#596 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Money

#596 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Money

596 – Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Money

 

Do you feel like Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year…until you look at your bank account?

Kathi Lipp and her co-host Deanna Day Young have clever, creative, and clutter-free answers to the question, “How can I celebrate the holidays and not overspend?” In this episode, Kathi and Deanna gift us with ten tips to keep the cost of Christmas down and the enjoyment up.

They have ideas to help enjoy the holidays such as:

  • How to use experiences as gift ideas.
  • How to involve those you love in your decisions.
  • And Kathi and Deanna share a brilliant surprise when giving gift cards!

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Did you miss the first three episodes of this series? You can find them here:

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Energy

The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
noun
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

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Which tip that Kathi and Deanna gave is most helpful to you when you are low on money? Share your answer in the comments.

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Meet Our Guest 

 

Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com

Transcript

Kathi (00:05.579)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutterfree Academy where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back with Deanna Day Young and we are talking all things Christmas, the holidays, and.

This is our series, your holiday game plan when you’re running low on blank. So we’ve already done space, time, energy. Here’s the one that I think a lot of people are going to identify with, money. When you’re running low on money, what can you do to still enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank? So Deanna, I’m gonna start us off.

Deanna Day Young (00:47.324)
Great.

Kathi (00:57.839)
And you and I each have five ideas. We’re gonna go back and forth. So number one, I feel like this is the most important one for me as I’ve done this, is to contact friends and family that you’re exchanging gifts with or that you typically exchange gifts with and set spending limits or maybe just say, can we have a pass this year? Deanna, have you ever done that? You have?

Deanna Day Young (01:23.518)
Yes, yes we did. So I have a group of friends that there are four of us that we’ve done this probably the last four or five years. We said no Christmas gifts and we go and we do an experience which actually leads to my number one or my number

you know, our next one, it’ll be my number one, our number two on our list of 10, is yes, we have done like where we will say we’re gonna go to Cracker Barrel altogether, or we’ll pick a restaurant. And have you heard of like, a lot of people have done this in the past where you go and you give an extra large tip, you prepare.

Kathi (02:01.388)
Oh, I have, yes.

Deanna Day Young (02:02.022)
And so like, yeah, so we have done this the last couple of years and it’s been so much fun. But we’ve also done before where we say we’re gonna take a spa day. So nobody’s gonna buy anybody gifts and then we just go somewhere and we do a spa day. And so it’s just really fun to do that.

Kathi (02:19.671)
Yeah, and I understand if you’re running low on money, you may be like, oh, a spa day. But here’s the thing, oftentimes you could do some of that stuff at home or you need to get your nails done anyway. Like that’s something you were planning on doing anyway. You know, Deanna, one of those things like, and we’re onto number two, brainstorm a list of fun and free things to do with those you love.

Deanna Day Young (02:33.462)
Right.

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (02:48.855)
We’ve done a cookie day where everybody comes to one person’s house and what we do is we either prepare in our own homes and then we bring enough cookie dough of our recipe so everybody can take some home and then we have we bake one um one batch of it so we all get to taste it or yeah

Deanna Day Young (03:09.134)
That’s good.

Deanna Day Young (03:15.359)
That’s good.

Kathi (03:16.843)
And so everybody has cookie dough to bring home that they can do for their family or they can give as gifts. Isn’t that a fun idea? But think about something that you would naturally be doing other ways. But Deanna, let me go back to the spending limits. You have to talk about those in advance. So maybe you can’t do it for this year, but you say, hey, for next year, could we do…

Deanna Day Young (03:23.894)
That’s a great idea!

Deanna Day Young (03:42.561)
Yes.

Kathi (03:45.119)
$50 limit per family or you know what could we just exchange for the kids? you know or Guys, you know instead of buying me gifts, you know what I could really use this year there are a couple of big packs at Costco of like flour or Macaroni and cheese, you know like get specific people would love I remember one year my friend I said, what do you want for Christmas and

Deanna Day Young (03:50.475)
Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (04:06.925)
Yeah.

Kathi (04:13.499)
Traditionally, you know Roger and I have had more money. She’s a single mom. She goes I would like a Costco pack of toilet paper She goes I’m so tired of running to the store paying too much and I’m like, I think we can do that for you So we did toilet paper towels And a couple of food things and it was so fun and she baked us cookies It was the perfect exchange, but you have some other ideas here of things that you can do that are free

Deanna Day Young (04:37.41)
That’s awesome.

Kathi (04:43.223)
Right? Tell me about those.

Deanna Day Young (04:43.262)
Right, yes. So, yeah, my number two is do experiences together with friends and family for Christmas. And they are, these are some ideas that are free or very, very low in cost. And so number one was PJs and pancakes. I did this with one of my groups up at church, and there’s, I think there’s six of us in our group. And so what we did is they came to my house in their pajamas or their sweatpants, whatever they were comfortable in. And…

Kathi (05:09.391)
Perfect. Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (05:11.946)
We made, I made pancakes and they each brought like a topping. I can’t even remember now, cause we did this a couple of years ago. I think somebody brought chocolate chips. Somebody brought fruit. Somebody brought a couple of different kinds of syrup. And then we just sat and we had pancakes together. And then we watched a Christmas movie. So no, yeah, it was, it was great. And we were done by, I think we were done by 11 o’clock. And then everybody had the rest of that Saturday to do.

Kathi (05:29.691)
Perfect. In the morning. I love that.

Kathi (05:40.105)
Perfect.

Deanna Day Young (05:40.454)
I’ve done things like that too with, you know, like with another friend where we say, you know what, let’s just spend the day together at one another’s houses. And we do the same thing. We love brownies. So we each brought our own kinds of brownies and then swatched those off. She loves, she always makes Ghirardelli like triple chocolate brownies, you know.

Kathi (05:50.115)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (06:02.282)
And then I have another kind of brownies just from a box that we make. And then we just sat and watched a couple different Christmas movies. We drank hot chocolate with our little candy cane in there. And we just had a day together that didn’t cost us any money.

