Friday, December 28, 2012

Gift Closet

Do you keep a gift closet?  It can be a closet, rubbermaid container, spot under your bed, it doesn't matter.  But the concept is that you have a few gifts on hand, that you've purchased for pennies on the dollar, that you can give for birthdays, anniversaries, showers, etc.  A gift closet saves you from having to go out and buy a gift at full price when you get an invitation for an event.

If you have young children, you'll want to stock up on a few age-appropriate toys when you find them for a steal.  So when that next birthday party invitation comes home from school, you just pick out a toy from your stash, wrap and go.  Not only do you save money, but you save the time and (inevitable) last minute scramble to pick up a gift.

If you're in your 20's or 30's, you'll want to stock up on good bridal shower or baby shower gifts.  Both types of showers are easy to give gift baskets for, so when you see great deals on towels, home decorations, wine glasses, etc, pick them up and before you know it, you'll have a lovely gift basket to give.  The same goes for baby shower baskets - blankets, toys, outfits, etc all can make for a nice gift basket, so pick up those items when you see them for pennies on the dollar.

And no matter your age or stage in life, it's always a good idea to have a few items such as Yankee Candles or nice hand lotions on hand to give as a last minute gift.  Maybe you go to someone's house for the first time and need to bring a little house warming gift.  Maybe a co-worker gave you a Christmas gift you weren't expecting and you'd like to reciprocate.  These are good items to have on hand for those occassions so you aren't going out and purchasing something for full price.

If you don't already have a gift closet, keep this idea in the back of your head as you see great deals this year.  You may be able to pick up a few gifts for quite a bargain!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Creams 5 for $10

Crabtree & Evelyn has their travel sized hand creams on sale 5 for $10.  These are normally $7.  You must buy 5 in order to get the discount.  There's also free shipping on all orders!

These hand creams are really nice.  I used to have teh Gardeners one pictured above and I loved how soft it made my hands.

These could be a really nice stocking stuffer or addition to a gift basket. 

Old Navy Gift Cards 10% off Through 12/8

Through 12/8, Old Navy is offering 10% off their gift cards (in store only).  If you are an Old Navy credit card holder, you can get 15% off.

I bought one on Tuesday and had no problem.  I bought the gift card, then I used the gift card to pay for my purchase. 

There is also a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase (in store only) that's valid through 12/9.  Go here to print off your coupon, or you can just pull it up on your smartphone.

Combine the two and you can get some nice deals! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baking Tip

Here is a tip on how to stretch your holiday baking just a little bit further:  make your cookies/bars smaller. 

Revolutionary, I know.

But in all seriousness, if you cut a pan of bars to make 24 bars, they will be larger and your guests will probably take one.  If you cut your pan of bars to make 48 bars, they will be half the size, but your guests will probably still take one!  Many times with something sweet, you don't actually need a large sampling of it, especially when there are other desserts (and there always are around the holidays)! 

So, if you have a cookie swap to attend, just make your cookies a little smaller and you'll get more out of one recipe. 

If you have to bring a dessert to two different parties, make your cookies smaller, bring half to the first party, and half to the second (freezing the superflulous cookies if there is a long time in between parties). 

See where I'm going here?  You can save yourself time, and most certainly money, by making your cookies a little bit smaller.  No one will notice except your wallet! 

And if you are usually someone who buys the pre-made cookie dough, can I encourage you to try and make the same cookies from scratch instead?  It's cheaper, you'll be able to make more cookies and it's certainly easier to make the cookies a smaller size from your scratch dough, then from pre-formed dough.  I'll be doing a whole post later about cost comparison between home made dough and store bought dough.

Happy baking!  We made sugar cookies this weekend at our house (and I did make them a tiny bit thinner and used smaller cookie cutters to make my cookies go further!) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Free Christmas Music from Amazon

Starting today, every 5 days, Amazon is offering a new set of 5 FREE Christmas songs.  That's one free song for every day from now until Christmas!

Go here to claim your first 5 free songs. 

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chili's Holidaily Coupon: A New Coupon Every Day

Chili's is running a Holidaily promotion through December 24 where they will have a new coupon available each day.  You can use your coupon on the day that you print it.  So if you're planning on eating out at Chili's this month, make sure you print a coupon before you leave!

Thank you, Couponing to Disney!

ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas

I'm all about free fun, especially at Christmas time.  The ABC Family channel runs the 25 days of Christmas (movies) starting today.  Even if you don't watch every single day, it's nice to know that there is a family-friendly Christmas movie on TV every night from now until Christmas!

Tonight's movie is Elf.  Who doesn't love that movie?!  My daughter is too young for it, but I'll be watching it after she goes to bed :).  They also have movies running during the day most days.  Our DVR is set for Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas this morning!

Here is the entire schedule so you can mark your calendar (or set your DVR) for days you don't want to miss!