Category Archives: Seasonal

Glow in the Dark Trick-or-Treat Tote for Halloween

Glow in the Dark Trick-or-Treat Tote for Halloween

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.


Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, and if your kids are like mine, they already have costumes picked out!

And even though it may not be part of the costume, the candy collection bag is a big deal at least for the parent.  Because if that candy bag breaks and your kid has candy all over the ground, you know there will be tears!  We have tried the plastic pumpkin buckets and foil bags with handles, but all have ended up braking.  I guess you could say that my kids get a LOT of candy when they go trick-or-treating!  So, finding a bag that won’t break is a must.  That’s where Colortime Crafts and Markers comes in!  We got this cute Halloween Tote, made out of canvas:


My oldest son didn’t actually want to dress up for Halloween this year, but did opt for one of those huge Maskimals monkey heads because he thought it was funny… tweens…
My two younger sons still wanted full Halloween costumes, so they went with a Star Wars theme: Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper


Of course, my youngest son loves to keep trying on his costume, and is so excited for all the candy!   He was thrilled to find out that I got him a glow in the dark trick-or-treat tote this year! Even my older two sons wanted to help him decorate:


The canvas is nice and thick, so it seems pretty sturdy (like it will last for several years to come!) and the fabric markers were easy to use.  They were even able to color over the marker with another color (like on the T and R, so that the piece of candy and candy apple showed up a little better).  The markers didn’t even bleed through although they do suggest putting a piece of paper towel inside.

And the real test:  Yes!  It actually glows in the dark!


One of the reasons that I love this glow in the dark tote so much is because it will help me keep track of my little guy in the dark! Every year, we always have some sort of glow sticks, bracelets, or necklace that we give the kids to wear because it is easier to see where they are at.  Might sound silly, but it is so helpful!

So, as a parent:

  • I love that it glows in the dark so I can more easily keep track of my child when the sun goes down
  • it is sturdy so it should be reliable and not break part-way through the night (like previous bag and buckets have!)
  • it was a lot of fun for the kids to decorate!



Colortime has a lot more than just crafts for Halloween though.  You can get party supplies at reasonable prices for birthday parties and sleepovers with Colortime Crafts and Markers coloring pillowcases, t-shirts, backpacks, permanent fabric markers, and more. New special glow-in-the-dark ink items available! Clean, easy, and affordable crafts activity that doubles as a unique keepsake! For savings, join our “Birthday Club” and receive 20% off and a free backpack, with your order at Colortime.


Here’s to getting no tricks and lots of treats!

Happy Halloween!


Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

Haunted Halloween Activities for the Whole Family

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Fall is probably my favorite time of year.  I just love everything about it: the hayrides, apple picking, and trips to the pumpkin patch so many things that my family  enjoys together every year!  But of course, with Halloween just around the corner, taking in a few haunted Halloween activities for the whole family is a lot of fun too!

And recently, we did just that.  We took a weekend trip to Lake Erie Shores & Islands and had a blast!

Our reason for going, was for more than just a family get-a-way, this was also a celebration of our oldest son’s 12th birthday!  Instead of having a birthday party this year, Chase wanted to go to Cedar Point.  Living in Ohio, we have been to Cedar Point before, but I wanted to make this visit a little more special, since this time we are celebrating a birthday, so I started planning… that’s when I found Lake Erie Shores and Islands Welcome Center.  Even if you are familiar with this area, you may not know all of the great events and destinations that are available.  I was so glad to work with the great people at the visitor’s center to find out about other attractions that we could visit on our weekend mini vacay.  While I got a lot of the information online at, there are two visitor centers in the area as well, so we decided to stop by…

There are lots of brochures, maps of the area, and of course, very useful information from the local perspective by those working at the visitor center.


To really get in the haunted Halloween mood, we kicked the weekend off by heading to Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.  This thrill center is probably not like any other that you’ve ever been to; this family entertainment center has been featured in The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been.”  And if you are brave enough, you can journey through one of the scariest haunted houses in the country— rated one of Forbes top 10 haunted attractions (this is only recommended for ages 10 and up).

Chase wanted to go through the haunted house, so my husband went with him… and I took our two younger sons to the not-at-all scary play zone.

