Five Frugal Things (Holiday Version)

Posted in Tips & Tricks
on December 20, 2016

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One of my favorite bloggers is Katy Wolk-Stanley, better know as the Non-Consumer Advocate. She regularly shares “Five Frugal Things” posts, in which she highlights how she is living within her means and achieving her goal of paying for her kids’ college education without any debt.

Since I am so inspired by Katy, I’m sharing some frugal things we have been up to this holiday season. It is easy to go overboard with spending this time of year, so I figured it might be good to hear how we stay under budget and still have a festive and fun season!

P.S. Most of these photos are from my Instagram feed – you can follow me there for a regular glimpse into our frugal life! 😉

  1. We attending an amazing free “gingerbread” house event at our local library with some friends. A volunteer from Habitat for Humanity read a story and the kiddos could build and decorate their own little house made from graham crackers. It was so much fun and totally free (thanks to the children’s department at our awesome local library)!
  2. I checked the Target Cartwheel app on my phone before heading to Target to get a few gifts. I was excited to find that I had an offer for a free gift in the app! I could choose among a Starbucks drink, food or drink from the cafe, an item from Bullseye’s Playground (up to $5), or a snack from the checkout lane. I was a good mom and passed on the Starbucks in order to let RC pick out some thing for herself… now that’s love! She picked these adorable Minions slippers. Download or check the Cartwheel app to see if you have a free offer, too!
  3. My daughter and I enjoyed a one-night “staycation” while my husband was out of town for work. He isn’t such a big fan of hotel stays, so we had his blessing to use up some IHG points that were expiring soon. My daughter and I met our dear friend Sarah at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. We all had a blast at the FREE museum, and even got free parking because we visited on the weekend! I only spent $3.50 on a cookie and coffee from the cafe. Then we headed to a nice Holiday Inn in Raleigh, swam in the pool, and soaked in the hot tub (mama was so happy). I packed food from home for dinner and breakfast and made sure our room had a microwave and fridge. I spent $0 on our hotel stay thanks to my IHG points. We had a super fun weekend basically for free!
  4. We threw a birthday party for our little girl at our house this past weekend… I can’t believe she turning four already! I had a budget of $20 for decorations, crafts, and goody bags for the kids. I was able to stay under budget, even with putting together 10 goody bags for her friends. Woo hoo! My mother-in-law let us borrow their bounce house which was the highlight for the kids. My daughter helped me make dirt dessert (it was a bug-themed party) and she and my husband frosted butterfly sugar cookies. I made ham and cheese sliders, a yummy chickpea salad, a boozy punch for the grown-ups (a necessity), and had some other snack food set out. Everyone had a great time and we really enjoyed spending time together. Just goes to show you don’t need to spend tons of money to throw a fun party for your kid.
  5. My birthday is on Christmas and my daughter’s is right before it, so my mother-in-law took us to see Carolina ballet perform The Nutcracker as our birthday present! She is pretty generous, don’t you think? 🙂 I absolutely LOVE gifts that are experiences instead of stuff. We all had the best time and my daughter loved getting dressed up, particularly because she got to wear tights for the first time! She was obsessed with them and it was adorable. Her whole outfit was secondhand – I got her dress ($4) and Stride Rite shoes ($4) from Schoola and spent $2 on her tights. I even got her fabulous dress coat at a yard sale for 50 cents over the summer! I got my dress for a whopping $2 from Schoola, too. So we were able to look fancy for very little money thanks to shopping secondhand!

What frugal things have you been up to? Please share in a comment below!

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