9 Excellent Black Friday Shopping Tips

Black Friday Shopping tips

Excellent Black Friday shopping tips

The biggest shopping day of the year is about to happen in a few weeks. I’m pretty sure it now rivals and perhaps beats out Boxing Day sales in Canada. Black Friday can be a fantastic time to score great deals on Christmas gifts. It can especially be a great time to shop if you know a few tips and tricks to make your shopping successful.

Here are 9 useful Black Friday shopping tips:

Bookmark my giant Black Friday post

Coming up next week, I will have my annual list (it’s giant!) of Canadian Black Friday deals. Simply peruse the list to find the stores that interest you, click the links, then start shopping from the comfort of your own home!

Buy discounted cards for the stores you will be shopping at.

Go shopping with discounted gift cards instead of cash to save yourself some moolah! There are many stores like Real Canadian Superstore/Loblaws, Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart that offer discounts on gift cards for stores such as Old Navy and Gap during their weekly sales. You might also want to take a look at CardSwap.ca for discounted gift cards.

Ditch the big shopping cart if you’re shopping in-store.

Just don’t even think about getting one of those large cumbersome shopping carts if you plan on shopping in-store. Grab a basket or bring a large reusable shopping bag (IKEA bag anyone?) to avoid collisions or getting stuck in an aisle when you just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

Make your shopping list in order of importance.

Black Friday Shopping tips

Is Santa promising to bring a Lego set this year? You better put that first on your shopping list! By making your shopping list in order of importance, you’re really helping yourself to not forget that all important gift.

Sign up for emails for the stores you will be shopping at.

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online it can be extremely valuable to sign up for the email list of the stores you will be shopping at. Almost certainly, they will include coupon codes or coupons you can print/show on your phone for an extra discount. Often times email subscribers can also start shopping the sales earlier online.

Shop online.

The same sales are typically available online too, save for the extreme doorbusters. Save yourself some time and energy by shopping from the comfort of your own home. (This is my preferred method ;))

Join loyalty programs

Might as well join the loyalty programs for the stores you will be shopping at if you haven’t already! Collect points that can translate into free items or even extend certain perks. (I’m thinking the TJX card from Winners.)

Shop online at Amazon.

Because I’m such a fan of online shopping, I usually check Amazon first. Black Friday will be no different because I find that they usually have some great one day deals. Another Amazon tip: Use Honey to track Amazon prices so you can see how today’s Amazon price compares to the last 30 days. You can even use the Droplist feature which allows you to save items you’re interested in and once Honey detects a lower price, they’ll let you know.

Set a budget and stick to it.

You’re really not getting any deals per say, if you put yourself into debt trying to get the latest and greatest thing. If you’ve created a shopping list, it should be easy to stay within budget because you have an idea of the price of each item. Don’t ruin your holidays worrying about debt! There’s rarely any deal that is worth that amount of stress.

Do you shop on Black Friday? I’d love to hear your Black Friday Shopping tips in the comments below.

How to Rock the Holidays on a Tight Budget

holidays on a tight budget

Simple ways to celebrate the holidays on a tight budget

For some of us, the holidays always seem to land during a time where everything else hits. This means a tight budget during the holidays is a common issue that most of us will face at some point in our lives. If you find yourself with a tight budget this holiday season don’t let it ruin your fun.

This year, learn how to rock the holidays on a tight budget with these simple but meaningful ideas.

Focus on Meaning

Focus on the meaning of the holidays instead of the frills and trappings. The holidays are about friends and family so focus more on making memories than having a fancy holiday. Make homemade decorations, bake cookies, and spend quality time with the people you love.

Create new traditions

It’s the perfect time to create new traditions that your family will remember for years to come! Here are some ideas that you may enjoy or get you brainstorming:

  • Go on a Christmas tree hunt: Growing up, my favourite tradition was going into the forest (with our free permit to cut a tree) and searching for the most perfect tree to decorate.
  • Decorate on December 1st: Another thing we would do is wait until December 1st to decorate the house. December 1st also meant we could crank the Christmas carols!
  • Make homemade Christmas cards: This would be a super fun afternoon activity for the whole family!
  • Give to the less fortunate: I know locally, there are several businesses that set up bins to collect toys. Perhaps, you could find something similar and team up with a few friends to help take the focus off of yourself.
  • Decorate a Gingerbread house: This is always a fun activity for the kids! Or decorating sugar cookies is also fun!
  • Write letters to Santa: Sit down with the  kids and write letters to Santa! Don’t forget to send them off! In Canada, you can send your letters to:Santa Claus
    North Pole HOH OHO
    Canada
  • Create a holiday bucket list: This post may help you with some ideas to add to your calendar.
  • Read a Christmas book every day in December: Head to your library and pick up a big stack of holiday books to read together.
  • Have a Christmas movie night: One for the whole family and maybe one just for mom & dad!
  • Seek out the best Christmas light display: Take a drive one night just to look at all the lights. Vote for your favourite display.
  • Give Christmas PJ’s on Christmas eve: For the last few years, I have been wrapping up a pair of Christmas pajamas for both girls that I got on sale and giving it to them on Christmas eve. They love to wake up Christmas morning in their new Christmas pajamas!

