Can it be the Holiday Season Already?! - Part 1!

If you tuned in today to Panhandle Live (which I hope you were able to do!) you heard me graciously ramble on about how to save on the holidays. A huge thanks to Marsha for always thinking of me as a guest for the show! I wanted to cover the same tips today, in case you didn't get to hear them or wanted more details:) I will be posting in parts because the information is overwhelming and there is a LOT!

When it comes to the holidays I feel it is never too early to start planning! As soon as the air gets crisp and the calendar turns to Fall I am in holiday mode! Why, and is it necessary you ask? YES it is because the sooner you start planning the more money you are likely to save! I will be sharing my Fall and holiday planning and preparations throughout the season. But today I wanted to get everyone in the mindset to save money on this years holidays!

How to Save on the Holidays Series

There are 4 main categories when it comes to spending during the holiday season:

1. Food
3. Gifts
4. Travel

Lets start with food:

The Cost-
According to American Farm Bureau Federation in 2012 the average 10-serving Thanksgiving dinner will cost $49.48, I think this average is a little low but lets use it.

Christmas baking items like, cookies, bakest gifts, and other yummy treats not related to Christmas dinner can cost around $100.

Christmas Dinner, according to the 2012 price index, will cost around $67.31 

Throw in Halloween trick or treat candy and you are at a grand total of  $23000 on use food alone!

Ways to Save on Food for All Holidays-

  • Coupons and shopping sales- Shopping sales, using coupons, and combining both throughout the year to stockup on items like sugar, flour, oils, ect. will help balance the extra cost of holiday food (REALLY it works! I am proof!)

  • Free Turkey Promo's- Many grocery stores will offer a promotion if you spend X amount of money you get a free turkey, ham, or frozen Lasagna. USE THIS deal. Ask another family member to use your card in store for the weeks the promo is running if they are not going to utilize the deal as well!

  •  Shop discount grocery stores- Aldi's, BB's, Save-a-lot 

  • Ask for side dishes or dessert-  When hosting dinner, make the main course, supply the beverage and bread. Then ask attendees to bring a side dish or dessert! This will save you not only money but time! It is not offensive to ask and if you feel bad remember Flattery works! (i.e. Grams your Mac and Cheese is the best, mine always turn's out dry. Would you mind making to share with everyone for Thanksgiving?)

  • Trade off hosting- If you are always the host try being the guest for a change!

  • Halloween Candy- Don't think the kids have to have candy! Last year I gave out small bags of pretzels. My son has brought home toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring books, and juice boxes! Be CREATIVE! Use rewards points like ecb's and coupons. This a treat for the kids not an event to break the bank!

Ways to Save on Trick or Treat Candy
 What are some ways you save on holiday food? I would love to share your idea's!

Check back tomorrow for Part 2- Decorations!



Coupon Classes, Pre-pass giveaway for Kid's Closet Connection, and Septembers giveaway

If you are local and have been wanting to learn how to coupon register today for this Saturday September 14th, 2013 Intro to coupoing class @ Clear Spring library. The class starts promptly at 11:00am and will include where and how to find coupons, the basic concepts of couponing, and the idea behind stockpiling. Register here for free!  I am so excited about this!!! Kid's Closet Connection the area's largest consignment sale is allowing me to give 5 lucky readers a pre-pass to use Thursday September 19! Join me tomorrow night at 9pm EST on The Nifty Thrifty Lady's facebook page to play a couple of games to giveaway the 5 passes:) Remember to enter the September Giveaway! 


21 Day Better Habit Challenge

Hi everyone! I am going to mix it up a bit with this  post and challenge all the Nifty Thrifty Readers to break one bad habit and replace it with one good habit during the 21 Day Better Habit Challenge.

Sounds fun, right?

Research shows that it takes 21 days, or 3 weeks, to form or break a habit. That's not even a month, this is very doable!

You might be wondering if the habits  have to be related to money savings and the answer is No. You can choose to break any bad habit you have and replace it with a good habit!

 I will be giving daily updates on Facebook album 21 Day Challenge and Twitter #NTL21daychallenge and weekly updates on The Weekly Wrap as to my progress with the 21 Day Better Habit Challenge.

 I believe setting goals and sticking with them is a foundation for being able to accomplish financial goals.

A few tips:
I want everyone to feel empowered and accomplish kicking a bad habit and gaining a new one.

1. Make the habit simple and realistic. I.E. the first time I did this my new habit was to make my bed every single day (PS IT WORKED!!) My habit to kick was procrastinating; when it came to school work...This was a challenge but I have a new routine that works
2. Hold yourself accountable. By any means necessary! If the only way you are going to be held accountable is by posting daily updates on Facebook, then do it! Instagram is a good way too. You can also have measurable mini-goals or create a tally chart for 21 days. The ideas are endless, but you have to be accountable to someone!
3. Do not get discouraged. To err is human. Plain and simple. But if you fall off the bandwagon, pick yourself up and hop back on. I not only fell ill during my first 21 day challenge, but I missed making the bed a handful of times. I didn't let that stop me. Now, my first reaction when getting out of bed is pull the blankets up and make the bed look neat-- sometimes even if my hubby is still in it ;).
4. Celebrate! When you're done with the 21 Day Better Habit Challenge don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back!

There is a lot of psychology behind breaking habits and starting news ones.

How it works:
  • Choose one new habit to gain and one bad habit to kick (I would love to hear them so leave a comment below or on Fb/Twitter)
  • Plan out how you will go about stopping the old habit and starting the new habit 
  • Set measurable goals and periodic check-in dates
  • Choose how you will hold yourself accountable
  • Put your plan in action and start the 21 Day Better Habit Challenge!! 

Here is what I will be working towards and how I plan to follow the steps:
My new habit will be: Exercising daily for 15 mins
My old habit will be : Not hitting the Snooze button in the morning
My plan:For my new habit I will be blocking out 15 mins a day before bed to exercise. I will be using an app on my phone called sworkit which lets you choose the type of exercise and length of time! To kick my old habit of hitting the snooze button (did I really have to choose this one?!) I will be placing my phone on my dresser which is across the room. (I hope that works!)
My Measurable goals: I keep track of my progress daily on my phone with an easy check when I accomplish each task.
Accountability: YOU, the readers, will be holding me accountable. I will also be telling my family so they can help me stay on track. I hope everyone is willing to take this challenge with me! It is never good to stay stagnant in your same routines and habits!


How to Keep Track of Shutterfly Codes

Here's a quick tip for all those that let the free shutterfly codes expire (LIKE ME)!

Just click on the video to watch!

Current Shutterfly Codes:
Free 8X8 PhotoBook code SUMMERBOOK
Enter one Coke Rewards Coke and get a Free 8X8 Photobook
Huggies Rewards members received a code for a Free item
As always if you sign up for a Shutterfly account you get 50 free prints

Let me know if you like the videos!


What is on sale during September?

Here is a quick run down of things to keep your eyes open for this month! All of the items could potently be at their lowest price point when combined with a coupon YAY!!
Back to school supplies: most stores will be clearanceing back to school items this month so grab them to refill during the year or better year for next year to lighten the cost of back to school!

Diabetic Supplies: This is Diabetic awareness month so many great deals on strips and meters

Baby Products: Typically this month holds many baby sales and many baby item coupons

Produce in season this month:  apples, artichokes, beans, berries, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, onions, peaches, pears, potatoes. It is the end of gardening season so stock up and freeze!

Clearance finds: Summer seasonal items

 What other deals are you able to routinely find in September?