Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Thanksgiving, Thankfully Budget Friendly

10 Festive ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving with great food, a beautiful table, warm home decor touches, and all within budget.

Enjoy the video clips, and enjoy your holiday!

Holiday Dinner – feed 30 People for under $60 –  Seems unbelievable, but Coupon Mom shows how easily it CAN be done!

Southern Style Thanksgiving Budget Feast -  ”Simple Fresh Southern” cookbook authors, The Lee Brothers, Matt and Ted Lee, show recipes for a three-course Thanksgiving dinner to feed 8 for under $70.

Little Pumpkin Pies – Author of the 99-Cent Only Store Cookbook, Christiane Jory gives simple seasonal recipe for instant delicious on a dime.

No-Bake Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie – a Kraft Foods amazingly quick and easy recipe for a pie that doesn’t require any baking.

Easy Fall Table Centerpieces –  Professional floral designer, Amy Child Marella, gives easy fall table decor ideas you can do in minutes.

Etched Pumpkins, Easy & Beautiful! - interior designer and crafter Evette Rios shows amazingly beautiful and easy way to use pumpkins for affordable seasonal holiday decor flare in decorating your home.

Fall Table Decorations From Your Grocery - Designer, Jennifer Adams, and lifestyle TV reporter, Brooke Carlson show budget-friendly ideas to decorate your fall holiday table with items from the grocery store.

For even more holiday on-a-budget party tips:

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9 Black Friday Shopping Apps

Smart phones and technology can help make your shopping easier, especially on Black Friday (doesn’t THAT sound nice?). Here are video reviews of Black Friday and other shopping apps that can help you save time and money:

Tech reviewer Matts MacIntosh shows two phone apps to find coupons and locations that accept them, find apps and track their price changes, scan bar codes and then located the best deals. He reviews Yoowza!, AppSniper and RedLaser:

AppVee.com reviews three and evaluates the performance of these three apps designed for shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals . Find out if  the cost of these iPhone & iPad Touch mobile apps are worth their potential savings:

The Daily App Show reviews The Find, a mobile app that ties online and offline shopping together. You can price compare, scan bar codes, locate products and save information to save money. For iPhone and Android:

Crazy Mike from CrayMikesapps.com walks you through the features of THI Friday iPhone App, a free money-saving app:

Owen Robbins from KRRS Systems reviews the money-saving and coupon app called, The Coupons App for iPhones, iPad, Android devices. They also feature Black Friday deals:

More Black Friday Savings strategies in our posts:

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The Special Deal Days of Holiday Shopping

 

The holiday shopping season continues to start earlier in the year, and that means a growing number of “special shopping days” with more deals and discounts from retailers and online outlets. This is a greater opportunity for you to save on those items on your gift list. But with more and more sale days, it may be quite a challenge to keep your spending in check during the holiday shopping season. The keys to staying in control are:

  • plan ahead
  • know the best days to shop
  • research and price compare ahead of time
  • use coupons and promo codes
  • stick to your budget

Here are the 12 traditional big sale and discount days for holiday shopping:

November 10 - Neighborhood Toy Store Day - This day of awareness was initiated to help shoppers find the best children’s toys on the market and encourage shopping in your  local community. Check out this website with resources: Neighborhood Toy Store Day. 

The Day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday - In the United States, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often even on Thanksgiving night, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Sales are announced weeks ahead of time, and doorbuster deals are offered in limited quantities, which means advanced planning is essential to get the most from these bargains. More to find big savings in our post: Black Friday, Cyber Monday Money Saving Tips

The Saturday following Thanksgiving - Small Business Saturday  - Small Business Saturday reminds us to shop at locally-owned neighborhood stores. Boutique independent shops can offer some unique choices, quality goods and caring service.

The Monday following Thanksgiving - Cyber Monday - This marks the start of Cyber Week, where online shopping deals are continuous right up until the very last holiday minute, especially if you know where and how to search for bargains. By shopping online you save on gas and parking fees. Watch for sales, and use promo codes for discounts and free shipping offers. 7 Cyber Monday Shopping and Safety Tips.

End of November or in December - Chanukah – The first day of the eight-day holiday of Chanukah changes from year to year, but check your calendar and watch for new offers, specials and promo codes before that first day and and throughout the eight days of Chanukah. More tips to enjoy your holiday celebration in our post:  8 Ideas for a Happy Hanukkah Party on a Budget.

