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Affordable Hostess Gift Ideas

If you believe showing up to a friend or family member’s house empty-handed is impolite, you likely understand how difficult it can be to continue buying hostess gifts throughout the season. These gifts, though, don’t have to be elaborate. Use these affordable hostess gift ideas to give your hostess something special that doesn't blow your holiday budget.

Related post: Budgeting for the Holiday Season 


Many people enjoy candles, and they’re a surprisingly inexpensive gift option. Choose a candle that’s within your budget and wrap it up nicely before giving it to your hostess. Some premium candle stores offer huge sales throughout the year on their candles, and these are prime opportunities to stock up at great prices. When you do so, you’ll always have something to give to your hostess, even if it’s a last-minute invite.

Gift Baskets

While you might not think you can afford a premade gift basket because they’re...

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How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

While many people consider the priciest holiday of the season to be Christmas, Thanksgiving can get really expensive, as well. Even though turkey and pumpkin pies can run up your holiday spending bills, there are a few things you can do to host Thanksgiving on a budget.

Related post: Budgeting for the Holiday Season

9 Tips to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

Make It a Potluck 

Having a potluck to keep your Thanksgiving on a budget is a win-win. Your critical cousins won’t have a chance to compare their sweet potato recipe to yours if they bring their own, and you’ll save some money by not needing to provide everyone’s Thanksgiving favorites. A great way to arrange a Thanksgiving potluck is to simply by assigning each person something to bring. 

For example, you could mention to grandma that the whole family adores her deviled eggs and ask her to bring them. If your brother-in-law can’t live without that green bean casserole, then he’ll be...

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10 Festive Gift Baskets to Give Your Favorite Families

When you’re trying to save money for the holidays, having to purchase a gift for every person in a family can be expensive. If you want to save money without looking cheap, consider one of these fun and festive gift baskets for your friends and extended family! Keep in mind that you don't have to use a basket for the container, either. Get creative and see what you have stored away that could be a great gift holder. It’s also great to keep a couple of these around for the unexpected visitors who pop in and parties you have to attend. 

Related post: Budgeting for the Holiday Season

Movie Night 

Most families love getting together one or two nights of the week to have a movie night. Make that easier for them by giving them a basket filled with the movie night essentials. Include things like popcorn, candy, and other movie snacks. You can also find affordable popcorn containers made from plastic or cardboard to include in this fun basket! 



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Ways to Save on Your Thanksgiving Road Trip

When it comes to the season of thankfulness, you might not feel as thankful for the cost surrounding that road trip to be with family. While I can’t quash the expense entirely, I can offer you a few ways to save money along the way.

Plan Your Route

No matter where you are heading, it’s a good idea to plan your route ahead of time. While the fastest distance between two points is a straight line, it’s not always the cheapest way to go. When you take the time to plan your route, you might find that you can avoid that sometimes treacherous mountain pass by going a short distance out of your way, thus eliminating the need to purchase chains. Perhaps you’ll be able to eliminate the need to use toll roads (that alone can save you quite a bit). You’ll also have the ability to steer clear of resort-type areas that will cost more when it comes to gas, snacks, and lodging along your way.

Check the Weather

There’s nothing worse than heading out on a road...

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Funny Christmas Gift Ideas for Mom Friends

Gifts don't have to be expensive. It truly is the thought that counts. Here are some funny Christmas gift ideas for your mom friends that show how much you understand the struggles of motherhood. Better yet, all the gifts below are under $25 so they can comfortably fit in your holiday budget.

10 Funny Christmas Gift Ideas for Moms

Tote Bags

One of the first things I realized when becoming a mom was how much stuff I was always toting around with me. Your mom friends will surely appreciate a new bag and this one shows some appreciation for the chaos they are constantly coordinating.

Adult Coloring Books Can Be a Funny Christmas Gift Idea

There are some great adult coloring books out there for the creative mom in your life who could use some stress-relief. The one below is available on Amazon.


Who doesn't love a new tumbler, especially one with a funny slogan on it? Look for one that goes with the personality of the mom you are buying it for. The one below is from Amazon -...

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10+ Teacher Gifts Under Ten Dollars

I am so grateful to my children's teachers and love showing my gratitude during the holidays. I started as a teacher very early in my career and found it to be incredibly stressful, so I hold an extra special place in my heart for teachers.

Unfortunately, with three kids and each kid having multiple teachers, I have to be pretty frugal when it comes to gift-giving or it would blow my whole holiday budget. I would love to do something crafty or homemade but time is way too limited these days.

That's why I wanted to share this list of ten great gift ideas for teachers that won't break the bank. All of these items can be found on Amazon for less than $10 and you can get them with free shipping in just two days with Amazon Prime.


Teachers Gifts for Under $10

Coffee Mug  

There's a wide selection of coffee mugs that make great teacher gifts under $10 - you don't have to get one specifically designed for teachers. Last year, I did holiday mugs with packets of hot...

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Budgeting for the Holiday Season

I never fully appreciated the stress of the holiday season until l had kids. I remember our first Christmas together very well - mostly because I was so unprepared for everything. For those who don't know, I adopted all three of my children at the same time, so I went from a low-key Christmas with no children to creating Christmas traditions for a family of 5. 

I waited until the last minute to shop, and the stores were sold out of a lot of stuff. I was worried that if I ordered gifts online, they wouldn't come in time. We got through it, but it definitely was not one of our more graceful holiday seasons. That's a picture of my three kids from our first Christmas together below.

Related post: Why This Busy Mom Loves Amazon Prime & How to Get It Discounted

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year with family pressures and financial pressures. Between the gift-giving, entertaining, travel, and the regular monthly expenses, it all adds up to...

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Financial Horror Stories: Overspending to Please Others


We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Sarah, owner of Lemon Blessings and practical family finance blogger. 

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made, and how did it impact your life? 

One of the biggest mistakes I made was applying for and accepting store credit cards early into my college years to have the clothes and decor I thought I needed. Halfway through my second year of college, I had cards for Macy's, Maurices, JCPenney, and more. To top it off, I often forgot to make the payments, which resulted in me defaulting on all of them. 

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I'd like to say that I wouldn't take out those credit cards to start with, but I honestly didn't know any different. I spent years watching the adults in my life charge everything on credit, even if...

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Financial Horror Stories: Excessive Debt

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Victoria, busy mom, wife, and full-time blogger from the UK. She started blogging in April 2013 and now writes four blogs. Her favorite topics include making and saving money, self-employment, healthy living, travel, and home and garden.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made, and how did it impact your life?

The biggest mistake I ever made was getting into £17500 worth of personal and irresponsible debt aged 18-19 years old. As soon as I could get store cards and credit cards, I did, without thinking of the consequences.

Not that it's an excuse, but I had low self-confidence, low self-esteem, and was suffering from depression. I tried to fill a void in my self by going shopping and buying new things, thinking it would make me happy.

I had no money management skills and lived a...

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Financial Horror Stories: Reckless Spending

We’ve asked several people to share their financial horror stories with us with the idea that we can learn from their mistakes. Today we have the opportunity to get to know Dailson, the person behind the inspirational Instagram feed, Living on Savings.

What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made and how did it impact your life?

The biggest money mistake I have made was spending 7,000 dollars carelessly. After spending I had no funds saved for a rainy day. Instead, I lived paycheck to paycheck, constantly seeking help from others, and started to live below my ego for the very first time.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I think about this question every day. If I could go back, I would invest my money in the stock market, start a small home business and put my funds in a high yield savings account.

Did anything good come out of the mistake?

Yes, I was able to gain wisdom from my mistakes. If this mistake hadn’t occurred, I...

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