Make Homemade Gifts

holidays on a tight budget

Save money but still enjoy the gifting part of the holidays with Homemade Christmas gifts. Use the things you have on hand to make personalized, meaningful gifts for the people you love. It’s the fact that you thought of them and wanted to do something special that makes gifts so wonderful. Baking homemade gifts is a great way to use items you have on hand to create a great gift someone will appreciate.

Earn Extra Cash

A great way to deal with a tight budget during the holidays is to work on simple ways to earn extra cash. Sell off things you do not need or crafts you have made that others can give as gifts. Cleaning houses and clearing snow are both great ways to earn extra cash as the season wears on. This is the best time of year to pick up a part-time seasonal job for extra money if you have the time to spare.

Make a Holiday Budget

To help you thrive during any time with a tight budget, create and stick to a budget. This is a plan to help your family stay on track financially. Plan all of your regular expenses first so you don’t end up making your situation worse for the sake of the holidays. This will leave you with a clear idea of how much you can really spare and how much you should try to earn instead of going ahead blindly.

Look for Free Activities

Look for free fun activities to do. You can still make the most of Christmas even when you can not afford much. Go for a stroll and check out neighborhood light displays, volunteer to help others down at the soup kitchen or food bank. Find reasons to be grateful for what you do have this season, and you will be well on your way to rocking the holidays on a tight budget!

What are your best tips for making a meaningful but frugal Christmas season?

Frugal Stocking Stuffers

Amazing Frugal Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Stocking stuffers can be so much fun!  My husband and I really only exchange stockings each year rather than big gifts. I like to fill his up with a mix of practical things and fun goodies.

However, it’s quite easy to get carried away buying all sorts of fun little things to add to the stockings, so I’ve compiled a list of frugal stocking stuffers to make shopping easier. I think you’re going to love the list!

Frugal Stocking Stuffers:

  1. Toothpaste  (get some cheap with coupons!)
  2. Toothbrush
  3. Candy/Chocolate
  4. Homemade CD
  5. Homemade cookies
  6. Gum
  7. Quick Drying Paint Sticks
  8. Travel sized toiletries
  9. Gift cards (give a $10 Starbucks card you’ve earned free with Swagbucks!)
  10. USB Flash drive
  11. Deck of cards
  12. Hot Wheels
  13. UNO card game
  14. Christmas is the only time of the year when I have fun with a Scratch Ticket or two!frugal stocking stuffers
  15. Crayons, Pencils, Pencil Crayons, Felt pens
  16. Tape (what is with kids and their love of tape? haha)
  17. Adult Coloring Book
  18. Notebooks
  19. Nail polish
  20. Kitchen tools
  21. Makeup (This eye shadow pallet is neat!)
  22. Socks
  23. Hair accessories
  24. Tea or coffee (those Starbucks VIA or Nescafe individual packages might be great!)
  25. Tea Infuser
  26. Little games/toys (Kaleidoscope, Barrel of Monkeys, Slinky)
  27. Homemade slime
  28. Bath crayons
  29. Homemade Sock Puppet
  30. Mandarin oranges
  31. Craft supplies
  32. Chocolate coins
  33. Back Scratchers
  34. DIY Flower Magnets
  35. Unicorn Scratch & Sparkle Activity Book
  36. Dino Sticker Activity Book
  37. Christmas Fun Mad Libs
  38. Facial Face Masks
  39. Working Hands Hand Cream
  40. Smartphone Stand Holder
  41. HotHands Hand Warmers
  42. 4-in-1 Pen Tool
  43. Reusable Rubber Twist Ties
  44. Wikki Stix
  45. Skin Smoother for Men
  46. Disposable Razors

Have you got any other ideas?  What do you normally add to stockings?

