Frugal Easter Basket Ideas
How to save on the basket:
Many people will save baskets from year to year. This is a great idea. Saves money, time, and creates a tradition! If this is your first year buying a basket, check the Dollar Stores. If you’re looking for a nice, sturdy, specialty basket, however, you may want to wait until the POST EASTER CLEARANCE. Buy the $1 basket for THIS YEAR, and after Easter buy that extra special, durable basket that will last year after year.
Another great idea is to use something that is reusable and the kids will put to use. A sand bucket, makeup carrier, or flower pot are just a few ideas.
Candy and other treats:
- Dollar stores are great for small bags of candy and even chocolate bunnies.
- Use clearance candy that you stocked up on during the post-Valentines Day Sales (check exp dates)
- Shop EARLY and USE COUPONS
- Bake cookies shaped like eggs. Wrap in colorful plastic wrap and add to basket.
- Jelly beans can be found for as little as 99 cents per bag. Fill reusable plastic eggs with jelly beans. *make sure to SAVE the eggs for next year. Recycle, reuse!
Save on non-candy items:
- Fun and inexpensive toys and books can be found at Target’s $1 spot and local dollar stores. Stop by from time to time throughout the year to stock up, especially during clearance sales. Target will mark the $1 items down to as little as 10 cents throughout the year.
- Thrift stores are great for books and DVD’s and the prices can’t be beat.
- Buy crayons for as little as .50 at Wal-Mart and Target.
- Did you know Michaels Craft Store has a $1 section? Check it out!
- Print coloring sheets from free sites to add to the basket.
- More inexpensive toy ideas: bubbles, coloring books, stickers, cars, and stamps.
What To Buy In November
Did you know that specific items are cheaper to buy in specific months throughout the year? If you were not aware of this, be sure to pay attention to the list below. It will save you money throughout the year.
APPLIANCES: It’s time for NEW models to start coming out, so pick up last year’s leftovers at a deep discount. Stores want to move these out fast. So, you’re going to find some deeply discounted appliances.
ELECTRONICS: Need a new TV? November is the month to grab yours. Mainly because of the holiday sales I’m sure, but November is the month to buy your higher priced TV’s at amazing prices. This is going to also include gaming consoles AND laptops!
CANDY: The day after Halloween, November 1st, through November 15th, you’re going to find discounted Halloween Candy. The stores need to make room for Christmas sales. If you’re store is already out of Halloween candy, no worries. Many stores have amazing sales on holiday candies throughout the month, preparing you for Christmas.
APPAREL: I was quite happy to read about this one. Big stores like Kohls, Amazon, and Target, offer doorbusting sales on clothes for the whole family during November. Again, vamping up for the holiday shopping season.
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Taking the time and money to take your spouse out is hard in our busy society, but it helps remind them how much they mean to you. Date night doesn’t mean it has to break the bank! Remember whether it is free or costs the world, a date is only as good as the thought put into it.
Grab a couple of blankets, spread them out in your backyard and gaze up at all stars and planets in your night sky. Did you know there are even apps available (such as Skyview which is available for iPhone and Android), that when pointed to the sky, will help you decipher what you are looking at? So fun!
Bonfire and S’mores
Light up the backyard fire pit and get to cooking while sharing a drink and laughs– and remembering why you fell in love in the first place!
Antiquing or Thrift Store Shopping
Take a walk through local antique or thrift stores and talk about all the quirky things you find. Better yet — purchase an item to redo and upcycle together!
A great way to enjoy each other’s company as well as give back to the community is to look for volunteer opportunities. Check with your local animal shelter or other community organizations such as Red Cross.
Take to the internet and search for possible haunted locations in your area. Everything from an old abandoned insane asylum to the local legends surrounding your local watering hole can be fodder for the best “hunt.”
Create little cards with clues on them to lead you from the starting point to your ultimate destination. You can keep it small by keeping it around the house or let it grow to something that covers the whole city. A cute twist would be to have the “treasure” be something that holds significance for the both of you, such as the place of your first date.
Remember, it is always the thought that counts. Whether you are going on your first date or celebrating your 10th wedding anniversary just being together and enjoying each other’s company is the goal. Think outside the box and remember to have fun no matter how you spend your time with the one you love.
Parties and getting together with friends is a ton of fun. It could also mean a ton of food, drinks, and left overs that don’t really fit into dinner plans. While fun at the time, most of us don’t want to waste food, or see food wasted. It breaks our thrifty hearts. Here’s how to reduce the amount of party leftovers you will have and tips for what to do with what is left over.
Think Before You Buy
When having people over consider having foods that will last longer, morph into meals and are semi healthy. When you have candy you will either destroy your diet or never be rid of it. When you have tortilla chips and bean dip you can later add salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream to make nachos for lunch on the day after your get together.
