Over the years, I’ve done a little of all of the above. Honestly, getting the Christmas cards ready is quite a chore and it can also be expensive!
Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the trouble. But then I think about how much I like to receive cards from people I don’t often see. It’s fun to get the mail around Christmastime! And if I like to receive cards, then I bet my sending cards is a blessing to people too.
I’ve got some ideas for cards that I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks. I’d love to hear if you like to send and receive cards at Christmas.
Most think they can just wake up on Friday morning and head out to the stores. While this would work on most shopping days, Black Fridayrequires a little extra organization and planning to ensure the best deals. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the top pointers that will help you save some money this holiday season.
Create a “Shopping Spreadsheet” – We’re taking this one step further than a shopping list. A spreadsheet can help you keep everything organized. Create columns for the names of the people you’re shopping for, what you’re buying for them, your budget for each person, and how much you actually spend on them. Print out the spreadsheet and keep it with you when you’re shopping.
Stick to Your Spreadsheet – Think of your spreadsheet as a guidebook for your Black Friday shopping experience. Stick with it and don’t allow yourself to cave to any additional in-store specials that you just can’t live without. Sticking to the list will also help you stick to your budget.
Create a Shopping Plan – Sort through the Thanksgiving newspapers and fliers to determine who has the best sales for what you’re looking for. Then, arrange them according to when the sales start and make an itinerary for your day. Sticking to your plan will hopefully eliminate you driving aimlessly around town looking for the best deals.
Cut Coupons – Cut coupons from the Thanksgiving Day fliers and organize them in a file folder or small pouch. Keep these in a handy spot while shopping so you don’t run the risk of losing them (and losing money). This will also prevent you from digging through your purse or wallet to find the right coupon.
Think of Your Shopping List;Not Yourself – Keep in mind, this day is meant for you to shop for your family and friends – not yourself. Although it’s okay to treat yourself on a few things, try not to get swayed by great deals that aren’t on your list. It’s really easy to come home with several new things for your home because “you just couldn’t pass it up.”
Spread Out Your Purchases – Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean you need to do all of your shopping that day. Unless you’ve found a really good deal on certain items on your list, try to spread out the rest of your shopping over the next few weeks. Feeling rushed to buy everything in one day can lead in impulse purchases on things you don’t need.
Gift Cards Are a Good Way to Go – If there are people on your list that you just can’t think of gifts for, look toward a gift card instead. People can sometimes get too wrapped up in Black Friday shopping and finding the right gift – when in reality, giving a gift card and allowing the recipient to choose their own gift can sometimes be the best way to go.
Being organized on Black Friday is one of the biggest keys to saving you money and stress. Keep in mind the above tips to help ensure your shopping experience goes as smoothly as possible.
About the Author: Jon Vincent turned his obsession with Black Friday ads into a website – and a career! He’s been interviewed about his website, BlackFriday.info, by the New York Times, CNN, Tech Crunch and more. When he’s not hunting down Black Friday ad leaks he stays busy by writing frugality and savings advice.
Here’s a fun video that very quickly shows the steps for preparing a turkey.
The roasting instructions in the video are the standard method, and are the same that you’ll find on the turkey package. Here is another tutorial with similar instructions.
The only way I’ve ever roasted a turkey is very high heat for the first 30 minutes of cook time, then lowering the temperature to 350 to continue, like these from Alton Brown. (I haven’t tried brining the turkey, nor do I put all those aromatics inside like he does. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s a little too late for this year.)
As I was searching for instructions to share with you on that method, I discovered something else. I found that you can also roast a turkey at high heat for a much shorter cook time. I’m a little scared to try this method.
I’ve also eaten, but never made myself, deep-fried turkey. Wow, it is delicious, but requires special equipment. The oil is a big expense too. I found this recipe from Paula Deen. This method would have the advantage of not tying up the oven with the turkey.
Brian has developed a series of instructional courses which focuses on teaching the foundational principles of representational art by demonstrating how each one can be applied directly to the art of painting. When understood and applied, these four principles are what govern every decision that is made during the painting process and give the artist the freedom to better communicate his message to the viewer. An understanding of Drawing, Value, Color and Edges is vital in the education and growth of an artist. By learning the principles that go into the decision making process, the artist is then equipped to face any challenge in painting, regardless of subject matter. The purpose of this series is to help educate and provide a source of information in order to answer some of the important questions that many artists are faced with.
You can watch a FREE 50 minute painting lesson for artists which focuses on introducing the fundamental principles of drawing, value, color and edges by painting a simple demonstration of an apple.
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To enter this giveaway you must be 18 or older and reside in the U.S. All entries must be received before midnight (EST) 11/30/2011. The winner will be selected by a random drawing and notified on 12/1. Be sure to leave a valid e-mail address with your comment so that I can contact you.