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3 Frugal (But Not Cheap) Dates For Valentine’s Day

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We've covered Valentine's Day a time or two on our frugal lifestyle blog. In fact, you can read posts here or here for tips on great gifts or a fast and easy Valentine's Day treat. This time, however, we're going to dive into the actual Valentine's Day date. It can be tricky. After all, too much effort starts to feel stagey or forced, but doing nothing feels false too. There is a happy medium, an art if you will, to planning a near-perfect Valentine's Day date and the best part is that it can be very budget friendly. So, if the thought of planning something special makes you shudder or get all clammed up, we've got 3 frugal (not cheap) dates for Valentine's Day that are sure to sweep you and your special someone right off your feet:

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3 Best Budget Workout Gear Options You May Not Know About

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  Remember how we talked last time about those New Year's resolutions? Well, if you are one of the 45% of Americans who makes a resolution to lose weight or get fit, this post is for you. One trick for staying motivated for being healthy or losing weight is having the right tools to do it. By tools, we mean workout gear (clothing). There is simply nothing more disheartening than showing up to a packed gym in ratty sweats or trying to squeeze a home workout in with shoes that are falling apart. With the increased acceptance of athleisure wear 24/7, that means there are a lot of incredible workout gear options available. However, a quick Google search will also reveal that you can spend as much as $230 for a pair of running tights and over $100 for a yoga mat. Not exactly finance friendly for those of us who are also juggling money resolutions! So, here's our roundup of where to get the best budget workout gear to keep you on track with both fitness and finance goals:

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3 Tricks For Sticking To Those New Year’s Resolutions

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It's that time again: we've been indulging in decadent food, drink, and lazy habits and we are ready for a good purging and sense of renewal. Must be New Year's, right?! Although not everyone loves setting New Year's resolutions, approximately 45% of Americans will be setting some kind of goal over the next couple of weeks. The most popular New Year's resolutions deal with health, wealth and overall well being. No surprises there. However, by mid-March many of us will have lost interest or motivation for these well intended promises. So, how do we go about sticking to those New Year's resolutions? Turns out, there are a few tricks for this.

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4 Last Minute, Totally Perfect Christmas Gifts

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We understand, truly. You meant to get the Christmas gifts all taken care of by now. After all, it's one week until Christmas - but when in the world did you have time to get everything knocked out, right? It's okay, we've got a few ideas to help with those last minute, totally perfect Christmas gifts that will make it look like you still put a lot of thought and effort into finding the right thing:

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The Can’t Fail Christmas Gift: Gourmet Gift Baskets

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  The Gourmet Gift Basket company started because the founders understood that gift baskets were a way to provide exceptional, unique gifts for all life's special occasions. This company started with two family members working out of a basement seeking the highest quality goods to please customers. Years later, Gourmet Gift Baskets is now a thriving national business that still puts family values and customer satisfaction first. Every year we participate in a few Secret Santa swaps: two with family, one with friends, and sometimes a random co-worker or neighborhood one. Every year a lot of time is spent looking for a perfect gift for each swap. After all, these events have a funny underlying pressure as we all secretly want our anonymous gift to be the most coveted. After more than a decade of participating in these events, I've discovered the one true can't fail Christmas gift - Gourmet Gift Baskets.

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5 Things NOT To Buy On Black Friday

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  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

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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

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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

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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

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  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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