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Your Christmas Feast

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This week is about planning your  Christmas Feast.  Here is the link to the previous Post on creating a stressfree Christmas
I apologise that I didn’t get this post out sooner . I have been terrible sick with a vomiting bug that took out our whole family of six down. It has taken a couple of weeks to get myself fully recovered.

Things to consider when planning your Christmas Feast.

  1. What are planning to do on Christmas Day?
  2. Where will you be at Christmas Day.
  3. Are you going to family Or Are they coming to you. ?Are you the crazy person who volunteered to have the family at your house for Christmas.
I like to keep things super simple, practical and of course delicious.
Since we are the only ones from our family here is Australia. It’s a very quiet affair for us.
If you are having family over I suggest planning what you are eating and get everyone to bring a dish. This helps your stress levels  , your budget and you can and enjoy the day.
My hubby loves a roast for Christmas but cooking in the Queensland heat does not excite me.  So what I do is have Christmas Eve as a hot roast with vegetables.  I am extreme blessed to have a really big oven. I roast around 2 or 3 meats.  This year I would love to do a boneless lamb, large Chicken and beef. I am planning to see what specials are in the next couple of weeks.
Every year I cook an array of vegetables .  My favourite is balsamic roasted vegetables , broccoli, peas if I have lamb. roasted potatoes is a must ,with carrots and Gravy.   Bulk cooking of meats means we can eat cold meats and salads for days, it keeps things easy and all I need to do is  make some yummy salads.   So Christmas day will be an array of cold meats, colorful salads and yummy sourdough.   For dessert I always have a pavlova , fruit salad and then some other dessert.
For New Year we have decided that we will have a BBQ , this is always nice.  I will purchase some nice steak, chicken (make chicken kebabs on the stick for the kids with vegetable) and serve it with salads and a potatoe bake.
After I wrote this post Our plan for christmas has totally changed and we will be going away for Christmas and we have decided that we will go out for Christmas Lunch.  It means I can have a “holiday” and i think it will be lovely for us we have never been away for Christmas.
I  am planning to have some meals cooked ( lasagna)  and cooked meats to take away with us to make things easy and to feel relaxed.
November 23, 2016 |

Getting your Christmas Budget and Gift list Organised

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Lets just do these few tasks  and help prepare for Christmas. Today is about Christmas Budgeting and writing down gift ideas. Money stress is awful and can make this an unhappy time of the year hard for many people.  Here are  a few simple tasks to help get the hard part of Christmas organised.

Here is the link to part one in this series

You just need to commit to making the time.  Sit down for 10 -20 minutes and make a quick plan.  Prepare a spending plan because  Christmas can be a time when the budget can blow up in major proportion. Have a look what you have spent in previous years and see if that what you can spend this time. Write it down so you know.  You are mentally preparing yourself of what you can and cant spend.

Remember all sorts of things creep up on you at christmas time. Getting haircut and colour, holiday expenses. a new outfit for christmas event/ new year. Ensure all of this is in your christmas Budget.

Christmas Budgeting

  • Make a budget for Christmas – decorations/ food /presents/ clothing/ alcohol/ wrapping and cards
  • Write a list of everyone you need to get a gift  ( remember secret Santa, teachers, neighbors )

Christmas Gift List

  • Allocate an amount for each person
  • Write  down some ideas of what you could purchase for that person
  • Make an appointment in your diary to start you Christmas Shopping.

Now is a great time to purchase gifts as it is the end of spring season and the summer stock is coming on. Don’t forget that if you want to send parcels overseas that you will need to send it off soon. I am keeping this short this week, go grab a coffee and write down your budget and gift list.

I will have one more part to this series of preparing for creating a stress-free Christmas.

 

October 31, 2016 |

Creating a Stressfree Christmas

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It is crazy October is here and there is about 11 weeks til Christmas. I need to be organised and ahead of the game for my sanity and pocket.  I really dont want to be going Christmas Shopping with four kids in tow!! I am writing a few Christmas posts to help me and my readers create a stressfree Christmas.

Here are some things to help you be a savvy shopper and feel organised and enjoy Christmas with our families.  We can Create a beautiful relaxed Christmas and enjoy the things that are really important to you.  Keep it Super Simple and have a plan now to alleviate the stress that Christmas can bring.

Here is your first step.

 

Decide on a theme for Christmas

  • What theme would you would like to create this year?  What traditions do you have or would like to create.  Look at Pinterest for ideas
  • What stage is your family  at?
  • What do already have?
  • What do you need to replace?
  • How much do you want to spend on decorations? Don’t forget to think about the New Years celebrations as well.
  • Look at what Wrapping paper supplies you have leftover from last Christmas. Don’t forget sticky tape, gift tags , cards, wrapping paper.
  • Table decorations (napkins, Christmas Crackers, Advent calendars)

At the beginning of this year I disposed of our christmas tree.  All the leaves  were falling off and it was such a nuisance So I have known that I would need to replace our tree this year. I was fortunate enough to come across an idea that I felt would solve my problem of little children playing with ornaments  and pulling the christmas Tree down.  It is a Christmas tree painted on fabric which you hang up and It was an absolute  bargain $5 at Typo. There are some fabulous ideas and you don’t need to have a Christmas tree.    Look at these Alternatives

I have decided to go with a natural theme using burlap, candles, green foliage and doilies.   A simple table arrangement and get the children involved by helping decorate the table with burlap. foliage  and candles .  I won’t need any decorations for My “tree” which is going to save me money . Gifts for will be wrapped with Brown paper and ribbons and /or stamps.  The children gifts will be wrapped with christmas paper that I have left over from last year.