Second Monday in DecemberGreen Monday - eBay coined the term “Green Monday,” which does not refer to anything ecological, but rather, refers to the busiest online sales day of the year and the busiest shipping day in the country, with sales reported to bring in over one-billion greenbacks. More savings tips in this video:  Green Monday

Mid-December – Free Shipping Day - The U.S. and Canada’s Postal Service’s Annual Free Shipping Day,  is a one-day, online-shopping event when literally thousands of merchants offer free shipping promising delivery by Christmas Eve, and many merchants offer additional special promotions and discounts. More on participating retailers, special offers in this post on Free Shipping Day .

Third Thursday in DecemberNational Regifting Day - Regifting can be a budget-friendly option for gift-giving and is a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally, National Regifting Day conveniently coincides with the time that many businesses are hosting holiday office parties. One word of caution: be sure you don’t regift the gift back to the person who gave it to you originally. More handy tips in this video on The Art of Regifting.

Saturday before Christmas Day – Super Saturday - This is the second biggest retail shopping day of the year. The Saturday before Christmas is called “super” because it’s the last weekend chance for shoppers, which makes it super for retailers. Along with extra incentives and doorbuster deals being offered through the weekend, shoppers may also find a wide range of retail prices with tons of impulse items priced on the higher side while items that haven’t moved previously may be priced to sell. More in this video: Super Saturday Holiday Shopping

Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve - Two more intense days for sales at brick-and-mortar stores. This is the final opportunity for shoppers browse for gifts in order to give them in time for Christmas Day, and it’s the last chance to move inventory before final end of year markdowns. But though you may be facing a time crunch, it’s still possible to find deals. How-to tips in this video:  Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips.

December 26Kwanzaa – This seven-day celebration starts the day following Christmas and ends on January 1. This week is loaded with post-Christmas and end-of-year discounts being offered, but pay special attention and you may find extra coupon codes and discounts added to address this specific holiday. Ideas, crafts, recipes and gift ideas in our post: 7 Kwanzaa Celebration Ideas.

Day After Christmas and Post Christmas Deals: The day after Christmas is now considered to be a close contender with Black Friday as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Shoppers are in stores with gift exchanges and returns, and using gift cash and gift cards while taking advantage of end of season sales for items like winter gear, clothing and coats. It’s also a good time to find rock bottom prices on holiday items you might want to stock up on for next year’s holiday season like wrapping paper, holiday cards, and decorations. Discounts are usual offered through January 1 as retailers need to move last year’s inventory to make way for new spring stock. Make the most of your post-holiday shopping with the tips in this video on How to Snag After-Holiday Deals.

 More on how to get the most for your holiday shopping dollar:

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Make Mother’s Day Magnificent (and Budget-Friendly)

U.S. Mother’s Day is in May, on the second Sunday of the month.

You can make mom feel appreciatedand give her a marvelous day without breaking the bank or draining your wallet with these Mother’s Day ideas that any and every mother would love:

Make Mother’s Day Special - Treat mom to a special Mother’s Day without breaking the bank. The Shopping Queen, Fatima Mehdikarimi gives ideas on flowers, dining, luxury and a top tech idea to make Mother’s Day special.

Outside the Box Mother’s Day Gifts - Mother’s Day with a twist. Not-so-typical gift ideas that can also be budget-friendly. Six Minute Style’s Susan Doherty presents five fabulous outside-the-gift-box ideas for mom. She’s gonna love this.

DIY Mother’s Day Spinners - An easy, bright and cheerful DIY project for young children to make. Perfect for Mother’s Day and will continue to delight mom all Summer long from Crayola Creative Workshop.

Duck Tape Roses for Mom - Make a Mother’s Day bouquet of flowers out of duct tape! Easy, fun and pretty DIY from Duck Brand duct tape for mom! Simple tutorial shows how. Make it useful by using a pen for the stem!

DIY Paper Photo Wallet - Every mom loves sharing pictures of her family. This easy DIY papercrafted tri-fold wallet will display all her favorite pics in style. Crafter and author of Christmas Papercrafts, Corinne Bradd, shows how to create a brag book using paper and a series of simple creases.

More on making Mother’s Day wonderful in these related SLTV posts:

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Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money

Earth Day…

On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash.  I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.

Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  I wish it was for more people out there.  Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it  filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.

Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!

Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings.  Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.

While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do.  I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!

Jamie, SLTV

Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:

Being Frugal:  The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell

Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers

Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips - Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini

Freecycling: Household Items for Free - coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi

Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save - Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20

Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money - Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch

House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly - Interior designer, Libby Langdon

Household Eco Products Save Money - Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show

Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn

Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo

Shop Organic Money Saving Tips - Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano

Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions - Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News

World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement - World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms,  WWOOF

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7 Sensational Recipes to Celebrate Passover (That Won’t Cinch Your Wallet)

Like so many holiday celebrations, the Passover celebration is centered around the dining table. Stories of long ago are shared while tasting foods that symbolize the meaning of this holiday. This is a time to appreciate a delicious and creative meal together with family and friends. But a holiday feast for all does not have to be a budget stretch. Here are delicious, affordable spins on traditional recipes taken from all around the world that would make any Passover feast (or any feast at all) a memorable one.