More Frugal Gift Ideas:

Fall Bucket List for Frugal People

The best fall bucket list

Create the BEST Fall Bucket List with these ideas. These ideas are perfect for frugal people, who are looking for free or low cost activities to do this fall.

Fall is nearly here! One of my favorite seasons (besides Christmas time) is Fall! I love the comfort food, the way the light changes in the evening, the crisp fall air, and warm, cozy sweaters. Along with those things, Fall is a great time to do fun, frugal activities specific to the season.

Here is a Fall Bucket List for Frugal People that you are going to love! There are plenty of ideas to fill up your fall calendar with frugal fun.

fall bucket list for frugal people
  1. Go to a Pumpkin Patch.
  2. Have a pumpkin carving contest with friends/family.
  3. Find fall festivals and harvest events happening in your area.
  4. Go to a local apple orchard to pick delicious apples.
  5. Go for a hike. The temperature will be much more bearable than in the summer time!
  6. Try Halloween themed cookies. Like Oreos. You can only get them this time of year.
  7. Try using fallen leaves in one of these ways.
  8. Go to a thrift store to find your Halloween costumes.
  9. Make apple crisp! This recipe is amazing!
  10. Throw a football watching party. To save money, make it a potluck and have everyone bring something.
  11. Make your own fall wreath.
  12. Make a pot of chili.
  13. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte or apple cider.
  14. Make a Frugal Fall bracelet.
  15. Go through a corn maze.
  16. Take your own fall pictures.
  17. Rake up the leaves into big piles, then jump in them!
  18. Make a scarf out of an old sweater.
  19. Have a Halloween (or Fall) movie night at home.
  20. Bake pumpkin cookies.
  21. Visit your local library and check out some fall themed books.
  22. Check the kids’ school calendars to see what free family-friendly events are coming up.
  23. Attend a high school football game.
  24. Volunteer.
  25. Go geocaching
  26. Take a scenic drive around your city.
  27. Visit your local farmer’s market.
  28. Try a new soup recipe.
  29. Host a fall brunch, pot-luck style.
  30. Light fall candles around the house.
  31. Decorate your home with a few Fall decor items from the dollar store.
  32. Help a neighbor rake their leaves.
  33. Make a batch of these Fall M&M Monster Cookies.
  34. Create your own haunted house.
  35. Make your own Halloween costumes.
  36. Check your city’s website, you will find a ton of free events and activities happening around you.
  37. Knit a fall scarf.
  38. Write little happy fall notes to your friends.
  39. Decorate your porch with fall foliage from the neighborhood.
  40. Toast pumpkin seeds.
  41. Have a fall canning party.
  42. Go on a hayride at a local farm.
  43. Eat dinner by candle light.
  44. Have a nap!
  45. Make Pumpkin Butter

Best Family Christmas Pajamas in Canada for 2022

The count down is on for Christmas! Every year, I’m on the hunt for cute matching Christmas pajamas for my daughters. But this year, finding the best family Christmas pajamas is going to be on the agenda!

This year just feels like it needs to be extra festive in our home. With the events of the past few past years, an extra dose of Christmas cheer will not disappoint! If you are feeling similarly and think a pair of matching Christmas pajamas for every family member is a must, then you will love this list today.

Below, I have found 5 Canadian, budget-friendly places to get family Christmas pajamas with so many adorable options. Enjoy!

The best family Christmas pajamas

family Christmas pajamas

The Children’s Place

The Children’s Place is a great Canadian option for family Christmas pajamas! Right now, they have a lot of sizes available and they are on sale for 50 – 70% off! So fun! Here’s a selection:

Shop online at The Children’s Place here. Shipping is free on all orders!

Urban planet

Urban Planet has a great selection of “Fammy Jammies”. The selection includes onesies, 2 piece pajamas, robes and pajama dresses. Here are a few cute ones to look at:

Shop online at Urban Planet to see the full selection! Shipping is free on orders of $100 or more.

Old Navy

Old Navy Canada has a big selection of holiday pajamas! Lots of plaid designs and fun Christmas themes too! There are flannel pajama sets, pants, tees, onesies and even fuzzy Christmas socks! Prices are regularly $14.40 – $59.99, but Old Navy always has some sort of coupon code. Here’s a glimpse at the selection:

Shop online at Old Navy Canada to see the full selection. Shipping is free on orders of $50 or more.

Carter’s/Osh Kosh

Carter Osh Kosh is where I normally end up finding matching pajamas for my daughters. So they have great kids pajamas, but they also have adult sizes! (Not many right now, but I have a feeling they will add more!) They have classic plaid, Santa, fair isle and more. Here’s a sample of their selection:

Shop online at CartersOshKosh.ca here for the full selection. Shipping is free on orders of $50 or more.

