Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

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 26 – Kwanzaa – 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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Save Money on Holiday Travel

Are you ready for the busiest travel season of the year? Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time for driving, but we were surprised to learn that the fall and winter holidays are not the busiest airport travel days… mid-July carries the busiest days for flyers.  But travel around the November, December and January holidays sure do feel like the busiest all around. They absolutely are high in-demand airport travel times and carry big price tags in every travel category, from transportation to lodging; couple that with family expectations and specific time constraints with limited options, and it all translates to:  the pressure is on.

If you’re traveling for the holidays, you can save yourself some stress, time, and money by preparing early with the excellent tips in these videos… and then you can sit back and really enjoy the holidays!

Cheapest Days to Fly – Another clip from FareCompare.com, video gives best days to book for big savings – Nice to know for Holidays!

Holiday Air Travel Deals – A segment from  Travel and Leisure Magazine features director, Nilou Motamed, giving websites & pointers.

Holiday Air Travel Planning Tips – Clip gives simple tip could save you stress & money during the busy holiday season (wouldn’t that be nice?).

Hotel Booking Tips – Great pointers and tips from the LA Times Travel Editor.

Top Secret Hotel Booking Tip – This single tip could bring you big savings from MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis.

Cheap Car Rentals, 22 Money Saving How-To Tips – Rental cars can be a high priced drain. This SpendLessTV blog post gives all the best tips we’ve found, which could save you a bundle on your rental car!

Link to this article: http://is.gd/jwA3FN 

7 Money Saving Winter Travel Tips

The winter travel season is a full one, containing Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, February/Winter school breaks, and Valentines Day – plenty of opportunities for travel. While any warm weather sunny destination would be a welcomed change from colder weather locations, a snowy spot with great skiing and winter sport activities is also a big draw. And don’t forget cruises, a year-round welcomed travel adventure. Wherever you may be thinking of venturing, these pointers on winter travel will make it less stressful and easier on your budget for smoother sailing, or skiing, or…

14 Tips to Save Money on Cruises –  14 top travel savings tips to get the most from your vacation budget while onboard cruise ships from travel advisor, Jason Cochran.

Ski Resort Savings – Budget friendly ways to save on winter getaways and vacations from Orbitz.com Travel Insider, Jeanenne Diefendorf.

How to Afford a Winter Vacation – Title says it all!  A little planning will take you far toward making your winter vacation a reality. These 5 money saving pointers on budgeting & travel planning will get your where you want to go!

How to Plan a Winter Vacation – Booking a vacation over the holidays? Amy Ziff, Travelocity.com Editor-at-Large, gives insider tips for getting the vacation and savings you really want.

Travel Planning Tips – Thinking about booking that vacation?  Bob Atkinson, travelsupermarket.com’s travel expert, gives his top ten tips to make it easy and as easy on your budget as possible.

Avoid Hotel Money Traps – Did you know that your hotel is rigged with money traps? Christopher Elliott tells you the top 3 traps to watch out for so you can save money while traveling.

Use Credit Cards to Save in Bartering – Here’s an simple unconventional use of credit cards that could add up to big some money savings during vacation travel… or maybe anytime, from travel reporter, Peter Greenberg.

More travel money saving pointers in SLTV post:

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Eight Eco-Friendly Happy Holiday Ideas

Have a grand and green holiday season and save money while doing it! These simple pointers will continue to give back for generations to come as they help you protect the earth and protect your loved ones from unnecessary pollution, waste, and toxins… perfect for anyone’s holiday wish lists! Here are classy creative tips that are easy, fun and budget-friendly for greeting cards, gifts, gift wrapping, shipping, dining, and decorating to have the happiest holiday season ever.

Celebrate Eco-Friendly Holidays – Have an eco-friendlier holiday! Parents TV Host, Juli Auclair, speaks to the authors of  Celebrate Green Lynn Colwell & Corey Colwell-Lipson, about wrapping paper, lights, decorations, table settings, ornaments & gifts.

