Cash In: Start Now to Save Money for Christmas

Think Christmas ... in July? Sure--if you want to be prepared for a stress-free holiday season.

Starting holiday planning now makes sense ... and cents! Saving ahead for holiday expenses spreads the financial demands of the Christmas season over several months--and being prepared with a cash budget means you'll be less tempted to put holiday spending on credit cards.

Sister site Organized Christmas has some clever ways to start now to save money for a debt-free Christmas celebration:

Clever checkbook management can lead to a Christmas stash. When paying bills each month, "round down" the bank balance to the next even amount--say, from $967 to $900--by writing a dummy check for $67 and deducting it from the register. Don't cash it, but hold it for Christmas. Over a few months, those "round it down" amounts will add up to holiday funds.

Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas

Make A Price Book For Supermarket Savings

Looking to save money at the supermarket? It's hard to do in this age of shifting prices and computer-generated "sales".

How do you know whether an advertised special is a bargain--or a bust? Is the warehouse mega-pack a better buy? How about those "buy one, get one free" offers--are they worth the extra price?

Supermarket pricing can be confusing. Fight back with a powerful weapon from the frugal arsenal: the price book.

A price book is a power tool for tracking prices, products and sales, so you'll always know when a bargain is truly a bargain.

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

What's for dinner? It's the question of the hour!

Too many home managers look for answers in the supermarket at 5 p.m. Harried from the day's work and harassed by by hungry children, they rack their brains for an answer to the what's-for-dinner dilemma.

Three meals a day. Seven dinners a week. From supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard, the kitchen routine can get old, old, old.

No wonder we hide our heads like ostriches from the plain and simple fact: into each day, one dinner must fall. What's the answer? A menu plan.

Save at the Supermarket: Boost Your Price Power!

On any trip to the grocery store, it's the first and simplest question: what's the price?

Time was, it was easy to know the price of any grocery item; before computers, each can, carton and bottle sported a physical price tag.

Usually found in the form of a small sticker, a physical price tag made food costs clear--and to raise prices, grocers had to re-tag food items.

Start Small: Sneak Up On Freezer Cooking

You've heard about bulk freezer cooking--an easy method of stockpiling prepared meals in the household freezer.

Commercial meal assembly franchises like Dream Dinners®, or Let’s Dish® have popularized the concept (at a cost), but smart home cooks know that feeding the freezer is an efficient way to feed the family. too.

Store It! Create A Household Storage Plan

How to handle household storage? It's a battle!

You, the innocent home manager, want only to find holiday decorations or seasonal clothing.

Your nemesis? Bins and bags and boxes. Crammed cabinets, bursting basements, and inaccessible attics. The Garage from The Black Lagoon.

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