Inexpensive Dishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift Idea

Dishwashing Liquid Christmas Gift Idea Our family enjoys giving gifts to friends and neighbors each year, and we try to do gifts that are thoughtful. However, the cost of giving gifts can add up quickly. It’s so easy to overspend during the holiday season because you want to give presents to so many people, but doing so can drain the holiday budget. Each year we do a gift for friends and co-workers that is nice but isn’t too expensive. Here is an inexpensive Christmas gift idea:

Dishwashing Liquid Holiday Inexpensive Christmas Gift Idea

Last year, we put together these Dishwashing Liquid Soap Christmas Gifts. We purchased the dishwashing liquid from the dollar store. We’ve also seen them for less than $1 at Walmart and WinCo. Really, any brand of dishwashing soap will work. Then we printed the saying, “We ‘Wash’ You a Merry Christmas!” on red paper and used ribbon to tie it to the dishwashing soap. If you do purchase the Joy Dishwashing Liquid Soap, you could use the saying, “May JOY be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through.” This is a simple gift idea and easy to put together, especially if you need a last minute gift for someone.

What is an inexpensive Christmas gift idea you’ve done for family or friends?

 

You might also like these other frugal Christmas gift ideas:

25 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar ScrubPeppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

 

15 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

 

Tips How to Give Holiday Gifts without Spending Too Much

6 Tips How to Give Holiday Gifts Without Spending Too Much

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

DIY Hand Warmers

DIY Hand Warmers with uncooked rice

I made these DIY Hand Warmers as Christmas gifts for family members, and I was told by both my sisters-in-law that the microwave ran non-stop for days because the kids kept heating up the hand warmers. They enjoyed them so much! My children also love these DIY hand warmers. We use them for multiple purposes at our house. We place them in coat pockets to keep hands warm when heading to school or playing outside when it’s cold. My children use the hand warmers like bean bags and throw them back and forth in the air. And when my children’s arms or legs hurt from growing pains, we warm up the hand warmers to place on their aches before bedtime. These DIY Hand Warmers are constantly being used!

If you want an inexpensive yet thoughtful holiday gift to give to friends or family this year, then make these DIY Hand Warmers for them. They are great for both children and adults. The hand warmers are easy to make, and a set of them can be completed in less than 20 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

 

do it yourself hand warmersFirst, pin two pieces of fabric together, wrong side out.

 

diy hand warmers(I love this sewing machine my husband purchased for me.)

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

6 Tips How to Give Holiday Gifts Without Spending Too Much

Tips How to Give Holiday Gifts Without Spending Too Much

Trying to find the perfect Christmas presents for your loved ones for the holidays, without spending too much money or going into debt to pay for all of the holiday items, can be difficult. You want to give gifts that are nice and thoughtful, without looking like you are skimping on gifts, and this makes it easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays. But doing so can easily start to add up financially and take a toll on your budget. You don’t want to start the new year paying off credit card debt from Christmas.

So how do you give during the holidays without spending too much? Here are six tips to help you out:

 

1.  Set Limits and Set a Budget

Before you even begin shopping, start by deciding how much money total you will spend on Christmas gifts for the holiday season. It’s important to set limits on your holiday spending and set a budget of what you can afford. When spending money on your children’s Christmas gifts, set a specific dollar amount for each child or decide that you’ll limit the number of gifts per child.

Make sure to set a budget that is realistic. Don’t just come up with some random number. Look at what you spent last year on the holidays, think through the numbers and determine how much money you will need while trying to find a balance of what you can afford. You also don’t want to make the budget so tight that you get frustrated because there isn’t money for last-minute or unexpected holiday purchases. So give yourself a little wiggle room if your budget allows it.

It’s great to give nice Christmas presents, but if you find a gift that isn’t in your budget, then look for something else or go in on the gift together with another family member or friend. There have been many times when I wanted a specific gift for my mother, but it wasn’t necessarily in the budget. Rather than just purchasing it and going over my budget I asked my siblings to go in on the gift too. We were able to do something nice for my mom because we collaborated together, and we were able to stay within our budget.

Know your limits and don’t just spend money and put everything on the credit card, because come January it will be stressful coming up with the money to pay off the credit card.

 

2. Make a List & Don’t Feel You Have to Give Gifts to Everyone

Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for, but limit the amount of people you give to. Don’t feel that you have to give gifts to everyone.

When making a list, prioritize and first write down the names of those who are the most important people on your list. Then write down those who you would like to give something to if you have enough money left over in your budget. Next to each person’s name write down the dollar amount you can spend on them by dividing up your predetermined budget to all the people on your list. Once you have the dollar amount next to each name, then you can decide what to purchase for them. If you find a gift is on sale and it doesn’t cost as much as the dollar amount you were planning to spend on that specific person, then you can take that extra money and use it toward someone else.

