Hi all! Just a quick note to say The Frugal Townie will be on temporary hiatus for a quick Winter Break. Expect new posts again the 2nd week of January. While I'm away, check out some of these entries you may have missed:
The holidays are over, and I don't know about you, but I am tired of cooking/baking for a while. I'm ready to get out my slow-cooker and make some easy soup, roasts, and casseroles! Frugal tip: make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra for lunches or future dinners. There are some great deals on ingredients this week that will make it worth your while. Frugal tip 2: Don't forget to use up the leftovers in your fridge.
Prices below good until 1/3/12 unless otherwise noted.
Beans (Kidney, Chili, etc.)- $0.59/can @ HyVee & Aldi
Bell Peppers (Red/Yellow/Orange)- $0.88/ea @ Checkers
Cabbage- $0.39/lb @ Dillons // $.038/lb @ HyVee
Carrots (whole)- $1.19/2 lb @ Aldi
Onions- $1.69/3 lb bag @ Aldi
Potatoes- $2.49/ 5 lb bag @ Aldi
Sweet potatoes- $1.59/ 3 lb bag @ Aldi
Tomatoes (Roma)- $0.68/lb @ Checkers
Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce (large can)- $0.99/29oz @ HyVee
I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday!
The time is coming soon to pack away the holiday things. I find staying organized to be an important part of living a frugal lifestyle. The "recycle, reduce, reuse" mindset only works if you know what you already have, where it is, and can get to it easily! So here are some tips on how to organize your holiday stuff before you put it away- you'll thank yourself next year!
Top Holiday Storage Tips from BudgetDecorating.About.com (My favorite tip from this page: Remember to store away your non-decoration items too- like dishes, cookie cutters, towels, DVDs, etc and save your everyday storage for stuff you use all year round!)
Lots of people make sweet treats for the holidays, but have you considered the expense (especially if you are buying pre-made dough, frosting, etc.)? There are certainly some goodies that are more frugal than others, and here is a list of my favorite "budget friendly" holiday treats! Better yet, they are pretty easy and won't take up too much time.
I'm really into paper crafts this year! These are my favorite easy & beautiful holiday paper crafts. Great paper can be had pretty cheaply- this week at Michael's I got pretty 12"x12" scrapbooking paper for 4 sheets/ $1.00. Click the links for the tutorials!
Lawrence is a great place to live for frugal entertainment. You may be aware of some of these no-cost recurring events, but hopefully you will learn something new too. If you know of other fun, free things to do, please leave a comment!
Wrapping paper and gift bags can add what I think of as "hidden costs" to gift giving. You're thinking about how much you are spending on the gift, but did you factor in the cost of wrapping it? For a medium size gift bag and coordinating tissue paper and maybe a ribbon, it is easy to spend $3.00 - $7.00. There have been times where I realized I spent more on the wrapping than I did the gift! I'm here to tell you how to wrap gifts for free or very cheap.
Paper, gift bags, and ribbon bought on super-clearance after Christmas in past years. I like to buy solid colored paper or bags in gold, bright green, or blue and use it year round for all occasions. As a rule I don't pay more than $1.00 for a roll of paper/ribbon or $0.50 for a gift bag (less if they're small!) I've found Walgreens and Target to be good places to pick up cheap wrap after Christmas, but most any place will have some good deals.
Fabric scraps leftover from projects. I use fabric and wrap it up just like I would with paper. Then I put ribbon or string around it to keep it closed. Sometimes with larger packages you may need to use a few safety pins. Or, you can try these gorgeous ideas, again from ApartmentTherapy. I like to do this method for crafty friends, because I know they'll enjoy having a piece of fun fabric to use.
Mr. Townie's birthday was this week, which reminded me to share about all the birthday freebies in Lawrence. In 2010 the LJWorld did a nice write-up of birthday freebies. By far my favorite Lawrence birthday freebie is going to Liberty Hall to see a movie for free, plus free popcorn and soda, plus a free movie rental.
A couple could easily have a night out for a birthday in Lawrence for $20 (buy one dinner and one full price movie ticket), perhaps as little as $6 (share the free dinner, and buy one student rate movie ticket.)