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More on Ellie Kay

Ellie Kay is a best-selling author, a frequent media guest on Fox News, CNN, and CNBC and a commentator for “Money Matters” radio show. 
 
For her free newsletter and money savings links, go to www.elliekay.com   

 
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Stretching Gift Dollars

By Ellie Kay
Financial Columnist and Book Author

CBNMoney.comDollar Daze – Sometimes the items that break the bank aren’t the new computers and DVD players—they’re the little gifts that multiply per child.  If your younger children want to buy gifts for other family members or their little friends, then consider taking your child to the local Dollar Store to do their Christmas shopping.  They will have a budget, feel the freedom of buying their own gifts of their own choosing, and the good news for parents is—they can’t spend more than a dollar per gift!   You might even allow your child to do extra jobs around the house to earn those dollars, then the teacher can be told that their student earned the money themselves.

Baking for Busy Moms – Some of us who have too little hours in our day automatically assume we can’t give homemade gifts for the Holiday—but that’s not true!  For several years now, I’ve started baking larger batches of holiday breads early in the season and freezing them.  Most of these bread recipes can be baked in an empty, greased coffee can tin.  Just bake them and let them cool for ten minutes, then the bread will pop right out of the tins.  The kids help me make banana, pumpkin, cranberry and poppy seed breads in these cute round shapes.   We wrap them in plastic and freeze them.  When it comes time to give these to teachers or friends, we tie the breads with raffia and glue on fresh cranberries as garnish and voila!  We have a gift that actually takes less time than it takes to shop, bring home, and wrap a store bought gift (and costs about 1/4th the price.)

Online Comparison Shopping – Once you find out the make and model of a gift you want to purchase, do a search at www.froogle.com or www.mysimon.com or www.nextag.com.  Once you find the best price, print it and take it into your local store to see if they’ll match the price.  Oftentimes they will, but if they don’t, then order it online.  For online coupons, codes for free shipping and discount codes go to www.dealhunting.com or www.shoppersresource.com 


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