Kathi (06:15.475)
I love that so much. And you’ve also done cookie baking exchanges with friends and things like that. You know what? So here’s what I am going to do with three of my friends this year. I haven’t proposed it. I’m usually the instigator of these things, but one of our friends in this group is financially, it’s really tough right now. But we are all authors and we’re all book lovers. And what I’m going to suggest this year,

Deanna Day Young (06:22.795)
Yes.

Deanna Day Young (06:42.679)
Yes.

Kathi (06:45.495)
That you take the three books off your shelf that you think the other three people would love So I can you know, it’s not buying everybody the same book, but it’s saying oh, I think Friend number one would love this book and I’ve already read it. So it’s not spending any money it’s just saying here’s the one I think you’ll love

Kathi

Okay, this is number three. Do you really need new wrapping paper?

Deanna Day Young (09:41.951)
Okay.

Deanna Day Young (09:46.882)
They did, you know.

Kathi (10:02.287)
Do you really need new ribbons? Do you really need new tags? Or do you just want new? Which is totally fine, I get it. So if you really want something new, you can limit it to one. Or go to the dollar store and see if there’s wrapping paper. But I’m really gonna challenge you if you’re really being careful about money this year, can you use what you already have? Can you use the paper you already have?

And here’s another thing I would say, look through like your birthday paper too, because you might just have some red stuff that’s hanging around or some green stuff or white. There are a million different things that you can put that on with. And I have turned birthday wrap into Christmas wrap by tying a little pine branch on it to just make it look cuter. So you can absolutely do that. Okay.

Deanna Day Young (10:54.826)
Oh yeah, absolutely.

Kathi (11:00.652)
Number four, Deanna.

Deanna Day Young (11:02.802)
It leads right into my number four. It’s all in the presentation. So my friends laugh at that, but I have said that for years and years. It’s all in the presentation. And so it doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it’s how you present it in a very special way. So let’s use, for example, a pedicure in a jar.

Kathi (11:06.315)
OK. Yes.

Deanna Day Young (11:24.086)
You could give that, you take a ball jar, you can put in a dollar pair of socks that you get, well the Dollar Tree is now 125, but a dollar 25 pair of socks, along with, you can buy those whole pedicure little kits at the Dollar Tree for a dollar 25, separate those out. So in your pedicure jar, you’ve got your socks, you’ve got all your different things for a pedicure, get a

couple maybe little fingernail and toenail jars and put that down in there or the fingernail polish and put that in there as well. Put the lid on the jar and wrap a ribbon around it. You may only have four or five dollars in that gift, but when you present it, because you’ve given it as the presentation, it looks like it is more. Another idea that I love to do, which kind of goes back to do you need more gift wrap,

is I’ve given cookbooks before, or this year we could give the accidental homesteader book as a gift, and instead of buying paper to go with that, use a dishcloth perhaps to wrap that. That’s part of the gift, and then maybe put a spatula on top, which those you can also get very inexpensive, like at the Dollar Tree, and then maybe put a spatula on top that makes it look like it’s a packaged topper. And so you really are

Kathi (12:29.314)
Hahaha

Kathi (12:39.088)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (12:52.098)
There’s a whole lot of good that comes in that. You’re giving a gift that’s a little bit less expensive. It’s in the presentation. And everything that you’re using to give in the presentation can be used as a gift.

Kathi (13:05.467)
I love that. It’s so good. It’s so good and it’s so true You know and oftentimes I never want to give somebody else my junk But I have a lot of good stuff in my house that I do I’ve never used you know Somebody’s given it to me or I bought a packet. You know like the ball jars you were talking about You know, I’ve got

Deanna Day Young (13:17.302)
Yes.

Deanna Day Young (13:30.601)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (13:31.759)
these giant ball jars that I’m just not using right now. Like that would be such a great thing. Not everything has to come with a receipt. But it’s all about the presentation and the thought behind it, 100%. Okay, for me, number five is meal plan. This is a great time to spend as little as you can on non-holiday meals by using up what’s in your pantry, your freezer, your fridge,

Deanna Day Young (13:40.726)
Yeah, that’s right.

Deanna Day Young (13:45.58)
Yes.

Deanna Day Young (13:52.731)
Definitely.

Kathi (14:01.211)
putting your food budget towards those fancier holiday meals. I follow somebody on TikTok. It’s called, she’s called Dollar Store Meals. And she really, she is so good about going to the Dollar Store because that is the most popular store in the United States. Like there are more of those than Walmart, than Target, than any of those. Because they’re often in rural areas like mine.

Deanna Day Young (14:11.744)
Mmm.

Deanna Day Young (14:23.651)
Oh.

Kathi (14:30.311)
And she says, you know, here’s how to buy a week’s worth of groceries for $20. And she’s done holiday meals beforehand. And so like with like a ham steak and things like that. And so just see what can you do with, you know, can you budget and use up the things you have that are in your pantries, in your freezer.

Deanna Day Young (14:30.379)
Yes.

Deanna Day Young (14:36.212)
Yes.

Kathi (14:56.575)
so that later on you can do a little bit more with your holidays. And that also makes sure that your food doesn’t go to waste. Okay, we’re gonna take a quick break. We’re gonna come right back and Deanna’s gonna talk to us all about listening. We are going to want to, if we can listen and save a few bucks, it’s a good day. Okay, we’ll be right back.

Deanna Day Young (15:01.174)
Yes, that’s great.

Kathi (15:22.711)
Okay, we are back with Deanna Day Young and we are talking about how to save money during the holidays. Okay, Deanna, number six.

Deanna Day Young (15:30.846)
Number six for me is listen to what people like, what they want, what they enjoy. Maybe it’s something memorable from the past. And so like, what could you go back and do and perhaps get something that may not cost any money? So let’s just, so listen to them throughout the year. And maybe it’s like for me, my neighbor, she’s 83, I think it is, and she said,

I never go out and look at Christmas lights anymore. She’s widowed now, her kids don’t live here. She has one granddaughter that she doesn’t get to see a lot because she lives a little bit far away, but now she has her own daughter. She’s like, I just really miss going out and seeing Christmas lights and she doesn’t drive after dark. So last year I said, you know what we’re gonna do for Christmas?

Kathi (16:23.076)
Right.