Walmart

Walmart Canada has a good looking selection of matching Christmas pajamas online! Prices vary quite a bit. Here’s a look at some of the selection:

Shop online at Walmart Canada here. Shipping is free on orders of $35 or more.

A couple of honourable mentions are:

  • Amazon.ca: Nice big selection, but you may have a bit of a challenge finding the right sizes.
  • Joe Fresh: They have family pajamas each year, but are not available yet.

Did you find any great budget-friendly options from the list above? Also, if you get Family Christmas pajamas, where do you normally purchase them?

Other articles you may enjoy:

family Christmas pajamas

18 Best Frugal Cookbooks

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Are you looking for the best frugal cookbooks to help you save money on food? In this post, I’m sharing some of the best frugal cookbooks to help you cook on a budget!

best frugal cookbooks

Best Frugal Cookbooks to Help You Cook on a Budget

Do you have a cookbook that you reach for again and again?

Having a cookbook that you love, is a must-have resource to help you save money on food. It will ensure you can always find a great recipe (or many) everyone loves to eat at home.

In case you need to add a cookbook to your home, I wanted to share the best frugal cookbooks to help you find delicious recipes to make on a budget.

The following cookbooks are all about helping you prepare frugal meals, so you can save money on food and still eat great!

18 Best Frugal Cookbooks:

Click on the image or the link to find out more about each cookbook so you can find the perfect budget cookbook!

The Flat Broke Cookbook: Thrifty Meals & Shopping Tips for Tough Times: The Flat Broke Cookbook is about shopping for food with limited funds and still feeding your family tasty and nutritious meals. It assumes you have a bit of money to spend, but not a lot. At the same time, you might be living off the supplies in your pantry or freezer for similar reasons. These recipes are simple and filling to keep you nourished when times are tough. 

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day: Created for people who have to watch every dollar—but particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp allotment of $4.00 a day—Good and Cheap is a cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes backed by ideas that will make everyone who uses it a better cook. Plus there are tips on shopping smartly and the minimal equipment needed to cook successfully.

Frugal Vegan: Live a healthy vegan lifestyle without breaking the bank with these 99 affordable and delicious plant-based recipes. Frugal Vegan teaches you how to avoid pricey perishables and special ingredients, and still enjoy nutritious, exciting food at every meal. Learn the tips and tricks to creating plant-based cuisine on a budget and fill yourself up with a delicious feast.

A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes: 100 easy and delicious meals on a tight budget with Jack Monroe’s A Girl Called Jack. Jack is a cash-strapped single mum living in Southend. When she found herself with a shopping budget of just £10 a week to feed herself and her young son, she addressed the situation with immense resourcefulness, creativity and by embracing her local supermarket’s ‘basics’ range. She created recipe after recipe of delicious, simple and upbeat meals that were outrageously cheap.

Plant-Based on a Budget: Toni’s guidance doesn’t just help you save money—it helps you save time, too. Every recipe in this book can be ready in around 30 minutes or less. Through her imaginative and incredibly customizable recipes, Toni empowers readers to make their own substitutions based on the ingredients they have on hand, reducing food waste in the process.

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Ciarra uses flavorful but less expensive cuts of meat in traditional yet approachable cooking methods and shares her roll-forward technique for creating multiple dishes to maximize your time in the kitchen. You’ll love her keys to budgeting, tips for making items ahead of time, 5-ingredients-or-less seasoning blends and other money-saving pointers.

The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: College students don’t typically have a ton of time, money, or kitchen space to get fancy with their meals, which means good and cheap is the name of the game. This college cookbook makes it easy for students to prepare fresh, tasty, healthy meals for themselves on a budget, with more than 100 recipes that only take 30 minutes to throw together, and only require 5 main ingredients.

Quick and Easy Family-Friendly Budget Recipes: The diverse and delicious recipes in this cookbook all contain very few ingredients and most recipes can be prepared for ten dollars or less for a family of 4 and in some cases, much less! You also do not have to sacrifice your health to eat economically. Everything here is far healthier than TV dinners and fast food—things you’ll be happy to see your family eating and enjoying.

Real Food on a Budget: Transforming, reusing and economizing to provide plenty—these are the principles behind Real Food on a Budget developed during 30 years of kitchen management by Mom of 7, Lana McAra. She reveals her secret formula for creating 4 nourishing meals from a single chicken, 3 meals from one beef roast and 107 ways to use ground beef—including Mock Filet Mignon and Mock T-Bone Steak—as well as dozens of substitutions.

