You know you’re going crazy. You just don’t know how to stop. You’ve been swept away with the holiday spirit and now it feels like it’s haunting you, rather than bringing you good cheer.
Your Thinking of Taking Out a Loan
You have run out of money, but you must buy more! Since your bank account is nearing empty and bills are coming due, you’re thinking of going to the paycheck loan and borrowing against your next paycheck with a hefty interest rate. Or perhaps you’re determining if you could get a new credit card right now.
Don’t do it. Nothing that you are buying right now is so important you must go in debt for it. The world will keep spinning and your family will be happy with what you already have acquired.
You Can’t Find The Floor Already
There are bags and boxes everywhere. Some of them are from the postal service and others are nicely wrapped sitting under or near the tree. Some are still in store bags waiting to be gotten to. If that wasn’t enough, you are expecting more to arrive any day now. In fact we’re coming down to the deadline and you’re stressed because those last packages might not make it in time.
Throw the empty boxes out. You may want keep a few around for wrapping, but getting rid of the clutter (or at least banishing it to a contained corner) will greatly reduce your stress.
And don’t forget, using gift bags are so much easier and faster than wrapping. If you’re feeling stressed about preparing all of these gifts, stop by the dollar store and grab a bunch of gift bags. Let go of the perfectly wrapped gifts imagined in your mind. The present will be just as appealing coming out of a gift bag. If you’re worried about little peaking eyes or fingers (or pets) leading up to Christmas day, just tape the top of the gift bag closed, then Christmas morning snip that layer of tape away before handing the gift bag to a little one to open.
You’re Sick and Tired
Your eyes are blood shot from staying up too late. You have been to stores until closing time. You have made the best of the ones that stay open for twenty four hours. Then you come home and wrap nonstop until morning and the kids are waking up. Your living off coffee and caffeine and half the time you don’t know what day it is. Then you go do the caroling, cookie drops, and parties. On top of that you think you are coming down with a terrible cold. Your mental state may not be the best.
Take a break. Take a nap. Go through caffeine withdrawal. You will feel better afterwards. You will think more clearly. Your perspective will snap back and the crazies will melt away.
How do you keep your sanity at this time of year?
It seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving last week, doesn’t it? It’s already time to gear up for the big Christmas Eve/Christmas meals! I’m in a little bit of shock myself. In any case, it’s time to shop for Christmas meals! And there’s no rule that dictates that a holiday meal cannot be made with healthy, wholesome ingredients. And, if you shop right, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for those kinds of ingredients. You are sure to find quality organic produce at competitive prices at Sprouts. Check out Sprouts Christmas week sale.
◾Organic Braeburn or Gala Apples $.98/lb
◾Organic Valencia Oranges or Grapefruit $2.50 (4 lb bag)
◾Organic Hass Avocados $.98/each
◾Organic Green Curly Kale $1.50
◾Organic Table Carrots $2.98 (5 lb bag)
◾Organic Bosc Pears $2.50 (3 lb bag)
Sprouts Organic Eggs $3.99
Alden’s Organic Ice Cream $3.99
Sprouts Organic Frozen Vegetables $2.00
Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie Shells $3.50
R. W. Knudsen Organic Sparkling Beverages $2.50
Spice Hunter Organic Spices 50% Off
Use one $1/1 Spice Hunter Spices Coupon
Final Price: varies
Pacific Organic Soup or Broth $2.00
Use one $1/1 Pacific Foods Coupon
Final Price: $1.00
SPROUTS MONTHLY DEALS FOR DECEMBER 2014
◾Coleman Organic Chicken Nuggets $4.99
◾Sprouts Organic English Muffins $2.29
◾Sambazon Organic Smoothie Packets $5.29
◾European Gourmet Organic Pudding Mix $1.67
◾Shady Maple Farms Organic Maple Syrup $9.99
◾Annie’s Homegrown Organic Granola Bars $3.99
You may already know that stores have sales cycles that change every month or so. Often they stock up on certain items (often ones related to the holidays or seasons) that then need to be removed from the shelves once the appropriate time has passed. When those stores are looking to move items from their shelves is the best time to buy those particular items.
Let’s move from the abstract to the concrete as we look at what items are discounted this month.
1. Baking Supplies. The best thing about baking supplies going on sale is that they are easy to store. If you use baking cups regularly, be on the look out for discounts. Also, if you don’t mind the holiday decorations on them, you will be able to get those at half price or better on the day after Christmas. You’ll also find flour, spices (I just bought organic spices at 50% off last week!), chocolate chips (which store very easily in the freezer or the pantry), condensed milk, and pumpkin puree (who says you can’t have pumpkin pie in January!) discounted this month.
