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Curb Your Urge to Splurge - Week 5

Saving Your Food Dollars

Hey Holiday Helpers,


I hope you had a great weekend! As thanksgiving approaches, you may be wondering how you will keep your costs down when they continue to escalate. Here are some tips to help you stay within your food budget!

  • Plan your menu carefully. As exciting as it is to gather with family and friends around a festive spread of delicious foods, it’s not necessary to overload the menu with all your favorite foods. You can save yourself money and energy by planning and preparing a simple traditional menu. Once you have a menu planned, let your guests know what you are preparing and allow them to bring additional items.
  • Check what food and ingredients you already have and then make your shopping list. Look at grocery store ads and shop the sales. You can begin to gather up the shelf stable ingredients that you will need for all of your holiday events.
  • Be sure to make a list of what you will need and cross off what you have purchased so you don’t end up with extras that you won’t use. If you do end up with extra ingredients, gift it to someone that would love it. Or you can wrap it up for the white elephant exchange!
  • Prepare less. Think about having less food. This could include less of the expensive items and a smaller number of dishes served. However, consider keeping the holiday foods important to your family traditions on the menu.
  • Make a grocery list and stick with it. An online order and pickup can save you time and prevent extra items from finding their way into your shopping cart.
  • Make smart beverage choices. Water is easy on the wallet and people will typically drink less of the other beverages if they can use water to quench their thirst. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks can be expensive and usually contain a lot of added sugars.
  • Plan your cooking schedule so that you have time to partially prepare some of your dishes in advance. Cleaning and cutting vegetables can usually be done in advance.
  • Control the temptation to overspend on meat. If you think you will have leftovers, make a plan for how you will use them. It’s a waste of money to toss out unused food, so get it into the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking. Divide leftovers into smaller portions and refrigerate in covered shallow containers so they cool quickly. Use refrigerated leftovers within 3 to 4 days or freeze for longer storage.
  • Food/charcuterie boards are very popular currently, but they can be expensive. Again, limiting the number of choices on the board will save you time and money. Offer items in threes. Three cheeses, three crackers, and three additional flavors – like salty, sweet, and savory.
  • Stay strong and continue to keep your holiday budget in mind as you navigate all the ads to find the items you need for budget-friendly meals!

Times like these where you are in a pinch for time and cash don’t have to be overly difficult. I hope you find these suggestions useful!





DIY YOur Décor

Hello Holiday Enthusiasts,


Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house? It’s sure looking like Christmas in the stores. It seems like fall has been swept away and holiday decorations are everywhere in every store!

Just because there are lots of decorations being marketed to us doesn’t mean we have to spend money on decorations. Making your home and holiday parties look festive doesn’t have to be expensive! In fact, I’ll bet we could have a totally festive holiday without spending money on decorations – is anyone ready to set that as a holiday goal? Here are some ideas for creating a festive atmosphere using your DIY skills:


  • Look around you for usable supplies. You will be surprised by what you find and how creative your family will be with their creations if you challenge them to create decorations without spending money.
  • Look in your own backyard for supplies. If you have evergreens, trim some branches, watch some DIY videos, and make your own centerpieces, wreaths or garland. Some spare ornaments can be added to enhance your creations. If you don’t have any evergreens, but you plan to buy a real tree, buy one slightly larger than you need and use the trimmings for other décor items.
  • Making ornaments with the kids is a great way to make holiday memories and decorate the tree. One of my favorite DIY ornaments to make is made with 2 ingredients: cinnamon and applesauce. Mist those ingredients together to make a dough and then use cookie cutters to cut out ornament shapes. Poke holes in the top for hanging string before letting the ornaments dry. You can also make salt dough ornaments.
  • You can create a pinecone gnome by painting a pinecone white, add a hat and a wood ball for the nose – very festive!
  • You can create your own garland for your tree by cutting gingerbread cookie shapes out of brown craft paper. Decorate the shapes and glue or tie them to a long piece of twine to create a one-of-a-kind garland. Add other shapes and colored paper to make it even more fun!
  • Bring the ambiance full circle with holiday scents. Cloves poked into oranges or lemons create a homey holiday smell. Simmer a sliced orange, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, fresh rosemary, and cranberries in a crockpot on low heat or simmer on the stove for festive scents.
  • There are a lot of DIY décor ideas online. If you are seriously trying to reduce your holiday expenses, choose DIY projects that do not require you shopping for additional supplies. Sometimes the supplies are just as expensive as ready-made items!

By the way, have you been watching the site? They have early Black Friday deals available! I hope you find what you need at a price that keeps your budget happy.


Have a fantastic weekend!

-Irma ❤


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