Deanna Day Young (16:27.466)
we’re gonna go drive around and we’re gonna look at Christmas lights. And that’s exactly what we did. We went and we had dinner together at a local restaurant. And then we went out and I drove her around to three different local towns. And we just looked at Christmas lights. Wherever she wanted to go, like she said, I know so and so lives here and they usually have Christmas lights. So we just drove and looked at that. Otherwise we had a little map.

Kathi (16:53.884)
Oh, perfect.

Deanna Day Young (16:56.322)
from our local bank, and they have like a little place, you know, almost like a little scavenger hunt, that you can go and look at different Christmas lights. So we followed that map, and it went into three different local towns, and that was one of her best gifts that she said that she remembers. It was just time that we were able to spend together, but I wouldn’t have thought of that, but I listened to her. I listened to her say, I don’t drive after dark. I listened to her say, I haven’t seen Christmas lights.

Kathi (16:56.558)
Yeah.

Yes.

Kathi (17:02.915)
Yeah.

Kathi (17:16.216)
Yes.

Kathi (17:23.555)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (17:26.218)
in a lot of years because of that reason and because she’s widowed and didn’t have anyone to take her around. So that was her Christmas gift from me this last year was just really the gift of time and getting to do something that she always wanted to do for the last several years but wasn’t able to.

Kathi (17:44.467)
I love it and you know we do that every year with my mom and it’s one of her favorite things one of our favorite things It’s amazing Okay And it’s free. You know, I know gas costs money little snackies but you can also like we used to do bring a thermos of decaf coffee or of Hot chocolate and then bake some cookies and you are ready to rock and roll. Okay number four

Deanna Day Young (17:59.242)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (18:04.932)
Exactly.

Yep.

Deanna Day Young (18:11.534)
That’s right.

Kathi (18:13.207)
I will say make your travel plans now. So, oh, I’m sorry, thank you. Okay, number seven, make your travel plans as early as possible. Get those hotel reservations if you need it. Get those Airbnb. You pay for a lack of planning. I pay for a lack of planning on a regular basis.

Deanna Day Young (18:15.99)
Number seven, Kathy.

Deanna Day Young (18:21.462)
Hehehe

Deanna Day Young (18:35.502)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (18:39.291)
And I’m not doing it anymore. I’m taking a look at my calendar months in advance if I can’t. But make those reservations early. You will have more choices. You’ll have more flexibility. And also, you’ll know what you’re getting into. Roger and I are going to an Airbnb next week. And I’m like, do they have a coffee maker? These are important things to know. And they don’t.

So I’ve got a mini coffee maker I am bringing with me so I can save money instead of going out to Starbucks and doing those kind of things. No we’re bringing we’re DIYing it and especially if you’re driving you can do that. We’re flying. So you know how committed I am to this coffee plan. But yeah why do places exist without coffee? I don’t understand. But make your pro your plans as early as possible and know what the situation is so that you can accommodate for that.

Deanna Day Young (19:10.059)
Uh-huh.

Deanna Day Young (19:22.026)
That’s right.

Kathi (19:36.127)
Okay, number eight, Deanna.

Deanna Day Young (19:39.434)
Number eight is to ship directly including, to save, excuse me, ship directly with gift cards included to save on shipping to far away people. So if you wanna give a gift to someone that is not going to be in person, ship it to them directly so that it saves on your shipping cost to you and then you going and shipping it to them, if possible. Sometimes, you know,

Kathi (20:05.977)
Right.

Deanna Day Young (20:10.07)
you want to include something that you’re getting. That’s obviously reasonable. But gift cards, so last year our daughter wasn’t able to come home for Christmas. So we’re like, what can we do to get her, these different things that she really did want, well, or we thought maybe she might like. And so I even purchased gift cards online.

that were sent directly to her. So you can purchase the gift card online, but then it will say what email address do you wanna use? And then I just put her email address into it. So then the gift card went directly to her. It was for a local spa. So I just went in there and she lives in Michigan. And so I just went in there and I bought the gift card, but the email address went directly to her. So we didn’t even, you know,

Kathi (20:47.919)
Yes.

Kathi (20:55.366)
Oh nice.

Deanna Day Young (21:07.974)
I mean, we didn’t even have to get a card and send it in the mail. The other thing for us, we are a little nervous of sending gift cards in the mail during holiday times. People can feel that there are gift cards in there. So that’s something to think about. But as this podcast is on how we can save money, if there’s a way to ship directly for somebody who’s not gonna be there in person with you, it’s a great idea to do that so that you don’t pay double shipping.

Kathi (21:16.46)
Yeah.

Kathi (21:35.351)
Yeah, I love that. And I’ll tell you something that we did for a friend who lives very far away. We were all, a bunch of us were sending her gift cards and through the email. Excuse me, through email. But we wanted it to be a surprise. So we set up a Yahoo account for her that said,

Deanna Day Young (22:02.42)
Oh!

Kathi (22:03.023)
her name, Christine, and then we put some random numbers after it, at yahoo.com, and we sent them all there. And then we gave her the password to that email address, and she was able to redeem all of those. Isn’t that? And it doesn’t cost you a thing. It’s super simple, super easy. I think it was actually a Gmail account, but it doesn’t matter. It worked out perfectly. OK. I’m going to continue with the gift card theme.

Deanna Day Young (22:15.074)
That’s awesome! I love that! It’s a great idea! It doesn’t! Oh!

Deanna Day Young (22:28.298)
Yeah, I love that.

Kathi (22:32.587)
And this is gonna sound a little scraggly, but stick with me, okay? 80% of Americans have gift cards that they have not redeemed for a year or longer. What if, you know, like I have GameStop gift cards. Deanna, why do I have GameStop gift cards? I have no clue. I’m guessing.

Deanna Day Young (22:33.247)
Okay.

Deanna Day Young (22:37.671)
I’m with you.

Deanna Day Young (22:57.416)
I’m not sure.

Kathi (23:00.399)
that like when we moved we were cleaning out drawers and these were ones that our boys had received. But can I now use those GameStop gift cards to buy my son the game he wants? Could I now use some of those Starbucks cards to send a pound of coffee to somebody that I love? Okay, I probably won’t do that because I use all the Starbucks gift cards. Let’s be super clear. But.

Deanna Day Young (23:13.867)
Yes.