2. Thrift Store Merchandise. This is not as much about a discount as it is about availability and selection. A lot of people are trying to get last minute donations in before the end of the year for tax purposes. So, thrift stores like Goodwill and other organizations (with the tax-exempt status) will have plenty to choose from by the end of the month.
3. Gift Cards. Right now there are lots of promotions offering “bonus cash” if you buy a gift card. So, if it’s a store or restaurant you frequent regularly and you have the cash (after you’re done with all your shopping), then it’s a great way to maximize your money.
What else do you buy in December?
You may have a cherished fuzzy friend. You may have children who have a cherished furry friend. Either way,as un-frugal as it may sound, you’re getting your pet a present this holiday season. How do you include your pet in the holiday celebration without adding too much of an expense?
Get Your Pet a Book
Yes, I am aware that your furry friend, while very talented in many areas, does not read. You, however, d, and you have incredible talents that can be gifted to your pet. You could pick up a recipe book designed for your pet’s dietary needs and let them enjoy your culinary skills. Or you could pick up a book of training tips. They make them for dogs as well as cats. There are even books on creating toys for your fur baby. The best part is you can often find these types of books on sale or at a discount.
A Pet Service
If you have children, and they want to get the family pet a present, have them find acts of service that aren’t already a part of their chore routine to give their fuzzy friend. Don’t include things like going for a walk or feeding. Do include items such as extra time with the laser pointer or other favorite toy. Have them devote extra time and effort in a grooming session or contribute to a tooth cleaning. Your pet will want some of these items and need others. Service can go a long way as a gift, even for an animal.
One of the cheapest gifts of all can be a can of tuna (water packed) or a bag of raw hide treats. For many animals food is one of the best gifts they can receive. Let the giving of human food (the tuna) be only for special occasions and the treats be spread out over the month.
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A stylish placemat for your pets food and water dish.
Protects your floors from spills and keeps your pets eating area clean.
Made in the USA
There are many things that a parent wants to get their children and often a pet is somewhere on that list. There is, however, a right time and a wrong time to get a child a pet, and Christmas is not the right time. There are complications, such as where to hide a puppy until Christmas morning as well as helping your child to understand the responsibility that goes with taking care of a cat or dog. Christmas morning is not the best time to have a conversation about responsibility with a child. To go along with that there are financial reasons to wait until after New Year’s Day to decide if a pet is right for your family.
Cost of Buying the Pet
A pure bred animal can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars just to buy. At a shelter a pet will still cost up to $200. That’s quite an investment without factoring in all the other expenses that need to be paid when caring for a living being. Add that to the fact the fuzzy buddy will be given at the same time as other presents and could be valued less because of the divided excitement of your child. When you choose to introduce a pet to the family, let your new pet be the focus rather than the time he was given.
The Baby Factor
I’m not talking about the cuteness of a kitten or puppy that fades with growth and time. While that’s something to consider, I’m talking about the fact that your potential furry friend will want to chew, knock over, shed on, and claw up everything. Like a baby this fuzzy addition to your home will have needs, like the normal food and water needs. They will also have medical needs and training needs. Consider every aspect of cost and if you are willing to accept it before entering into what is hopefully a life long arrangement with a fuzzy friend.
1. Procrastinate. To be honest, sometimes procrastinating at this time of the year ends up working for you, as some of the deals right before the big day are fantastic deals. (I think of those amazing deals the day before Christmas as a reward for the trauma of dealing with all the other procrastinators in the store with you.) Procrastination will not work for you, though, when it comes to ordering and shipping gifts. Waiting until the last minute can be very expensive with expedited shipping costs. A little bit of planning can save you a lot of money.
2. Buy Expensive Wrap. Holiday wrapping paper can be very expensive. While I do appreciate some of the fancy paper, I always remind myself of how that paper will end up only minutes after the presents are taken out from under that tree. Don’t do it. If you didn’t purchase your paper after Christmas last year (which you should always plan to do), then go to the dollar store and get it there. The only one who will know the difference is you–and your wallet.
3. Don’t Plan. You know what it’s like to shop for groceries without a list, right? You ALWAYS buy more than what you intended (and usually forget something that should have been on the list)! Don’t approach holiday shopping that way. Get a plan and do your best to stick with it. If you don’t, you’re likely to be lured by all the advertisements and “great deal” labels that don’t necessarily mean a thing.
4. Treat Yourself With a Big Gift. Buy yourself a fun cup of coffee, chocolate, a pastry, or even a candy cane instead. Don’t splurge in the name of treating yourself; you and your bank account may regret it later.
What do you do to stick to your holiday budget?
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