How To Save on Christmas Gifts With Little to No Money

Each year it seems harder and harder to find the right gift in the ever shrinking budget we have. So each year we try to find new ways to increase our budget or decrease our spending for the holidays. Here are a few tips we use to make the most of our budget:

  • Clean Out The Garage & Closets: If you have lived on your own for any amount of time, you always seem to have a collection of items that you just don’t use, need to donate or toss. Instead of holding onto those items, snap some pictures and sell your unwanted items on Craigslist. This will not only keep your house more organized and clean, but will help you grab some extra money just in time for the holidays! There are also tons of places on Facebook that you can sell your unwanted items as well. I am in several local yard sale groups where we all sell items that we no longer use or need for extra cash!
  • Make Your Own Gifts: Everyone has some talents; whether it be crafts, baked goods, photography, sports, etc. Find something that you are really good at and offer it as a personalized gift this year! A container of your best chocolate fudge or a photo book of your niece at the playground, will make a great gift with out breaking the bank! Check out Pinterest to find great ideas of what others are making if you can’t think of anything!
  • Pick Names: If you have a large family and a tight budget, suggest a name exchange this year. Put everyone’s name in a bucket and each of you pick another name. This way you only have to buy one other gift instead of multiple gifts, saving you a boat load of cash. You can also spend all your gift giving budget on one great gift, instead of a bunch of smaller, less expensive novelty gifts for your loved ones!
  • Shop Craigslist: Just as quick as selling items on Craigslist to make a little extra cash, you can buy quality products on there as well. People just like you are looking to clean out their unwanted items and grab a little extra Christmas cash, you can grab a great deal on some great gifts!
  • Skip The Wrapping Paper: When you have a lot of gifts to give, this means you have a lot of wrapping paper to buy! This year try a different approach and find things around the house that you can use to wrap all those gifts. Grab construction paper, scrapbooking paper, newspapers, etc. Check out Pinterest for some great ideas on alternative gift wrapping ideas!

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Quick & Easy Gifts to Have on Hand for the Holidays

As the holiday’s gets closer our holiday list tends to grow longer and longer. Someone always has a new girlfriend or a new baby and we always needs gifts last minute. Part of my gift closet is for those gifts that I like to keep on hand for unexpected visitors that you may need to give a gift to! Here are a few items that I like to get and have on hand!

After every holiday I love finding the clearanced tin containers or holiday boxes for goodies! I have a whole tote full of them and these are probably the best gifts to have on hand and the least expensive! Last year after Christmas I picked up these tin containers and holiday boxes for just .13 each! Now when I know we are going to grandma’s house and long lost cousin Ted is stopping by, I can grab one of these festive containers, fill it with cookies, fudge or candy and viola, gift ready to go in minutes!
I also keep a small tote filled with scented candles! Candles are something that can be for anyone, mom, dad, aunt, grandma, etc. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to pop in a gift bag to give! I love finding candles on sale and storing in my gift closet. I also keep a stock of diffusers, scented oils, and decorative candle holders!
Dollar store toys are not only inexpensive you can have a wide range of gifts for all little ones! Grab a few rattles or chew toys for the babies, books, coloring books, race cars or dolls for toddlers, board games or puzzles for tweens and even grab some headphones or body lotion or wash for teens! It’s easy to keep about $20 worth of gifts on hand and have plenty for any age child!
I love giving picture frames to family members, so I always have a few on hand. With kids I always have a abundance of pictures from our girls soccer team, cheerleading, school pictures, holiday cards, etc. So I take pictures of my family and fill the pictures frames to give to grandparents, aunts and uncles- who doesn’t love a frame already filled with a picture.
Another great gift I like to have on hand is stationary and craft items. These aren’t always so much as gifts to give but to help us keep our kids busy during the holidays! Christmas parties can sometimes run longer than expected and guests may be bored of games or activities that you had planned. So I keep these products on hand to pull out and have everyone create their own ornaments, snow flakes, pictures, whatever they want to keep busy!

Last but not least, I like to have a small stash of $5 gift cards to local retailers, ice cream places and restaurants. $5 may not seem like a lot to give but at least you have something to give and remember it’s the thought that counts. Plus if it is someone that you want to give a little more to, stack a few gift cards together to make it worth a little more!

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Tips To Save On Graduation and Wedding Gifts

When most people think of graduation or wedding gifts, the first thought is money, lots of money! With most people just graduating or just getting married they will be accruing many expenses and need all the extra cash they can use! New homes, new jobs, furniture, college tuition, etc are all expenses on their list. But not everyone feels comfortable with forking out $100+ to everyone they know that graduates or gets married. There are a few ways to save when getting gifts for these newly weds and recent graduates!