Kathi (23:28.619)
You know, I’ve received Tarpa, excuse me, target gift cards for rebates, like $5 rebates. Those add up and I can use those to send a gift card. So if you have some scraggly gift cards, use those to send a gift to, you know, somebody that somebody was very sweet and bought you a spa gift card, but you’re not going to use it. That’s not your spa doesn’t take that, whatever it is.

Deanna Day Young (23:36.17)
Yeah. Right.

Deanna Day Young (23:42.635)
Yes.

Deanna Day Young (23:53.141)
Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (23:56.586)
Mm-hmm.

Kathi (23:58.255)
for somebody in your life who would love a spa gift card. I will say check to make sure that you, that there is money on that gift card. I’ll never forget, Roger received a pound of Godiva one time with a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card on it. The gift card had no money. Which I, we think.

Deanna Day Young (24:01.743)
Oh, that’s great.

Deanna Day Young (24:21.318)
Oh shoot!

Kathi (24:23.227)
that, you know, we don’t know what happened. And he wasn’t close enough to the person to say, did you mean that? He just said, thank you effusively and moved on. But dig through your gift cards. We had a lot of movie gift cards that we bought right before the pandemic and then we couldn’t use. Now we can use those to buy movie gift certificates for people we love. It’s a great way to go. Yeah, yeah. Okay, number 10, Deanna.

Deanna Day Young (24:46.826)
Yes, that’s great. That really is. That’s very good.

Kathi (24:53.347)
Bring us home with this entire series!

Deanna Day Young (24:56.474)
Okay, how to save money during the holidays here. We’re gonna look into our closets. So don’t buy new clothes, but rather make a game out of what’s in your closet. I have done this for years. When I worked at my old job, oh my gosh, it just became a game for us. I started the day after Thanksgiving, and I tried to go the entire time of not doing the same outfit. Doesn’t mean the same thing, but the same outfit for all the days.

Kathi (25:08.14)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (25:25.238)
to incorporate Christmas. Now, that doesn’t mean that I have 30 Christmas sweaters. That means that maybe I have a Christmas scarf. Maybe I wear a red turtleneck one day. Maybe I wear a green sweater another day. Bring in pins. I used to collect pins. And when I minimized those and decluttered my pins I didn’t wear, I did keep my Christmas ones. So maybe I have a big angel pin.

Kathi (25:31.468)
Right.

Deanna Day Young (25:54.442)
that I wear different necklaces that are red or maybe it has a Christmas pendant on it or earrings that have Christmas on it. So don’t think that you have to buy a new Christmas outfit. I used to think that years ago, but we don’t have to have new Christmas outfits. Find a way to put what you have together to make a new outfit for you and then just make a game out of it.

Kathi (26:11.066)
Yeah.

Kathi (26:18.058)
Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (26:22.83)
as in one of the podcasts that we did here, I can’t remember which one, if it was on saving space, but you were talking about the outfits that we wear, have your holiday go-to outfit. You don’t have to wear different outfits everywhere you go. You can have that holiday go-to outfit or look in your closet like I’m saying, put things together, make yourself a new outfit from the things that you already have.

Kathi (26:38.756)
No.

Kathi (26:49.251)
Yes, because you’re not going to see the same people at different places So you can wear that same outfit over and over and over again And let me just also remind you because this is a decluttering podcast My my biggest tip is if when you’re going through those Christmas sweaters or I’ve got a lot of long-sleeve Christmas shirts That just have like a saying, you know, jolly everywhere or something like that If you’re not wearing them anymore

Deanna Day Young (26:55.394)
That’s right.

Deanna Day Young (27:13.258)
Yeah.

Kathi (27:17.295)
donate them right away. Somebody is going to love that for their Christmas outfit, especially if you have kids that have Christmas clothing. Donate it, somebody is going to be thrilled. Deanna, this has been such a great series. Thank you so much for hanging out with me.

Deanna Day Young (27:18.976)
right?

Deanna Day Young (27:33.353)
So much fun. Thank you for letting me.

Kathi (27:35.659)
And friends, if you’ve enjoyed this series, would you consider giving us a five star rating wherever you listen to podcasts? Maybe it’s Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you love your podcasts. Those ratings help more than you know. And I’ll just tell you, we super appreciate them. You’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy, I’m Cathy Lip. And now go create the clutter free life you were always intended to live.

Woohoo!

Deanna Day Young (28:02.999)
DED

 

#595 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Energy

#595 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Energy

595 – Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Energy

Kathi and her guest Deanna Day Young are returning for part three of their discussion on how to design your holiday gameplan! This week they are helping us know what to do when we are low on energy.

Listen in as they share ten ideas that will help us all to:

  • Think through what is most important.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Divide responsibility among family members.
  • Take care of ourselves.
  • Use our resources wisely.

Next week Kathi and Deanna will finish the series by talking about what to do when you’re low on money. Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released. Did you miss the first two episodes of this series? You can find them here:

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space

Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

 

 

The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
noun
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

Which tip that Kathi and Deanna gave is most helpful to you when you feel low on energy? Share your answer in the comments.

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Meet Our Guest 

 

Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com

Transcript

Kathi (00:04.387)

Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter Free Academy where our goal is to help you take small doable steps to live every day with less clutter and more life. And I am back for part three of our series,

about your holiday gameplan when you’re low on energy. And I have been there, Deanna, how about you? Have you been there? You, you’ve got a broken foot right now. You are healing. Ankle, sorry, ankle, yes. And that, can we just say, when you break a bone, when you break anything, it’s exhausting, right?

Deanna Day Young (00:46.21)

Oh, absolutely.

Deanna Day Young (00:50.318)

I’m glad to work an ankle. I am healing. Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (01:01.287)

Oh, it is abs and for me, not being able to walk is worse. I mean, everybody has a this was the worst. This was the worst. But man, not being able to walk to me is just yeah, it’s pretty tough. So it does zap your energy both physically and mentally to have to go through those things. But I think also for the purpose of our conversation today, sometimes our energy is that because we put too many things into our schedules and we’re trying to do all the things when the holidays roll around. So hopefully we’ll give everybody 10 tips to try and help with that energy.

Kathi (01:30.201)

Yeah.