So in case your family has some younger ones that don’t want to be scared, there are lots of other activities too!

We watched a 3D movie in the XD Theater, played 3D black light mini golf, and the boys even went through the new laser maze!  Oh, and they also have an Escape Room that is now open!



After we had a few hours of fun at Ghostly Manor, we decided to head back to the hotel for the evening, so the kids could swim.  We don’t have a pool at home, so anytime we are on vacation, we always have to stay at a hotel with a nice pool!  The Comfort Inn Sandusky had an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a sauna, and hot tub— so the kids were in heaven!  And as great as the amenities were, the room is probably what the kids liked the best.  It was a huge open room with three double beds!  This may not sound like much, but when you have a family of five, someone is usually sleeping on a roll-away bed or a pull-out sofa— and we all know how uncomfortable those can be!  So for everyone to get to sleep in a comfy bed was really nice.  And the rates were very affordable (only $100/night this time of year)… as a money savvy mom, that was probably my favorite part!

Amusement for the day…

Cedar Point is probably the best place I can think to go for thrill rides.  Roller coaster after roller coaster awaits!  According to Golden Ticket Awards, Cedar Point has four roller coasters that rank in the top 25 steel coasters in the world!  Yes, we’ve ridden them all—and they don’t disappoint!


But the thrills don’t just stop with the coasters.  In the fall, you can visit Cedar Point for Halloweekends—and experience scary thrills as well!

During the day, you won’t really see it, but at dusk, the spooky starts to happen, as costumed cast members dressed-to-scare begin appearing throughout the park.

Halloweekends Cast Member. Photo courtesy of Joe Schaaf

If you have little ones with you or just don’t want to have a cast member jump out at you after dark, you can buy a green light-up pumpkin to indicate that you don’t want to participate in the scaring…

There are also lots of fun fall decorations and a parade in the afternoon featuring your favorite characters from the Peanuts, so there is plenty for the kids to enjoy all day long.


What haunted Halloween activities will you and your family do this year?


#TravelOhio #LakeErieLove





Best of Fall: 20+ Fall Recipes, Activities, Crafts, & Home Decor Ideas

Best of Fall: 20+ Fall Recipes, Activities, Crafts, & Home Decor Ideas

I have to admit, fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons!  After a hot summer, it is kind of nice to enjoy some cooler temperatures along with those beautiful sunny days.  Crisp mornings are perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck or going for a jog.  So to celebrate the season, I have a compiled the best of fall that I could find! 20+ fall recipes, activities, crafts, home décor ideas, and more:

Autumn Recipes

Apple, pumpkin, and maple… oh my!  Yes, the time of year has come for all of these delicious flavors!  Here are some of my favorite fall recipes to share with you:

Frosted Maple Cookies

Maple Sugar Cookies

Apple Pie Pizza

Harvest Apple Crisp

DIY Healthy Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Healthier Apple Crisp

Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes  

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Harvest Muffins

Hot Mulled Apple Cider Sangria in the Crockpot

Quick & Easy Apple Cider

Caramel Apple Cider

Fun Fall Food Ideas for Kids

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

Carrot & Beet Cupcakes

Gluten Free French Apple Tart

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie



DIY & Crafts

Fun Crafts and DIY that you and your kids can make!

DIY Fall Hoop Wreath

Preppy Pumpkin

Fall Crafts for Kids

Fall Digi Leaves

Nature Press to Preserve Leaves


Home Décor

Do you love to decorate for fall?  Here are some fun ideas to really bring the season alive in your home!

Home décor for Fall  

Tis the Season for Fall Décor


Fall Fashion

I live in Ohio, so while we do have warm fall days, it does start to get cooler.  So I get to enjoy all the cute boots and sweaters as we head into winter, but what if you live in a warmer climate?  She Lives Vintage has some great ideas on how to wear fall fashion in warmer locations.

Autumn Activities

Looking for fun things to do this fall?  Here are some great suggestions you won’t want to miss!  I know my family looks forward to going to the same farm every year to pick pumpkins and enjoy a hayride!  It’s a great afternoon of family fun!  Even if you have activities you enjoy in the fall, you may want to check out these great ideas too:

Fun & FREE Fall Activities for the Family

Go Apple Picking  

Summer Activities for Fall

50 Fall Activities

Family Friendly Fall Activities

15 Ways to Enjoy Nature this Fall Season


Happy Fall Y’all! 


Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 Easy Recipe, 4 Different Flavors

Drop sugar cookie recipe1 easy recipe, 4 delicious spring flavors! 

My Grandma made these cookies all the time when I was growing up… we knew them as Amish Sugar cookies.  Just plain, old sugar cookies that didn’t need to be rolled out and cut-out… simply drop spoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake.  Easy and tasty!


Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living


When you think of sugar cookies, you may typically think of the classic sugar cookies cut out into different shapes, frosted, and topped with sprinkles.  And I love those too, but these drop sugar cookies are much easier and quicker to make… so if you are looking for a delicious class sugar cookie recipe, you can check out my Best Ever Sugar Cookie recipe here…

But, for a fun twist on this drop sugar cookie classic, I am adding fresh fruit for extra flavor and color and it makes these cookies perfect for any Spring event!  You are definitely going to want to make these for your Easter or Mother’s Day brunch!


Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living


Drop Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 3 dozen
  • Print


  • ½ cup butter, room temperature 
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla 
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar



Combine butter, oil, and sugars in a large mixing bowl; mix well.  Add the egg and vanilla; mix until blended.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add to creamed mixture.

**At this point, you are ready to drop small spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake.  But, I’m going to divide the dough into four parts (so you’ll need three more small bowls) and add different fruits to give these cookies beautiful color and taste!

Using a cookie scoop, to help keep all the cookies uniform in size, place mounds of cookie dough on baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.


Because I am going to add fresh fruit and the fruit’s juice to the cookie mix, it will change the consistency, so it will be necessary to add more powdered sugar and/or flour.  Start with adding 1 tablespoon more of powdered sugar, if necessary, add 1 tablespoon of flour too, but don’t add both at once, stir in the additional powdered sugar first and gage consistency from there.



Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Zest one lime— put part in the cookie dough and save part to sprinkle over the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven.  Squeeze the juice of ½ of the lime into the cookie dough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Lime Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living



Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Zest one lemon— put part in the cookie dough and save part to sprinkle over the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven.  Squeeze the juice of ½ of the lemon into the cookie dough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Lemon Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living



Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Wash 5 fresh strawberries, remove tops, and crush berries.  You can add just the juice, but I also like to put pieces of the crushed berries in too, so make they are cut small enough.  Add a bit more powdered sugar and be even a bit of flour too, depending on how juicy those strawberries are!

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Strawberry Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living


Black Raspberry

Take ¼ of the cookie dough and put in a separate bowl.  Wash about 10 black raspberries; crush berries.  Because the seeds are so large, make sure to strain the crushed raspberries so that only the juice is added to the cookie mixture.  Add a bit more powdered sugar if necessary.

Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Black Raspberry Sugar Cookies // Money Savvy Living


With all of the delicious fresh fruits to choose from, you could get really creative with these.  And, the colors make for a beautiful spring dessert!

What fruits would you choose?  Blueberry, peach, orange, pomegranate?


Drop Sugar Cookies ~ 1 easy reicpe, 4 delicious flavors // Money Savvy Living


If you don’t have all your cookie-baking supplies, you can order them here:


*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer.



Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrocks

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrocks

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living

New twist on a classic!  Chocolate covered pretzels are always a hit at my house… and I imagine they are at your house too.  It’s sweet, it’s salty, chocolate is involved… you really can’t go wrong with that kind of dessert.

So the only thing left to do is figure out fun ways to make chocolate covered pretzels festive for whatever holiday or season you want to celebrate.  And we’ve done just that for St. Patrick’s Day!  Here you have it, chocolate covered pretzel shamrocks!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living

These chocolate covered pretzel shamrocks are so easy to make!  You really only need 5 things to get started:

  • green colored chocolate melting wafers
  • pretzel twists
  • pretzels sticks
  • shortening
  • wax paper
  • sprinkles *optional*

You just get a bag of green chocolate melting wafers and melt according to the instructions.  Then add a little bit of shortening to the melted chocolate.  That will help to thin it out a bit and give it a nice gloss.