Creative Recycled Wrapping –  Eco friendly ideas to personalize your gift wrapping using recycled materials, and that vintage creative print decorating staple, the potato, from Threadbanger.

Eco Chic Gift Wrap & Packaging Ideas – Go creative & go eco when wrapping presents & getting packages ready for shipping. Creative, inexpensive, & practical green tips from Rachel Avalon.

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas – 5 Top Eco-friendly and budget-friendly gift ideas from Steffany Boldrini and the creative folks at EcoBold.com.

Eco-Friendly Shipping Package Ideas – Use eco-friendly cushioning & repurpose shipping boxes for your gifts while making them more attractive at the same time! Clever Ideas from TapeSwell decorative tapes.

Green Gifts and Holiday Tips –  Affordable eco-friendly gifts ideas & easy pointers on enjoying a greener holiday dinner as well, from Global Action Plan CEO, Trewin Restorick.

Green Holiday Tips – Owen Bailey from the Sierra Club gives pointers to make the Holidays greener, which may also keep a little more green in your pocket! Tips on trees, lights, & gift wrap.

Repurposed Magazine Tree Centerpiece – Don’t toss old magazines, go green and use them to create elegant holiday centerpiece decorations with this ultra easy eco-friendly DIY craft  idea.

More green and eco tips and recources in our post:

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DIY Holiday Crafts for Kids

Create some holiday fun for kids during the holiday season. They’ll feel great about their creative ideas when they make unique gifts for friends and family or teachers. These are easy, inexpensive projects for decorations, ornaments or gifts that just about any age child (or adult) can easily do.  And, they make great activities to keep kids busy during your holiday events.

Of course, keep in mind that anything with a particular theme, ie: Christmas, can be adapted to reflect any other holiday affiliation, symbols and colors.

Kids Christmas Craft Idea – Our friends at SanDiegoBargainMama.com found this creative easy DYI  Christmas holiday craft idea that kids can do & use as a tree ornament, house or door decoration, or gift card, from ActivityVillage.co.uk

Kids DIY Xmas Tree Ornaments – DIY Christmas Tree ornaments! LooLeDo.com sows how to use inexpensive paints, sharpies, twistie ties or pipe cleaners, paper cups & egg cartons! Easy fun project kids will love creating, and a fun activity to enhance a holiday party.

Holiday Crafts for Kids – Founder of MuffinTinMom.com and a member of the SanDiegoBargainMama.com team, creative crafter, Michelle Sybert, shares easy projects families & kids can do and use for holiday gifts.

More ideas in:

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More Money Saving Holiday Shopping Tips

It is possible to keep your savings growing during the holiday shopping season if you shop wisely.  These holiday shopping and saving pointers will help you stretch your dollar, while giving great gifts – and your bank balance will thank you!

Holiday Money Saving – U.K. financial expert Jasmine Birtles gives holiday money saving ideas on gifts and presents with solid pointers that will save you big no matter where you live.

Holiday Money Saving Secrets – Tennessee Valley’s WDEF TV segment gives ways to stretch your holiday budget with tips to shop smarter using coupons, bonus buy deals, and  online rebates…. one technique actually puts cash back in your bank account.

Online Holiday Shopping Pitfalls – Ordering online offers convenience & sometimes better prices, but there are pitfalls to online purchasing. MoneyTalksNews advises on what to look for regarding pricing, shipping, returns, e-bay, and payments.

How to Give Holiday Gifts Under $25 –  Ideas on where to shop for unique & thoughtful gifts at under $25 from Mahalo.com.  Stores, retailers, online resources, and creative DIY ideas to keep your gift-giving abundant & affordable.

Morebudget-friendly gift ideas:

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10 Cool Picks for Gifts Well Under $30

10 Cool picks for presents and gifts well under $30 that are certain to satisfy, and that includes your budget!

The Hess Truck – A classic favorite gift.  If they still have stock left, you’ll find it on sale at any Hess gas station while supplies last. Each year there is a new edition issued, with lights, sounds, and and moving parts for decades of fun for the kid or collector in everyone. Batteries included. $25.99.

