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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Guest Posts | 0 comments

Decorating and Recipes on a Budget

I think less is more. But this can be easier said than done. As the holiday time approaches I think it’s easy as a mom, or a DIY’er to get caught up in the rhythm that I have to do it all, and be good at it all. We don’t want to leave any corner untouched. This kind of thinking can really cause our budget to skyrocket. Along the way I have learned a few tricks, while not having to spend hardly any money at all. These tips for Holiday Decorating and Recipes on a budget will keep you from over-spending.

Make A Plan And Create A List

How much do you actually have to spend? Turn it into a fun game and see if you can spend less. Creating a plan will set you up for success. It’ll also help you figure out what is really important. Look around your house and see what you already have. What can you transform into something different? Sheets make wonderful table linens and much cheaper.

Use Those Coupons

Before you head to the craft store make sure you check to see if there are any printable coupons. To save  on your groceries, be on the lookout for grocery stores participating in free turkey promotions. Stock up on those loss leaders and use coupons to bring down your out of pocket expense. If you are having a hard time reaching the promotional amount, take the opportunity to stock up on meat or any other items you can use throughout the year.

Fresh Produce

It gives a “blah” table an amazing pop of color. Take some navel oranges and place them inside one of your baking dishes or glass bowls. Add some water to the bottom and fill it with some colorful flowers and greens from your yard. Add some fresh cranberries as vase fillers, or hollow out artichokes and put candles in them.

Look In Your Own Backyard

I am blessed to have a huge cedar and holly tree. I snip a few branches and line them along my table runner – gives it a nice smell too! Or find some unique branches and spray them with glitter paint. Use clothespins and pin those wonderful Christmas cards you receive to the branch.

Mismatched Table

Let your creative juices flow! Scan the aisles at thrift stores for dishes and table linens. A mismatched table is my personal choice, I feel more relaxed and comfortable and I’m able to enjoy my family around me. If you have a color scheme going on and you are having a pot-luck like feast. Be sure to let your guest know.

Get Everyone Involved

Telling myself that I didn’t have to do it all not only created less stress on me, but it allows others to participate as well. When it comes to holiday recipes, focus on your specialty. Make a quick call to your other guests and ask them to bring theirs too. If you don’t have table linens, see if someone will let you borrow them.

Find Recipes With Less Ingredients

Fresh green beans wrapped in bacon – it’s a huge hit and delicious. Or roast some of your favorite vegetables. I like to chop up sweet potato, carrots, fennel, and red onion. Carrots and potatoes are the least expensive part of this dish, so I make sure to use more of those if you are feeding a big crowd. If you coupon right now is also the time to stock up on all baking goods.

Just remember what every you do, whether your cranberry sauce is out of a can, or you make yours homemade.  People want to be with you.

Guest blogger Amber Bustanoby is a DealPro and founder of Coupon Connections, a website helping others learn how to coupon quicker and easier.

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