Handmade items are quickly becoming one of the best and least expensive gift to give. Now don’t think this means grab a handful of colored pasta and make a macaroni necklace, you will need to put some real thought and a little cash into this gift. Even though you won’t or can’t spend much, you want the recipient to see how much thought and care you put into your gift. Pinterest is full of great gift ideas if you are looking for inspiration. Frame their graduation announcement or create a personalized wedding album, are just a couple ideas to save big on your next gift.
Shop online! This is the best way to save the most- save gas, save time, save money. Almost every store offers coupon codes or free shipping codes to grab a great gift without paying full retail price. Memorial is just a few weeks away and you will see many online retailers offer great savings, just in time for graduation and wedding season.
Most brides spend hours at the nearest Bed Bath and Beyond scanning every item they think they need to start their newly married life off right! Needless to say most brides still have several appliances or gifts from their wedding, that was never used or even opened for that matter. So don’t feel bad if you look for a deal somewhere other than where she registered to grab that triple shot espresso maker. You can check their registry but then head out to local retailers or even check online for big savings. With stores price matching, coupons from the newspaper or online coupon codes, you can get big savings by shopping other stores!
If you feel that you have to give cash but don’t have a lot to give, get creative! There are many ways to make $20 in singles look fun and interesting all folded up as a cash bouquet. Once they see the super cute design, they won’t even want to open each one to see how much they got!

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Now That Christmas is Over, It’s Time To Shop!

IMG_4741Now that Christmas has come and gone, it is time to hit the end of year sales and start shopping for next Christmas! I know that may seem a little crazy, but this time of year is when you are able to grab some pretty hot deals! Especially Christmas decorations, winter attire and toys! Stores are now making way for items such as weight loss products, exercise equipment and Valentine’s Day items- so items left over from the holiday shopping season are making their way out the door at rock bottom prices!

Christmas decorations are now marked down 50% to 75% off regular price and this is the time to grab as much as you can! I always stock up on wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper and gift tags- savings tons of money. A roll of wrapping paper can cost around $3 a roll, at 75% off you are only playing .75 each roll, meaning you could grab 4 rolls on sale for what you would normally pay for one before the holiday sales! I also grab a few more Christmas tree decorations each year to add to the tree- this is how I have 3 different themes for our tree and rotate each year. Paying full price for 3 sets of tree decorations would have cost us a fortune, but with deep sales, I got them for basically pennies! Outdoor decorations are another great item to snag now to save you big! Some of these outdoor decorations for Christmas can run as much as $200 or more, depending on the item. So getting them now at such a great price and storing til next year, can help keep your Christmas budget under control next year! Plus I always feel like I get extra presents when I get to go out to the garage and open our Christmas totes filled with items I got on sale the Christmas before!
I have 3 children who are always growing out of things, loosing items and getting something on all their nice clothes! Baby clothes and kids clothes for the winter will start going on sale at 50% off or more making way for the spring! I love finding pants, coats and cold weather attire for the next year at rock bottom prices! You do have to get really good at guessing what your kiddos will wear a year from now, but it can pay off big in the end! Last year I was able to get 3 brand new coats from Old Navy for my girls for $40 total! I do this year round to help keep our clothing budget on track!

Now yes you just spent the last 6 -8 weeks hitting the stores looking for those must have toys for your family, so shopping now for more toys may seem like a little overkill. But this is the time to grab some hot deals and save you big time on your Christmas budget for next year! This will also save you some time and your sanity by staying home during these crazy shopping days leading up to Christmas next year. I keep a notebook in my purse and write down every gift I purchase for the next year. This way I know what I already bought and who for! I then hide these gifts in totes in our attic so that the kiddos can’t find them. This is great, because I always have great gifts on hand and at a great price! Once November hits, I am left only having to buy a few gifts for friends and family!

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101 FREE 4×6 Prints from Shutterfly

101 free prints shutterfly

Now that the holidays are over, you most likely have a abundance of pictures! So print them for FREE with 101 FREE 4×6 prints from Shutterfly! This is only available through tomorrow, so act fast!

Offer expires January 5, 2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 101 free 4×6 prints through shutterfly.com, our mobile-friendly site or Shutterfly apps. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other sizes, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases and orders placed for in-store pick up. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale. We reserve the right to modify or replace any part of these terms and conditions without notice.

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Gifts for Tween Girls- Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday GIft Guide Gifts tween girls 2015Looking for some great gift ideas for that special tween girl in your life? Here are some ideas that they are sure to love! Click the image below to check out the item!

my monster

If you are a business owner or a pr rep and would like to get your product on our Holiday Gift Guide 2015 at Just Trying To Save Money, email me at justtryingtosavemoney(at)yahoo.com for additional information!

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Warning: This Packages Contains POOP!!

poop gameWhile attending the Chicago Toy Fair a few weeks ago, we had so much fun playing with toys, checking out new games and finding super cool, interesting activities that my girls just loved! I have to tell you when we stopped by the Breaking Games booth that had a game called The POOP Game, I just had to have it! My oldest daughter thought it was funny to tell a person walking down the street from my van window one afternoon that she “pooped today”. The lady laughed, we laughed and now we talk about how she “pooped today” all the time! So to find a game that is called The POOP Game, I knew she needed it!!

The POOP Game is an fairly easy game to play and if you have ever played UNO, then you have the gist! POOP is a card game where the first player to run out of cards wins! Take turns pooping but don’t clog the toilet! Some cards make players perform crazy acts which are a complete hoot. You can play POOP with up to 10 players when combined with the Party Pooper Edition.