Color an Umbrella! Cool creative idea!!  Kids color their own umbrella using markers. The kit includes one child-sized umbrella and markers. From Alex Toys. Umbrella with marker set or paint set: $16.49.

Coasters. These clever and elegant coasters cover all the bases: they create a beautiful setting, you can wrap them around a wine glass base to identify wine glasses and prevent condensation drips all over your lap as well as all over your tabletop, and they can also be used with conventional glasses as well.. Wow!  From Dining In The Round. Set of 4 from $20.

The Duffel – It’s not easy to find the perfect duffel, but it’s a must for weekend jaunts, overnights, and short trips or to the gym, court or ball field. This polyester, moisture resistant duffle with zippered exterior compartments and removable shoulder strap will make any travel a breeze. Netpack Weekender Duffel at Amazon. 24″ size is $23.99.

Learn Harmonica – It’s small, does not need electricity, can be played anywhere, and it’s fairly easy to learn… (and they’ll love you even more at parties!) Check out this package, includes instruction book, CD and harmonica in a soft carrying case, Instant Harmonica, with CD, by Hal Leonard. Available At HalLeonard.com $18.95.

Flatware Votive Holder – This sleek and stylish metal flatware jar holder adds a rustic and vintage touch to any decor. The perfect addition to liven up any room, this piece holds large and medium jar candles and large tumbler candles. FromYankee Candle® at Bed Bath and Beyond.  $7.99 (without the glass jar).

Fitness and Yoga Bag – Headed to the gym or class with your mat, water bottle, car keys, gym membership card, etc.? This water harness Yoga Mat Gym Bag Tote Carryall  is large enough to fit what you need.  This a durable and water-resistant bag has padded shoulder straps, a full length top zipper pocked, a padded zipper side pocket and an inner mesh zippered wall pocket.  It’s roomy enough for your yoga, Pilates or fitness mat and more.  $24.99

The Bracelet – The Resource Revival Recycled Bicycle Chain Bracelet is made of 100% recycled bicycle chain and makes a cool statement for both women and men. $10.50.

The Glass Mug Almost unbreakable, ultra high-strength – guaranteed against fracture from thermal shock. If it breaks on filling with hot liquids they will replace it. Survives drops on floor. Treated by same process used for fighter aircraft windshields. Dishwasher and Microwave Safe. Set of 4, at Amazon $22.99

Indoor Herb Garden Kit – Grow your own herbs for the freshest and tastiest additions to your meals. Fun for kids too! This set includes three 100% biodegradable pots and trays! Comes with basil, parsley, and chive seeds  GUFseeds.com’s Urban Farmer Herb Garden, $17.95

More budget-friendly amazing gift ideas in our previous post:

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Saving Money With Xmas in July. . . ?

What’s all this “Christmas in July” really about?

Some people might think that “Xmas in July” is nothing more than a sales ploy…an attempt to create more consume, consume, consume.  But we at Spend Less TV.com don’t look at it like that.  During the holiday season we find we’re often dashing around at the last minute frantically trying to pull something together for the inevitable friend or relative who was inadvertently left off the list, or the surprise out of town guest who shows up on gift-sharing day, or the grab-bag party that suddenly falls on your lap to host.  That’s where “Xmas in July” comes in.  Why wait for the last minute? What better time than now to snag that fabulous holiday outfit, plan for DIY projects,  stock up on accessories to set a festive party table  or create a welcoming front door wreath? And planning ahead means you can take advantage of off-season reduced prices, cut down on impulse spending, and have fewer parking space confrontations on Black Friday.

To celebrate Xmas in July and hopefully spare you some last-minute frantic grief, Spend Less TV has made these festive video links available now. We know you’ll love not only the savings tips in these videos, but also the creative ideas and festive mood they set…we can already smell the chestnuts roasting in an open fire….

What are some frantic last minute chores you’d like to avoid this next holiday season?