Moroccan Charoset Truffles - Recipe for a Passover traditional food, Charoset, usually prepared with apples & walnuts, takes on a Moroccan spin with dates, raisins, and walnuts, served up as little truffles. Easy recipe from Zabar’s Chef, and author of Fistful of Lentils, Jennifer Abadi

4 Passover Recipes with a Mediterranean Spin  - Culinary anthropologist Tori Avey (aka: The Shiksa in the Kitchen) shares the history of  ancient food traditions and gives three recipes that are fresh and healthier and have a twist on the traditional: Cucumber Salad with Pickle & Mint, Mushroom Quinoa Risotto, Seared Salmon with Creamy Dill, and an Apple Pecan Pie.

Honey Chicken Recipe – Cookbook author and founder of  kosher.com, Jamie Geller, shares an easy, affordable Honey Chicken recipe that is perfect for holidays or an elegant dinner party.

Potato Kugel RecipeQuick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes Cookbook author Jamie Geller shows how to make Potato Kugel. A savory and budget friendly vegetarian addition to any meal, any time of day, and perfect for Passover.

Noodle Kugel - Food TV’s “Good Deal” host and cookbook author Dave Lieberman shares his grandmother’s quick, easy, and budget friendly recipe for noodle kugel, a creamy and crispy sweet baked dessert.

Passover Fruit Cobbler - Fruit cobbler recipe is a refreshing alternative to Passover’s usual desserts. This clip is part of “Sweet Dreams” show on the TV Food Network hosted by cook book author Gale Gand.

Passover Coconut Macaroons- TV Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” Chef Ina Garten shares her recipe for coconut macaroons, a traditional Passover sweet dessert cookie.

More budget-friendly holiday entertaining ideas:

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Easter Entertaining On a Budget

 

Easter occurs at that time of year when everything is blooming new and fresh, and here in the East coast of the U.S. we begin to venture outdoors once again after a long winter’s hibernation.  The holiday conjures up thoughts of colorful flowers, candy, gift baskets, outdoor games, and a spring feast to celebrate with friends and family. Here are easy Easter entertaining tips with everything from decorations, to tasty meals, to kids games and craft activities to create an abundant Easter celebration without putting a dent in your budget.

Spring Vegetarian Greens & Quinoa Pie – Mary Margaret Chappell, Vegetarian Times Magazine Editor shows easy vegetarian recipe for a dish that’s sure to compliment any Spring table and every guest’s appetite.

Easter Feast, 3-Course, Serve 4, Under $35 – Executive editor of Gourmet Magazine, ”Doc” Willoughby shares a 3-course Easter feast that serves 4 people for under $35. Budget recipes: Spring Greens Salad, Herb Roasted Pork Loin, & Lemon Glazed Butter Cake.

Easter Gift Baskets Going Light - Diet editor and author of Finally Thin, Kim Bensen shares ways to make your Easter gift baskets healthier, kid-friendly, delicious and fun.

The Best Way to Peel a Hard-Boiled Egg – We use this technique and it’s hands down the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs –  especially handy when you have several to do.

Easter & Spring Table Decor - Simple budget-friendly Easter or spring decoration ideas for your table & home. These dollar store #DIY’s ideas from Sunday Burquest would also make great favors for guests or hostess gifts too. 

DIY Easter Basket from Recycled Items - A member of the San Diego Craft Mafia, CrafterMeagan Rae shows clever, easy ways to make budget and eco-kind Easter baskets from items you probably already have at home.

Stretch Your Easter Basket Goodies - Fun, healthier and eco-friendly ways to stretch your Easter basket goodies to last all year long. Money saving expert Denise Winston gives budget friendly ideas.

Kids Easter Game - Easy DIY project kids can do using Crayola Model Magic Fusion & plastic eggs to make this fun matching game. Perfect for Easter day – or any day – fun

More happy celebration suggestions on SLTV Channels:

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Party on St. Patrick’s Without Blowing Your Pot of Gold

photo: “Rainbow Over Knocknara” Ireland

You know spring is right around the corner when St. Patrick’s Day arrives. Green is springing up everywhere, and that alone is enough reason to celebrate! Here are seven videos with tips on meals, recipes, decorations, games, and crafts to bring some festive green and great luck to any St. Patrick’s Day party… with these budget-friendly ideas, you won’t need to tap into your pot of gold to enjoy a great time!

