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Frugal Living Tips, Issue #012
December 01, 2009

Welcome to December's Frugal Living Tips newsletter.

I Hope all those that celebrated Thanksgiving had great time and didn't over indulge too much. We all now have to get ready for Christmas and all that this brings. Lots of food, presents, decorating the home and trying to keep everyone happy.

bearing this in mind this month the newsletter contains articles about how to decorate your home on a budget, a lovely warming recipe and coupons to help you save on all those little grocery extras we find ourselves buying at this time of year.

Enjoy this months Frugal-Living-Tips.Com newsletter and visit us soon.

Best Wishes Kate




1. Recipe - Christmas Pudding

2. Christmas decorations

3. Tip of The Month - Vinyl Upholstery Cleaner

Join In Our Frugal Forum

4. Coupons. - Money Off Coupons

5 Article - Twenty Gifts Under $25


1. Recipe

Picture by matito on

Christmas pudding

Need to be making this now in time for christmas.

To make two large puddings

1. 1lb / 450g Stoned raisins, chopped
2. 2 oz / 60g Mixed peel, chopped
3. 2oz / 60g blanched almonds, chopped
4. 8oz / 225g each currents and sultanas
5. 4oz / 115g plain or self raising flour
6. half level teaspoon each of nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon
7. 1 level teaspoon salt
8. 2oz / 60g ground almonds
9. 1lb /450g shredded suet
10. 8oz / 225g fresh white breadcrumbs
11. 4oz / 115g soft brown sugar
12. 6 large eggs , lightly beaten
4 tablespoons brandy
8fl oz / 225ml milk

Mix together the fruits, chopped nuts, sifted flour, spices and salt in a large bowl

Add the suet, breadcrumbs and sugar and then the beaten eggs.


Stir in in the brandy and milk to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into two large well buttered pudding basins.

cover each with a double layer of buttered greaseproof paper.

Place the basins in a saucepan of water (the water should come two thirds of the way up the basins sides)

Boil for 6 oils, topping up the water as required.

Remove and allow to cool

Cover them with fresh greaseproof paper

Store in an airtight pace until needed.

boil the puddings for a further 4 hours before eating.


More Frugal recipes


2. Frugal Christmas Decorations

It is possible to buy some frugal Christmas decorations from the thrift and pound stores, but even then you can end up still spending quite a bit. I’ve always enjoyed making a lot of my own decorations for the house and the tree; it can also be fun to get others involved too. After all isn’t Christmas meant to be about togetherness? Here are some frugal ideas on how to make your own decorations.

  • Decorate a bowl with leaves and rolled up shiny sweet wrappers to represent berries and fill with either winter fruit or potpourri. This makes a lovely centerpiece to any table.

  • Find pinecones and spray them with silver or gold paint or sprinkle them with glitter. Great for tree decorations or just decorating shelves

  • If you have an old party dress that you no longer want, a good frugal way to use it is to cut it up and make little bows to decorate chair corners or to tie to the branches of your tree.

  • Decorate plain white candles with ribbons, twisted leaves or shiny paper. But remember these candles are for decoration only and should not be used.

Read the rest of this article here


3. Tip Of the Month - Vinyl Upholstery Cleaner


During the festive season spills of food and drink is not uncommon. use this simple solution to cleanup your vinyl's.

To make 1 pint / 570ml

1. 4 tablespoons washing powder
2. 8 tablespoons baking powder
3. 16fl oz / 450ml warm water

Mix the washing powder and baking powder together in a bowl and add the water.

To use, moisten a soft cloth with the solution and rub the vinyl surface.

Rinse with clean water and dry

More Frugal Tips


This month I have relaunced the Frugal Forum so that it is more like the forums we are all used to i.e. someone makes a comment or statement or posts a story or a tip and other can join in and comment on those posts.

yes it doesn't look like the forums we see everywhere, but i think this way it looks far more user friendly. So why not be one of the first to join in and help make frugal Living tips THE Frugal site, go on you know you want to. :)




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 available. Please use Internet explorer to view coupons.