Frugal Cooking with Your Instant Pot: Your Instant Pot® has been saving you time and energy in the kitchen for years and now, it’ll save you money, too! With this impressive collection of recipes, you’ll learn how to make a ton of incredible, budget-friendly dinners in your Instant Pot® that cost next to nothing― just $3.00 or less per serving!

Budget Cookbook: 103 Delicious & Easy Recipes That Will CUT Your Grocery Bill in Half: Multi-time best selling cookbook writer and influencer, Olivia Rogers, presents the most popular and best selling “family budget dinner cookbook” on Amazon, which includes a compilation of the most delicious budget dinner recipes as voted by Olivia’s 10,000+ readers and fans. You are guaranteed to find a few winners here with your family!

Budget Bytes: Beth’s eagerly awaited cookbook proves cutting back on cost does not mean cutting back on taste. Budget Bytes has more than 100 simple, healthy, and delicious recipes, including Greek Steak Tacos, Coconut Chicken Curry, Chorizo Sweet Potato Enchilada, and Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayonnaise, to name a few. It also contains expert principles for saving in the kitchen—including how to combine inexpensive ingredients with expensive to ensure that you can still have that steak you’re craving. Whether you’re urban or rural, vegan or paleo, Budget Bytes is guaranteed to delight both the palate and the pocketbook.

freezer meals

Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money and Sanity: In Seriously Good Freezer Meals, Karrie shares 150 recipes photos that will change the way you think about freezer cooking. You won’t find your mother or grandmother’s freezer meals here (except lasagna, of course). Her recipes include Morning Energy Bars, Empanada Hand Pies, Coconut Cashew Basil Curry Soup, Smoky Grilled Louisiana Turkey Legs, and Layered Chocolate Mousse Cake with tons of vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options, too. Plus, she adds a bulk-batch chart for ease in making large quantities of each freezer-meal recipe.

Meal Prep on a Budget: Preparing healthy meals in advance is one of the best ways to keep wellness goals on track while saving time and energy. But how do you keep costs down without sacrificing taste or health? Meal Prep on a Budget is a complete resource for creating balanced, delicious meals that are easy to make and easy on the wallet. Discover clear guidance that breaks down exactly what to buy and how to prepare it―for just $40 per week.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: Nicole Hunn has been helping home cooks eat well and on the cheap since 2009. Now, she’s updated her beloved Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, the indispensable guide to simple, inexpensive GF cooking. From chicken potpie to banana cream pie, Nicole shares her recipes for tasty family favorites — all gluten-free, all easy on your wallet. With revised and new recipes, pantry-stocking tips, keys to the best GF flour blends — and of course, more top money-saving secrets.

The $7 a Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook: With this cookbook, families will find 301 great recipes that almost cook themselves, including Spicy Turkey Meatballs; Hearty Root Vegetable Soup; Pizza Fondue; Crock-Pot Fajitas; Black Bean Lasagna; and more. This comprehensive, all-purpose cookbook is packed with simple instructions, nutritional information, and the amount of money needed for each recipe and makes preparing delicious, healthy, and cheap meals easier than ever before!

Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less: Good Cheap Eats serves up 65 two-course dinners, consisting of a main dish and a substantial side, salad, or soup, all of which take 30 minutes or less to prepare. And as a mother of six and a busy parent, she shows home cooks how to get dinner on the table quickly and inexpensively without relying on heavily processed shortcuts or artificial ingredients. Great for time-pressed couples, families with picky eaters, or singles that need a quick solution to dinner tonight.

Easy Frugal Cookbook: It’s easier than you think to make hearty meals that are tasty, budget-friendly, and nutritious. Discover an easy cookbook that shows you how, with 100 inexpensive family recipes that use basic ingredients, and can be made in just a few steps. This easy cookbook will help you whip up satisfying dishes like Crispy Coconut Drumsticks or Open-Face Turkey Sandwiches for everyone in the house for just $5. All it takes is the right recipe, a few tricks, and a little planning to make the most of your food budget.

There you have it – 18 of the best frugal cookbooks to help you save money and eat at home more! I hope you found the perfect cookbook for your family!

Frugal Tip: Check out the best frugal cookbooks from your library before you invest. Or, take a look at the prices on the used cookbooks from Amazon to save money!

Looking for more ways to save on food? Check these out:

best frugal cookbooks