It is not yet too late to make your Dada, Papa or Hero happy this coming Father’s Day. Daddy will surely treasure these innovative gift ideas from Country Living. Start being creative. 25 Last-Minute Father’s Day DIY Gift… Read More >
It’s just a couple of days before Mother’s Day, and in the hectic whirl of kids-work-chores, you forgot to get a gift! No time to shop around or do some DIY crafts? No worries! Check out this list… Read More >
It’s 10PM on Christmas Eve and halfway through gift wrapping, you run out of wrapping paper. Sound the alarm bells! What do you do? People get pretty creative when they’re racing against the clock, and not everyone has… Read More >
The holidays are a time of giving, being with family, and having fun. A favorite holiday tradition in my family is to buy cheap items from the clearance aisles or dollar stores. We would then wrap them up… Read More >
The holidays are coming, and with them, the hottest sale of the year, Black Friday, which falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. As online shopping has become a more feasible option, e-retailers have joined in with their own… Read More >
Gift cards are quite popular during the holidays, weddings, graduations or birthdays. They are a convenient way to show you care, allow the receiver freedom of choice, and are more memorable than a wad of plain cash. Instead of buying gift cards from… Read More >
Dreamcatchers are a great looking decoration for your home. Its structure and appearance reminds everyone of Native American cultures. Centuries ago, dreamcatchers were used, literally, to catch the dreams of sleeping children. It filters the dreams and allow only good ones… Read More >
For those who are on a tight budget or trying to save every extra dollar they can, a gift-giving occasion can almost be painful. Sure, you want to give your loved one a fantastic gift that they will… Read More >
Still need more gifts? Feeling low on funds? No worries! The Budget Diet Girl is your Christmas gift-giving angel with 6 festive, frugal and almost free Christmas gift ideas. Even better…no shopping required! Write a Poem – If… Read More >
Remember the joy of building a fort in your living room? Maybe you used a card table and sheets, or maybe you created a fort with a giant box and markers. Those forts could be castles high in… Read More >
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Don’t get me wrong, a bottle of wine is a great hostess gift, but sometimes we want to give something more unique. The Budget Diet girl has come up with some unique and budget friendly hostess gifts for every type of party. Why don’t you give one a try this holiday season!
Hostess Gifts – Think breakfast!
The party was wonderful, your hosts had a blast, but a late night of cleaning made the morning come way too fast! Wouldn’t it be nice to leave them a breakfast hostess gift!
- Muffins or Homemade Pumpkin Bread – try my recipe for Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
- Fresh Bagels and Gourmet Coffee
- French Bread with Homemade Strawberry Jam
- Homemade Granola – try my frugalicious and fast Granola Recipe!
Hostess Gifts – No Cooking Required!
Look no further than your local T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Ross or Homegoods for inexpensive hostess gift ideas! The rosemary plant will have to be purchased from a garden center.
- Rosemary Plant – smells great, looks great and it’s useful!
- Cocktail Napkins – seasonal or silly!
- Candles – choose a seasonal fragrance like cinnamon, sugar cookie or pine!
- Christmas Ornaments
- Gourmet Foods – pasta with sauce or soup mixes will make dinner the next day nice and easy!
Hostess Gifts Ideal for a Family Party
A tasty gift is sure to please the entire family or have fun putting together a CD of your family’s favorite Christmas songs!
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix
- 1 cup non-fat powdered milk
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
- 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix Directions:
- Mix together all ingredients, put in a cellophane bag or glass jar and tie with a festive ribbon.
- Add a gift tag that says: To make 1 cup of peppermint hot chocolate – add 1 cup boiling water to 1/3 cup of peppermint hot chocolate mix.
- Orange Spice Tea Mix
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant iced tea powder
- 2 cups Tang
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Orange Spice Tea Mix Directions:
- Mix together all ingredients, put in a cellophane bag or glass jar and tie with a festive ribbon.
- Add a gift tag that says: To make 1 cup of orange spice tea – add 1 cup of boiling water to 2 teaspoons of orange spice tea mix.
- Make a CD of your family’s favorite Christmas music!
Hostess Gifts for an Girly Gathering
Your homemade hostess gift will help your girlfriend relax after the party!
