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Frugal Fridays: Give Homemade Gifts

November 30th, 2007 · 3 Comments


The Christmas season can be an expensive time of year. The average family can spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on gifts.

Of course, you can always hunt for bargains (and that helps). There is another way to ease the pain, though. Make your own gifts.

Here are five homemade gifts that are bound to be appreciated:

  • Food. Who wouldn’t like to open a package of homemade fudge or dig into a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies? We’ve given fudge and cookies as gifts to family members and friends for five years now. Every year about this time people start to ask: when am I going to get my fudge?
  • Clothing. If you are crafty you may be able to put together some cute clothing items. If you don’t know the recipient’s exact size, consider giving an item that’s not size specific. Examples include: scarves, gloves, hats, aprons, purse, and belts.
  • Time Certificates. Maybe you’re not crafty. You can still put some nice paper in the printer and print out the gift of your time at a future date. Some ideas: a certificate for a girl’s night out to a friend, a certificate for a football party (complete with soda, chips, and dips) to a husband, a certificate for a trip to the park for a child.
  • Photographs. If you take lots of pictures (as I do), photo gifts are a good option that are especially appreciated by nonlocal or elderly friends and family. For very little cost you can turn your favorite photos into a calendar or memory book. Or, just enlarge and frame your best shot.
  • Jewelry, candles, or other craft items. If you are a crafter you can often make elegant jewelry or beautiful candles for a fraction of what similar items would cost in the store. Be creative!

A homemade gift is more than just an item. A homemade gift represents the time and effort that the giver put into creating it. Best of all, homemade gifts can create wonderful family memories – not only when they are received, but as you are making them (try enlisting the kids help for the simpler gifts.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 3 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Find A Bargain!

November 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment

I know that a lot of people who read this blog look for ways to save money.

I wanted to let you know that I just posted a list of websites to help you find a bargain at my other blog.

Happy shopping!

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 1 CommentTags: Fun Stuff

Is Shopping A Girl Thing?

November 29th, 2007 · 6 Comments

Yesterday I ran a post on my other blog asking if everyone had their Christmas shopping done yet.

Since I know a lot of people in my face-to-face world who went out on Black Friday, bought everyone’s gifts, and wrapped them – I kind of thought that I would get a lot of people saying things like, “yes, we’re done” or “we just have one more gift to buy.”

I didn’t mention gender at all, and I thought it was a pretty simple question.

Imagine my surprise when I found that a fellow writer (and friend) had linked to my post with another post titled, It Must Be A Girl Thing. His post went on to describe how his wife had taken care of all the Christmas shopping at their house.

What’s your take on it? Is shopping a “girl thing?”

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 6 CommentsTags: Fun Stuff · Relationships

Wordless Wednesday: Tulip

November 28th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Wordless Wednesday

What’s Your Personality Type?

November 27th, 2007 · 2 Comments

I recently took a personality quiz and here’s how it came out:

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn’t rule you.
When it’s playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it’s hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest – incorporating the best of both worlds

Do You Have a Type A Personality?

What about you? Take the quiz and leave a comment and let me know how you did.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Fun Stuff

Enchanted: A Movie Review

November 24th, 2007 · Comments Off on Enchanted: A Movie Review

I got to see Enchanted this weekend with the kids and I wanted to share my impressions with you.

Many little girls dream of being a princess, and Enchanted is the movie for them. Both of my daughters loved the movie even though they are teens. My husband, who also went with us, didn’t particularly enjoy it (too girly) – but gamely sat through it anyway.

The movie is clean enough for younger children. I didn’t notice any objectionable language or themes in Enchanted. There is really only one scene involving a dragon that they might find frightening, but that should be easy to explain as imaginery.

Personally, I loved the creative transitioning from animation to live actors. The fairy tale theme was so stereotypical, however, that I had to wonder if the movie was intended to be a parody of other fairy tale movies like Snow White and Cinderella. Perhaps it was.

Indeed, the movie has all the standard fairy tale elements:

  • The princess in the poufy dresses
  • Animal friends who serve the princess (a power that she mysteriously retains even after she enters the real world)
  • Music and dancing
  • Prince Charming
  • The wicked stepmother

Girls of all ages should love this movie for its princess theme and for the romance. Men and boys may not enjoy it quite as much.

(Disclosure: I was not given a pass to see this movie. However, the post does contain an Amazon affiliate link for the book.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

Comments Off on Enchanted: A Movie ReviewTags: Movies

Wordless Wednesday: Waiting

November 21st, 2007 · 10 Comments


Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

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How to Save More than Pennies …

November 20th, 2007 · 2 Comments


Do you find yourself wondering each month how to make those last few pennies last until your next paycheck? Well, wonder no longer. Each week the Festival of Frugality offers up dozens of money-saving tips and techniques.

This week’s edition of the festival, at the Rather-Be-Shopping Blog, is no different. Among this week’s entries, there are literally dozens of ways to save money.

If you need effective savings tips, or just want to know how to cut back on spending, this festival is for you. (You have nothing to lose, and could have much to save.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Frugal Friday: Little Bits of Savings Add Up

November 16th, 2007 · 4 Comments


What’s the best way to save money?

It may surprise you that, in the long-term, effective saving may require a small rather than a large commitment on your part.

You don’t believe me?

Consider this example: let’s say that you are in the habit of having a mid-morning snack. Let’s say that you get your mid-morning snack from the vending machine at work and it consists of a soda and a candy bar. The soda is $1.00, the candy bar is $.50. The total cost for your daily snack is $1.50, or $7.50 a week.

Now, let’s say that you decide to eliminate the snack. Not only will your waistline thank you, but your wallet will too. Here are the figures: your weekly savings are $7.50,  your monthly savings are $30 ($7.50 x 4), your annual savings are $360 ($30 x 12).

But wait, let’s look at the long-term effects of your decision to give up the snack! Without considering interest earnings, after 5 years you will have saved $1800 ($360 x 5). After 10 years it will be $3600 ($360 x 10), and after 20 years it will be $7,200 ($360 x 20).

Imagine that! $7,200 from eliminating a daily snack habit that you are probably better off without.

If you examine your own habits, you will probably find lots of other small habits that you can change in order to save money.

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Frugal Fridays

Is There Nothing On TV?

November 15th, 2007 · Comments Off on Is There Nothing On TV?

Have you found this site yet: Parents Television Council? It rates TV shows and movies according to how appropriate each is for kids to watch. I found it the other day while I was websurfing.

Family-friendly shows are given a green light. Shows that are only appropriate for older children receive a yellow light. Shows that receive a red light are generally not appropriate for children of any age.

Anyway, the site lets you view the ratings for a whole week’s worth of prime-time programming. What really shocked me as I looked at the schedule is how there are hardly any green light (family-friendly) shows. In fact, some nights there’s not a single one.

I guess there really is nothing decent on TV.

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

Comments Off on Is There Nothing On TV?Tags: Fun Stuff

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