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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Frugal Holiday Tips

Hi everyone!! Happy Fall!! Here in northern Illinois it really is feeling and looking like fall. Yesterday a dear friend came over and helped me (okay, I helped her) decorate the window boxes on the front of my house for fall. What do you think? I really love how they turned out. Even more than that I love that everything we used was free! The pumpkins and gourds came from the garden, pine cones from our pine trees, and then various weed flower heads from a nearby field filled in the rest. It got me thinking about the holiday season we're entering into, so I wanted to share some other tips to help you out if you're feeling a pinch financially or just want to spend less this holiday season so that more can be spent on preps.
Halloween is coming. That means costumes and candy. Look around your house for any clothing you have that could be made into a costume. Does your child have a cowboy hat and boots? Give 'em a rope and they're a cowboy. When I was little, we would dress in old clothes to be a bum. Is your child on a sports team? Dress them as an athlete for Halloween! And when it comes to handing out candy, many people I know will spend upwards of $100 on sweets! Don't feel bad handing out small, cheap candies. If you really can't afford to buy any candy there's nothing wrong with going out (or turning off the lights and pretending you're out) during trick-or-treat hours. Really, the neighborhood kids can survive without one more piece of candy!
The wonderful, American holiday of Thanksgiving is just around the corner after Halloween. I see that day as a day of rest (except for the cooks!), relaxation, thanksgiving, and reflection. None of those things require spending alot of money. If your family is spending Thanksgiving at home, you can save money by purchasing a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. A great meal can be had with only turkey breast, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, and of course, pie! You can keep it very simple and very inexpensive. Find a puzzle at the dollar store or thrift store and open it that day and let everyone work on a few pieces in between watching football and eating more pie! Or pull out some fun family board games. As far as decorating, you can pick up pretty fall colored leaves, dip them in melted wax from leftover candles, and they will dry and stay beautiful (as opposed to dry and crunchy) throughout the season. Sprinkle them on your tables for a beautiful look!
The last wonderful holiday of the upcoming season is Christmas. If you're a Christian, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, not gift-giving. Keep your celebrations and gift-giving (if you do it) to a minimum. Spending time together with your family and friends is the most important thing you can do. If you are not a Christian, the Christmas season still doesn't have to be just about elaborate gift-giving. Try to think of gifts that are inexpensive but meaningful to the recipient and you. Most people would love a few jars of home-canned goodies. Homemade bread is a real treat for someone who doesn't bake. How about giving someone a jar of homemade cookies or fudge. Do you know someone who's wanting to prep but doesn't have the finances? How about raiding your stock and giving them a small prepping basket full of goodies! Encourage your kids to get in to the season by cleaning out some of their unused toys that are still in great shape and giving them to someone who needs them. Most people will love a gift of time: gift certificates for lunch together, babysitting, house-cleaning, or help with some project they've been wanting to get done. You don't need to spend alot of money-and you definitely don't want to go into debt-to have a nice Christmas.
After seeing how easily and inexpensively my window boxes were decorated for fall, I've started thinking of the rest of this season and how to keep it meaningful, low stress, inexpensive, and wonderful. It will take some prep work, but I'm pretty good at that! :) Why not give it some thought now and start your own preps for the holiday season!!
Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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Anonymous said...

Great Post! I had a good smile thinking of the bum costume. I too was a bum a time or two and remember my dad making mud to put on my face to make it look dirty. I love your window boxes and how creative you are.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Hehehe! I guess a bum was a popular costume when we were younger! Thank you for the compliment on the window boxes, but the inspiration was all my friend's! I told to her come over to help, but when she came over I said, "Okay, what should I do??" It kind of took her by surprise!!

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