Make It Potluck
Potluck parties are the best because with everyone bringing something you know two things. First, there is going to be plenty of food. Second, everyone should have something there they like. After the party you can just send people home with the leftovers of what they brought. You can send everyone home with something they didn’t bring.
Try To Pawn Them Off
If you have thrown a party or had a family get together, try to pawn some of the food off on those that attended. Often you have paid for the food, but what is left over is more than your little family unit can ( or should ) eat before it goes bad. Make plates or bags designed with the purpose of sending your food orphans home with family and friends.
Left Over Day
Have the day after your party be a left over day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner should all be comprised of left overs. So should any snacks that are consumed on that day. While you will have some less healthy options and some interesting meal combinations, you will also avoid wasting those costly party foods.
No one like to waste money by wasting food. Smaller, more picker members of our families, however, may not care at all how much we are spending on groceries. They may demand a diet of peanut butter sandwiches for a year if we allowed it. It’s tempting some days, but we don’t. Still how can we get our little one to eat right without breaking the bank.
Believe in Seconds
You aren’t sure if your little food critic is going to devour dinner or turn their nose up at it. So give them a tiny portion to see if they like it. They are more likely to try it because it’s such a small amount. This means that your more likely to get them to eat it because they now know they like it. If they don’t like it, you haven’t wasted a full portion on them.
Never Force Food
Having control of what they put in their mouth is big for little independent minds. when you try to force food on a child they are more likely to rebel against eating it. This will set a precedent with all new food. It’s important that your child gets to choose what they will try. Offer small amount of a large variety of foods. You can do this by buying or making fruit, vegetable, and cheese platters with crackers and various dips. There could be yogurt dips, peanut butter dips or just plain old ranch dressing. This gives you picky child the opportunity to pick.
Mix It In
Put a new vegetable in a casserole or in some pasta. Put fruit in pancakes. Make things that are salads (potato, pasta, or egg) that otherwise wouldn’t pass as a salad. Get veggie dogs or vegan chicken nuggets. Make sweet potato fries instead of regular french fries. Get bread with a fruit of vegetable in them. A little camoflauge could go a long way if your little one isn’t paying attention.
There are so many hobbies for us to choose from. There are video games to play and soccer tournaments to watch. There are scifi conventions to attend. When picking something that is enjoyable to do you have no problem finding a stress outlet. Some hobbies, however are more worthy than others. They are useful and leave you with with an end product or many dollars saved. Here are just a few useful but fun hobbies you could save money with.
A love of crochet or knitting is a wonderful thing. You don’t just get time to relax, and a meditative rhythm, in your work. You also get a useful end project. It could be a purse, sweater, shawl, or blanket. You could also make toys and gifts. All for the one time cost of needles and the reaccuring cost of yarn.
Sewing has many aspects. If you’re just starting out you could repair a hole in a sock or put a button back on a shirt. If you are more advanced you could make your own clothes altogether. Or you could make a baby quilt with lots of colorful shapes and patches.
Those that tinker with cars eventually learn their way around an engine or two. You don’t just earn skills that are marketable. You also can save yourself a pretty penny by doing your own car maintenance.
This skill can earn or save you money in so many ways. You would spend less building your own computer and be able to customize it to your needs and liking. You would know how to repair a computer and what each component does. You would also be able to market this hobby.
Want to improve your children’s eating habits. Plant a garden and then tell them to stay out of it. Watch your crop disappear as they sneak healthy snacks while playing outside. Learning to garden can give you an alternative source of food, beautify your home,
First birthdays are a fun and important milestone for a little one as well as mommy and daddy. That doesn’t mean that the party you throw for your child’s first birthday needs to be an epic undertaking. The cost doesn’t have to be epic either.
Limited Number Of Guests
The first birthday is the only birthday you can really get away with having a small party. Chances are your one year old hasn’t made very many friends and ones he or she has made won’t even remember ( or feel hurt because) they weren’t invited to a party. Their parents won’t raise to much of an eyebrow when you declare that it’s just going to be a small family get together. When they hit two you may have to invite your whole play group, but for now you can keep the memories to the family in town.
Make The Cake
Buy a cake mix and make the cake. Your child most likely doesn’t need the extra sugary goodness of a store bought cake anyway. You can control cake size or make cupcakes. You can control the type and amount of frosting that goes on it. Plus your little one year old will give you as many great, messy, pictures you your photo album with a cake mix cake as they would have with a store ought cake.
Don’t Go Crazy With Presents
Your child is at an age where boxes hold just as much of their interest as what’s inside them. In fact I have seen a one year old unwrap an empty box and proceed to play with the excitement as though they had received the latest fad toy. Just be sure that the toy is age appropriate and easy to clean. Little sticky hands will be all over the place today.