Yesterday I received the most startling e-mail… We are only 9 weeks from Black Friday!! AHHHH! I’ll be honest, I had a small panic attack as I haven’t even thought about the holidays yet. They creep up on me every year and every year I think to myself, “self, next year you’re going to start saving, prepping, and shopping in September/October for the holidays”. Well now is my chance!
Ways To Save
- Use resources like Mint.com to help you to create a holiday savings plan
- Make a list of who you want to shop for this holiday season and create a spending budget per person. This will help you create an overall budget.
- If you have a large family or group of friends, ask if everyone is interested in doing Secret Santa or creating a rotating schedule each year that way you only have to shop for 1 person/couple/family instead of multiples.
- Set aside $10-$20 (or any amount you’d prefer) a week, placing the savings in an envelope labeled gifts/party/decor/etc.. The trick is to shop only using the money you’ve placed in the envelopes. This helps you to budget and to use your savings wisely!
- Take advantage of the fall festivals as they often have local vendors selling adorable handmade gifts (earrings, paintings, photography, etc.)
- Etsy anyone?
- Keep an eye on current sales! Sales don’t just occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You’d be surprised what you can find cheaper in October vs. in December.
- Check out Ebates! What’s better than cash back?
- Begin creating handmade gift! Knitting scarfs, baking baked goods, or making homemade thank you cards are great ways to wish someone a happy holiday without breaking the bank!
- Shop for that “ugly sweater” or a cute holiday outfit at a local consignment shop or thrift store.
- Don’t hesitate to go into gifts with multiple people. Instead of spending $60 on that new purse for your Mom, see if your siblings or significant other want to chip in.
Although it’s only 9 weeks away, I am extremely excited. Black Friday shopping is a HUGE family tradition of mine and I haven’t miss a Black Friday in 14 years! This Thanksgiving my sister is coming into town and I can not wait! I’ll definitely miss having my mom there, but I know she’ll have fun in Texas. I’m also hoping to drag Neal Black Friday shopping, as I did last year!
So around 4:30PM yesterday I was overwhelmed with the craving for a bison burger. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried bison, but it’s wonderful and is incredibly lean. My go to Bison burger restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill. I texted Neal right away in hopes that he’d be up for an evening out and thankfully he was totally game.
Neal ordered our favorite burger, the blue creek burger, which has blue cheese and bacon on top. I ordered a new burger called the Avalon. Although it sounds like an apartment complex, the toppings sounded delicious; blue cheese, bacon, garlic aioli, arugula and caramelized onions!! I was so excited.
We had a wonderful dinner together and were able to talk lots about blogging and book writing. We’re both really enjoying our hobbies and it’s so fun to share our experiences and joys with each other. After getting my bison fix, I headed home and tackled homework. Graduate school is kinda kicking my tail this semester, but I’ll get through! 4 more classes… 4 more classes… 4 more classes…. That’s what I have to keep reminding myself. May 2012 can’t get here soon enough, in regards to school that is.
This morning Neal and I ran for 30 minutes. Hopefully we got a little under 3 miles in, but I’ll have to use Map My Run later to know for sure. It’s really interesting how different we both can feel on a given day. I’ll have an off day and he’ll feel great and vice versa. This week I learned that either way, it’s just about getting out there and doing it.
Well, off to work I go with Dunkin Donuts Keurig brewed coffee in hand. Hopefully the rain will let up today that way Neal and I can make it to the Nationals game tonight! I’m going to miss baseball season…. Happy Friday Everyone!!