**Tip: A good rule of thumb for melting chocolate is to do so in 30 second increments at 50% power until melted that way you avoid burning it**

Cover table or counter with wax paper.  This works great because the pretzels can lay on the wax paper to dry and then they will easily peel off when the chocolate has completely set.

To make each shamrock, you will need 3 pretzel twists and 1 pretzel stick.  Dip them in the green melted chocolate to even coat and as you lay them on the wax paper, start forming your shamrock!  Make sure sides are touching so that the chocolate dries and holds the shape intact.

This was even a fun little project that my kids helped with!  So have fun and make some memories with your kids in the kitchen!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living Chocolate Covered Pretzel Shamrock // Money Savvy Living


Shopping List


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


*This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a commission, but it does not change the overall price to you, the consumer.

Classic Reuben Sandwich


Classic Reuben Sandwich // Money Savvy Living


St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon… and I literally can’t get by this holiday without craving a good corned beef sandwich!  Of course, they are delicious any time of year, but it’s just like turkey at Thanksgiving, cookies at Christmas…and corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day.


While the corned beef brisket with potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or some other comfort food is tasty, I have to say that my very favorite way to eat corned beef is in a classic reuben sandwich!  Oh my…. so good.


Of course, you can buy a delicious reuben sandwich, but it is so easy to make, you won’t even need to find an Irish Pub in order to get that authentic taste…


Yes, it’s easy, but it will take some time if you’re going to cook your own corned beef bristketbut I did include a shopping list with a quicker option below as an alternative option.


So to start, cover a 2-3 pound corned beef in a crockpot with water, add the seasoning packet (and a bay leaf, if you want, but don’t forget to remove it later).  Cook for 6-8 hours, or until tender.  Meat should easily pull apart.  You can cook it on the stop top or in the oven, I just prefer a crockpot because it is so easy to just put on before work, then when you get home, most of dinner is ready!  Easy-peasy!


Next is the sauerkraut.  I never, ever just warm up sauerkraut from the jar or the bag (for me, that is just a little too sauer!).  I always like to cook it down for a few minutes with applesauce and brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper to taste.  This literally takes less than 5 minutes…


While that is cooking, you can butter your rye & pumpernickel bread and toast it on a griddle, put the provolone cheese (ok, so this is a twist on the “classic” reuben because my kids don’t like swiss cheese) on to melt on one side of the sandwich, and generously apply the Thousand Island dressing to the other side of the sandwich.  Pull the bread off the griddle because you are ready for a plate!


Layer on the thin chuncks of corned beef, top with sauerkraut, and you now have the most delicious reuben sandwich… oh yeah, seriously mouth-wateringly delicious!


Classic Reuben Sandwich // Money Savvy Living

Classic Reuben Sandwich

  • Corned beef
  • Sauerkraut
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • Rye & Pumpernickel bread
  • Provolone Cheese

Layer ingredients, hot or cold, to make a delicious sandwich!

*if you don’t have Thousand Island dressing, you can just mix some mayo, ketchup, and pickle relish together and you will have a great homemade Thousand Island dressing!



Shopping List

*Follow the instructions for this one-step rapid roast.  Preparation for it would be different than cooking a raw corned beef brisket.



*This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission, but it does not change the price to you, the consumer.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

Christmas morning is less than one week away.  If your home is anything like ours, the kids will be up probably several times throughout the night and then ready to run downstairs and see what Santa left for them!  So at 5am, you are probably not ready to cook a huge breakfast, but I have the perfect solution for you… cranberry cinnamon roll drop biscuits.  They are quick and easy to make or you can even make them the night before so you don’t have to do anything Christmas morning except for try to wake up with your cup of coffee while the kids feverishly rip open their gifts…

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I’m making these with cranberries to make a wonderful Christmas morning treat, but this basic recipe could be used year round by substituting the cranberries with raisins, blueberries & lavender, strawberries, pumpkin you get the idea…

I also have to admit, I’m not exactly making these from scratch, but I guarantee, you won’t be able to tell!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

I am using Bisquick baking mix for my base, so this makes it quick and easy and just a little bit healthier because all I have to do for the base is add milk to the Bisquick.  If I was making this from scratch, I’d typically cut in cold butter to make biscuits.