Twenty Gifts Under $25

by Kimberly Ripley

article from Dollar Stretcher

You needn't be rich, and you needn't rack up ridiculous credit card bills during the holidays to achieve a satisfying and creative level of gift giving. There are ways to give creative, useful, and well-received gifts, and maintain a reasonable budget. Haven't you heard the adage "less is more"? These gifts fall under the "less is more" heading. They cost significantly less than one might expect to spend, and they offer their recipients a great deal more. Some ideas incorporate giving a family gift rather than individual ones. Check out these fantastic gift ideas. Each come in at under $25.

For the couple that has everything, make a modest donation to a charity in their name. Many charities, for donations of around $20, offer holiday ornaments commemorating the donation.

For the crafter, fill an inexpensive basket with scissors, tacky glue, pre-cut foam shapes, an assortment of felt pieces, and a hot-glue gun.

For the kitchen connoisseur, line a mesh basket with a brightly colored dishtowel. Add a variety of bottled spices from the dollar store.

Pamper someone special who never takes the time to pamper herself. Buy a pair of plain cotton gloves. Add rich hand cream, cuticle oil, an emery board and a couple of trendy nail polish colors, and arrange in a small basin for soaking.

For the gardener in your life, buy a terra cotta plant pot. Decorate the pot with paints. Fill with a small trowel, gardening gloves, seed packets, bug spray, and plant food.

Indulge a chocolate lover with the best of the best. For under $20, Godiva Chocolates offers a variety of exquisite gift boxes.

Give a letter-writing grandmother a selection of pretty notecards, a pen, and a book of stamps.

Fill an unfinished wooden box with paints, brushes, crayons, and a ream of paper. Budding child artists can paint and decorate the box and create an art caddy for their supplies.

Buy a gift certificate for two movie passes to your local theater. Wrap with a box of microwave popcorn.

Most popular CDs cost less than $25. Buy one or purchase a gift certificate for one at your local music store. This gift will be a hit for all ages.

How about a restaurant gift certificate? Of course it's hard to buy a nice meal for two for under $25 unless it's at a restaurant that serves breakfast!

Traditional play is all the rage. Give a family a board game, a basketball or football, or a badminton set.

What about a picture-perfect present? Wrap a disposable camera, a trendy picture frame and a small photo album for under $20.

Give a family a set of sundae glasses, a bottle of sprinkles, and some hot fudge topping. If the gift will be opened immediately, throw in a pint of specialty ice cream.

Give an aspiring writer a handsome journal and a classic pen.

Collect a variety of clear glass bottles with stoppers. These are commonly found at garage sales throughout the year. Wrap bottles in a tissue-stuffed box and accompany with a selection of colored sand from craft stores. Tie a plastic funnel to the outside of the package. Kids will love this.

For the couple that entertains, buy a bottle of wine at a grocery store (some brands cost around $10 are very good choices!). Add some cheese and crackers, and you've given a party in a box.

A pound of coffee from a gourmet coffee shop and two interesting mugs from the dollar store make a great gift for any couple to wake up to.

A plant, a spray bottle, and mini-gardening tools make a creative and long-lasting gift. Add some plant food sticks and still keep within your budget.

Give the gift of good luck. Fill a velvet pouch with a deck of playing cards, some dice, and a half-dozen lottery scratch tickets for a present with earning potential.

Collect items at garage sales, clearance sales, and dollar stores throughout the year and store in a special cupboard or shelf. Baskets, decorated boxes, gift bags, bottles, jars, and craft supplies are in ample supply during different times of the year. However, they are hardly ever on sale near the holidays, so plan ahead.

The possibilities are endless. Think family, couple, or group gifts and you'll broaden your opportunities to buy fun, creative, and thoughtful gifts for under $25. Use these ideas or come up with other unique variations. Gift recipients will love the thoughtful choices, and you'll love the fact that your credit card bill wasn't driven sky-high. These gifts certainly have a twofold benefit!

Kimberly Ripley is a full-time freelance writer, published author, wife, mom of five, and homeschooler in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


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