Use What You Have to Decorate for Holidays – Editor of Good Housekeeping, Andie Huber

Handmade Gifts – Kim Danger, founder of Mommersavers.com

Holiday Decorating on a Budget – Interior designer Lisa Canning

Decorating Budget Tips – Designer Kelly Edwards, from TV’s “Design on a Dime”

We originally wrote this entry for MidwestMom blog who had invited us to be a guest blogger for her Xmas in July event on July 14, 2009. We really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute our videos to her fantastic festive ideas. MidwestMom blog is no longer active and the author has retired to focus on other career pursuits and spend more time with her family. We know she’ll excel, and we send our best.

Winter Holiday Fun Facts: See an impressive List of World-Wide Winter Festivals

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20 Holiday Party Ideas for Any Budget

Holiday Entertaining?

We’ve got you and your wallet covered! Here we’re featuring videos with ideas for creative entertaining  to share with your friends and family the best budget-friendly, elegant, frugally festive and fantastic, parties for the holiday season. You’ll find these creative ideas for decorations, serving suggestions, recipes, table settings, craft projects, kids activities, and more, will make your holiday event spectacular. Use your own color choices to reflect Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday tradition you celebrate, and enjoy!

Food:

Appetizers, Elegant Presentation – Mindy Kobrin

Unique Party Hord’oeuvres – Andrea Correale

Party in the Pantry – Annette Joseph

Champagne & Sparkling Wines – Epicurious.com

Decor:

Create Festive Votive Holders – Mar Jennings

Holiday Fantastic Centerpiece Ideas – Colin Cowie

Holiday Nature Decor – Mar Jennings

Festive and Holiday Decor – Hosea Rosenberg

Festive but Frugal Holiday Parties – The Party Goddess

Holiday Entertaining – Georgeanne Brennan

Holiday Tips for Entertaining – Jenna DeAngeles

Flowers: Festive & Easy– Janette Ewen

Get Festive, Go Green!– Danny Seo

Holiday Hosting for Less– Kimberly Danger

Holiday Lights, Energy Savings Tips – Kimberly Danger

Kwanzaa Decorating – Sheila Bridges

Hanukkah Party Decorations for Kids

Holiday Party Activities for Kids – Lisa Kothari

Gifts:

The Gift… Basket? A SpendLessTV.com blog post with budget-friendly tips for creating gift collections.

… And to cozy-up your computer screen:

Fireplace Video – Just add marshmallows

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The Gift… Basket?

The all time favorite gift to give:  the gift… basket?

Spend Less TV’s categories are brimming with videos featuring amazing budget–friendly holiday shopping tips and gifting ideas.  We’ve sifted through our money-saving channels to find some of the most helpful video giving tips on making your holiday gifts festive, your friends and family smile, and your wallet happy.

We happen to love that universal great gift, The Gift Basket. You can create a fantastic “basket” for as much or as little expense as fits your budget or your desire. They are the ultimate for creativity, versatility and flexibility, and a basket doesn’t even have to be a basket!  Add a more personal touch and a “wow” factor by using a unique vessel to hold your collection of gift items. (pictured above: coffee-table games in an over-sized fish bowl that can later be used to hold flowers, serve goldfish crackers, or even be a home to a real fish!)

In addition to having good savings tips, the videos below will serve as inspiration as they reveal gift basket possibilities… and we’ve tossed in 12 of our own suggestions to get you started.

General – Gift Baskets:

Gift Baskets, Make ’em Creative! – Creative Juice

Gift Baskets for the Holidays Grocery School

Garden:

Select the Right Tree for Your Yard, Get More for Your Money – Editor-in Chief Better Homes and Gardens

Gardening Gifts – Phyllis Stephens, KXLY4

Gardening Great Gifts under $40 – CleanAirGardening.com

Gift Idea: Take a gardening bag, or big bright colorful plastic paint bucket, fill with various hand tools, a re-usable water bottle (for the gardener), sunscreen, sun visor, gloves, plastic clogs or flip-flops, and some seed packets.

