Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Frugal Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is fast approaching in the U.S. and many people are scrambling to plan a perfect meal for their entire family. Luckily Thanksgiving does not have to cost a fortune to celebrate. Here are some tips that can help you cut costs.

  • Go potluck this year. If you are expecting a large group showing up have everyone bring one dish with them. You can easy fill the room with food and save money too.

  • Skip the turkey. While turkey may be the traditional meal it can also be pricey. Look for cheaper main course ideas you can serve instead. Check your local store ads and see what is on sale. You may start a new tradition of Thanksgiving ham or Thanksgiving burgers.

  • Serve plenty of snacks. Inexpensive snacks such as fruit, crackers, or trail mix can be put out before the big meal. The more people snack the less room they will have for the main dishes, and the less you will need to make.

  • Don't do dispossable. I know how tempting it is to use dispossable plates and napkins, but that is one expense you can avoid by simply using your own dishware. If you do not have enough you can often find sets in great condition at thrift shops for cheap. And just think of how much trash you'll save.

  • Instead of a meal serve a brunch. Plan a smaller, earlier meal time for your family to enjoy. Then you can enjoy a peaceful evening or have the big meal at another person's home.

  • Stay small. If you have a truly tight budget perhaps the best advice is to keep it simple this Thanksgiving. Stay home, or least local, and invite only the bare minimum of guests.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Recycle Old Bedding

With colder weather coming I am pulling out all the blankets from storage. Some of them are older and a bit tattered. While it would seem easy enough to toss out the old blankets and get new ones that certainly would not fit in with the frugal mindset. Instead I prefer to recycle the old bedding and get more life out of it.

I am lucky to have a sewing machine but for those who do not you can hand stitch up new bedding that works just as well. First check what blankets or sheets just have minor tears or holes. Those can often be easily patched up so that they can live another winter season. But for anything that has seen better days you can transform the pieces into a warm and cosy quilt.

Cut your old blankets and sheets into pieces to be put together. There are a number of great quilt patterns found online for free that you can use. Old sheets, especailly flannel ones, can be great backing for your quilts. Using up the old bedding to create warm quilts that you can curl up under this winter will save money, space, and give you something creative to do.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

If I Could Fix My Life in 5 Classes

I found this fun meme over at Got No Dough and thought I would do it here. Here are the rules:

“Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It’s more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you’d also like to take. Tag five.”
  1. Nixing Impulse Buys 101 - This one I'm including. I think that's one that a lot of us need to take, myself included. When I go to craft stores or even just thrift shops I can't help but buy a couple unexpected pretties on my way out.
  2. Meal Planning 101 - As I mentioned previously, as good as it sounds in theory I just cannot seem to get it to work in real life.
  3. Basic Follow Through - I have a thousand and one ideas every day but never the drive to see one of them through. If I could just make one of them work I would be so much better off.
  4. How To Go To Bed - I'm one of those who stays up all night writing, working, and creating. Then I spend the morning a groggy bear. I need to learn how to get my butt into bed at a decent time.
  5. Rags to Riches For Beginners - Is there a class on how to become fabulously wealthy overnight? I didn't think so.

I'm leaving the tagging part open. If you feel like doing this please take the ball and run with it!