Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas on a budget

close up of christmas decoration hanging on tree

Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com

 

 

The Holidays, even if you budget for them, have a way of putting a strain on your wallet.  While my kids were younger,  I worked very hard to make sure they didn’t notice our limited budget by keeping Christmas a fun and active time while remaining focused on the true meaning of this holy season.

In my latest book, Frugal Seeds Christmas Edition: 101 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays on a Budget, I share many of the ways we celebrated the Christmas season while keeping our focus on the reason for the season.

I would be greatly humbled if you would take a moment to check it out.  It is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book and can be read FREE on KindleUnlimited.  Thank you.

FrugalSeedsChristmasCover

 

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer fun with kids

action beach boy child

Photo by Guduru Ajay bhargav on Pexels.com

 

As many of you know I have written a book call Frugal Seeds  Summer Edition:  101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.

This is can be read FREE at Amazon with KindleUnlimited or you can purchase the e-book for 99 cents.

From my family to yours……….wishing you a summer filled with blessed memories.

“Summer time is the best of what might be.” ~ Charles Bowden

 

stores with free download fridays

 

grocery cart with item

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

When you are watching your pennies, or dollars if you are lucky, a freebie now and then is a nice blessing.  Below is a list of stores who provide free weekly downloads.  May you find something that can be a blessing to you!

 

Baker’s

City Market

Dillons

Food 4 Less

Foods Co

Fred Meyer

Fry’s

Gerbes

Jay C

King Soopers

Kmart

Kroger

Owen’s

Pay Less Supermarket

Quality Food Center

Ralphs

Smith’s

 

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Save, Make or Stretch a Dollar

celebrate your day with freebies

 

purple and red balloons

Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

 

Here is a list of stuff you can get free on your birthday……….and in case you missed it, check out free food you can also receive on your big day!

 

Acme Comedy Company – free tickets

 

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – free movie ticket

 

AMC – free gift

 

American Eagle – 15% off coupon

 

Anthropologie – birthday discount

 

Banana Republic – birthday gift (possible coupon)

 

Bare Minerals – free gift

 

Captain Dizzy – free car wash

 

Colombia – free birthday gift & welcome gift

 

Container Store – free birthday & anniversary gifts

 

CVS – special offer on birthday month

 

DSW – $5.00 off

 

Famous Footwear – $10 off

 

Fresh – free gift

 

Harkins Theater – free $5.00 for concessions

 

House of Comedy – free ticket

 

J Crew – 20% off & free shipping on your birthday

 

Kohl’s – free gift

 

Lancome – special gift

 

Office Depot – special birthday offer

 

Old Navy – free gift

 

Out of Africa – free park admission

 

Payless – special birthday offer

 

Redbox – one free night rental

 

Sephora – free gift

 

Ulta Beauty – free gift

 

World Market – free surprise

 

Happy celebrating!

 

~ wendi, pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.

food freebies for your birthday!

lighted candles on cupcakes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Here is a (partial) list of food freebies that you can receive on your birthday.  Happy Celebrating and saving money!  I mean who doesn’t love to save money?!

 

Abuelo’s – free treat on your birthday & anniversary

http://www.abuelos.com/join-our-mi-abuelos-rewards/

 

Applebee’s – free dessert

https://www.applebees.com/en/sign-up

 

Arby’s – free milkshake

https://arbys.com/get-deals

 

Au Bon Pain – free lunch

http://aubonpain.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&_Theme=21474836609&inputsource=w

 

Auntie Anne’s – free pretzel

http://www.auntieannes.com/terms-and-conditions

 

A & W – free root beer float

https://www.awrestaurants.com/rootys-corner

 

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

https://www.bajafresh.com/clubbaja/

 

Baskin Robbins – free ice cream

https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/thescoop.html

 

bd’s Mongolian Grill – free entree

https://www.gomongo.com/join-bds-club-mongo/

 

Bertucci’s – free treat on birthday and half birthday

http://bertuccis.com/email-club-sign-up

 

Benihana’s – $30.00 birthday certificate – must follow all instructions

http://profile.benihana.com/registration/

 

Bennigan’s – BOGO entree and free dessert

https://bennigans.com/e-club-sign-up/

 

Big Boy – free birthday dessert

http://www.bigboy.com/email-club/

 

Black Angus Steakhouse – free steak dinner w/a purchase of any dinner – 1st year

https://www.blackangus.com/contact/#terms

 

Boston Market – free dessert

https://www.bostonmarket.com/eclub/

 

Buca di Beppo – free $20 for your birthday, free pasta just for signing up

https://www.bucadibeppo.com/eclub/

 

California Pizza Kitchen – free dessert

https://cpkpizzadough.myguestaccount.com/guest/

 

Cinnabon – free treat for signing up & on your birthday

http://cinnabon.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx

 

Cold Stone Creamery – BOGO

https://www.coldstonecreamery.com/mycsc/

 

Culver’s – free treat & BOGO value basket just for signing up

https://www.culvers.com/delicious-perks/join-the-club/join

 

