Does anyone remember the time when Black Friday was a one day (or maybe weekend) event that actually began on the Friday after Thanksgiving? It now begins, for some people, before they have even had their slice of pumpkin pie. Black Friday has shoved its way into our holiday feast and called itself grey Thursday. What a sad way to blur our beloved Thanksgiving holiday. Can you tell how I feel about the whole thing?
I don’t go out Thursday night and I hardly ever go out on Fridays anymore (except to go get my clearance turkey). However, I do understand that it’s possible to get some amazing deals. And, I love a good deal. So if you’re a grey Thursday/Black Friday shopper, more power to you. Here are a few tips to make sure your time and money are well spent.
1. Do Your Homework. Scour the ads and websites of the stores you think you may visit for the specific items you’re looking for. There will be plenty of items marked “sale,” “price cut,” or something more dramatic to get your attention. Just check the prices and you decide on the best deal.
2. Prioritize. It’s going to be crazy out there. I know. Just call me “Captain Obvious.” I say that to say that if you have a list, start with the item you want most just in case you can’t get to everything.
3. Divide and Conquer. Go with friends or family and divide up your list to get a better chance of snatching all the good deals you’re after. Plus, if you make sure you each grab a hot cup of something, then it might feel a little more festive while you’re out there in the frigid temperatures!
What do you do to plan for your big Black Friday adventure?
Artistic people go through art supplies quickly. They create wonderful works of art that bring happiness to others, but at a cost. Here are a few ways to reduce the costs that go with creative and artistic work.
Drawing to Stippling
Changing the style of art you do can also change the amount of resources that you use during your projects. I used to draw, but was constantly sharpening my pencils down to get the best look and using a great deal of pencil “lead” to create shading. Then I switched to stippling. The use of dots reduced the amount of colored pencil that I used in both shading and sharpening. Creating dots don’t always require a fine point. Shading is just adding more dots, and sometimes just in a darker color. It keeps me from going through quite as many colored pencils but allows me to still enjoy my art.
One of the simplest ways to save money on art supplies is to treat them with care. Don’t leave clay out to dry. Don’t crush your paint brush bristles by pushing too hard into your painting. Wash them out when you are finished with them. Put crayons away where they can’t be broken. The better care you take with your art supplies the longer they will last.
Both Sides of the Paper
This tip is more for those with artistic children or draw in a sketch pad. Use both sides of a piece of paper. For children this will extend the use of a piece of paper that is going to end up on your fridge and reduce the amount of paper your child uses. This works pretty well in sketch pads as well, just so long as you aren’t working with a wet or oily product.
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Lazy days are some of the best days in human existence. They are days filled with silence or family, but not obligations and stress. They can be a little bit of a money sink though, because they aren’t really days of financial production. Here are a few ways to limit the costs of your lazy day and still come out of them worry free and refreshed.
What’s In The Fridge
Do you have a fridge full of leftovers? Do you have microwave dinners in your freezer or a bag of salad in your crisper? Instead of ordering out or going to a restaurant use up what you haven’t used in your fridge. This is also an easy way to prep your fridge for cleaning day. When scrounging in your fridge just throw out what looks bad.
Don’t waste money at a landmark or at the zoo. Don’t waste gas by going for a drive or to the store. Just stay in your own home and watch a movie or have friends over. Spend the day on the porch watching your kids in the backyard. Work on crafts or gaze out the window or into the fireplace with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Do something small for your health without feeling bad. Take a nap. Have a bubble bath. Enjoy a wrestling match with your toddler. Do something that will actually relieve stress and allow your to feel better on an emotional level and therefore more productive on your non-lazy days.
Leave all electric or battery operated lights off. Use sunlight that come through windows and skylights. Use the fireplace or candle light. Both sunlight and candle light are linked to stress reduction. This is also a mild natural way to warm your home on chilly fall days. Just be sure to wear your favorite fuzzy slippers and pajamas.
What do you do on your lazy days?
It’s the sale leading to Thanksgiving at Sprouts. I encourage you to get whatever can be purchased early today and tomorrow because it’s already beginning to get too crowded for my taste out there! I also encourage you to see what’s on sale and maybe even experiment with a new menu item for your Thanksgiving feast
◾Organic Acorn, Butternut or Spaghetti Squash $.98/lb
◾Organic Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith Apples $1.48/lb
◾Organic Yellow Onions or Red Yams $.98/lb
◾Organic Table Carrots $2.98/each (5lb bag)
◾Organic Green Grapes $2.98/lb
◾Organic Green Beans $2.98/each (1 lb bag)
Earthbound Farm Organic Salads $1.98
Use one $.75/1 Earthbound Farm Salad Coupon
Final Price: $1.23
◾Spice Hunter Organic Spices & Extracts 50% Off
◾Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie Shells $3.99
◾Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes $2.49
Arrowhead Mills Organic Coconut Flour 25% Off
Use one $.25 cash back flour via Snap App by Groupon
Sprouts Organic Free-Range Turkey $3.99/lb
Use one $1 cash back on Turkey via Snap App by Groupon
Imagine Organic Broth $1.50
Use one $1/1 Imagine Coupon
Final Price: $.50
Immaculate Baking Products 25% Off
Use one $.75/1 Immaculate Baking Coupon
Final Price: varies
Green & Blacks Organic Chocolate Bars $3.00
Use one $.50/1 Green & Blacks Coupon (Facebook)
Final Price: $2.50
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flour $4.99
Use one $1/1 Bob’s Red Mill Coupon
Final Price: $3.99
Staying in a hotel at some point over the holidays? If it’s a Hilton brand, such as Hampton Inn (yep, that budget friendly hotel is part of Hilton) take advantage of this offer and get more points for your stay!