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Frugal Living Tips, Issue #002
December 01, 2008

Welcome to December and January's Frugal Living Tips newsletter.

Well Christmas is upon once more and it's time to decorate the house and wrap the presents. But did you spend too much or not, hopefully not.

This probably the most econimally stretched Christmas I have ever seen and I know many people will be tightening there belts this year. But there are always ways to save money and still have a great Christmas full of fun and sparkle.

This months newsletter brings you some Christmas ideas and ways to save those pennies and dimes.

Until I speak to you again next year have a great frugal fun Christmas.

I hope you come and visit us soon at Frugal-Living-Tips.Com

Best Wishes Kate

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CONTENTS

1. Christmas Fun

2. Tip of The Month

3. Competition

4. Coupons.

5 Your Money

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1. Christmas Fun

Christmas time is all about bringing the family and friends together. Having fun and enjoying each others company and love. I find that the easiest and vest way to make sure that this happens is to play games togeather.

These printable Games are great fun and the whole familt will love them.

 

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2. Tip Of the Month - Brass & Copper Cleaner

Clean your tin lined brass and copper cookware outside and in.

To make 2 pints/1.15 litres

20z/60g plain flour

40z/115g salt

8 tablespoons washing powder

6fl oz/175ml white vinegar

2fl oz/60ml lemon juice

4flo oz/115ml warm water

In a large glass bowl, mix the flour, salt and wsahing powder, then pour in the liquid ingredients and stir.

Put the mixture into a jam jar with lid to store.

To use, shake the jar and pour a small amount of the liquid onto the surface to be cleaned. Rub gently with a dishcloth. You can scrub stubborn stains with a toothbrush.

Rinse with warm water, dry and polish with a soft cloth.

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3. Competition - Your Recipes

Every Month we hold a Best recipe of the month competition where you can win a variety of prizes. this Month you a copy of the book "Get Out of Debt and Stay out".

Simply Submit your recipe with any serving suggestions to us here and we choose a winner every month. All the recipes will feature on the website.

Click here to submit Your Recipe

 

 

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4. Free Downloadable Coupons

These are just some of the coupons you can download for free this month. Click on the image to see the full range avaiable. Please use Internet explorer to view coupons.

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5. Your Money - Christmas Shoeboxes Free e-book
by Nancy twigg Article from Dollar Stretcher

Fill a shoebox with goodies and sending to a child who would otherwise have nothing for Christmas. It's a simple concept but one that works well for Samaritan's Purse. Every year, through the Operation Christmas Child program, people from all over America, Canada, and parts of Europe have the opportunity to help children all over the world by simply filling shoeboxes with small gifts and treats.

Christmas 2004 was my family's first time to participate in Operation Christmas Child. At the age of almost-four, we felt it was time for our daughter Lydia to begin learning about Christmas giving rather than just Christmas receiving. With some degree of apprehension, I explained what we were going to do and then took her to the local dollar store to select items for our shoebox. I was a little worried she would get a case of the "gimmes" and want to buy everything for herself. On the contrary, she had great fun picking out things for "the little child who is poor." We enjoyed the experience so much that we have participated every year since then.

As we collected items for our shoebox last year, a novel thought occurred to me. The concept of giving shoeboxes for Christmas has other practical applications. Here are a few I thought of:


Scaling back Christmas gift giving - Whether you need to scale back for financial reasons, or simply want to scale back because you think it's gotten out of hand, limiting gift giving to one shoebox per person is a great way to go. Obviously, if all gifts must fit in one shoebox, that limits not only how many items but what kinds of items can be given. You can still give more expensive items if you want (gift cards, jewelry, cash, etc.), but knowing that each person will only receive one shoebox controls expectations.

Clutter-free gift giving - As Lydia and I put together our shoebox, I noticed that we included many consumable items that would either get eaten up or used up. Most grandparents and older people have more than enough of everything they need. They have little room for trinkets and gadgets, but appreciate practical items that won't create clutter in their homes. A shoebox filled with consumable items, such as food items, toiletries, stationery, health and beauty products, would be a thoughtful gift idea for practically any senior adult on your list for practically any gift-giving occasion.

Long distance gift giving - Don't you hate the expense of mailing large boxes of gifts to long-distance friends and relatives? Limiting the size of packages to a shoebox would definitely help control shipping costs. This rule would also make shipping easier, as almost everyone has plenty of empty shoeboxes and brown paper bags around the house for wrapping up the boxes. What if you have several shoeboxes to send to one family? No problem. Just put your shoeboxes in one larger box for mailing.

Good for other needy people, too - Children in foreign countries aren't the only ones who could benefit from receiving a shoebox of goodies. We have many people right here in America who need a loving touch. Why couldn't a church or charitable organization start a Christmas shoebox program for inner city families, the homeless, people in nursing homes, or shut-ins? And why limit it to Christmas? These people need ministry all year long. Shoeboxes filled with practical items and special treats could be just the way to do good deeds for people who are often overlooked.

An educational experience for kids - Here's one last idea. This year I plan to give my daughter a Christmas shoebox, too. I believe it will be educational for her to experience a little of how it must feel for the children who receive shoeboxes from Samaritan's Purse. Of course, the effect is not exactly the same. Unlike most of the Operation Christmas Child children, she knows she will receive other presents. However, I hope the excitement she feels as she opens her box will make an indelible impression and help her to be more empathetic toward those who have so little.
So you see, giving shoeboxes for Christmas is a smart idea. It works for Operation Christmas Child and it can work in a variety of situations for your family, too. By the way, if you'd like more information on how your family can participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org. A similar program exists that sends shoeboxes of goodies to military personnel deployed overseas. Learn more about Operation Shoebox at www.operationshoebox.com.

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Nancy Twigg is the author of the newly revised and expanded book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions (Kregel Publications, October 2006). Learn more about it at celebratesimply.com.

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