Fashion:

Celeb Jewelry for Less – The Lia Sophia Line

Luxury Labels For Less, Online – Vera Gibbons

Clothes Swap – Shoestring Mag. & Punkystyle Blog

Affordable Handbags – StyleList.com

Gift Idea, for her: Take decorative hatbox, fill with vintage jewelry, scarves, delicate gloves, a beautiful belt, lingerie, perfume samples, and maybe… even a hat!

Gift Idea, for him: Find a box from a home goods or craft store that could sit on a dresser or desk top, fill with cuff links, a belt, pocket squares, a scarf, gloves, cologne samples, and maybe… even a hat!

Electronics:

Blu-ray vs DVD – a Comparison Report

Coupon Codes for Electronics, too! – Brads Deals

Energy Saving TV’s – Find the Best – Brooke Carlson

Tech Holiday Gifts, How to Save $ – Good Housekeeping

Gift Idea: A small vintage suitcase would make a great container for any Techie Basket.  Fill with surge protector, extension cords, fasteners to keep cords tangle-free, batteries, a label maker, and a gift certificate for mp3 downloads, a DVD delivery service or online film subscription.

Food, Drink, Cooking:

Spinach Artichoke Tarts – 99 Cents Only Store Cookbook

99 Little Pumpkin Pies – 99 Cents Only Store Cookbook Recipe

Champagne & Sparkling Wines – Epicurious.com

Cocktails – Festive & Budget – Dee Brun

Go Gourmet: Impress Guests for Less – Hope Fox

How to Buy a Xmas Ham

Wine Bargains & How to Find Them – David Ohr

Wine for Less – Martin Sinkoff

Wine: 10 Extraordinary Tips Save Time & Money – Christine Ansbacher

Gift Idea: Of course the topic of food, drink, and cooking is enormous and there are endless  possibilities…  don’t forget a cookbook (even a booklet you download for free) or a recipe card makes a great enhancement to any basket!

A foodie idea: Take a pie pan, fill with apples, peaches, strawberries or plums, a card with grandma’s famous fruit pie recipe, spices from the recipe, a cool pie slicer-server, a pot holder, and wrap it all up in an oversized nifty new dish towel.

A wine idea: Take a galvanized bucket from the hardware store, or a ‘real’ ice bucket, and in the bucket place 2 bottles of wine (Two Buck Chuck, anyone?), two gourmet cheeses, a box of your favorite crackers or a loaf of hearty bread, and a little bamboo cutting board.

Beauty/Cosmetics:

Amazing Beauty Tips for Less – Diane Irons

Aspirin Facial Mask – Michelle Phan

Beauty Secrets From Your Kitchen – Rachel Hayes

Beauty Secrets of Models & Celebrities with At Home Items! – Diane Irons

Beauty: Best Bargains – Paula Begoun

Beauty Secrets From Your Kitchen – Rachel hayes

Take advantage of those frequent cosmetic give-aways for free samples or totes that can be added in for extra pizazz.

Gift Idea: for her and/or him: The items mentioned in the beauty/cosmetic videos above would be great to gather together for a spa basket:  get a big beautiful plastic or stainless steel bowl and fill with as many items as you can find, along with a few new washcloths, hand towels, and a scented candle or two, include the instructions, and to kick it up a notch: a bathrobe.

Gift Idea for her: Take a vintage milk bottle holder, or a rustic wooden fruit crate and place in that : a loofa, back brush, pumice stone, some votive candles, decorative bottles that you’ve filled with bath salts and bubble baths, (either vintage or new bottles are inexpensive and you can use corks for the tops if needed), and a gift certificate or I.O.U. for a massage.

Gift Idea for him: A galvanized bucket or bin filled with a loofa, back brush, pumice stone, matching scented: soap, shaving cream and shower gel, and a gift certificate or I.O.U. for a massage.

General:

Gift-Giving for Less – Kimberly Danger

Handmade Gifts – Kimberly Danger

Green Gift Ideas – Danny Seo

It was no easy task to narrow down the selection, so check through the categories from time to time to catch the many more terrific money-saving and creative tips we didn’t have room to include here, and remember we’re always posting new videos, so check back to keep up with the inventory…or please consider subscribing to receive notice as soon as new videos are posted.

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