- Homemade Sugar Scrub or Bath Salts – Make your own for a fraction of the cost! Try these simple diy spa recipes.
This holiday season, think outside the wine bottle! Please leave a comment to share your favorite festive and frugal hostess gifts!
Be festive, be frugal!
The countdown to Christmas is on!
Let the shopping begin!
This year, you will save money on Christmas shopping when you use my 6 savvy shopping secrets!
You’ll learn how to buy a dress at J.C. Penny that is normally $60 for only $27.20, and that’s not just because it’s on sale! Read on and learn the secrets of a savvy shopper!
Plan Ahead, Make Lists
- Planning ahead gives you TIME, and time is required to shop for bargains!
- I love lists because they are one of the best tools for planning ahead and saving money.
- Lists will keep you organized – don’t you hate spending a day of shopping, coming home & realizing you forgot something? Lists will prevent that!
- Lists will help you feel in control especially when you check them off!
- Important lists: gift list, Christmas card list and meal/party planning lists.
- Be prepared, don’t shop without a list!
Preview the Black Friday 2011 Ads
- You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving Day to look at the Black Friday ads…catch a sneak peek by visiting TheBlackFriday.com. Some ads are already posted!
- Read the fine print! If it says quantities are limited…don’t get your heart set on that deal unless you plan to be one of the first in line.
- Prioritize! You can’t be at all the stores at once, so go for the big ticket items first to maximize your savings OR get your husband to turn off the football game and run few errands!
- Use the internet to compare prices before you hit the stores. Sites like PriceGrabber.com allow you to search by product, compare prices and read reviews.
- Don’t forget your list! It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy & make impulse purchases.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards
- Do you know that you can buy discounted gift cards to hundreds of stores & restaurants? Even better, nobody will know that you didn’t pay full price!
- Here’s how – go to:
Click on “buy a gift card”, browse the available stores and restaurants and buy cards for any stores you’ll be shopping during the Christmas season.
- Right now you can get a JC Penny gift card for 15% off! I suggest using it when JC Penny is having a big sale and combine it with a coupon from their newspaper ad. Yes, this is how you can buy that $60 dress for only $27.20.
- Discounted gift card inventory changes daily, so check regularly!
- If a gift card you want is sold out, you can set up an alert, and you’ll receive an email when that gift card is available.
- If you shop online, ecodes are available for some discounted gift cards. Once you purchase these, they are immediately available for use.
- Here’s the catch…discounted gift cards take about 1 week to arrive, so order now & be ready to shop Black Friday!
- Sign up for Ebates.com (it’s free) and you’ll earn cash back on your online purchases plus you’ll discover money saving coupon codes.
- Here’s how it works…
- Let’s say I want to make a photo calendar for Christmas.
- Go to ebates.com and on the left side of the page, click on “electronics and photos” to see a list of stores, and how much cash back you’ll earn.
- I discover that Snapfish is offering 20% cash back and a coupon code for free shipping.
- Click shop now & you’ll be taken to the Snapfish site.
- Every 3 months, ebates will send you a BIG FAT CHECK!
- Whenever you’re shopping online, get in the habit of making ebates your first stop! They work with over 1200 stores, so they’ll likely have just what you need!
Learn The Outlet Mall Lingo
- Don’t assume everything’s cheaper just because it came from an outlet mall! Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross & Homegoods frequently offer better deals.
- Do your homework first – you know the drill: make a list and compare prices online before you hit the outlet mall.
- Learn the lingo that you might see on the tags…
- MFO stands for Made for Outlet which means it won’t be the same quality as their regular store.
- Irregular – means slightly imperfect, so inspect carefully! Irregular items are usually a really good deal if you can live with the imperfections.
- Refurbished – these items have been inspected, tested and restored to their original condition. Refurbished items are common in electronics stores, and the prices are great! Just make sure to ask if it comes with the same warranty as a new item (most do!).
Take Advantage of Daily Deals
If you’re not already paying attention to daily deal sites like Groupon and Eversave, today is a great day to start! Groupon has recently started offering nationwide daily deals on great gifts like a personalized children’s book for half price! Check out the Groupon Gift Store today and everyday during the shopping season!
Now you know the secrets of a savvy shopper, so go forth and save money!
READY, SET, SHOP!
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