Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hosting Thanksgiving: Budget Friendly Tips

Here are some tips on what I have done this year to plan for tomorrow's big meal! I'll post a full update after Thanksgiving, but I wanted to share some tips in case some of you knee deep in last minute preparations:


For the best deal, scope your grocery flyers. I scanned mine a few weeks in advance, and sorted out our menu based on the best deals at our local Hannaford.

* for a possibly less budget friendly, but more earth friendly way you plan your meal: check with your local farm and use in season veggies and pre order your free range turkey :)

Our menu for tomorrow will be as follows:

Our Daily Red Organic Wine
mashed red potatoes
mashed sweet potatoes
rutabaga and carrot casserole
dinner rolls
egg nog and coffee brandy dessert beverages

I purchased all of the above goods at our local Hannaford for less than $100. We are serving 6 people, and baby A :)


No need to spend a ton of money at department stores to have a pretty table this holiday. I spent a day or two scoping out our local Goodwill and Dollar Store. At Goodwill I found two tall, glass hurricane vases for 99 cents each. (You may even have some empty vases under your kitchen sink that you could use).  I also scored 9 cloth napkins for $2.99- a simple wash and iron and they are good to go!

I filled the vases with cranberries and a white tealight, and the cloth napkins have been secured with napkin rings (but you can also tie them with raffia, which is available at any craft store). 

I was able to get some flatware at the Dollar Store for $1.50, regularly $3.50. Cheaper than buying plastic silverware, I might add, and less waste.

General Preparation

Key Points for a successful, budget friendly, and more earth friendly holiday;

* Don't buy an excessive amount of food. Not every one of your guests needs 3 helpings! This will help your budget, and limit the amount of waste.

* Many times, disposable plates/napkins/flatware can be more costly than using the real thing and cloth options.

* Have your guests bring something! For example, we are doing the turkey and all the fixin's! but we have one of our guests bringing wine and two bringing dessert.

* I also purchased an inexpensive package of holiday tupperware (3 for $1.00) to use as leftover containers for my guests. Again, less waste if you send some home with guests!

* Last tip, compost your food waste. If you DO choose to use disposable items (cups/plates/flatware/etc) you can find biodegradable options at and you can add them right to your compost!

Happy Thanksgiving!! How do YOU save money during the holidays??

Friday, November 4, 2011

Eversave DEALS for today! Friday Nov 4th SOLD OUT

Tackle all your night-out needs with today's Save and get a $25 Target Gift Card AND a $50 Gift Card for just $26.
Use your Target gift card toward any of their products in-store and online. Hungry for more savings? Use your $50 gift card on and receive discounts on thousands of restaurants nationwide.

Save Rewards are not valid on this deal - but new members get $3 when they sign up and $2 after they buy and share the deal, giving them $5 towards their next Eversave purchase!

Click HERE to buy this SAVE. 

* Be sure to check out Eversave on Facebook and Twitter and let them know NNM sent you! 

Buying vs Renting in the Current Economy

Is it worth buying a home in this economy??


I know many people have an emotional tie to the feeling of "owning" their own home. But with 72% of America living paycheck to paycheck (courtesy of the Nate Berkus show lol), is it worth the extra expenses that come with home ownership?

I've owned a home. It was foreclosed at the very beginning of the recession.

We now rent, and while I know my husband has an emotional motivation to someday buy a home- I am extremely happy 'merely' renting. There are plenty of months where we can barely pay rent- so WHY would we want the added expenses of a broken furnace, or an old roof, or peeling paint?? I just call my landlord.

Yes we pay oil. We pay electricity. But everything else is 'all inclusive' when it comes to rent. No surprise expenses. And now that we are finally getting to the point where we are catching up with bills and rent; we have the 'extra' money to (again finally) be able to furnish the apartment the way we want, eat better, decorate, improve the children's bedrooms, etc.

Cash Diet

My husband and I also live on a cash diet. We have no credit cards (not totally by choice, because ideally it would be great if we had one for emergencies), but this limits our extraneous spending. Once the cash is gone, it's gone.

For bills, we use the prehistoric envelope method :) One envelope for rent, one for electric, one for cell phones, etc. and then every few months, admittedly, we scramble to come up with enough cash for the minimum oil delivery. But regardless, we are not accumulating any additional debt.


We have been living in our little apartment haven for almost 2 years now. We have not saved anything. We are just now, I would say, breaking even. But this has allowed us to get back on our feet. My husband is working extremely hard, and I am now home again doing my best to keep up the house and get the kids where they need to go, etc. without using too much gas :)

Today I am creating a budget. A much needed budget.

We have been loosely following a budget of: "we need this much for rent each week, and we'll put this much towards phone and electric each week", etc. But now that we have a better revenue stream coming IN, we should have (in theory) WAY more money left over every week than we do!

How do you create a budget for your family? When you live paycheck to paycheck, do you still leave FUN money aside? How much?