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Setting Your Christmas Spending Budget

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I know is it not even Thanksgiving but, I have been getting several questions lately about Christmas budgets. How much should they be? How do I set mine? How do I stay within my budget? How do you cut your Christmas budget?

All great questions. I will try to answers all of those in the next few days. We should start with first things first-Setting a Christmas Budget.

As a side note, I know everyone has different ideas/traditions around holiday gift giving. This is something THE HUSBAND and I had to work through early in our marriage. (I love to give gifts, he is more on the anti-commercialization of Christmas side.  We have come to appreciate each others ideas and we now have a good compromise.) I am not trying to talk anyone into change I just wanted to offer some tips to help you spend whatever amount of money you chose to spend on gifts the best way you can!

1.Set Your Christmas Budget. What have you saved for Christmas gift giving? What can you comfortably afford for Christmas gift giving?
As far as a dollar amount for your Christmas budget I would never try to throw out a number. It will be different for every family, for us it is different every year! Just make sure it is the right number for you or your family.

2.After you set your budget, make a list of all the people you would like to buy gifts for. If you have never written it all out here is a simple gift spending worksheet that might be helpful.

3.Make a list of all the miscellaneous Christmas items you will buy.
Wrapping paper, Christmas cards, stamps, baking supplies, etc. All these things add up and should go into your Christmas budget. Thinking of all of these things beforehand will help keep you from overspending.

3.Assign a dollar amount per gift for each person/ item on your list. Add those number up- if they are more than your budget you will have to cut numbers or people or items.

I know these ideas may sound a bit scroogeish to some of you, but setting a budget early on and committing to it will help you joyfully and freely spend whatever money you have allotted for each gift. You will not have to stress in the store about your budget and how you are doing, you will know. Christmas shopping will be more enjoyable.

Do you have any other tips ideas about setting a Christmas spending budget? How do you set yours? Do you have a budget?

I am excited to hear your ideas. I will post soon about ways to save on your budget.

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Procter & Gamble:New Coupon Limits

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Did anyone else read the fine print on the new Procter and Gamble coupons that were in Sunday’s paper?

I did not before posting my Walgreens weekly  deals because I had one deal in there using 5 of the same coupon.

Now it looks like Procter and Gamble is  limiting you to 4 like coupons in the same shopping trip. A “Like Coupon” is the exact same coupon from the same source, same value, same product, same expiration date, etc.

I am interested to hear your thoughts on this new policy. Here are mine (for what they are worth):

1. I do not usually buy coupons online or more than two  copies of the Sunday paper. (I have tried and find I usually do not get my money back.) So, this particular new rule will not effect me that much.

2. It may cut down on people going in and clearing the shelves when there is a good deal. (I am for stockpiling but you know what I am talking about.)

This does however move in the direction of tighter rules on coupon usage. I do not know why P&G chose to change the wording on their coupons but my guess is they felt like their coupons were somehow being misused.

Another reason why Coupon Ethics is such an important topic. There are plenty of good deals to be had without bending or side stepping the rules that manufacturers and stores set.

I know some people are much more concerned about this change than I am. So what do you think? Are you bothered by the new wording? Will this change any of the deals you were planning on this week?

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The Stinkiet Things You Throw Away & The WalMart Gift Card Winner

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Thanks to everyone who  shared all their stinky trash in the Hefty Kitchen Bags with Unscented Odor Block Technology WalMart gift card giveaway.

From all comments it looks like if you have potty trained children, do not eat chicken or vegetables and do not  then you will have a clean, fresh smelling home.  Since all of those things will be happening around here for a while looks like our trash will continue to stink.

Congratulations to Jennifer, the winner of the WalMart gift card.

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Hefty Trash Bag Review & WalMart Gift Card Giveaway

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I was asked if I would like to review Hefty’s new Kitchen Bags with Unscented Odor Block Technology.  I said sure.  Hefty sent me a box of their new bags to try and a WalMart gift card to giveaway to a reader in exchange for a review.  The following thoughts and opinions on the bags are completely mine, no other compensation was received.

1. They  do not have an overpowering air freshener smell or a gross “neutralizing” smell. They really are unscented. I like that.

2. They did an excellent job of reducing the smell of our trash. This was huge for me when THE HUSBAND decided to load the trash into the back of the van and take it to the dump on a family trip one evening. This has happened before and it is not my favorite thing to do (we have 2 in diapers!). I can honestly tell you while I do not want to become the one responsible for taking our trash to the dump these bags made it a more pleasant chore.

3. They did not tear. Neither the bag or the drawstring handles broke. I think that is my biggest complaint about the cheap trash bags we usually buy-they break. These bags stretched and did not tear. I really like that.

If you would like to try Hefty’s new Kitchen Bags with Unscented Odor Block Technology you can print a $1 off Hefty coupon here.

If you would like to be entered into the drawing for a WalMart Gift Card leave a comment telling us the stinkiest thing you throw in your trash.

1. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm Friday October 29, 2010.

2. The winner will be chosen by random drawing. The winner will be contacted via the e-mail associated with the comment.

3. Limit one entry per email address.

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Frozen Vegetable Recall: Kroger & Wal-Mart

Check you freezers if you have purchased frozen veggies from either Kroger or Wal-Mart recently. Apparently they may contain glass fragments. Here are the packages being recalled:

Kroger 12-ounce Green Peas (UPC 11110 89736). Production Codes of 1440BU, 1440BV, 1440BW, and 1600BD.

Kroger 12-ounce Peas and Carrots (UPC 11110 89741). Production Codes of 1960BD and 1960BE.

Great Value 12-ounce Steamable Sweet Peas (UPC 78742 08369). Best by dates of July 20, 2012; July 21, 2012.

Great Value 12-ounce Steamable Mixed Vegetables (UPC 78742 08026). Best by date of July 15, 2012.

If you have any of these you get all the information you need about the Frozen Vegetable Recall here.

Thanks to Judy for emailing me this, I can go days without catching the news!

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What are Your Favorite Coupon Katie Posts?

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I wanted to take a minute to say Thank You to all my great readers. I really appreciate you visiting Coupon Katie, leaving your comment and emailing me your great finds.

I want to make sure your time on Coupon Katie is efficient and worthwhile to you, so I have a quick question.

What are your favorite types of posts on Coupon Katie?

Do you like the coupon match ups, the free stuff, the things I am doing around our home to save money?

What would you like to see more of?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Click to Give:Support Your Favorite Causes Online

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I got an email today about an  interesting program called “Click to Give”. You can help your favorite charities with a simple click and Earn Free merchandise while doing so.

Click to Give is Free to join and 100% of the proceeds go to the charities you choose to help. With Click to Give, you browse the menu of causes and select which great cause(s) you’d like to help. When you click on the ‘Click to Give’ button associated with each organization, a click is then registered in their system of which every dollar made by the advertising shown on the ‘Thank You’ page goes directly to that charity you are wanting to help.
(A percentage of the funding generated from your clicks goes towards purchasing merchandise from the chosen charities on ClicktoGive.com. This not only continues to ensure that every dollar generated goes directly to the cause you are clicking but also helps Click to Give reward you for your efforts in clicking daily.)

You can check it all out here.

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