Kathi (01:38.915)

Well, it’s so true because we have our regular life, which does not stop. And then we’re trying to put this part-time plus job on top of it with holidays. So I wanna talk about this. Okay, so my number one tip is assign everyone a meal to cook for your celebrations. Now, this could be my son who doesn’t cook, this could be him bringing KFC for everybody. I do not care.

Deanna Day Young (01:44.118)

Absolutely.

Deanna Day Young (01:50.74)

Right.

Deanna Day Young (01:58.976)

Love it.

Deanna Day Young (02:09.759)

I love that, I love it.

Kathi (02:09.931)

Just get some food on the table. That’s what we need from you. Yeah, so, and let me be very, very clear here. I think that this is really important with all of the things we’re talking about to have a conversation with everybody in your household to say, this is what’s important to me for the holidays. I wanna hear what’s important for you to the holidays.

Deanna Day Young (02:15.391)

Right, right.

Kathi (02:40.247)

How can we work on this together? Because I’ll just say, I think it’s really important that everybody in the family participates. Even if Christmas isn’t as important to them as it is to you, they should be, as a family, this is what we do. As a family.

Deanna Day Young (02:59.522)

Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (03:04.81)

And the book that you wrote, The Christmas Project Planner, I love, love that book. And one of the things that you say in there is what is the most important thing for you from a food perspective? Because you were trying to use all your energy to make all the things. And I think you used in that book that like Roger’s cranberry cheesecake or there was some kind of a particular thing that like.

Kathi (03:09.036)

Yeah.

Kathi (03:20.45)

Yeah.

Kathi (03:29.208)

Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (03:33.022)

everybody wanted, but maybe they didn’t want this other thing that you were spending your energy on.

Kathi (03:37.875)

Right. Well, and like, I remember thinking I needed to make homemade stuffing. Can I just say, StoveTop is my favorite food in the entire world. Why would, why mess with perfection? I love StoveTop.

Deanna Day Young (03:48.566)

We do the same. Add a little, yeah.

Absolutely, absolutely. Let me tell you what I do. I do two things of stove, we have, I think there’s 13 of us, anyway. So I do two things of stove top stuffing. I put it in a baking pan. I take some chicken broth, I pour over it, and I bake it. No one knows that it’s not grandma’s recipe. I’ve never, only Roger and I know. Yep, nobody said a word and they all love it.

Kathi (04:09.591)

Yeah?

Kathi (04:15.839)

It’s so perfect!

Love it and you could do that without butter. You just put the chicken broth in there or do you put some butter in there, too?

Deanna Day Young (04:26.522)

I put a little bit of butter when I make it, like when you make it on the stove. Yes, yeah, I make it. Yeah, yeah.

Kathi (04:28.679)

Okay, oh, got it. You put the made, I understand now you put the prepared. Oh, okay. I’m gonna have to try that. Yes. Okay. So yeah, assign everybody. This is what I’m doing for our next thing. And because I will tell you, Deanna, I have a bunch of backseat chefs in my family who want to tell me how to make things. And I’m like, no, you get your butt up and you make

Deanna Day Young (04:53.794)

Oh.

Kathi (04:58.707)

Yeah, yeah, we’re not we’re not playing that game anymore. So everybody cooks and people love to cook their specialty. And okay, maybe not everybody cooks, but everybody provides. Pick up that bucket of KFC. It’s going to be great. I love it. Okay. Number two, Deanna, you’re talking about expectations here.

Deanna Day Young (04:58.722)

There you go.

Deanna Day Young (05:21.77)

Yes, to set realistic expectations. And in our last podcast, we talked a little bit about don’t try to make it the social media perfect Christmas. And I feel like it’s the same thing from your energy perspective. It doesn’t have to be a picture perfect holiday. Now, you may say, these are all the things I wanna try to do for Christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Put it on a list, but prioritize that list.

Kathi (05:32.035)

Mm-hmm. Right.

Deanna Day Young (05:50.07)

Because when other things pop in that have to be done, you’ve got to prioritize lists to say, man, you know what, driving around and seeing Christmas lights was my priority. So that’s number one. I want to get that done, so let’s fit that into the list. But set those realistic expectations that maybe you can’t do everything every weekend that you wanted to do.

but what are those priorities? And ask your family or those that are involved what their priorities are as well so that together you set those realistic expectations as a family.

Kathi (06:27.891)

Yeah, Deanna, when we first started, you know, every year we go and look at Christmas lights and we had a seven passenger van which worked for our whole family. And it was so fun. I started off by making a big thing of hot chocolate and baking cookies, because you know, we wanted to do that. Now it’s just Roger, me and my mom who go and look at that. We drive through Starbucks. Like we

Deanna Day Young (06:36.727)

Yeah!

Deanna Day Young (06:52.647)

Yeah!

Kathi (06:54.771)

Yeah, I mean it’s more expensive but we can get a cookie we can get a coffee that we want it makes a real difference Okay number three decide in advance what you want your holidays to look like then everybody in the house takes a role So we already talked about that but I it is not up to mom. It is not up to wife Unless you’re single it is not solely up to you what your Christmas looks like. So, you know if somebody wants

Deanna Day Young (06:59.374)

That’s right.

Kathi (07:24.511)

And this is so important. Let me say this, Deanna. So the number of times that I’ve heard of women asking their husbands for help to get ready for a party, and like, you know, I need help dragging out the chairs, I need help setting up the tables, I need help cleaning off the patio, and the husband decides this is the time to repaint the house.

Deanna Day Young (07:50.321)

Yes.

Kathi (07:53.091)

or clean out the basement? No. Sometimes we have to be very, very specific about what the roles need to be. Okay, number four, Deanna.

Deanna Day Young (07:53.25)

Yes.

Deanna Day Young (08:06.57)

Number four, clean before you put up your Christmas decorations and then highlight clean. So.

Kathi (08:12.427)

Okay, I’ve never heard the term highlight clean before. What does that mean? I get an idea, but.

Deanna Day Young (08:15.634)

Oh, yeah. So I have done this for years. So you clean really good one day a month, like at the beginning of the month. I mean, really, really good. And then you kind of highlight clean is what I’m saying. So I’ll explain that to you because if, if you are hosting Thanksgiving as I do, I’m cleaning really good right before Thanksgiving. And then the day after we have our Thanksgiving celebration, I’m putting up my Christmas decorations.

