- If something takes less than 1 minute to do, don’t postpone it! Put away your coat and scarf as soon as you get home, put your dishes in the dishwasher right away, and clear away things when you’re done using them.
- Make a weekly to-do list and do at least one thing every day. Planning ahead makes it easier.
- Have a designated cleaning day each week where you take care of big chores like doing laundry and cleaning the house. That way it becomes a habit and a part of your schedule, which makes it easier to get it done.
- Cut up vegetables for several crock-pot dinners ahead of time and put them in ziplock bags in the freezer. That way it will take no time at all to prepare a dinner when you get up in the morning.
- Have a folder for important papers in a designated spot – include everything from bank papers and car insurance to important letters. I always stress out when I can’t find a bill that I know is due.
- Organize your things so you spend less time looking for them. Put a see-through shoe organizer on the inside of your pantry for kitchen gadgets and cleaning supplies, or organize your clothes by color so that it’s easier to find an outfit to wear every morning.
- Get rid of clutter in your home. It’s a lot easier to relax when you’re surrounded by clean surfaces.
- However, don’t stress out over minor things like your husband leaving his socks on the floor or not putting his plate in the dishwasher. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect at all times (although I know how annoying it can be, hehe).
- Always have simple and healthy snacks in the house. That keeps me from digging into a box of ice cream whenever I’m in a bad mood. For example, instead of ice cream, try putting a frozen banana in the blender and adding a bit of cocoa powder.
- When you’re getting undressed at night, if your clothes are clean enough to wear again, put them back, if not put them straight in the laundry basket. That way nothing ends up on the floor.
I also love this article I found with cute, helpful everyday ideas: 25 clever ideas to make life easier.
Today I made bacon wrapped chicken with cream cheese for dinner. It was a big hit with Andy and I’ll definitely make it again! It was surprisingly simple, but I’ll post the recipe tomorrow anyway.
Now I’m so full that I’m stuck on the couch planning this years Christmas presents. Why is it so hard to find the perfect gift for everyone? Especially when no one makes wish lists any more… Oh well, I still have weeks to figure it out and I always love it when I’m ready to wrap them. And in just three days it’s officially December and I’ll probably be playing Christmas songs 24/7! (Sorry, Andy.)
I know that this is a little early, but it’s almost November and I am trying to get my Christmas presents done early this year. So I sat down to think about the different things I should keep in mind before making plans for the holidays, and I figured I might as well make a list. I doubt I’m the only one who gets stressed out and end up spending more money than planned when things are done last minute.
Me and my family last Christmas. It is definitely my favorite time of the year! Btw, what I’m wearing is a typical, old-fashioned Norwegian festive dress called “bunad” – look it up.
Anyway, I found some of these tips at thenest.com, and added some comments and ideas of my own.
- Create a budget. I always find things that I’d love to buy for friends and family, but that simply end up being too expensive. We all have a limited amount of money that we can spend on Christmas gifts and we should be careful not to exceed it.
- Make a list of everyone you’re buying gifts to. Then sit down and come up with ideas for what to get each person – you might also want to estimate how much to spend on each gift so that you can distribute your budget somewhat evenly. This could save you both time and money when it’s actually time to buy stuff.
- Consider buying things online. Most retailers will wrap and ship your presents for you, and they often offer free shipping during the holidays (find a list at FreeShipping.org).
- Use reward points. If you’re planning on doing most of your shopping online, try using MyPoints.com. It offers reward points per transaction at many retailers. Rack up the points, then redeem them for gift cards for a ton of stores – including Barnes & Noble, Target, The Home Depot and more.
- Never pay retail. Before you start your holiday shopping, check RetailMeNot.com or MyBargainBuddy.com to find promotions and deals for a wide variety of retailers, ranging from Best Buy and Pottery Barn to Gap. Found the perfect gift but it’s a little out of your price range? Register it at ShoppingNotes.com, and they’ll email you when it goes on sale.
- Scan a deal. Too busy (or lazy) to comparison shop? Download the ShopSavvy or RedLaser app, and you can scan an item’s bar code to see what it costs at other stores and online. If you find a lower price, just ask the manager at your current locale to match it.
- Pay attention to sales. If you re in the US, black Friday is a great day for getting some Christmas gifts out of the way. Starting early is always a good idea because you don’t have to buy everything right away, and you can wait for a sale to come around.
- Buy discounted gift cards. If you plan on giving gift cards this year, check out PlasticJungle.com and ABCGiftcards.com. Both sites offer gift cards that others didn’t want – at a discounted price. You can save up to 35 percent.
- Give the gift of you. There are so many things you can make yourself that still make a great gift. Personalized gift cards, homemade food, candy, or drink (a friend of mine made a delicious raspberry liqueur), something your knitted or cross stitched, a photo album, Christmas ornaments, and so on.
- Small things can often add up. You can send a personal email with a couple of pictures instead of buying Christmas cards (or how about just calling to catch up?). And don’t spend a lot of money on wrapping paper, cheap versions are often just as pretty. Or you could use magazine pages, news papers, comic strips, and wrapping papers from gifts you have received yourself. And everyone worry about how they look during the Christmas season, but instead of buying an expensive gym membership you should simply work out at home instead – although this might require a bit more structure and planning.
Last year my sister-in-law made these beautiful ornaments for everyone in our family.
If you have any other ideas for how to save money this Christmas, please let me know!