Yes, I know Thanksgiving is four days away. But it seems almost unreal...like that big holiday with the C-word that's coming down the pike in about a month.
That doesn't keep me from doing it as frugally as I can:
*Double-check the paper goods -- I'll haul out what I bought at the end of last season for 50-90% off. (Tuesday Morning is FANTASTIC for finding deals like this. They have higher-quality matching paper plates, too. Even their everyday pricing is good. Make a note to stop in on Friday to get Pilgrim/Thanksgiving stuff for next year.)
*Check the grocery ads. One blogger advocated waiting to buy until the last minute for Thanksgiving -- she argued that was when food prices suddenly dropped, especially for turkey. By golly, she was right this year! Both Safeway and King Soopers not only have turkey on sale, but potatoes and frozen pies have magically dropped in price. Some baking goods, too: butter, eggs and cream cheese. Even ice cream and soda are cheaper. Go figure.
*NOW check available coupons. Several match up with the extra-low grocery prices. (Go here for a start.) Are they out? Get a raincheck.
*Think about NOT buying any holiday decorations. I know -- it's tempting to splurge on lights and those leeetle tiny houses that will make your mantel look sooo cute. Can you go without for just one year, and use what you've already got, instead? Then if you're still in love, pick up those items after the holidays -- but for much less.
*What's outside that you can use, instead? Thanksgiving is perfect for a centerpiece of pine cones and fir branches -- especially when you add tiny pumpkins, some pomegranates, a head of flowering kale, or those mandarin oranges on sale. (About $1 a pound at my stores.) Include some fall leaves sprinkled in for an autumn touch. Go here for more. Yes, this works for Christmas, too.
*Wrapping paper and ribbon are cheap, colorful and a great source for decorating. Cheap, that is, if you get them at the dollar store, with coupons, or on sale. (Which they are right now.) Tiny boxes, wrapped and interspersed with fir branches and tiny lights, will really glow by your front window. (Or wrap real presents, and save yourself the extra trouble.) Wrap the framed pictures and paintings you already have hanging. Tie a series of bows on a plain straw, grapevine or greens wreath.
Or try this:
Another idea source: any of the '1000-plus' tutorials on Pinterest. Mesh ribbon wreaths are especially stylin' right now.
*Christmas cards? Maybe yes, maybe no. Don't send any cards at all. (Gasp!) Or send only to out-of-towners, consider sending e-cards, instead -- or use postcards.
The Frugalwoods are advocating sending 'business' Christmas postcards -- and they've got proof it's not only cheaper, but really cute.
Sadly, our expenses for these are decreasing. I send cards primarily to uncles and aunts -- and we've lost quite a few older relatives in the past few years.
Part II's up! Go here for more.