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This is the first Christmas shopping season we’ve had in ages that we are committed to not putting gifts on credit cards.  That’s harder than it sounds!  When online shopping, it’s much easier to plop a credit card number in and worry about it later.  Except I’ve learned that I often forget to go back to it.

And that’s how it happens.  The debt grows as you forget how much you’ve already spent.  You always think it will sort itself out later, but it never does.  Something to keep in mind as you shop.

But as for now, it’s frugal Friday.  Around here, we celebrate the end of the work week with a look back at…

The 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week

 5 Ways We've Saved Money This Week 59

Read through the archives of this series here.

Free 8×10

We had our pictures taken a couple of months ago, and I still haven’t had them printed yet.  I’ve been looking for deals.  What better deal than free?

Walgreens had a free 8×10 coupon code last weekend, and I took advantage of it.  Now our first born’s new picture is hanging on the wall.  The rest of the kids are anxious to see their photos up, too.  I’m hoping to find another deal soon!  Patience is the name of the game in the #yearofno.


My Mom and I have a fun tradition of getting up early on Black Friday to start our Christmas shopping.  Since many of the stores were open earlier, we hit fewer crowds.  We avoid the busiest stores and don’t participate in the face punching deals.  We keep it fun and festive.

I was able to find several awesome deals and crossed a few people off my list.  We kept our receipts so we can make returns if it turns out we overbought or find better deals later.

Gift Certificate Bundle

I checked out the Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle to see if the deals would work for our family.  It turns out that I found a few discount gifts that were perfect for people on our list.  I grabbed a pretty print from Hope Ink (and she threw in a free Christmas print to make it an even better deal).  I also put together a pretty photo gift.  Some all natural products were just right for health conscience friends.

Since I only needed two of the websites to work out to be worth the money, I’ve already got more from this bundle than I needed.  And there are a few websites that I still need to look at.

Check out my review of this bundle here.  Or use my referral link to order here.  If you order through me, drop me an email to let me know ([email protected]) and I will send you a couple of free Christmas printables as a thank you!

Money saving tips

Christmas Money

This season can be magical, but don’t let that convince you that you shouldn’t pay close attention to your Christmas budget.  One thing we’ve learned for sure?  If you can keep all of that money bundled in an envelope or a dedicated debit card account, all the better.  If you don’t have a second checking account, try to find one that won’t charge fees.  I like Capital One 360, but you may be able to luck into a deal at a local credit union.

Cast Many Nets

It’s important to have more than one source of income.  One of the best examples of that is blogging.  I’ve cast nets in many areas, and I’m finally starting to see some income roll in from a variety of sources.  Advertising, affiliates, sponsored posts, social media shares, etc.  I had always heard that it takes 1-3 years for a blog to start making money, and I’ve certainly found it to be true in my case.

Some bloggers make things work in a few short months.  But most of us have to keep trudging forward month after month until all of our small efforts come together to create something bigger.  I definitely fit into that category!

While I’d like to be investing more of this income back into my blog, right now my bigger goal is to get out of debt.  So this money is helping us avoid credit card use.  But I’ve got big plans for this blog in the new year, so make sure you keep coming back!

Those are the 5 Ways We’ve Saved (and Earned) Money This Week!

We’re out to prove that a Christmas without debt is possible!

Do you shop with credit cards at Christmas?  Are you able to get them paid off in January?