So I am going to start by cutting up about ¼ cup of Craisins so they are smaller bits and spread out more evenly in the drop biscuits.  And I am going to soak them in a bit of water to help moisten them up.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

*If you have an adult only Christmas morning, you could soak the Craisins in rum or vodka…

Combine the Bisquick and milk.  Add the Craisins, cinnamon, sugar, melted butter and maple syrup.  Drop onto baking sheet.  I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper so the biscuits don’t stick and it makes for easier clean up when you put the icing on too.

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living

While the biscuits are in the oven, mix the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and maple flavoring for the icing/glaze.

If you put the icing on when the biscuits come out of the oven, it will melt down over the biscuits like a glaze… YUM!

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy Living


It all comes together pretty easily:

Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits

  • Servings: 4-6 biscuits
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)

1/4 cup soaked Craisins *optional reserve some for garnish*

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine all ingredients.  Spoon onto baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

While the biscuits are baking, make the icing:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp milk

1/8 tsp maple flavor

*Put icing on while biscuits are hot…will melt like a glaze


Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Drop Biscuits | Money Savvy LivingSo delicious and so easy!  I love this because you will still have plenty of time to watch the kids open gifts and relax… and still make a homemade breakfast!  Perfect for Christmas morning!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living


What do you think of when I mention Christmas?  Santa Claus, the Nativity and the birth of Jesus, a decorated Christmas tree, beautifully wrapped gifts, lights… and Christmas cookies!  Of course, there are all types of Christmas cookies and goodies, but I think the sugar cookies are the best!

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas cookies conjure up memories from childhood… so I’m going to share Grandma’s Best Every Christmas Sugar Cookies.  They are so easy to make (you won’t even have to buy that pre-packaged sugar cookie mix!) and they taste AMAZING!!

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies

Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

3¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

*For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.



1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

Beat butter, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.


Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living


From our family to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the love of Christ fill your hearts and lives this Christmas and throughout the year!

And I truly hope that your family will take the time to make some wonderful memories as you bake and eat cookies together!



Best Ever Christmas Sugar Cookies | Money Savvy Living


And if you want to try something different than these traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies, this recipe for classic Linzer Cookies is absolutely delicious!
Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies

Or for more family time together, you can gather the kids around and make some wonderful ornaments to decorate your tree. I love doing this because every year when we decorate the tree, we reminisce a bit. The kids love looking back at stuff they did in preschool and it is just fun memories. Not to mention, they are the most cherished ornaments on the tree because they were made by the kids… Take a look at my posts for how to make these special keepsake ornaments:

Homemade Cinnamon & Applesauce Ornaments
Cinnamon Glitter Ornament


Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make That You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Christmas Ornaments Collage |Money Savvy Living Porcelain Painted Ornament | Money Savvy Living Cardboard ornament Paperplate angel

It’s a Credit Card Christmas

It's a Credit Card Christmas | Money Savvy Living


I’ll be fine and dandy, Lord it’s like a… credit card Christmas. I’m barely getting through tomorrow… But still I won’t let… spending get me way down…


Did you think I was going for a “hard candy” Christmas?  You probably even started to sing along, didn’t you?  Don’t be shy… I know you heard the tune and now it’s stuck in your head, am I right?!


Well, it may or may not be a “hard candy” Christmas for you, but it certainly is going to be a credit card Christmas for millions of Americans this year.  A recent Holiday Spending Survey, found that the average individual plans to spend $738 for Christmas this year.  When you add that up for the 245 million adults that plan on doing this shopping, you reach a staggering figure of $181 billion on gifts this holiday season!


If you were floored by that figure, wait until you hear this… of those 245 million shoppers, 64 percent of them will use credit cards, or some form of debt, to buy those gifts!  So within the next couple of weeks, over $103 billion dollars in debt will be acquired by Americans just for Christmas shopping.


Buying the Perfect Gift is Not an Excuse to Overspend | Money Savvy Living


So, how can you keep yourself from having a credit card Christmas?


If you haven’t been planning throughout the year already, you can’t really change that at this point, but there are a few things that you can do to help yourself from relying totally on credit cards to pay for Christmas:


Use cash—yes, obvious, but as much as you can, use cash.  Using cash keeps you in the clear, so you don’t have to worry about compounding interest on those high interest rate cards.  Even if you pay for half of your gifts in cash, that will be less to pay off in January.  Every small step that you can take to paying off debt makes a huge difference!


