickerdoodle cookie dough is formed, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Then roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on a cookie sheet that has been prepared with parchment paper.

 

 

snickerdoodle cookiesBake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I always take my cookies out at 8 minutes because I like them really soft and chewy.

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8 Tips How to Plan Family Vacations on a Budget

How to plan family vacations on a budgetSummer is approaching and most of us are looking forward to planning and going on family vacations. And while summer is a good time to travel since the kids are out of school, it can also be an expensive time to travel with prices going up during this time. Even though prices may be higher, an enjoyable vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. You can plan fun and inexpensive family vacations on a budget. Some of our children’s most fun vacations are the simple ones like camping, swimming, hiking or going to the beach.

Here are 8 tips for planning and budgeting for family vacations:

 

1.  Research Vacation Places & Costs

Decide on your top 5-10 places you want to vacation then begin to research how much it will cost to visit to each place. Do research online and make phone calls to ask questions. Then add up all of the expenses and figure out how much money an entire trip will cost to each of your vacation spots. The expenses should include travel, housing, food, rental cars, gas, souvenirs and entertainment. You will then need to decide how much you can realistically afford to spend on a vacation and how much you are willing to spend on a vacation.

You can do fun vacations, even if it’s on a small budget. If you can’t afford a vacation this year, that’s okay. A vacation isn’t a need, it’s a want. You can still have a great summer without going into more debt. And you can start setting aside money for an upcoming vacation you want to take.

A few years ago our family decided that we really wanted to go to Disneyland. We researched how much it would cost, and then we began to plan and save for it. It took us about two years to save for it, and we were finally able to go. It turned out to be so much fun! Our kids still talk about it today. You can head over here to read all about our experience, how much money we spent, and how we were able to vacation at Disneyland on a Budget.

 

2. Start Saving

I highly recommend that you don’t go on a vacation until you’ve saved up money for it. Once you’ve determined which vacation spot you want to go to, and you researched how much money it will cost, figure out how much money you need to save each month to have the necessary funds for your trip. For instance, if your trip will cost $2,000 and you can afford to set aside $100 a month, then it will take 20 months until you’ve saved enough money. Sometimes it takes time to save up enough money, but it’s worth it to not go in debt and have that stress of paying off your vacation on top of all your other expenses.

how to budget for a family vacation

For our family when we decided that we wanted to take a family vacation to Disneyland, we made it a family goal to save together. We helped our kids create Disneyland savings jars (above photo), and they did extra chores around the house to save money for Disneyland. They also had a lemonade stand and sold baked goods. The money earned went into their Disneyland savings jars. They were so excited to save that they would regularly ask us how they could earn money to go to Disneyland. Be sure to check out these 13 Tips to Help Children Save Money.

As a family, we also looked for additional ways to save money such as not eating out one week and putting that money towards the vacation or not buying clothes at the store that we didn’t need. And we looked around our house and sold items that we didn’t need and weren’t using anymore. Make sure to get the whole family involved in saving for the vacation. And as you save money, place your money in a special trip bank account or envelope.

As you get closer to your savings goal and prior to booking your vacation, search online for deals and call around to see if there are any special rates. This can save you money and may change how much money you need to actually save up for the vacation.

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DIY Homemade Hair Detangler

DIY 2 ingredient homemade hair detanglerAs a mother of two girls, I’m constantly trying to brush tangles out of my girls’ hair every day. And many times they’ll say “ouch that hurts” as I’m brushing their hair. I want to cut my oldest daughter’s hair so it’s closer to her shoulders and easier to brush, but she said that she wants to grow out her hair so she can donate it to Locks of Love. I can’t argue with that, so we just deal with the tangly hair each day.

Recently when I went to a salon to get my hair cut, my stylist and I were discussing tangly hair. She told me about a hair detangling brush that works really well. I want to try this hair detangling brush here. However, I decided to first do some research online about how to make a homemade hair detangler, and I found that I only needed two ingredients. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make! I can’t believe that I didn’t do it sooner. And I’m saving money by not going out and buying hair detangler at the store. The complete directions to the DIY Homemade Hair Detangler is below:

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