With family, it can be hard not to get something for every sibling and their children, but financially that can be a strain on the budget. In my family and my husband’s family together we have 6 siblings, their 6 spouses and 26 nieces and nephews. Buying something for each of them would be a huge expense. What we do instead is for my side of the family, we each are given a name of one sibling and their family that we purchase a gift for, and we rotate it every year so we have an opportunity to give a gift to a different sibling each year. For my husband’s side of the family, we’ve done white elephant gifts or we get together and do fun inexpensive projects and activities with the kids. The point is that we simplify and communicate that we are keeping it simple and that we don’t expect expensive gifts from each other.

If you have groups of friends or co-workers, then think about giving homemade gifts, goodies or a holiday card to them. You could also suggest friends and co-workers do a Secret Santa, white elephant gift exchange or Yankee swap. It will help on the Christmas budget so you are only purchasing a gift for one person in the group rather than the entire group.

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub

If you are looking for a gift to give friends or neighbors this holiday season, this Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub is an easy and simple gift idea. It is a thoughtful and nice gift, and it is also less expensive than if you purchased a sugar scrub from the store. I also love that the peppermint and vanilla fragrance complement each other and smell good together.

The Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub is only 4 ingredients. Before I made it, I went through my pantry and found that I already had all of the ingredients to make the sugar scrub. And since I do canning every fall, I even had small 8-oz jars, lids and bands downstairs in my basement. It made it nice that I already had everything needed to make a handful of sugar scrubs that I could give to neighbors.

Here is how to make homemade Peppermint Vanilla Sugar Scrub:

homemade peppermint vanilla sugar scrub

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

8 Ways to Save Money Shopping Online

ways to save money shopping onlineOnline shopping makes life easier because you don’t need to leave your house to have what you want delivered to your front porch. I really like to save money shopping online, and I especially love shopping online during the holiday season because I don’t have to leave my house, I can shop in my pajamas and I can avoid the crowds, particularly during Black Friday. If you want to know tips how to shop Black Friday deals, head over here. I almost always find just as good of deals if not better deals shopping online rather than going to the store.

Check out these 8 ways to save money shopping online that will save you money.

1. Use Cashback Shopping Sites

Use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Ebates for all your online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website. A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

I use both TopCashback and Ebates to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase. Here is more information about them:

TopCashback has partnered with more than 4,100 online stores. When you sign up for TopCashback, you’ll receive a $5 sign up bonus which can be redeemed once you reach the $5 minimum payable cash back threshold for purchasing an item through its site. After this first payout there is no minimum pay-out threshold. You can choose to be paid through gift cards, ACH, PayPal, Amazon.com Gift Card and American Express Rewards Card.

Ebates is also a great cash back site with more than 2,000 stores. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Ebates. Every quarter Ebates mails you a check or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them. Sign up with Ebates and receive a $10 sign up bonus.

 

2. Use Rewards Sites

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

What’s For Dinner Video: A Week of Meals Ideas

A week of meal ideas what's for dinner

This week I am sharing a video with you of what meals I cooked for my family. I know how busy we are as moms and we don’t have a lot of time in our day to cook meals for our family. I’m sharing simple dinner ideas that don’t take a lot of time to make. If you can plan your meals ahead, even on busy days, then you’ll save your family money because you will be less likely to pick up dinner at a fast food restaurant, and you’ll end up running to the store less often. Check out the What’s for Dinner Video: A Week of Meal Ideas below.

 

 

If you can’t see my video, head over to my YouTube channel here.

 

And below are links to the recipes I made for my family in the video:

Day 1: Crock Pot Lasagna

Day 2: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with 4-Ingredient Homemade Noodles

Day 3: Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Day 4: Creamy Tomato Soup

Day 5: Chinese Tacos

Day 6: Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas

Day 7: Leftovers

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Why It’s Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

Why It's Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

If you are wondering, “What is are sinking funds?” and “Why do I need to include it in my budget?” then here is some beneficial information that will help you to become more financially prepared for upcoming expenses.

What are Sinking Funds?

A sinking fund is a fund where you set aside money for expenses that are predictable. You know the expense is coming up and instead of waiting until the expense is due and there isn’t room in your budget to pay for it, you plan ahead for the expense by creating a sinking fund within your budget and set that money aside until you need to pay for that expense.

Many times when people start budgeting, there may be some expenses that they don’t anticipate such as an item in the home breaking that needs to be replaced or the car needing repaired. By creating a sinking fund, you’ll be able to spread out large expenses, or even smaller expenses, over time.  For many people this can be difficult to do because it requires patience and self control to plan ahead and to not spend money on other purchases immediately because they want those items right now.

