Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Stress-Busting Your Holy-days, Tip #2

Deb's Famous Chicken Salad
Hey there BBFF (Best Blog Friend Forever)! Got some great tips here to help you decom-stress your crazy-busy life during this hectic Christmas season. Scroll back for Stress-Buster #1.

And without further ado, here's the second of a series of 6 forged-in-the-fire tips I think you're gonna find bodaciously invaluable. Please feel free to share this post with your stressed buds.

Stress-Buster #2: Budget - Work it, Baby.
Decide and abide. At the beginning of the season (that would be now!), agree with your spouse - if you have one - upon a reasonable, workable budget; include hidden costs like stamps, grocery bills, and long distance phone charges. Now comes the hard part: STICK to your budget.

Haunt Dollar Tree. Any Dollar Tree junkies out there besides me? I see that hand! If you're not one of us, get on board. Everything's really a dollar ... good, bad, and cha-ching bargains. True, some things are worth only a dollar, but be selective. You can find decent quality gift wrap, tissue, bows, boxes and tags for a fraction of the price you'd spend elsewhere. You might even grab a few stocking stuffers while you're there!

Limbo under the bar. Buy multiple gifts only for children; draw names among adults for one gift each and agree on a price limit ahead of time. Augment with love-gift coupons (see next point).

Offer loving service. Create love-gift coupons promising a specific service you know that specific loved one will appreciate - a foot rub, two weeks off dish duty, an hour of lawn mowing. There's no shelf life in demonstrating your love through customized acts of kindness. It's the gift that keeps on giving long after batteries poop out.

Be blessed, not stressed: online or in bookstores
Make or bake. Use your special skills (stop that snorting!) to create something uniquely handmade: needlepoint, framed photos, pinecone potpourri, reindeer antler hat racks ... wherever your imagination leads. If you're culinarily gifted, bake what I call "growlers" for friends and fam - something yummy with the Christmassy aroma of cinnamon to induce growling stomachs. Or hey, nothing says Merry Christmas like Chocolate Crack! (You can find this simple, tantalizing recipe - called chocolate crack because you can't stop eating it - in my award-winning Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook.)

Shop online. Check sites like coupons.com, dealcatcher.com, retailmenot.com, and couponcatcher.com for free printable coupons, reduced prices, and deep discounts on your preferred brands and stores. Many items are cheaper online than in stores and gift-wrapping and/or free delivery may be offered. Here's a great tip for you: Plug "coupons" into your search engine and you'll find great everyday savings resources like coupons.target.com and coupons.walmart.com.

Okay, BBFF, that wraps it up for today, but be sure you've hit the subscribe button on the right side of your screen so you won't miss Stress-Buster #3 later this week.

And register NOW for a chance to win your own Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook and a fabulous gift package including my favorite stress-reducing kitchen items and grocery gift cards (that's $$$) in my Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook Christmas Drawing. Just hop over to the contest page at my website for details on how to enter: http://deboracoty.com

P.S. I'd love to hear from you - got any of your own tried and true stress-busters you'd like to share?

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