Dairy Queen – special treat on birthday and half birthday & BOGO blizzard just for signing up

https://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/Blizzard-Fan-Club/?localechange=1&D

 

Dave & Buster’s – free $10 game play

https://www.daveandbusters.com/rewards

 

Del Taco – free milkshake

https://deltaco.com/contactus

 

Dippin’ Dots – free dippin dots

https://www.dippindots.com/dotcrazy/signup.html

 

Dunkin’ Donuts – free beverage when you sign up and on your birthday

https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en/dd-perks

 

Denny’s – free grand slam

https://www.dennys.com/search/?q=birthday

 

Don Pablos – free nachos for signing up & $10 for birthday

http://www.donpablos.com/hab-club

 

Edible Creations – free gift

https://www.ediblearrangements.com/rewards/

 

Einstein Brothers Bagels – free egg sandwich w/purchase

https://shared.einsteinbros.com/join

 

Iguana Mia – free meal and fried ice cream

//www.iguanamia.com/

 

Firehouse Subs – free medium sub

https://www.firehousesubs.com/birthday

 

Friendly’s – free sundae

https://www.friendlysrestaurants.com/login/?login=register

 

Fuddruckers – free 1/3 pound burger

http://fuddruckers.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx?Action=Subscribe&inputsource=w

 

GOVIDA – free treat

http://www.godiva.com/get-chocolate-rewards?baseURL=get-rewards

 

Great American Cookie – free treat

http://greatamericancookies.fbmta.com/members/UpdateProfile.aspx

 

IHOP – free meal

https://www.ihop.com/en/pancake-revolution

 

Jersey Mike’s – free sub and drink

https://www.jerseymikes.com/email-club

 

Margaritaville – free treat & free appetizer just for signing up

https://www.finsupclub.com/

 

Moe’s Southwest Grill – free burritos

https://www.moes.com/rockin-rewards

 

Olive Garden – free dessert

https://www.olivegarden.com/specials/free-birthday-appetizer-or-dessert-with-your-meal

 

Orange Leaf – $3.00 off

https://www.orangeleafyogurt.com/rewards

 

P.F.  Chang’s – free appetizer or dessert w/purchase

https://www.pfchangs.com/faq/

 

The Melting Pot – free chocolate fondue

http://pages.themeltingpotclubfondue-email.com/Profile_Center

 

The Spaghetti Warehouse – free meal & appetizer for signing up

http://www.meatballs.com/join-our-club/

 

Pinkberry – free yogurt

http://www.pinkberry.com/loyalty/

 

Planet Smoothie – free smoothie

http://www.planetsmoothie.com/eclub/

 

Red Robin – free burger

https://www.redrobin.com/royalty.html

 

Rita’s – free birthday treat, if closed on your birthday will receive on 1/2 birthday

https://www.ritasice.com/connect/birthday-club/

 

Ruby Tuesday – free burger

http://pages.rubytuesdayrestaurants.com/page.aspx?QS=5c591a8916642e737829bde7e144b86f195bb33af6913d4c5dda6ef500467c48

 

Sbarro – free birthday treat

https://sbarro.com/slicesociety

 

Shula’s – free entree

https://www.shulas.com/shulas-clubs/

 

Smashburger – free side or shake w/purchase

https://smashburger.com/smashclub/

 

Sprinkles – free treat on birthday and 1/2 birthday

http://sprinkles.com/perks

 

Starbucks – free drink on your birthday

https://www.starbucks.com/card/rewards

 

Sonny’s BBQ – free big deal combo

https://www.sonnysbbq.com/reward

 

TGI Friday’s – free dessert & free dessert or appetizer for signing up

https://www.tgifridays.com/rewards/faq

 

Western Sizzlin

https://www.sizzler.com/join-the-club

 

Wienershenitzel – free coupon & free chili dog when you sign up

http://www.wienerschnitzel.com/specials/

 

Zaxby’s – free nibbler & free sandwich meal when you sign up

https://www.zaxbys.com/zax-club/

 

Zoes Kitchen – free birthday treat

https://zoeskitchen.com/rewards

money saving tips

money pink coins pig

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

Do you ever feel that your money is not your own?  For me, it seems as if most of the money goes to treating my CI one way or another: special foods, supplements, medication, and medical bills.  Over the years I have had to stretch our resources so bills (especially those darn medical bills!) can be paid.  I have also learned that every little bit of saving helps, small expenses can add up quickly.  So here are a few things I do to stretch a dollar.  I would LOVE to read yours!

Reuse (cleaned) plastic zip lock bags as long as they did not previously hold meat or eggs.

Reuse (cleaned) aluminum foil as long as it did not cover meat/cheese/eggs.

Turn off lights every time you leave a room.

Plug electrical devices into power strips, turn off power strips at night.

Run dishwasher on shortest cycle for each load.

No cable TV.

Cook from scratch as much as possible- bulk ingredients are often cheaper than prepackaged foods.