Here is a list of expenses that you may want to create a sinking fund for and to consider including in your budget:

  • home repairs
  • new car or car repairs
  • family vacations
  • kids sports and activities
  • insurance
  • medical expenses
  • Christmas
  • subscriptions and dues
  • birthdays and gifts

 

How to Get Started on Sinking Funds

To get started on sinking funds, determine what expenses are coming up and which sinking funds you need. Calculate the total amount of money you will need in one sinking fund and what date you will need it. Then break it down into how much you need to save each month before the expense comes due. Begin saving that amount of money each month for the allotted time frame. For instance, if you know you want to save $1,000 to spend on Christmas and you begin saving in June, which leaves you about 6 months to save, then you need to put aside $166 each month (or $42 each week) to reach that goal before Christmas comes.

Another example is having a sinking fund for upcoming home repairs such as a water heater, A/C unit or appliances that may break down. For instance, a water heater usually lasts an average of 10-15 years. If you know your water heater is about that old and that it will cost $2,000 to repair it, then start a home repair sinking fund and set aside $50 to $100 each month so you have money to pay for a new water heater or other items around the house that begin to break and need replaced. Right now, our house is 12 years old and we haven’t had to replace our water heater yet, so this is a sinking fund we have begun to save for. We know our water heater will eventually break. We don’t know exactly when, but when it does, we will have saved enough money to pay for it because we have started saving for it now.

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget Video

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget VideoRecently, there has also been thousands of people affected by natural disasters. Because of this and since September is national preparedness month, I want to share with you a video on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget. In this video I share with you items I’ve added to our family’s 72-hour kits and tips on how to do it on a budget.  You never know when there might be an emergency and you need to leave your house quickly. And having a 72-hour kit that can be quickly picked up as you walk out the door could be a life saver.

This video is to encourage people to get their 72-hour kits ready by starting out simple. Start off by gathering the basics, which include food, water, light, warmth and personal hygiene, then add to it little by little every year. Compiling a 72-hour kit doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. When I first started our 72-hours kits, I found many of the items around the house and placed them in a backpack to create 72-hour kits for each member of our family. Then I slowly added to it, as well as regularly rotated through items each year. Check out the video below on How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget:

 

 

What tips do you have to build a 72-hour kit on a budget?

If you can’t see the video above, head over to my YouTube Channel here. And please subscribe to my channel while you are over there.

 

How to Compile a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

You can also watch my ABC4 News segment here where I share tips on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget.

 

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

And also head over to my post here where I list all of the items I mention in the video.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

13 Tips to Teach Children to Save Money

Teach Children to Save Money

When I was young, I learned from my parents to save money and be frugal. I watched as my parents would save for an item, then purchase it when they had the money. Even though they may have wanted an item right then, they usually they did without, made due with what they had or purchased an item at a second hand store because it was less expensive. They taught me and my siblings to save most of the money we earned and put it into a savings account. And they said that if we saved money, it would help us to be able to pay for some of our college education. Because of their encouragement, I almost paid for my entire college education without taking out a student loan. You can read more of my story, My Financial Life Journey and the Lessons I Learned by clicking here.

Now that I’m a parent, I want to teach my kids how to budget, save money and stay out of debt. I’ve seen many times where a child grows up and moves out of the house only to start buying everything he or she wants with a credit card. They see what their parents have, and they want all of that now. Some of them don’t realize that it takes years to acquire the items that are in a home. Teaching children to save money isn’t easy. They usually want to spend money they receive immediately. Below are ideas to teach young children and teens how to save money.

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.

Video: One Tip to Save Money on Meat

One way I save money on meat is to purchase it in bulk when it’s on sale. Recently, I picked up a purchase of Zaycon chicken from a location near me. Zaycon sells food products by the case and delivers the meat to your area fresh (not frozen) direct from the processing farm in a matter of days, not weeks like most supermarkets and warehouse clubs. I recorded a video to show the process of how Zaycon works and how easy it is to use. Check out the video below.

 

If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube Channel here to watch the video. I’m sorry about the background noise in the first part of the video. I had my air conditioner on and forgot to turn it down. 🙁

 

Here is how Zaycon works:

  • First, head over to Zaycon’s site, register, and select the meat you want to purchase.
  • Then choose the location nearest you where the Zaycon Fresh refrigerated truck will be delivering. Zaycon delivers to more than 1,200 locations across the U.S.
  • Purchase the meat online. Look for a promo code to get an even better deal on the meat. The meat comes in a 40 lb. box. Ordering in bulk is a great way to save money on meat. If you feel 40 lbs. of meat is too much for your family, then go in on this deal with a family or friend, and split up the meat between both of you.
  • Drive to the Zaycon location you chose on the specific date and time listed, which is about 2-3 months out, to pick up your meat.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy here.