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holiday ideas?? and money out out out...

November 19th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Phew. I'm finally sitting still for five minutes.
We're still stuck in the vortex of nonstop activities that magically starts every year on Oct 1. and doesn't let up until January.

This weekend, was money out. We had a 100 percent dead crabapple taken down and chopped into firewood. A friend did it, for $250 (it was a giant tree. oldest crabapple I've ever seen, at least 60 years old).

We also put the $43 junkyard bumper on the car, and it looks great! installation was free. I bribed a friend of mine with a 1/2 a trunkload of firewood to help me with it, and he did it all. Work saved! And no me standing around scratching my head.

Tomorrow, we're having the very cracked windshield on that same car replaced. It pays to call around. The first place was going to charge about $340 with everything, and the second-- a locally-owned one-- is going to charge us $175. Geesh. Glad I called.

So yeah, money out. Normally, I would have paid the mortgage last week on payday, but because of all of these expenses, I'm short and didn't want the checking to run dry. Murphy's law, of course, dictates that my two freelance checks that were supposed to arrive yesterday, didn't, and I Was going to combine those so I could pay the mortgage and add extra. I have until Dec. 1, but I would rather have it done and out of the way! So, now just tapping my fingers waiting for the checks!

***
Most of the holiday shopping for the kids is finished. I just need to figure out what to get the in-laws and my mom, and most important, want to make and bake for the friends' gift bags. We have too many friends to buy for, so we do a gift basket for each family every year, with a small gift for each of the kids, ad a family gift of wine (Charles Shaw aka two buck chuck, which is actually really good!), and homemade candies, cookies,and goodies.

I'm debating what to make this year for the gift bags. We usually do a few handmade chocolates, but I was thinking instead of cookies or cupcakes, that we should do some sort of delicious coffee cakes. Our neighbor at the last house did that and it was always delicious. Any ideas of where I can find a good recipe? I've scanned online but you never know what is really good. And, I haven't seen anything in the cookbooks at the library that made me jump up and down.

Or, maybe some sort of savory bread. Holidays often equal sweets, and I don't want people to feel overloaded. Any ideas? I'm stumped!

I'm also thinking of making some homemade chocolate raspberry ice cream topping to can, as a gift, as well. Any other good ideas for homemade treats to pop into the bag? I'm desperate! My creativity is kaput this year.

***
Thanksgiving time also means I'm stocking up on turkeys. Looks like the days of 19 cent/lbs turkeys are gone forever. The cheapest here is 78 cents, and limit one with a $10 purchase. I've been breaking my grocery trips into multiple stores/small purchases to stock up. We love baked turkeys, and I hate to pay full price the rest of the year. I have four in the deep freeze and was hoping to pick up two more before Thursday. (Did I mention we love turkey? )

I also saw a delicious turkey and wild rice soup recipe in Taste of Home this month, and we will definitely be trying that.

I stocked up on fresh cranberries at Aldi as well. They were 99 cents a bag, compared to 1.58 at other stores. Around here, you can't really buy them except at Thanksgiving, so I bought and froze seven bags of them. I have some bread recipes that call for them, plus I live to eat them with said above turkeys. Christmas dinner in July anyone??

I forgot how much I love shopping at Aldi, and was kicking myself for paying more than 1.99 /lb for butter after the last trip. I guess I will have to remember to make it a regular stop!

**
I'm also kicking myself for not every using ebates before last week. I figured I'd give it a shot because I shop online a lot and knew I had to order some gifts, and now I'm bummed that I haven't been getting the rebate before now. Oh well....

5 Responses to “holiday ideas?? and money out out out...”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I've used Ebates some, but I have forgotten a few times, too.

    I've made beer bread, pumpkin bread, and banana bread many years that is always well received. I've also made biscotti, rum balls and peanut butter balls. Sorry...no coffee cake recipe, but would love to know of one, too!

  2. Monkey Mama Says:

    We definitely know where to get windshields replaced! As with anything, I am sure prices can really run the gammit if you don't shop around. Way to go! (On that and the bumper!!)

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    One of my very favorite homemade treats I used to get from my sister, before I went vegan, was pepperoni rolls. I think she just bought pepperoni logs and quartered them, cut into about 4-inch lengths, and just wrapped with storebought bread dough and baked.

    Mmm, now that I'm thinking about them, makes me really want to figure out a vegan variation!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    Homemade caramel corn is always a big hit, cheap, and takes up room in the basket! You can throw in nuts to make it fancier.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hmmm. That is a good idea! Now, if I can only learn how to make it....

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