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5 Things NOT To Buy On Black Friday

  We know, we know...Black Friday deals are everywhere! There will be crazy savings on lots of items and some of the best prices to be found all year will be on Black Friday. However, just because a lot of items are on sale doesn't mean it's the best time to buy everything. In fact, there are a few things that will see even deeper discounts on Thanksgiving Day, December and next year. Before you rush right out and tackle your entire Christmas list, here's a quick look at 5 things NOT to buy on Black Friday:

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5 Best Black Friday Purchases


Seems like everyone is buzzing about Black Friday already. People are chatting about everything Black Friday - from outdoor retail giant REI's decision to close that day to the constant guessing about which stores will be open when and offering what amazing deals. Interestingly enough though, Black Friday itself is no longer limited to the Friday following Thanksgiving. In fact, more retailers than ever plan to start deep discounts online Thanksgiving Day. This is great news for those of us who love shopping, love frugal deals, and hate long lines. Of course, we also know folks who swear that Black Friday shopping is an annual exercise in family bonding.

Whether you plan to hit the stores or the sites, these 5 items are most likely to be your best Black Friday purchases for 2015:

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Halloween Guide: Surviving Trick or Treating At Every Age

With one week exactly until Halloween, it's crunch time for many households. If you haven't figured out your costumes yet, there's still time to throw one together or even to order one online (especially if you act NOW and with these coupons). Still, costumes are only one part of Halloween. It's the trick or treating that can really get stressful for parents. What a terrible idea it is in theory: bringing together masses of children running around in the dark in dangerous/scary/unidentifiable costumes and loading them up with bags of sugary candy given by strangers. It's also a blast for both kids and adults, with a well-thought out game plan in place. Whether this is your first time as a parent on Halloween or your 17th, here's a Halloween guide that can help keep things more fun than frightening next weekend:

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Best Bets For Budget Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of those holidays that you either love or could do without. Generally, if you are over the age of 12, the excitement about Halloween seems to fade a little more each year. Until you have kids of your own, and then dressing your baby up like a tiny caterpillar or lion is suddenly the cutest thing you've ever seen and it redeems your love for Halloween all over again. Unfortunately, the costs for Halloween can be downright spooky if you are not prepared. Rather than break the bank over one night of decadence, here are some of the best bets for Halloween costumes that should keep some cash in your wallet too:

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5 Frugal Fall Family Activities

  Hooray - we can finally say fall is here! Though not everyone gets to bundle up in sweaters and scarves just yet, most of us are experiencing cooler evenings and shortened daylight hours. There's a faint crispness to the air and 3 of our major holidays are just around the corner. What's not to love? One of my favorite parts of fall is the abundance of frugal fall family activities. After the dog days of summer, fall's weather starts tempting us back outside again. Fall brings us back in line with our budget goals too since many events are either free or very inexpensive. As are a lot of other fun family things to do. So, here 5 of our favorite frugal fall family activities:

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Frugal Bloggers You Should Follow

  There's a lot of talk these days about the negative impact social media and technology can have on our lives. There's no denying some of its more damaging affects. However, there's an overload of positive parts to social media as well. Perhaps my own favorite aspect is the abundance of information readily available. Not just from the somewhat dubious sources like Wikipedia, but the more authentic personal reports from bloggers around the world. Want to know how to learn the fine art of underwater basket weaving? There's a blog for that (okay, sorta). Anyway, I know that frugal bloggers were one of my main inspirations for attempting a budget-focused lifestyle. Thanks to the many experienced frugal bloggers out there, all the mistakes I was bound to make have been made before me. Naturally, over the years I have found certain bloggers I tend to return to more than others. While this is not a complete list, these are a handful of frugal bloggers you should follow:

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Best Tips For A Budget Beginner

College Student Studying
It's always interesting to talk with other families about how they manage finances. Obviously, there is a layer of privacy and most people don't want to discuss actual numbers. However, even surface level conversations generally reveal the basic information: which families use a budget, who the "spender" of a household is, and which expenses seem to throw the whole budget off balance. Budgets, like marriage and parenting, fall into the whole it's-that-easy-and-that-hard category. Starting a budget is exciting because you feel a sense of control over your financial state. It's also overwhelming and difficult to stick to the discipline required to keep a solid budget in place. Certainly, there are a number of resources online to get a budget started (like these forms), but how about some more basic advice for those just getting going? Here are our best tips for a budget beginner: 

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Simple Savings Strategies For The School Year

Ukrainian family budget
Well, we've hit the ground running: school started and the constant chaos it brings is already in full force. That means the fees, costs, and donations have started pouring in as well. Thankfully, this is not our first go-around. By the time there is a middle-school aged child in the house, you've learned a few things. If you are budget household, you've definitely learned  how to control the costs that come with the start of school. Here are the ways we manage simple savings strategies for the school year:

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Back To School Supply Basics

We are in the last few weeks of a dead sprint toward school in our household. My children envy those who go back to school at a later date, conveniently forgetting that those same students started summer later as well. So, basically, for the next two weeks we are doing nothing but organizing, planning, and shopping for back to school supply deals and discounts. You too? Well, before heading out the door in a panic, check out our handy round-up of back to school supply basics:

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Frugal Boredom Busters to Get You Through Summer

"I'm bored" has to be one of the most disliked phrases ever to fall upon parents' ears. Especially in mid- July when summer, depending on where you live, is either coming to an end or just hitting the half-way mark.  Never fear - we have many solutions to this oh-so-common childhood ailment! Here are our favorite  frugal boredom busters to get you through summer:

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