So this is my tip based on that. But whatever your schedule is, I would recommend cleaning really good right before you put your Christmas decorations up, to where you feel like people are coming over and I want my house to be really clean. The highlight cleaning for me is I do, I have a schedule. I’ve done this literally for probably 10 years. I think I read it in the Fly Lady book years and years ago.

Kathi (09:10.208)

Okay.

Deanna Day Young (09:13.186)

And so anyway, Monday is mirror and glass. Tuesday is bathrooms. Wednesday is sweeping the carpet. Thursday is sweeping and mopping the tile. Friday is dusting and Saturday is cleaning out my vehicle, sweeping out the garage. You don’t have to do all those too, but it’s a highlight. So I go in and I say, oh my gosh, those mirrors from people brushing their teeth, I need to just wipe those off real quick. That’s a Monday chore.

Kathi (09:31.776)

Right.

Kathi (09:40.424)

Yeah.

Deanna Day Young (09:41.57)

Tuesday bathroom chore, just clean out your sinks and swish a little bit into the pot. It doesn’t mean you have to clean and wipe down the showers and scrub them through the whole month of December. It’s okay. Wipe them down, spray them off, keep a squeegee in the shower. Everybody can do their own as the time comes. With the carpet, maybe it’s just you’re only gonna sweep the living room where everybody is and the dining room doesn’t have to be swept that week. Thursday for the tile, maybe you don’t have to mop.

Maybe that mopping is only once every other week instead of every week. And then just dust the spots that you can see that aren’t decorated. It’s just a highlight dust. And then, you know, I don’t really like, I take everything out of my vehicle when I get out that’s garbage or doesn’t really belong or that needs to go. But that’s a good day to be able to like look and say, I’m gonna get stuff out of my vehicle just because as we go places, we don’t have all this junk in there. I gotta put gifts or I gotta highlight things in there.

Kathi (10:18.86)

Right.

Kathi (10:40.899)

Love it. I love it. Yes. It’s just a keeping up because you’ve got enough to do and if you put enough decorations on something You don’t have to clean it for a while. That’s that’s a Okay, here’s number five buy some of the food you’d normally prepare from scratch so I love I think it’s just as Lovely to buy something locally as it is to prepare it from scratch

Deanna Day Young (10:49.93)

That’s exactly right.

Kathi (11:09.759)

So we have an Apple Hill here that has like apple cider donuts and you know, apple cider, all these apple, apple things that our family loves. So why not just buy the apple cider donuts and call it a day instead of? And then it’s so interesting here. Do you have ACE Hardware’s where you’re at? Okay. I don’t know if they do this, but at our ACE Hardware’s.

Deanna Day Young (11:27.316)

Absolutely.

Deanna Day Young (11:33.343)

Yes.

Kathi (11:39.011)

they have freezers that have locally made pies. Isn’t that interesting? Yeah. Isn’t that interesting? And so we recently bought a pie there that we’re gonna be using for Thanksgiving. And exactly, I love it. And then, you know, we have wineries here. Now we don’t make our own wine, but you know, those are great to give as gifts and things like that. Anything you can get locally.

Deanna Day Young (11:43.698)

Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really go into our ACE Hardware. That is interesting.

Deanna Day Young (11:54.739)

That’s awesome.

Kathi (12:08.747)

Is real I consider that so thoughtful you’re supporting local Artesians and you are you’re making you know, and sometimes they can make stuff yummier than you. Okay We are going to take a quick break. We’re going to come back and then number six Talking about energy. Oh, you’re gonna go there. You’re gonna talk about okay. We’ll be right back

Deanna Day Young (12:08.779)

Right.

Deanna Day Young (12:20.587)

Yes.

Kathi (12:35.859)

Okay, we’re back with Deanna. She’s gonna tell us how to have more energy. Go ahead, Deanna. Be everybody’s health fit auntie.

Deanna Day Young (12:42.231)

Well, I just…

Deanna Day Young (12:46.13)

And it’s not that I am any picture perfect of health fit, but I have found these things over the year. Well, that’s true. That is true. And that is so very frustrating because I just started back up with a trainer and I only trained about two weeks. So anyway, it’s okay. We’re figuring it out as we go along. But so my suggestion for number six for us to have more energy is to really

Kathi (12:50.243)

Well, dude, you can’t walk right now, so we’re gonna give you a pass.

Kathi (13:05.059)

You’ll get there.

Deanna Day Young (13:12.194)

Stay active before you know that you’re gonna be eating more carbs and sugar during the holidays, even if it’s just for short walks. So, you know, maybe you say, oh my gosh, my day is just absolutely filled. Can you get up 15 minutes earlier and take a walk around the block or get on the treadmill a little bit? Something that really, and I think, I guess I shouldn’t say that I know that there’s scientific evidence behind this, but I think there is, that if you get something started in the morning, if you go for a walk,

it really does give you more energy.

And the other tip that I just think is so important, when we go, whether it’s at our home or whether it’s to an outing that you have at church, people go through the line and they pick up their food,

then they just go ahead and get their dessert then. Because you’re hungry and everything looks good and you get six pieces of dessert and then you feel bad and you don’t wanna throw them away so you eat them all. Just go through the line and get what you want for your meal. When you’re finished, sit for a few minutes and then go get your dessert. And things won’t look quite as tempting. It’s kinda like going to the grocery store hungry. It won’t look quite as tempting. And so then you’re eating less sugar, less carbs, which in turn gives you more energy.

Kathi (15:02.843)

Okay, okay. Can I tell you my pet peeve about buffets? And my s- okay. You know when you’re setting up the buffet and you put your plates at the front? Why do people put forks, knives and spoons and napkins at the front of the buffet? That- it- it makes me crazy! I need both-

Deanna Day Young (15:08.668)

Yes.

Deanna Day Young (15:18.316)

Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (15:25.678)

Yeah, that’s true.

But you know what I do? Yeah, I set mine. So I set my table, like my dining room table. If it’s at my house, if I’m hosting, the dining room table is set with the napkins and the silverware. And so all they have to do is get the plates.

