• 10 Savvy Ways to Save in the New Year

    savvy ways to save in the new year

    Have you already made your New Year’s resolutions? Do any of them include saving more? If not, it isn’t too late to make one – and this is one resolution that you can succeed at, too. I have 10 savvy ways to save in the new year, but before you become overwhelmed with the idea, read through these simple and easy tips. Before you know it, you will be saving more in 2015 and become a savvy shopper!

    10 Savvy Ways to Save in the New Year

    1. Pay yourself first with a savings account. It is simple to open a savings account if you haven’t already. Start with just a $25 automatic deduction each pay period and increase it if you are able to in the future. Having money automatically go into your account will help you stick to your resolution and save for your future, such as an emergency fund, a child’s college education, or retirement.

    2. Record all your expenses for one month. It is an eye-opening experience and will allow you to figure out what you can cut back on, as well as what is a necessary expense. Are you spending too much on coffee each month? What about eating out? How much are you spending on groceries? How about clothes? These are all things that you can cut back on so that you can tuck away extra cash each month.

    3. Avoid impulse buys. Before heading to the store, make a list of what you need and stick to the list while shopping. Don’t shop hungry and if your kids aren’t helpful with shopping, you may want to leave them at home so you can concentrate on getting the best deals.

    4. Be a savvy spender by using coupons. You knew this tip was coming didn’t you? :) You can find coupons in newspapers, magazines, by mail, or online to help you save each week at the store. Utilize coupons with a sale and you’ll see a 50% savings on your grocery bill immediately. If you are new to using coupons, I recommend that you check out Couponing: Where to Begin. And all my coupon articles are on the Coupon Resources page to help you out.

    Don’t like to cut coupons? Don’t worry, you can use eCoupons, which can be loaded directly to your shopper’s card.

    5. Enjoy FREE family friendly events. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Michael’s, the LEGO store, and more stores offer FREE kids events each month. Bank of America card holders can enjoy FREE museum membership once a month. Don’t forget to check your local library for FREE events, movie and magazine rentals as well. And when you are eating out, you can find a restaurant near you that offers FREE kids’ meals by visiting KidsMealDeals.com.

    6. Sign up for Daily Deal sites, like Groupon and Living Social to save on everything from dining out and salon services to car maintenance and vacations. We all like a little splurge now and then, but why not save 50% to 90% the next time you get a pedicure, get a massage or watch a movie!

    7. Pack a lunch and watch your savings grow. Buying a lunch each day can be pricey, even if you are finding a good deal. For example, a foot long sub sandwich and drink can cost approximately $7. When you multiply that by 20 work days, you end up spending $120 a month, or $1440 a year! Packing your lunch, as well as your kid’s lunch will not only be a healthier option, but it can also help you cut back on extra expenses.

    8. Cut down on your bills. You can lower your utility bill by turning off lights, electronics, and other appliances when not in use. My son was constantly forgetting to turn off his bedroom light, so we installed a motion sensor light switch in his room. Installation was simple, the cost low, and now we aren’t paying extra on our electricity bill.

    We also eliminated cable and switched to an antennae last year. It saved us $600 ($50 a month)! We also get to watch movies and TV shows since I’m also signed up for Amazon Prime, which saves me on shipping as well.

    9. DIY. Household cleaners, body scrub, baby food, as well as many other household items are easy to make, and cost a lot less than the packaged items from stores. For example, vinegar and baking soda are effective household cleaners that kill most molds, bacteria, and germs. Plus these non-toxic cleaners only costs a few dollars.

    Here are some DIY ideas:

    10. Save at the pump by finding the cheapest gas wherever you go. Use the smartphone app GasBuddy, which is free, to compare prices before you head out. You can also save by watching your tire pressure, driving the speed limit, and filling up at stores that offer reward programs. And to save even more, check out my 9 Ways to Save at the Pump.

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  • Four Tips to Host Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

    Four Tips to Host Perfect Thanksgiving DinnerHolidays are for enjoying, eating and having fun with your family and friends. So is the Thanksgiving Day, but this particular holiday involves a bit more effort in order to be perfectly organized and to prepare a good dinner.

    Decorations

    Best way to show off your holiday spirit is to decorate your whole house with some Thanksgiving decorations. You can make turkeys out of paper and hang them on your drapes or walls. You may even put some baskets with dry leaves around your house and some small decorative pumpkins. This will give a nice fall feeling to your house. Also, you should incorporate fall colors like red, orange, deep purple and brown and arrange some flowers of those colors.

    Seating arrangements

    If you are planning on hosting a big dinner you can neatly arrange where your guests will sit. For example, you can seat together all the couples, family members can also sit together and put some good friends near each other so everyone would be comfortable. To make this easier, plan a few days ahead and you can make seating cards. These cards should also be decorated, and you can use yellow paper and write down the names in some beautiful letters.