Pay off credit quickly—sometimes it makes sense to use credit.  Maybe you get a store discount for using their store credit card—and that can actually save you money, but only if you take advantage of the savings and pay the bill off as soon as it arrives next month.


Don’t buy gifts that people don’t want—this one gets a bit tricky, but let me explain what I mean.  Have you ever opened a gift and had to try to grin and say thank you when you have no idea what it is?  Perhaps you received a gift, like a $30 canister of gourmet popcorn and thought, “I would have rather had the money that was spent on that instead.”  You know, the nice gift that you really didn’t need or want.  The one that may never be used… I think that we’ve all received them, and probably even given them.  So this year, if you aren’t sure about what to buy, give something that is more meaningful… and here are a few ideas:


  • For new parents or parents of toddlers—offer babysitting as your gift.  Seriously, any new parent or parent of a toddler knows that free babysitting is pure GOLD.  I guarantee they will love this gift!
  • For grandparents— make a keepsake ornament from the kids.  Grandparents love anything that is made by their grandchildren, so whether it’s a handprint ornament, craft, or special card, it will be way more meaningful that then sweatshirt that says “World’s Best Grandpa.”  I’ll let you in on a secret: No one really wants to wear these shirts.  Ever.
  • For mom and dad—dad doesn’t need another tie, and mom doesn’t want kitchen utensils.  They probably just want some extra time with you.  So, instead of spending money on something that they don’t really need, invite mom out to lunch just because, make time to go on that hunting trip with dad that you have been too busy to take… they will appreciate this much more…
  • For your kids—as parents we want to make sure that our kids have a HUGE pile of gifts to open.  Because what is better than the joy on their faces and they run downstairs on Christmas morning to see all the wonderful packages that Santa left?!  But, we all know that joy only lasts as long as there are more gifts to tear open and when the dust settles, the kids play with their new loot for about 5 minutes and then life goes back to normal—and all those big bucks you spent to fulfil every Christmas list wish are seemingly wasted… talk to your kids about the true meaning of Christmas and find a way to have them learn the joy of giving… that will last for them a lot longer than getting the hottest, most expensive toy of the season…


Just because it seems like everyone around you is giving and receiving the latest and greatest gifts this season, based on the recent Holiday Spending Survey, they may very well be going into debt to do so.


Check out one of my posts, 10 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Year for Christmas and find out even more ways to get the perfect gift without overspending and going into debt.

10 Ways to Avoid Overspending this Christmas | Money Savvy Living

Cyber Monday: Hot Amazon Deals!

Cyber Monday Deals | Money Savvy Living


Thanksgiving is barely over and Christmas shopping is well underway!  If you didn’t get everything you needed on Black Friday, you can still pick up some great deals today… Cyber MondayAmazon has tons of great deals today, and I’m going to share a few of the best ones with you, but click here to shop all of Amazon’s Cyber Monday deals!


One of the hottest sellers this season is The Magnolia Story, so if you love watching them on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, you should definitely pick up their book.  Less than $5 makes this a great stocking stuffer!

Need a TV?  You literally cannot beat the price of this one:  $89 for this Acer 23.8 inch HD TV!!

Need faster internet?  You might want to pick up a new router or range extender… and Netgear is making that so easy to do day, with 50% off!

Toys.  If you are a parent, getting the toys that your kids want is a big deal at Christmas… so here’s a great Cyber Monday deal for you: Hasbro has 50% a huge selection today! Check out this Pie Face Showdown game, Trivial Pursuit, Nerf, Furbys, and more!

If you plan on baking Christmas cookies this season (and I know you are!), you will definitely need a table mixer for that!  KitchenAid has a great deal on their 6 Qt Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer today for only $219!

Want to decorate for Christmas without climbing on the roof to put up lights?  Here’s your answer: Star Shower Motion Laser Light Projector, save 29% today…priced around $35.

And, of course, the hottest item of the season:  drum roll, please!!  HATCHIMALS!  Okay, these are not a Cyber Monday deal, but if your kid just has to have one, you can still get them on Amazon…

Happy shopping… and happy saving!

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