Kathi (15:32.555)

What do you mean? Okay.

Yeah, I-

Kathi (15:41.807)

Okay. So if you’re setting up a buffet and you’re putting the forks, knives, spoons, napkins on it, on the buffet table, put them at the end. We don’t need to be messing with those at the beginning. And especially if there’s a long line, we don’t want to have to cut in line to come back and get them. No, no, no. I need both hands for getting my food. I want my food. I want to be scooping, and I don’t want to be dropping my random spoon into the buffet.

Deanna Day Young (15:53.718)

That’s a good point.

I love that.

Deanna Day Young (16:02.626)

That’s good. Mm-hmm.

Deanna Day Young (16:10.125)

Mm-hmm.

Kathi (16:11.663)

Put them at the end, rant over. Okay. Yeah, and so don’t ever buy one of those things that has like, it’s a holder for plates and forks and knives and spoons and napkin. No, you don’t need that. You don’t need that, especially if you’re trying to save space. Okay, number seven, hire help the day before and the day after. Remember, we’re talking about saving energy here, not money, because you have to figure out which of your resources you have the most of. If money is your struggle,

Deanna Day Young (16:14.721)

Good job.

Kathi (16:41.411)

then listen to next week’s podcast because we’re gonna talk about what if you’re low on money. But right now we’re talking about energy. So when I was a teenager, we would always have our holidays with another family, like an extended family, not our family, if they were across the street. And we went to a very fancy Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’m not sure, I can’t remember which one it was, in San Francisco,

with very rich people. And we would go, you know, we would usually just go across the street to their daughter’s house, but this was the fancy one. And they had somebody in a maid’s uniform, remember this was 40 years ago, doing all the dishes. Like they came in, helped set up and did all the dishes. And I thought, that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life. That is genius.

So because we don’t celebrate on the holiday, we could actually do that. We could hire somebody to come in and do that. Or we hire somebody locally. She’s somebody who’s retired and she needs some supplemental income. We hire her when we have retreats to bake cakes for us. She needs the money, we need the help. Could you hire somebody to clean your house? There are…

places that will hang all your Christmas lights, if that’s important to you. There is a college student that could send out your Christmas cards for you. We have a local ravioli shop here, and so we’ll buy Christmas raviolis and make those, or tamales, you know, tamales is a great thing to do for Christmas. So if you have a little bit more money than time, hire somebody to do one of these projects for you. Okay.

Deanna Day Young (18:16.958)

Oh, good one.

Deanna Day Young (18:37.427)

I love that.

Kathi (18:38.619)

Yeah, yeah, and you’re helping people that you love who need some extra cash. Yeah Right Yeah, yes

Deanna Day Young (18:44.3)

And those college kids that are home that really can’t have a job at home during the holidays, perhaps. Yeah, that’s great. I love that idea. Good one.

Kathi (18:51.531)

Yeah Have them have them hang your lights do your you know frosty the snowman decorations do it all. I love it Okay number eight

Deanna Day Young (19:02.646)

Number eight is another kind of healthy one that I wanted us to think about is to drink plenty of water and don’t overdo the coffee and the caffeine drinks because we’re very tempted to do that when we are looking for more energy. But the problem is we may drink six cups of coffee when in reality we only drink one or two. That does make us feel good for the time, but then you crash. The same with energy drinks. You may only drink one a day, but you decide I’m gonna drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

So I can stay up till one o’clock in the morning. And that’s just, that’s not the way to do it. Fill yourself with water. I’m not saying don’t drink your coffee, don’t drink your energy drink, but I do think that if we can stay on top of like drinking more water and doing some of the things even like number six that I said about staying active, it’s gonna keep us from having that crash and it’s gonna keep our energy level where we want it.

Kathi (19:54.387)

I love it. Yes. I’ve got an alarm that is set to remind me to drink water throughout the day because I just don’t even think about it. OK. Number nine. Make ahead dishes and fancy paper plates. OK. Let me let me give my justification here. So like one of the things I will make ahead this year is my apple cake because it freezes so well. It’s so good. It’s so dense and so moist.

Deanna Day Young (20:01.829)

Oh, that’s good.

Deanna Day Young (20:19.898)

Mmm.

Kathi (20:22.775)

that it freezes well and you can unfreeze it and enjoy it. But I can make that in November to eat at Christmas time. And it’s gonna be great.

Deanna Day Young (20:32.716)

Oh, will it save that one because I would want to eat it. You might have to make two.

Kathi (20:35.791)

I know. Well, you can see you can chop it ahead and you can just eat all the corners because that’s my favorite part. Yeah, it’s really good. And then I’m not a paper plate user. I’m married to an environmentalist. He’s a deep environmentalist. But I also understand that Roger and I manage 33 acres of forest. So we are conservationists at the holidays. I’m going to use paper plates. So

Deanna Day Young (20:41.214)

Oh, there you go. Yeah, sounds awesome.

Deanna Day Young (21:01.902)

There you go.

Kathi (21:03.699)

Get some nice paper plates that don’t have to be we have one dishwasher like most people in America Lots of people don’t have a dishwasher Use the paper plates when you need to Because I don’t want you crashing after all of this So Costco has a set of paper plates that we tend to buy each year And we just decorate around those and they look great But what can you make ahead of time even if you’re not making your Christmas dishes ahead of time?

Deanna Day Young (21:15.766)

I like it.

Kathi (21:32.495)

Can you make the food you eat that week ahead of time? And that’s gonna make a huge difference. Yes, exactly. Okay, number 10, Dino, bring us home.

Deanna Day Young (21:36.566)

Yeah, right, right. It goes back to meal planning, kind of back to meal planning.

Deanna Day Young (21:45.354)

Number 10, keep your routines as much as possible. Like get to bed early. And I’m not saying earlier, but if your bedtime is typically 10, try to keep those routines as much as possible, especially if you have children, because it’s so very hard for children to get out of the routine, to lose their energy, become grouchy. So keep routines as much as possible, like getting to bed early, your quiet times in the morning for Bible study. Sometimes I think we get so, you know, involved in this time of year that we just don’t even take our quiet time as seriously if we have one of those, if we have quiet time. We don’t take it as seriously. So don’t lose what your routines are. So keep your routines as much as possible. And I think from that, your energy level will stay high.

