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Curb Your Urge to Splurge - Week 6


Hello Frugal Shoppers,


Wow, who has all their gift shopping done? Not me! One of my friends reports that she “just has a couple of small items to buy”. Every year she finishes her gift shopping before Thanksgiving. That’s never my strategy, and I think this year my strategy will help me to stay within budget. In an effort to increase sales and reduce inventory, retailers started sales earlier and it looks like sales will last through the end of the year.

Here are some tips to get the best deals:

  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Online shoppers are smart to pick out their target purchase and have it in the cart ready for the magic moment when the item is on sale and they can complete the purchase transaction.
  • Before heading out on your traditional pre-dawn Black Friday shopping event, check the stores’ hours, many stores are not opening as early as in the past.
  • Plan your shopping trip. Whether you are shopping in person or online, you can very easily plan your purchases for Black Friday and most sales that are happening throughout December at websites like All the ads are posted there so you can carefully plan your spending and stay within your budget.
  • Keep track of purchases. Make a list of what you need to purchase and what you have purchased. It is easy to overspend when we have 3 months of sales and shopping. I have attached a tracking sheet to help you keep track of what you have spent.

Sometimes it’s the little things that wreck the budget – and if you aren’t careful – stuffing the stockings can cost a fortune. Here are some inexpensive stocking stuffer ideas:

  • Socks
  • Anything that is travel sized
  • Lip balm
  • Hand lotion
  • Hair bows
  • Snack size bags of chips or nuts
  • Jelly dust cleaner for cars and keyboards
  • Sticky notes
  • Bungee cords
  • Finger puppets
  • Pill organizer
  • Fidget toy
  • Squishy toys
  • Press-on nails
  • Sample size glue
  • Cell phone holder
  • Eye glass cleaner
  • Deck of cards
  • Essential oils
  • Money

I hope you find everything you need to stuff your stockings without breaking the bank!

Happy Hunting!





thank you for curbing your urge TO splurge!

Hello Holiday Saver,


Time flies when you are planning for festive events with family and friends (and doing frugal shopping)! I hope that these newsletters have inspired you to take steps to control your holiday spending.

Did you find the budgeting sheets helpful at keeping you on track with your spending?

I love Black Friday shopping. I find it festive and economical. I always find great prices on gifts for others and gifts for me.  If you are serious about staying on budget this year while waiting in line, evaluate your cart and ask yourself if each item is really a necessary purchase.

This year when shiny new decorations catch my eye I am reminding myself that I made it through last year without this gorgeous new treasure and the house looked very festive and it will still look festive without that item this year. 

Are you making progress on your gift list?  If you still don’t know what to get folks left on the list, consider the gift of cash. Who doesn’t want a little extra money to start the new year?

Of course, gifting isn’t the only (or even the most important) part of our holiday celebrations. There is food to be eaten, ceremonies and events to partake in, and good times to spend with family and friends. The truth is, holidays are stressful, so try these tips to stay joyful and energized:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Getting 7 or more hours of sleep can help maintain healthy stress levels. Set an alarm to remind yourself it's time for bed, turn off the electronics, and get the rest you need.
  • Prioritize your time. The holiday season can sometimes be overwhelming with so many gatherings and social events. Acknowledge that it is okay to not attend every event, and give yourself permission to say "no" when you need to.
  • When feeling stressed, try to focus on gratitude. Ask yourself, "What is one thing I am grateful for today?"
  • Meaningful gifts don't have to come at a high price point.
  • The holidays can also be ladened with calories that hang around till long after the new year. Eating healthy during the holidays can keep you and your immune system strong. Some ways to stay on track with your healthy eating include:
    • Making simple swaps in some of your favorite recipes such as:
      • Using fat-free yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise in dips and sauces.
      • Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads.
      • Try low-sodium vegetable broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and cut back on butter or margarine.
    • At home or at gatherings, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables first to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
    • When dining on foods higher in calories, saturated fats and added sugars, choose smaller portions or eat them less often. Try to prioritize healthier foods most of the time.
    • Even a few minutes of physical activity can lead to health benefits. Staying active helps adults reduce short-term feelings of anxiety and leads to better sleep. Here are some ideas for adding more movement this holiday season:
      • When gathering with family and friends, go for a group walk, or play an active game together in the yard or at a nearby park.
      • Take the stairs at every opportunity. Those extra steps can add up!
      • Don't let the cooler temperatures keep you from getting outside. Bundle up and go for a walk. Maybe even consider walking around the neighborhood to look at holiday light displays rather than driving in your car.

I am SO grateful that you participated in this money saving program! I hope you have gotten some useful information.


So long festive friends, I hope your holidays are wonderful!


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