How to cut grocery costs all year?
Countdown to Christmas
Happy Holidays everyone. I’m so thankful for all of you. This year has been challenging to all of us but it’s December- Finally! We are 31 days away from Fabulous 2021. I cant’ wait to start this coming new year. The advent calendar- the countdown to Christmas is the best way to relax a little more, count your blessings ( there are many-if you look hard enough), and plan for the coming new year.
To count more blessings, I’m giving free gifts every day on this blog until Christmas. Now you have more reasons to get into the spirit of holidays.
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What is an Advent Calendar?
According to Wikipedia, advent calendar is just a regular calendar but it is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The Advent calendars begin from November 27- December 3rd, depending on the first day of Advent. And since I am always late and this time around a little lazy, I’m adding special zing to it. Who says you need to start celebrating from the GIVEN day. Start where you are, with what you have and just get on rolling with joy this holiday season. Check out this fun Christmas Advent Calendar- Share it with your family and friends.
Plan Your Month Well
Time is flying by so quickly. Just last week we celebrated Thanksgiving at home. This year we did not even go outside for Black Friday Shopping due to various pandemic lock-down restrictions. But thanks to careful planning since September 2020, we managed to save $1000 by Thanksgiving. Did you join me in Thanksgiving $1000 money-saving challenge in September? If not, you can still join this challenge and download the 12 week money saving challenge printable. It is always a good time to save some money!
Like Thanksgiving, you all can plan this December month from now. What do you want to do this month? Relax, declutter, make some money, complete unfinished projects, shop for last-minute gifts and send out gifts to loved ones?
Use this time to plan for the coming days, so that you can relax during Christmas break and get recharged for 2021. You can use this advent calendar to plan your month.
De-clutter Your Home for New Year
This year we have been de-cluttering our home like nobody’s business. It’s actually nobody’s business so I made it my business 🙂
Seriously, I have been donating, selling, re-purposing, and trashing stuff that we no longer need, use or just do not know what we got in the first place.
By mid-February this year, I had donated about 89 things to charity. It included books, clothing, toys ( we do not even have kids- but somehow we accumulate toys), craft items ( very hard to get rid of- for me, very easy to throw- for hubby), building material ( we dabbled into some home re-modeling on our own and then Covid-19 hit. So no more modeling or re-modeling for a year at least).
Our house is looking much neater now. We got rid of major bulky and space-consuming items. Now we both have enough space to put our individual office desks in our tiny apartment. We are not constantly topping over each other or each other’s stuff 😉
Things that I could sell, I tried to sell on various selling platforms. I will cover that next.
Make some money
I wish I had known about the amazing world of online selling platforms before this year. I had dabbled into Craigslist, Let go and local FB marketplace earlier but it was not really a great experience. I hated meeting people in person when they were just plain rude, non-communicative for days in-spite of showing interest and negotiating the hell out of me. And hubby was super speculative of meeting people near our home. Finding a good public place that was convenient for me and the buyer of my household material was just the last straw.
Then someone mentioned Mercari, Poshmark, Ebay, and a lot of other selling apps. I was not sure of any one of them. What if I list my items, ship them to the buyer and they say they didn’t get them and ask for a refund? Too many doubts.
Slowly I started listing low-value items like books, crafts, and office supplies. The sales started picking up. The more I sold, the more I de-cluttered. It was so exciting. Ask my hubby. Every time the sale notification bell would ring ( even in the middle of the night- just kidding :)), I would jump with joy, do a little dance and go all out on printing the shipping label, packing the sold item, and scheduling the mail pickup. Fun times!
so, by last week, I have de-cluttered our home and earned about $750 while doing that. Just last week, I sold a beautiful necklace on Mercari. The buyer is still to give me a rating for it- but I’m not fretting. If she doesn’t rate me in 3 days, I will get paid by the Mercari app by default.
Update- I just got a notification that it’s been 3 days since the buyer received the necklace, she didn’t rate me in-spite of automatic reminders sent by Mercari and now I got paid. Yippie! Happy Dance.
I also sold some cool high-end fabric, handcrafted copper bracelets, and some other gear in Poshmark. Check out my closet there with the name BLESSINGS1010. For a limited time, they are offering my friends $10 off for the first purchase. Just enter the code BLESSIGNS1010 at the checkout.
How to use this Advent Calendar?
I have added blue and green circles in this advent calendar to plan our December. On green circle days, I plan to sell more stuff and make some more money. On red circle days, I plan to de-clutter some more stuff from our home, office, and car. By the time Christmas rolls around, I would de-clutter 20 more items, and plan to list at least 16 more items for sale.
So the plan is to de-clutter one day and list items the next day. I also plan to save money by making few homemade gifts, greeting cards, and one no-spend weekend challenge.
Do not forget to mark a day to save all donation receipts for tax purposes. I always forget this, So this time I added a reminder right into the advent calendar on 20th December. Choose whichever day is suitable for you. But do this promptly before you get cozy with Christmas cookies and other gifts!
I have listed how to use the advent calendar and print it out in the printable. But in case you are like me who likes to download free stuff on blogs and then forget I have it, and where I saved it, below are the instructions for you.
How to Put Your Advent Calendar Together:
- Print slide 2 one-sided on paper or card stock. This is the background for your calendar.
- Print slide 3 and 4 double-sided on one piece of paper or card stock.
- Cut out the daily shapes and then arrange the pieces on your background. You can tape or glue the top of each piece and fold it over for the message on each day of the month.
Alternatively, you could print 3 and 4 double-sided, hang them on a string with a clip or tape and then remove one new circle each day.
If you want more ideas on different ways you can use this advent calendar, check out my favorite mom blogger Katie’s ideas here.
Share your ideas
Share your ideas for this month. Do you or your family have a routine for the countdown until Christmas? I would love to know.
Once again, Happy Holidays!