Purchase meat in bulk.

Eat less meat.

Buy as many products as possible from a dollar store — price compare per unit.

Purchase clothing from thrift stores.

Shop end of season sales for clothing.

Combine errands (this is to save both gas money and personal energy!).

Keep meals simple.

Eat leftovers.

Eat out only on special occasions.

Use coupons when eating out.

Take advantage of free grocery store downloads (Kroger, K-Mart, Giant Eagle).

If possible, shop at more than one store.

Cut up empty cereal/cracker bags into sheets to use as waxed paper.

Drink mostly water.

Set grocery budget and stick to it.

Check clearance grocery section first.

Purchase bulk foods that have a long shelf life.

Get rid of all memberships and subscriptions that are not regularly used.

Use plastic grocery sacks as trash bags for small waste cans.

Use empty plastic/glass food containers as storage tubs for leftovers.

Use mesh produce bags tied in knots as a scrub pad for dishes.

Use a small dry erase board on the outside of fridge to write down leftovers waiting inside – cross off when consumed.

Save brown paper that comes in delivered packages to wrap own packages.

Save the cotton from bottles of supplements for cosmetic use.

Turn off  stove/oven when food is almost done, let it continue cooking/baking.

Open shades in winter to let the sun in and warm up the rooms.

Close shades in the summer to keep the sun out and keep rooms cooler.

Use the library to check out free books, movies and take classes.

Install led lights as bulbs go out.

Send away for all rebates immediately.

Shop discount grocery stores.

Use cash whenever possible – you spend less money.

Eat as healthy as possible so you can feel as good as possible.

When shopping on-line always look for discount codes first.

Purchase used when possible.

Cut up old clothing that can’t be donated into rags.

Use rags to save on paper towels.

Use Walmart’s saving catcher program.

Sign-up for stores’ reward programs.

Use both sides of the paper.

Use printer mistakes as scratch paper for kids’ drawings.

Pay bills on-line.

Send postcards vs. greeting cards.

Purchase generic foods when possible.

Request generic drugs when possible.

Certain medications are free at: Winn-Dixie, Meijer, Publix, Reasor’s Foods, Price ChopperHarvey’s and BI-LO.

Walmart has a list of $4.00 medications.

Visit local parks as a free source of entertainment.

Make your drinks of choice at home.

Save and reuse gift bags.

Run dishwasher only when full.

If clothes are lightly soiled wash in cold on the shortest cycle possible.

Wash laundry in cold when possible.

Hang up clothing to dry, saves wear and tear on clothing.

If you purchase juice, buy it frozen and add extra water when mixing.

Take recycling to a drop off center – no longer pay for curbside pickup.

Purchase all wrapping paper after Christmas, make sure to get some solid colors that can be used for other occasions.

Cut-up and freeze produce before it goes bad……perfect for smoothies.

If you use milk, try powdered.

Once the toothpaste tube appears empty, cut the bottom off to get to what is left.

When no more shampoo will come out of the bottle, add water and shake and instant shampoo again.

If you buy soda, cheaper to purchase a 2-liter than a single bottle at check out.

Take a thermos of water and snack with you when you run errands, it keeps you from going through a drive-thru.

Put all loose change into a container to save for a special occasion or purchase.

Purchase nonperishable food items in bulk such as beans, rice and oatmeal.

Get free food grade buckets from Walmart’s deli counter for storage.

De-clutter your home so you know what you have, avoiding duplicate purchases.

Clean out and organize your freezer so you know what you have.

Clean out your pantry – makes it easier to know what you have on hand so you don’t over purchase.

Eat what you freeze before it goes bad.

Stuff unusable socks with plastic grocery bags and put at the bottom of doors to keep out drafts.

Pay bills on time to avoid late fees (this may not always be possible).

Carry a small notebook as a price book – keep track of prices/unit so you know if you are getting a good deal or not.

If you have a garage, clean it out so your vehicle can be kept inside, save gas from having to warm it up in winter.

Comparison shop when purchasing supplements.  You can usually find them cheaper than the prices at your health care professional at places like Amazon, Vitacost, Swanson, The Vitamin Shoppe, and  Mountain Rose Herbs just to name a few.  If you sign-up for a company’s newsletter you will usually receive a coupon code.

Floor models, open boxes and things about to expire are always cheaper, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on these items.

Shopping at the end of the day at garage sales will save you even more money – people don’t want to haul all their stuff somewhere else.

Don’t purchase something just because it is a good deal, make sure you need it.

Comparison shop for car insurance, cell phones, trash and internet service and other monthly expenses or even call your current providers to see if there is a cheaper plan.

Bring your own bags – some stores charge for bags and others give you a small discount if you bring your own.

If someone asks, request gift cards as presents to your favorite restaurants or stores.

Grow any of the food you consume – even apartments have a space for one pot in which you can grow herbs or a tomato plant.

Please check out Frugal Seeds to read more money saving tips.

 

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases with no additional cost to you.