St. Patrick’s Corned Beef & Cabbage – Irish Chef Bobby Flay shows how to cook an affordable enhanced version of corned beef & cabbage, a perfect recipe for an impressive traditional St. Patrick’s Day feast.

St. Patricks Day Dinner, Under $35 - Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Chef Gerard Reidy’s classic recipes with a twist from Ireland’s Delphi Mountain Resort: mussels, a traditional lamb and vegetable stew, soda bread, and  banana bread dessert.

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas - Leanne Mumm Pardo and Christopher Hughes, founders of One Hour Parties, share St. Patrick’s Day party ideas that are perfect quick, casual and affordable fun for any budget. Included: green beer, rainbow cupcakes, Leprechaun bottle covers, rainbow crunch mix, kids puppet activity and more.

Marble Green Fingernails for St. Patrick’s Day - When will it be a better time to wear green marble nail polish than on St. Patrick’s Day? What a budget friendly holiday idea! Here’s an easy tutorial on how to do it!  (cup is filled with filtered water).

Make a Bowler Hat from Newspaper - Crafting expert, Ginny Larson shows how to make a DIY St. Patrick’s Day bowler hat from newspaper – easy!

Kids Crafts for St. Patrick’s Day - Crafty Creations, the Abilene PublicLibrary librarian duo, Tremain Jackson and Alyssa Crow, show two DIY craft projects, a potato shamrock stamp & a tissue paper rainbow. They also suggest two children’s books relating to St. Patrick’s Day.

The History of St. Patrick’s Day - Is St. Patrick’s Day just about green, shamrocks, leprechauns, gold and beer? What is the origin of St. Patrick’s Day? And who was St. Patrick? Find the answer here & impress with your St. Patrick’s knowledge!

More ideas to enjoy St. Patrick’s without breaking your budget in our previous post:

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Awesome Super Bowl Party (on a Budget) Tips

Super Bowl… it’s all about the game… er… party… er… food… er… budget...

Whatever the Super Bowl is for you, you won’t want to miss catching these videos with recipes and entertaining tips that score well for your wallet’s team while you serve your guests a winning time.

Football Fiesta – Andrea Correale, founder of Elegant Affairs catering gives affordable football-themed  ideas for food, buffet settings & party favors.

10 Super Bowl Party Savings Tips – Josh Elledge, SavingsAngel founder’s tips to save on a range of Super Bowl Party expenses like babysitting, party supplies, decorations, food & more.

Super Bowl Buffalo Chicken Wings & Vegan Snacks –  Traditional Wings, Asian Peanut Sauce & 2 vegan dishes, all for under $15 from the Working Class Foodies.

Super Bowl, Serve 8 Under $35 - Tim Love, Owner of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Forth Worth, Texas shares recipes for a Super Bowl menu on a budget: 3-course meal to serve 8 people for less than $35.

Hosting a Party? Play it Safe with Liability Insurance -  Experts say it’s important for party hosts to carry liability insurance for your parties, not only to cover a potential accident or an incident due to intoxication – but also for things like food poisoning, even if the event is catered you may be held responsible.

More ideas from our friends:

  • Super Bowl party ideas, recipes, drinks and games… Celebrations.com
  • Super Bowl Menu: how to keep it frugal… BargainBabe.com
  • More Recipes including Beer Cocktails… DiningInTheRound.com

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Have A Happy New Year’s Eve (on a Budget!)

The perfect way to start saving money is… with a party of course! A New Year’s Eve party is just the ticket to prove to yourself that you can have a fantastic evening, look sensational, eat, drink and be merry, even host an event – and all while staying on budget! These videos give wallet-friendly ways to enjoy and/or host a New Year’s Eve bash so you can go ahead and usher in the New Year with a new “can do” attitude! So, go ahead, celebrate!

Easy New Year’s Eve Party Ideas – Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Editor, Evette Rios, shows Hoda and Kathie Lee ideas to dress up your New Year’s Eve party with quick craft projects and re-purposing holiday decor.

New Year’s Eve Party Comfort Foods on a Budget - Executive chef at New York’s Stanton Social, Chris Santos, shows recipes for budget-friendly comfort party dishes without spending over $80. Philly Cheesesteak Sliders, Potato Skins, Mac & Cheese, Chicken Caesar Bites, Ginger Sparkler Cocktail, Guinness Cake.

New Year’s Eve Party for under $100 - Owner and operator of A Perfect Event, Debi Lilly, gives tips to create a low-cost but elegant New Year’s Eve party using items you may already have on hand.

Inexpensive New Year’s Eve Party Ideas - Bryan Rafanelli, event designer of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, shares his tips for easy ultra-affordable and ultra-fun New Year’s Eve Party ideas that everyone will love (including your wallet).

You might also like:

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