This game is great for getting the family or your friends together and could be a great way to get those little ones adding! This game could get you talking more about POOP, which can be a good and bad thing! My girls think it’s funny to say POOP whenever we are in public to see if people look at them! So I know now that we have The POOP Game, it will most liekly be discussed more!

This is a great family friendly game and everyone will love it! It is recommended for ages 5 and older but if you have younger ones that can play UNO then they can play this!

Breaking Games is a unique company. Founded by Shari Spiro of AdMagic, Breaking Games is a promotion and publishing company dedicated to getting their client’s games into the hands of people who love to play them. They are unique in that they promote the game and the designer above the company because they are the stars.

You can grab this game on Breaking Games site or on Amazon for about $10 each! They also carry games such as Gothic Doctor, Word Shuffle, Hogger Logger, Parenthood and Games of Phones! If you are looking for interesting games to play with the family, friends or party, these will sure to be the talk of your next game night!

You can find The POOP Game and other Breaking Game games on the following:

Breaking Games
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Holiday GIft Guide Gifts teen boys 2015

I received The POOP Game from Breaking Games in order to conduct my review. No other compensation was received and as always my opinion is 100% my own!

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$40 off at Hello Fresh

Sign up and receive email with $40 OFF Gift Code for HelloFresh.

  • HelloFresh delivers delicious and healthy recipes with all the pre-measured ingredients needed to make them straight to your door each week.
  • Choose a Classic Food Box, Veggie Box or Family Box.
  • HelloFresh is a weekly auto-renewing subscription service. You can pause or cancel your delivery before midnight on the Wednesday prior to the week of your next scheduled delivery.

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Amazon Deal: Adora Toddler 20″ Doll Love and Joy – Just $59.99 each

Amazon has their Adora Toddler Cuddly & Weighted 20″Play Doll- Love and Joy Sandy Brown Hair/Brown Eyes- Ages 6+ on sale for $59.99 each, savings of 60%!

With Subscribe & Save, if you do not want to continue your subscription, you can just cancel it once your first shipment arrives. To snag savings on shipping, take advantage of FREE Super Saver Shipping for orders over $25 or be an Amazon Mom or an Amazon Prime Member and get FREE Two-Day Shipping.

Don’t forget to check out my other Amazon Deals for more savings.

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Protect Your Camera With a Camera Coat

camera coats logoLooking for extra protection for your camera when your shooting those outdoor family pictures, catching winning home run hit or at the zoo checking out all the monkeys, well monkeying around?!?! Look no further than the Camera Coats. This is a great way to protect your camera without using a over-sized, bulky camera bag!

camera coatsCamera Coat is made from 100% cotton inside with padding and laminated cotton on the outside for easy clean up! They are handmade in the USA, with 3 pockets on the back for additional storage for batteries, your phone or SD cards! Easy to use Velcro on the front to keep your camera protected for the elements or accidents! A buckle is attached on the side as well to your Camera Coat for you to attach to your camera strap.

The Camera Coat is easy to use! Simply slide any camera you own with a lens such as a DSLR into the top, close shut with the easy to use but sturdy Velcro strip on the front for protection from rain or in my case, my kiddos! You can check their sizing chart to be on the safe side when ordering to receive the correct size!

Camera Coats are great for moms, dads, professional photographers, grandparents, and so on! These are great as gifts as well! As a mom, I was always looking for places to put my camera without ruining it, now it has it’s own cover and allows me to protect it while looking stylish!


I absolutely love how easy this product fits right into my daily life! I take pictures every day with my larger camera that has a larger lens and sometimes it rains, snows or my kiddos drop drinks and food on me and anything attached to me- meaning my camera sometimes gets to be a mess as well! The Camera Coat is still small enough to fit in other bags such as diaper bags or my large tote, unlike traditional camera bags!

This Camera Coat may not be for you if you carry a point and shoot camera, it may be too big for what you are using. camera coatAlso on the other end, if you want to bring along a lot of extra lens, batteries, etc this bag will not allow you to carry all the additional accessories!

With being handmade and crafted in the USA this product is defiantly worth the $40 or so you will pay for it! I have bought larger, bulky camera bags that after just a few months of use, broke, gained holes and just plain sucked! And they were not only $40!

You can find these at Amazon and on Camera Coats site!

About Camera Coats:
They believe special moments deserve quality photos so they make it easy to take your DSLR camera with you! Their goal is to produce great products and help as many people They can along the way! 

Camera Coats supports local Refugees and adults with disabilities as they feel every one deserves the chance to have a job and support themselves!

Camera Coats was created by Emily Ashby while on a family vacation and quickly became a necessity as well as great new business for her and her family! You can read all about Emily and her journey of starting Camera Coats here!

Camera Coats can be found on their website, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Beat the shopping rush! Enjoy 50% off your purchase + Free Domestic Shipping at www.cameracoats.com right now!

Promo Code: Early50 Expires 11/28/15 at midnight.

Holiday GIft Guide Logo 2015

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