Actionables

  1. Make a list of everything you need.
  2. Make a date on your calendar within the next 2 weeks and go out and purchase what you need.

 

October 14, 2016 |

Toddler Shoes Dilemma

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I am feeling extremely frustrated with shoe…. Specifically shoes for toddlers that don’t cost the earth.  Yes I want good shoes but I don’t want to be spending $80 -$100 for shoes ,especially when you have 4 kids that grow and are growing fast.  I was looking for good shoes for running around in at kindy.

My eldest grew 4 shoes sizes in 1 year and that was 2 years ago.
In the last 2 months I have bought 2 pairs of shoes from a departmental store that have literally fallen apart in weeks. It was driving me crazy.  So I got my thinking…  I don’t know many shoe factory outlet. Where am I going to go and get some good shoes and around that $30-$40 and are good quality.  I did look online at Paul’s warehouse , they didn’t have  anything in DD1 shoe size.
toddler shoes
 Then I remembered the podiatrist my eldest went too sells shoes and often has sales at this time of the year. Many other places are starting to have their end of financial year sales and / or getting rid of last pairs.
 The podiatrist was very helpful and measured both of my girls feet. They looked at the shoes they had on sale and also last pairs.  DD1 tried on 2 pairs that would be suitable, We chose a beautiful pair that gives her feet space to grow and are realy pretty. (My little girl loves pretty things!!) I have been told they are excellent quality and hopefully pass them down to DD2
The lovely lady that helped me recommend that I keep the girls shoe size handy and sign up for their mailing list. Apparently every 6-8 weeks they have end of lines / last pair  and they email customers on the list.

Tips to get good Shoes.

  • Have you kids feet measured and keep the sizes handy. ( use an app to keep to all the kids sizes handy)
  • Ask your podiatrist/ quality shoe outlet  about last pairs / clearance shoes.
  • Compare and look online / instore what is available.
  • End of financial year Sales

I am totally thrilled I got $80 pair of shoes for $35. Made from leather and really good sole. DD1 thinks they are wonderful and i hopefully wont be buying shoes for a while!

June 17, 2016 |

How to Assess your Expenses

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Our everyday expenses can be the biggest and most expensive.  Every year I think it is a good idea to assess what our needs are and look at all the bills and see where  and what we can reduce .  This is definitely not a fun job to do but it can save you possible hundreds of dollars that you can use in other areas that are fun eg a holiday.

  • List of  expenses

  • What are our needs?

  • Does the plan/ deal we have meet our requirements?

  • Research on the Internet

  • Ring around at least three suppliers

  • See what deal they can give

  • Assess if it is worth talking with your current supplier to see if they can match the best deal for you.  Sometimes it is a hassle to move providers and often they will happily come to the party if they know you are prepared to move.

  • Every year when our insurance comes up I always ring them and say we have several policies with them and what is the best deal they can give me. They generally go through  everything with me and tell me what they can do. Every year that we have been with this particular provider they have given me more of a discount than what they have said on the renewal notice.

This is an expense that was really annoying me as I felt we were spending too much and he seemed to be using the prepaid up so quickly!!.  There are many competitive it is just finding the right fit. Last year my eldest son started high school so we wanted him to have a cellphone.   He gets the bus too and from school and I wanted to know that he could contact me in an emergency or let me know if he was going to hang around with friends after school and was going to be home later.We started looking into what plans were available and how much data and call time he would need.

We initially went with the Aldi  pay as you go but he used  the data up really quickly.  We looks at other plans and decided to go with Vaya.  The plan he is on is $18 and we havent had any problems with him going over his usage.  We also came to an agreement with him that we would pay some and we would pay the rest.

 There are some templates and expense Sheets coming your way for you to write all the info down so you have everything in front of you to make an informed decision.

I challenge you to look at just one expense to assess and see if you can get a better deal. Would love to hear what happened and if you got a better deal.Come over to the  Savvy Shopper Facebook and let us know your win for the day

 

 

February 26, 2016 |

Its Never too Late!!

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Well 2016 is here and I just haven’t started on the footing that I wanted to. I haven’t done the planning that I have wanted to do. We are in a transition phase with the 2 littlies changing their sleeping patterns , D3 from 1 sleep to no sleep and the D4 from 2 sleeps to one. I just find that my time is so limited,  I need to change my routine and habits.
I still believe that I can still do the planning and look at my goals and visions for 2016.  I am slowly working through some planners to help create and visually see my goals for 2016. There is an action list to reach my goals- personally and for new business ventures.    I think we all should  reflect on the past year what has worked and not worked.  Get some quiet time and reflect and  write things down. Getting out thoughts and ideas onto paper help us process things mentally.  Only then can we see the big picture of what is really is going on in our lives.  Writing things down helps our brain work things out and process it. Keep your brain space free for creativity and get all the other stuff big and small down
  1. What do you want to achieve in 2016?
  2. How are you going to reach your goals?
  3. What do you need to change ,  in your routines and habits?
 
I need to change my routine this year and I just need to work out what is going to work.  The most important thing that I would like everyone to take away from this post is that it’s so important to write down what you want to achieve and what steps do you need to take. Just take Small steps to achieve your dreams and don’t get disheartened. It is the small changes we make in our lives every day over a period of time will have more effect.
Let me know how you  are going with your planning. What changes are you making? What big dreams do you have?
January 15, 2016 |
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