November 7, 2009

Frugal Family Christmas

Ok, so to tackle the first item on our list, A Frugal Family Christmas. First, let me say that the real reason for Christmas, is Christ. My son knows that beyond all the hype of the season, when it boils down to it, Jesus is the reason for the season. However, we still do gifts, and he knows that Mom is Santa....except this year, its Tim! My son also knows that we work hard throughout the year to make sure he is taken care of and if he has a good Christmas, its a blessing!

Christmas this year is tight for everyone, and the economy is not making it any better! Here are a few suggestions and ideas that you may want to try and some that we are implementing ourselves:
  • Instead of everyone buying for every individual in the family, just buy for the kids under a certain age. You may also want to draw names so that you only have to buy for the person that you drew. Set a limit on how much you will spend total. When you draw names, make sure and use an index card and have each person give a few ideas of what they would like to have. Challenge yourself and make sure you buy USEFUL gifts.

  • If you can't afford to buy a ton of gifts, make up a nice batch of breads, candy, or snacks and pass them out at the gatherings. You can usually find some holiday ziplock bags, cookie bags, or containers. Then each person has some munchies to take home. This can also be great for the kids to get involved in.

  • Clean out your child's room, out with the old or not played with to make room for the new. Take these items to a local children's home or Salvation Army that gives to kids. We are in the process of this one right now. Our son is in that indecisive stage, so most of his toys are gathering dust while he is drawing or looking at football cards. PlayStation is kept at bare minimum around here!!!

  • Make your own gifts. Gifts in a jar are always a hit with others. You can also create gift baskets for a family instead of individual gifts. How about a board game, popcorn, and a sweet snack for a family game night. Now days, you have access to all types of websites to create personalized photo gifts, a calendar or a mouse pad are always a hit; sometimes the more you buy from those sites, the cheaper they are.

  • Contribute to and/or participate in an Angel tree or Operation Christmas child in honor of someone. This is showing that you believe in these programs and that you gave to someone in need. Please remember our soldiers and care boxes this Christmas!

  • Have a birthday party for Jesus! Make a cake, invite the neighborhood kids over, and enjoy the laughter. Share the gospel, read the Bible and pray. This gives a different view on Christmas that some may never see, and you are planting a seed in their little lives!

  • Make a family video. CD's are pretty affordable, and can be shipped fairly cheap. This will give those friends and family members that are unable to be with you this season a personalized and lively look at you! Make sure to keep a copy for yourself and start a library. Each year, look at the previous years video and see how everyone has changed...capture precious memories!

  • Make Christmas ornaments This list is endless! You can even use last years Christmas cards! Challenge yourself to recycle items around the house for this as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post, we may have a couple more along the way. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions to go along with this theme. Many Blessings and enjoy!

November 6, 2009

A few things we are working on....

When you set your mind to do something, you will be amazed at what you come up with. Here are a few things that I will be discussing and looking into over the next few weeks.

  • A Frugal Family Christmas
  • Freezer cooking to save time
  • Budgeting according to Dave Ramsey's baby steps
  • Becoming debt free
  • Looking at things as opportunities and not jobs
  • Can we make it on a $40 per week grocery budget
  • Money saving tips
  • Reuse Reuse Reuse

Please stay tuned to the blog for updates, ideas, and info. Please leave comments if you have any suggestions or ideas to go along with these topics! Have a good evening everyone!