Kathi (22:33.915)

I love it. Okay, you guys, this is all of our best ideas to if you’re just running low on energy, this holiday season, these are some things you can do to get through, but also keep yourself safe and healthy. That’s what we want most from you. Okay, friends, you’ve been listening to Clutter-Free Academy, I am Kathi Lipp. Now, go create the clutter-free life you were always intended to live.

 

Spring Fling Day #4: Clear Books (And Other Media)

Spring Fling Day #4: Clear Books (And Other Media)

clear books

Day four of the Spring Fling and it’s time to hit the books …

Of all the things that people have a hard time getting rid of, I think books are at the top of the list.

As an author, that feels like a very good thing.

But as a woman who is working to make the world a Clutter-Free place, I need to stop being selfish, worrying about my residual checks, and challenge you to release some of those books back into the wild.

It Gets Easier to Clear Books

I have reduced the books in our house from twelve bookcases to three. Yes, in some cases it did feel like a crime. Books are wonderful and awesome—if someone is reading them. But just having books for the sake of owning them doesn’t improve your life or the lives of people who could be reading them.

I have a list of books that I will just keep. Books that I reread on a regular basis, reference books, my favorite writing books, a few cookbooks, and different Bibles. Some of the books I plan on keeping for the rest of my life (or until I change my mind…)

  • Celebration of Discipline
  • The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio
  • Wesley the Owl
  • The Good Good Pig
  • Entreleadership
  • Getting Things Done
  • On Writing
  • Born Standing Up
  • Yes Please
  • America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
  • The Betty Crocker Cookbook
  • Bird by Bird
  • More with Less
  • Several books my friends have written (which I will not list here because I don’t want to leave anyone out)

clear books

Instructions:

– Set up your three boxes/totes and two bags.
– Start with one bookshelf.
– Do NOT pull all the books out at one time (in some homes, this could be dangerous).

Do you love it? Will you read it again? If you haven’t read it, and want to, create a shelf for “To be read” books and put them in the order you want to read them.

Bonus:

Want to stay Clutter Free when it comes to books and media? Commit to reading what you have before buying new. My challenge is to read three books I currently own before buying a new one.

clear books

Share Your Fling

After you fling, either tell us about it or share a picture in the comments. Remember, each day (at the end of the Fling) there will be one winner, randomly drawn from the comments, who will receive a copy of The Cure for the Perfect Life from Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. So, share below and tell us about your fling.

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 19: Meal Planning At Christmas Time

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 19: Meal Planning At Christmas Time

meal planning at Christmas

Meal Planning at Christmas

Meal planning at Christmas can make the whole season so much easier! Take some time today to meal plan every day up until Christmas as well as Christmas dinner. (I promise, you will thank me later.) Spend time in the kitchen today taking stock of what you have, what you need, and what meals you will make your family each night for dinner.

Be sure to look at your calendar for any nights you have plans. If you need to take a dish to an event, mark that on the meal plan, so you know how to prep and shop.

If you have dinner at another home or event, revel in a night off! Either way, it goes on the meal plan. Make life easier by utilizing LOOP (Leftovers On Purpose) meals and frozen meals whether they are yours or store bought. Once you are all planned out, make a list of ingredients you need to buy as well as perishable items you need to buy at the last minute.

Make Your Life Easier, Dinner Prep Ideas

Another great dinner prep idea to make your life even easier is to have a frozen meal swap with friends. You can implement this one of two ways. The first way, invite friends to your home. Everyone brings ingredients to make a meal of their choice that is freezer friendly (enough to share with however many friends are joining in on the fun). Then you all help with the cooking, family portions are placed into gallon zip-lock bags ready to freeze, and everyone goes home with a variety of meals to freeze and enjoy throughout the month.

Another way is for everyone to make something at home (enough to share family portions with anyone participating), freeze them, and swap them with friends. This way, you might have made a huge batch of soup, but you might end up with soup, enchiladas, lasagna, and a chicken casserole.

Assignment: Spend some time in the kitchen

  1. Create your meal plan for the rest of the month.
  2. Plan your baking list so you know what you need to bake and when you’re going to do it.
  3. Plan out your Christmas dinner.
  4. Make a shopping list of all necessary ingredients. Divide list into non-perishables and perishables.
  5. Shop for non-perishables and the next few days’ meals.
  6. Make a list of things you will need to buy at the last minute.

Plan on making at least two LOOP meals a week.

For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 102

Supplies:

1) Calendar
2) Meal plan
3) Paper for lists

Share Your Thoughts:

How did you feel about planning out all the meals? Did this make shopping easier? Any great LOOP recipes to share?

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Be brave and realize that most people need help. Try trading chores – you pick up my stuff at Costco and I’ll look for a scarf for your Aunt Trudy when I go to the mall.

And join us over on the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group where we encourage one another and stay accountable as we become Clutter Free!

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 18: Get Online Shopping

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas Project 18: Get Online Shopping

Those Last Few Gifts

Today, my friends is a fun day! You have permission to go surfing online to finish up your last minute shopping. You have the chance to sip coffee in your pj’s and shop for your loved ones all at the same time! No standing in long lines, feeling all hot and bothered with bag imprints going up your poor arms, no whining kids begging to go home already, no eye-rolling husband waiting for you. Best of all, no sore feet! No, this is a day to celebrate, for we have this great invention called Amazon! YES!

Assignment:

Here’s your objective – find a great place to shop with great deals. Next, shop away! (Don’t forget about places with free returns, free shipping or discounted shipping costs). This is going to be the best Clutter Free Christmas yet!

Here are some favorites:

*Amazon Prime

*Amazon Gift cards (printable, in e-form)

*Zappo’s

*Zulily

For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 99

 

Share Your Thoughts:

Where do you like to go to get great deals? Are you one of those infamous Cyber Monday shoppers? Share with us your favorite places to online shop. Where do you find the best deals with the lowest costs on shipping and handling? Share with us on our page!

Avoiding Overwhelm:

Remember – even when everything seems important, not everything is possible.

And join us over on the Clutter Free Academy Facebook group where we encourage one another and stay accountable as we become Clutter Free!