Friday, November 30, 2012

Saving Money and Time

It's that time of year when we are busier than ever, trying to get everything done that needs to be done as well as everything done that we Want to get done. We have people pulling us in every direction. Family who needs us, friends who want us, and people we barely know wanting us to help with this and that. 

WHERE do we find the time to do it all?  I do think sleeping is overrated, but we do need our rest. And we do need time for ourselves. 

We need to get our rest, we need to eat right, we need to continue getting the exercise so we don't get sick. And this is the time of year when the germs are everywhere attacking us. 

SO --- how do we do it? 
We set boundries, we set rules, we set limits. 
We somehow, and at times it's too late, but we learn to say 'No'.

To help with all the baking we like or need to do - form a cookie exchange with family, friends, co-workers, fellow church members.   

Have each person sign up so you know how many will be joining you.  
Pick a day and place to meet.
Then have each person make a different kind of cookie or more than one kind if they want.  

Each person makes enough cookies to have a bag of 4-12 cookies for each person who will be there.  Plus a few to share at the party.

When you all get together have coffee, hot chocolate, or beverages of your choice ready along with small plates for samples. 
Each person who attends gets to take home one bag from each person! 
So if there are 20 people who have joined in each person gets to take home 20 different kinds of cookies!  And all you did was make One kind!  

Recycle!  This is a pic of a formerly known as t-shirt!
It makes a great scarf that can be worn as pictured to keep your neck warm or just drapped over your head and just let hang as a long scarf. 

Take a t-shirt, a solid color with no imprint on it works best. Cut the shirt just below the bust/chest line. You will have the bottom circle of the t-shirt. 

Measure down from the top about 3 - 4 inches and mark it or remember where that is. Then from the bottom cut strips up to that mark.  Your strips should be less than an inch wide. You will have many many strips.  If the shirt is very stretchy you can pull a little bit on each strip and it will curl as in the picture above. If the shirt doesn't stretch much your strips will stay as they are. 
Then take the strips and you can tie a knot in some, add beads to some or just leave alone. 
Take the scarf and drape it over your head and just let it fall as it will. 
OR - take each side and pull it around your neck as pictures above and attach with a safety pin to hold it in place close around your neck. 

An easy gift to make, accessory to make and wear and people won't believe it's a t-shirt! 

Other tips to save money:
1)Shop with coupons, 
2)shop for sales. 
3)Instead of buying gifts for everyone in your family draw names. That way each person only needs to have one gift for that person. If you like to have lots and lots of gifts to open than this won't work, however instead of buying a lot of little things for several people you can spend more on that one person. 
4) Make your gifts instead of buying them.  If you can't make them yourself have someone else make it for you, or buy something that is homemade. 
5) Make up kits to give as gifts. It can be a recipe for hot chocolate, a muffin mix, a craft for the kids to work on etc. 
6) Do a Christmas letter instead of cards.  It will save you the money of commercal cards and give you a chance to share with loved ones and friends what you have been doing all year.  That way instead of just a card which leaves them wondering what you've done all year, the letter will tell them.  This also saves time as you can type it up, run off copies and you don't have to repeat all your news in all those cards. Add pictures to the letter and print those as part of the letter. 

Tips to save time:
1) Deligate!  Especially if you have kids. They can help in so many ways.  Cleaning the house, decorating the tree/house. Wrapping the gifts. Addressing the Christmas cards (for kids old enough to write). 
2) To save time in keeping the house clean and organized during the holidays put things away as you use them. Set a place in a spare room to stash stuff, but set up boxes or trays to designate where things belong. (One for each person works also so that person can check his/her box each day and put things away.) 
3) Create a calendar just for this time of year. Write down EVERYTHING that you need to do and when. Write down everything that everyone in the house has to do.  This includes shopping, working, specail events, parties, cookie exchanges, decorating the house, church and church events, visiting friends and family, and if friends and family will be visiting you.
4) Make menu plan and shop accordingly to help with the stress of 'what's for supper?" and "we have nothing to eat!"

When you think you just can't do any more, that you are stressed out and beyond your boiling point ---- take a deep breath and take time for yourself which is one thing you forgot to do in all the things you've been doing!   

    I hope some of these tips have helped. Some may be too late for this year already, but keep them in mind for next year or any time you have a lot going on.  And for some of us - that is ALL the time. 

Have a great weekend!

Til next time keep those needles stitching.


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