November first marks the beginning of spending season but before you begin please read our 30 Ways to Stretch the Budget in November.
- Make a list. It’s an old adage but If you fail to plan, your plans will fail. Create a complete list of activities and expenses in November so you can budget accordingly.
- Pack lunch.
- Cook at home. Prepare at least one or two meals per week to yield leftovers for the next day. Soups and Stews are good for two meals. See our 3 Days of Meals from One Pot of Beans.
- Implement the envelope system for Fun money! Fun money may actually become Holiday money.
- Plan movie nights at home. Create a play list together like we did with football movies, then set the DVR. Just the planning process is a fun time together.
- Start a baby sitting group with friends. Take turns keeping each others children. This will allow you and hubby to have a date night without the babysitting expense.
- Meal plan the entire month of November. Refer to #’s 2 and 3. November is very busy, meal planning will save you time and money.
- Use Ebates for shopping online! The Cash Back is real, I can attest to that. All of our favorite stores are on Ebates and you can do the shop online, pick up in store thing to enjoy your Cash Back without waiting for your products!
- If you must eat out, use a coupon! Most restaurants have a coupon available either online, on their app or in the Sunday paper.
- Check Restaurant.com for not only dinner out deals but local hot spots and vacation dining. Restaurant.com often has specials so you pay only $4 for $10 certificate.
- Use Groupon for savings on almost anything; local restaurants,travel, goods and services, even local events like fairs and festivals! There is often a deal for a Sam’s Club membership and right now there are seasonal discounts for local holiday events in most areas.
- Have guest bring a dish to your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Plan ahead for Thanksgiving and stock up while needed items are on sale.
- Find a grocery store offering a free turkey or ham with certain purchases and do that deal.
- Utilize the public library for more than books! Did you know that you can also rent movies from a public library for free!
- Lunch is cheaper than dinner. Rather than go out to dinner, make it lunch instead.
- Cash in on Gift Card special promotions. Many grocery stores offer an extra bonus when you buy gift cards. Frequently it’s bonus gas rewards. Restaurants will be offering deals like an extra $10 free when you buy gift cards. Nab that deal!
- Take advantage of free events for children and families. State park admission is usually free but you have to pay to park. In Georgia, you can get a free parking pass at the local library making the trip free! So go leaf peeping at a state park!
- Find Free attractions in your city or state with a simple Google search. I created this long list of Museums in Georgia with Free Admission.
- Take advantage of Kohl’s cash! I cannot stress enough how awesome Kohl’s cash can be. Read these 29 Genius Kohl’s Shopping Hacks.
- Sign up for loyalty rewards at all your favorite stores. It pays to take advantage of loyalty offers. I often unsubscribe from their emails in January then sign back up again in November.
- Use Grocery coupons!
- Schedule a few Game nights and create excitement by having a Championship competition. Add to the excitement by making a Championship belt for the winner. Clue is our family favorite board game.
- Get crafty and start making your own seasonal decor, ornaments and gifts. Dollar Store crafts are huge! Find ideas here.
- Find a Kids Skate Free center near you. The children’s energy level increases during the holiday season! Take them to burn some of that energy off!
- Shop the Consignment shops for those new winter clothes your children need. Sell your children’s outgrown clothes at that same consignment shop!
- Do not stop at the convenience store for a drink! Keep a cooler in the car when you are out and about with bottled water or sodas which you bought on sale at the grocery store. We use our Tervis Tumbler when running errands on Saturday!
- Bake a cake or brownies or whatever sweet treats your family enjoys. Rather than spend money on those overpriced prepackaged sweet treats at the grocery store, make your own. It’s cheaper and makes the family feel all warm and fuzzy that you made them a treat.
- Shop the Daily Deals on Amazon for a jump on Christmas shopping savings. FYI Amazon offers Cash Back on Ebates!!!
- Plan to do some Black Friday shopping for the best deals of season. Refer to #7, #14 and #25 to keep your shopping budget intact.
My Uncle used to say “If you watch your pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.” These 30 ways to stretch the budget have all been put to good use in our home over the years.
Several of my favorites include those game nights at home, everyone bringing a dish to Thanksgiving dinner and especially those cash back rewards on Ebates. When my hubby added a deck onto our old house, he bought all the lumber from Home Depot through Ebates. Those were good cash back rewards!
Tell us your best idea for stretching the budget during the holiday season!
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