Molly’s Digest Projects

Have you made a project that was featured in Molly’s Digest? Would you like to be featured on Econobusters?

We would love to see pictures of your projects and share them with our readers.

Recently Denise of 3D Reflections shared these lovely pictures of the Blessings Blanket she made.

Photo used with permission from 3D Reflections

Photo used with permission from 3D Reflections

She got her inspiration for this project from Molly Saves in the Nursery. (It’s currently on sale for only $1!!!)

If you’ve been inspired by Molly, please let us know. Tell us what project inspired you and send your pictures to molly@econobusters.com.

Christmas Cards

Do you send Christmas cards?

What kind do you send?

  • A photo card
  • A card with a verse
  • A handmade card
  • An e-card

Do you include a Christmas letter?

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.

Post Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is past.

Our turkey is eaten. The leftovers are frozen along with 6 cups of turkey broth.

Now it’s less than 1 month until Christmas!

I will decorate my home next weekend. But it’s time to start those Christmas to-do lists if you haven’t already.

How about:

Planning ahead can help you to simplify the Christmas season, both by keeping you organized, and keeping you from overscheduling.

Let’s plan together to keep Christmas more simple, less hurried, and more a celebration of Christ’s birth.

(I realize that everyone does not celebrate Christmas. I am not interested in starting a debate on whether or not to celebrate.)

Freebie Friday – 11/25

Here is a slightly shorter version of Freebie Friday this week. I hope you enjoy them!

Everything Potluck Kindle Version and Jigsaw Words Volume 2 for Kindle are currently free at Amazon.

Request your Kid’s Emergen-C Free Sample just in time for cold season.

Here’s a Free Sample Hawaiian Body Lotion.

Paula Deen’s Holiday Hosting Guide has some great ideas for your holiday gatherings.

Download these Freezer labels for your holiday leftovers (or anything you need to freeze.)

Buy 1, get 2 free photo books from Snapfish.com. Use NOVBOOKSat checkout. Ends 11/26.

Spend $10 at Bath & Body Works and receive a free item of your choice.

Buy 1 get 1 free coupon for Orange Julius

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: All these products were available at the time this post was written. All deals are subject to change at the discretion of individual sites.

Black Friday Survival Guide (Designed to Save You Money)

Guest Post by Jon Vincent

Black Friday offers some of the best deals of the season – but if you’re properly prepared, you can save yourself even more money on your holiday shopping. And it all starts with being properly prepared.

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.

How to Cook Your Turkey

My turkey is thawing in the refrigerator. Today I am making sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce. Tomorrow I just have to roast the turkey and bake the casserole and rolls.

What is the “best” way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey?

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.

 So how do you cook your bird?

 

Principles of Painting Volume 1 Giveaway

Do you have an artist on your Christmas list? You need to look at these art instructional videos by Brian Neher.

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.

If you’d like a chance to win the Principles of Painting Volume 1 set from Brian, please leave a comment on this post and tell me about the artist on your list. (It can be yourself!)

For additional entries, you can:

1. Like Brian Neher on Facebook.

2. Become a friend of Molly Green on Facebook.

3. Subscribe to the Econobusters newsletter. (Sign up at the top right of this page.)

4. Share about this giveaway on FB and/or Twitter.

Please leave an additional comment for each entry.

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.

Black Friday Sales

All the retailers are gearing up for Black Friday.

Amazon.com has published a Lightening Deals Calendar with daily deals starting this Monday.

View Wal-mart’s Black Friday ad.

Here are the Black Friday Deals from Staples.

Best Buy has doorbuster specials starting at midnight.

DealNews.com has a huge list of “leaked” Black Friday ads so you can start planning your shopping list early! And at the bottom of the page, you can read their predictions for different popular gift items.