    Organize the table

    To perfectly organize meals, dishes and everything else on your table, you should plan a few days ahead. Decide on which plates you want to use, which table cloth, glasses, drink and of course the menu. If you are stuck and do not know how to organize things try consulting Peters of Kensington. They have a tableware section where you can find everything you need, from plates and cutlery to diversity of bowls and glasses. Not only all the products are of a good quality, but they are also creative and well-designed and they will definitely make your table look charming. Besides the tableware, here you can find many interesting and useful ideas for any occasion.

    Play some games

    After this big perfect dinner you should rest your stomachs and have a few drinks with your guests while playing some fun games. You can always play usual card games, or you can get creative and try some new ones. A game called Top Turkey Artist involves drawing the best turkey but without looking. Both kids and adults can play this game; all you need is a pen, paper and a blindfold. Another game that is both for children and adults is Turkey Tag. This is an outdoor game and it is just a Thanksgiving version of flag tag. However, if you are hosting a party with no children, just adults you can try any of the interesting drinking games. Just turn on the TV, find an interesting show and establish the rules for drinking and you are done.

    So, to plan and organize the most perfect and the most fun Thanksgiving dinner just follow some of these tips and you will not make a mistake. You and your guests will enjoy and create some good memories.

    Thanks to Emma Lawson for this guest post.

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  • 15 Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year

    15 Thanksgiving Recipes

    Thanksgiving is almost here! Do you have your menu set yet? I’m still working on mine.  There are so many yummy recipes out there that you definitely don’t have to make the same thing as last year. Be a hit this Thanksgiving with these mouthwatering recipes from around the web. We’ve found a little bit of everything, so you have lots of choices! Be sure to “pin” this so you can be a Thanksgiving rock star this year!

    15 Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Recipes

    1. Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce
    2. Soy Glazed Sweet Potatoes
    3. Crock Pot Applesauce
    4. Sourdough Stuffing with Mushrooms, Apples, & Sage
    5. Potato Rosemary Rolls
    6. Chef John’s Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
    7. Loaded Mashed Cauliflower
    8. Homemade Mac & Cheese
    9. Herbed Turkey and Dressing
    10. Gingered Green Beans
    11. Slow Cooker Country Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    12. Cranberry Stuffing Balls 
    13. Creamed Corn Cornbread
    14. Scalloped Onions & Peas
    15. Creamed Beans & Potatoes

    So many wonderful choices – it is hard to pick! What do you plan to have for Thanksgiving?

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    Like these deals? Don’t forget to sign up for the Saving Cents with Sense Newsletter to find deals, coupons, and money saving tips in your mailbox each day. You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest This site uses affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

  • Snickerdoodle Bites Recipe

    Snickerdoodle Bites PIN

    Snickerdoodle Bites Recipe

    I love baking around the holidays and these cookies are no exception! Warm cinnamon and sugar cookies that make your house smell divine. These are perfect for an afternoon treat for the kids, a dessert (add some ice cream for an extra treat) or for your holiday entertaining. I hope you enjoy these Snickerdoodle Bites as much as I do!

    Snickerdoodle Bites Recipe

    Snickerdoodle Bites
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup butter
    • ½ cup shortening
    • 1 ½ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 ¾ cup flour

    • For Rolling:
    • 2 teaspoon. cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add eggs and stir until incorporated.
    3. On low speed, slowly add in salt, and baking soda, and flour. Mix until incorporated.
    4. In a separate small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.
    5. Shape dough into tablespoon sized balls and roll into cinnamon-sugar mixture.
    6. Place balls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

     

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    Like these deals? Don’t forget to sign up for the Saving Cents with Sense Newsletter to find deals, coupons, and money saving tips in your mailbox each day. You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest This site uses affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

  • Pumpkin Butter

    I love pumpkin and I love this twist on the classic apple butter. If you like pumpkin, you don’t want to miss this Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter, which is simple to make and perfect on toast, biscuits, crackers, or fruit. Make this ahead a time and enjoy it all ... Read More
  • Save $100 on Family Hawaii Vacation

    Hawaii has a special place in my heart. My husband and I were married in Hawaii 13 years ago. We have wanted to go back for one of our anniversaries, but finances, jobs, school, kids, and just life, has come first so it hasn’t happened yet. We would love to ... Read More
  • Free Halloween Printable Coloring Pages

    Looking for some free Halloween printable pages? My kids love to color pages to hang up around the house to decorate for different holidays. When it comes to Halloween, I try to have pages that are fun and not too scary. I hope you enjoy these free pages! Here are ... Read More
  • 7 Dollar Store Back to School Essentials

    7 Dollar Store Back to School Essentials If you have a child heading back to school this fall, you know how expensive it can be to buy all of the supplies you need. Backpacks, lunch bags, markers, scissors, and all of those other supplies can really add up, and ... Read More
  • Back to School Clothes for Less | 5 Tips to Save

    Find Back to School Clothes for Less Back to School Clothes for Less – Whether your child is in school uniforms or traditional clothing for school, you are probably looking for ways to get back to school for less. Buying back to school clothes can be quite ... Read More
  • 50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer

    50 FREE Activities Your Family Can Enjoy this Summer Are you looking forward to that final school bell of the year ringing so you and the kiddos can spend a fun and exciting summer together? Or does the sound of the end of the year school bell have you shaking in ... Read More