Gather...EVERYTHING You Need for the Holidays

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Colossal Christmas Countdown ButtonGroceries for Next to Nothing?


Teri Gault's website,, tracks grocery prices in over 160 markets nationwide.  Here's her guide to dirt-cheap shopping.

  1. Stick to Staples: "Go with traditional foods - that's where the best sales will be," says Gault.  "The supermarkets think of Thanksgiving week as their annual open house to attract new shoppers, and they do it by selling traditional foods at the lowest prices of the year."  Once you stack manufacturer's coupons and store coupons, many baking supplies, cranberries and broths are actually sold at a loss, as manufacturers try to hook new customers.
  2. Get Coupons: Grab the weekly circulars and inserts during the three weeks running up to the holidays.  "Often, coupons don't run in the Sunday paper the weekends before Thanksgiving and Christmas because manufacturers know readers don't have time to clip them," she says.
  3. Stock Up: "There are going to be incredible sales, so buy extra," says Gault.  The baking aisles reach their lowest prices of the year, and so do margarine and butter.  "That's a terrific opportunity to buy extra and freeze it for later."
  4. Shop Local: Don't forget your town's weekly farmers' market - veggies are often a steal.

Reinvent Your Home Decor

No need to run out for decorations if you don't already own them.  Go for a "homey" winter family theme - which you can pull together for under $10.  Anything else you don't have, borrow from friends.

  1. Lighting: You could spend all day transforming your home into a winter wonderland...or just turn down the lights.  Lower dimmer switches and light candles for a festive glow.  Strategically placed strings of lights also work wonders.
  2. Music: It's everything in setting the mood.  Turn on some holiday tunes and set up your speakers so that the music floats through your home.
  3. Family Photos: Pull out old photos and frame them with dollar-store frames.  Arrange next to candles or tealights, and place on dressers and tables.
  4. Fabric: Hit the cheap fabrics bin at Walmart - warm maroons and reds make wonderful tablecloths.  Place a couple of swatches strategically over end tables to transform your family room.


{This post is an excerpt from "Merry Holidays: Gather...Everything You Need" as published in Woman's Day magazine}
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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