Can you believe January is here? Where did this year go? Well, with the new month, comes new deals. Below are the top 6 things you will want to purchase in January:
Christmas Decor: Stores will want to move out the holiday decor both big and small. Look for sales up to 90% off on trees, holiday candies, ornaments, stockings, and more.
Fitness Equipment & Gym Memberships: I actually purchased my gym membership 2 years ago in JANUARY! It was a New Years Resolution of mine. Since so many people tend to have weight loss or getting healthy on their resolution list, the gyms offer some amazing deals to get you in the door. That is the same with fitness equipment in stores and online.
Linens: Look for deep discounts on both high end and mid-level quality linens in January. You will notice stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s will start clearancing their inventory of linens and offer coupon codes to stack. This is a great time to buy towels, bed linens, and more.
Kitchen Appliances: Both small and large appliances will be on sale this month as January tends to focus on items for the home. Check places like Lowes, Sears, and Macy’s for the best deals.
Winter Apparel: Stores want to be sure they sell all of their winter apparel to make room for Spring lines. Look for coats, sweaters, and boots to be discounted toward the end of the month.
Air conditioners: Now is the time to purchase your air conditioner. No one is thinking of air conditioners in January, so, sales are down. Stores as well as companies that install them will discount them to move inventory.
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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.
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.
Having a baby is expensive. There is the medical portion, upgrading to a larger apartment and stocking up on diapers and everything else you little one may need. While having a baby is a joy for any family. Here’s how to keep your baby preparation a joy as well as within your budget.
Two In One Items
Buy dual purpose items. My favorite two in one item was a playpen and a bassinet. There are also strollers systems that also include a car seat. Use resting items ( such as baby seats) that have a tray. You can use it both as a secured play area and a high chair.
To make baby food all you need is a high quality blender and a baby food recipe book. Make sure that the foods you choose to grind or puree for your little one are age appropriate. Many citrus fruits are not appropriate for a six month old to eat. There is to much fruit acid. Make sure to use blander foods to start out with.
Goats milk is healthy for an infant as opposed to cows milk, that a baby can’t consume. It’s preferable to use breast milk or formula, but when you need to feed your baby and neither are available, goats milk is a good third option. Just warm it up to a nice lukewarm temperature and feed it to your little one. You can also learn to make homemade goat milk formula, which is really good for babies with a lactose intolerance.
Babies go through stuff faster than rain through a storm drain. People either save the stuff for the next baby or give it away. They donate cast offs to pregnancy centers, thrift stores and their friends. Most of these are wonderful to have and cost next to nothing, but be careful buying safety items such as car seats. Many thrift store car seats are outdated and not up to today’s safety standards.
Mom’s don’t get a day off. It doesn’t matter if you work at home or not. We are on the clock from time to wake up until it is time to sleep. Then we are on call through out the night. The best way to get any time for oneself is to hire a babysitter and leave the house for a little while. Not all of us can afford to do that though. Here are a few ways to get a little me time even when you don’t have a babysitter.
Have a designated quiet time in your home. It could be a few hours on Sunday afternoon where the kids play in their rooms or a a daily hour where the kids spend a little time reading. Making a little quiet time a part of your routine helps you get a little time in for yourself and teaches your children to entertain themselves.
The After Bedtime Routine
After your kids go to bed, and before you go about picking up toys or doing the dishes take some time to breath. Enjoy a snack or a soda without little ones around begging for a taste. Take fifteen minutes to fish that book you have been trying to get through for a month. Then when you have had at least fifteen minutes to yourself you can get your chores done. Nightly chores can feel like a much smaller task once you have taken a moment to calm down.
There are many places you can go to take a moment to breath. You could have a lemonade in the back yard. You could take an extra long shower. Use weeding the front yard as an excuse to be away for a moment. If your kids rebel against the idea, offer to have them help so you can get to what they want you to more quickly. They will either help or let you alone to get your weeding done.
At some point most people end up getting a better vehicle and when that day comes (unless you are passing it down to someone) it’s time to figure out what to do with the old vehicle. What if you couldn’t really sell it to someone in good conscience? What if you need to get it out of the apartment complex’s parking lot before it gets towed or ticketed? Here are a few ways to get rid of or use that old car that can be a profit to you.
Use It For Parts
Save yourself some money by buying a newer model of the same make of car that is currently sitting in your yard or driveway. You can use the old car as your own personal pick and pull. If you know how to do your own work ( or know your way around the maintenance manual) you can save quite a bit of money on auto repair.
Sell It For Parts
There may be parts that you can’t use from the older model on the newer car. In a case like that you could sell the used part. The same applies if you choose to get a different type of car altogether. When your old car just isn’t running this is a good route to take. You can still get some of that money you have invested in that car rather than just call it a loss and have it towed away.
Sell It For Scrap
When you just can’t find a use for your old vehicle (it’s too old or too rundown) you can sell it for scrap. This is a great option when you have an older car or truck because there seems to be more metal in older vehicles. It may not be a huge sum, but it’s still money.