Weekly Tips for December 13, 2010

Posted on 12. Dec, 2010 by in Uncategorized

How are those stress levels going so far?  Handling it well. I will be honest, the stress has really gotten to me not once but twice to the point my body is reacting.  Remember, it is the “most wonderful time of the year”, not the most miserable.  Try to keep it all in perspective. And it is OK to say “No” to some invitations or requests or donation pleas.  It is hard, but work on it.  It is definitely a work in progress. 

So this week, some quick tips for that crazy shopping and keeping the stress low.  My personal favorite:  amazon.com.  They have everything, free shipping, percentage back to your elementary school and excellent customer service.  I tried going out to the stores and after an hour, I ran ran ran home and got online! 

The tips this week are combos, we have put together great shopping, green, healthy and economical tips to get you through the season. ENJOY! Also, if you are looking for holiday cheer, check out here on our site with all the event in San Diego County. There is something just about every day.

TIP: GREEN/HEALTHY/GIFT GIVING

School is Almost Out for Winter Break – What to get the Teachers?

 How can we show our appreciation to teachers for all they do?

School Supplies

The average teacher spends approximately $600.00 a year of their own money each school year for supplies not covered by their school or district. That can really add up. Teachers love to have creative supplies or just that extra special something to reward and inspire their children as well as to have a special project or activity within the classroom. One of the best gifts you can give your teacher is help with these items. But how?

First, check out the classroom supply list that your child brings home. Is there something on there you can purchase for the classroom? One particular supply teaches are always needing are dry erase markers, dry erase cleaner and eraser. These as well as other special classroom supplies make a great gift, especially if you find a great deal like buy one get one at an office supply store.

Another alternative to purchasing school supplies is to purchase gift certificates or gift cards. Even dollar store gift cards give teachers the opportunity to get many of the things they need for the classroom like stickers or poster board. Other gift card or certificate ideas include Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target or a local school supply store.

Anti Bacterial Items

The classroom is a hot bed of germs, and teachers as well as students are susceptible. Treat your teachers to items such as Purex Hand Sanitizer in the giant size container that they can place in the classroom, Antibacterial Hand Lotion (just for teacher) from Bath and Body Works, Lysol or Oust Disinfectant Spray, Lysol or Clorox Disinfectant Wipes. Purchase Kleenex Anti-Viral Tissues for the classroom use. This way your teacher can give a quick spray, wipe and squirt before the next class as well as moisturize her hands quickly. This keeps her and your family just a little healthier.

Teach your Teacher to Relax

Have you ever stood on your feet for about 8 hours or more trying to keep 25 people with very short attention spans actively involved, entertained and educated? Help the teacher in your life relax by purchasing such items as aromatherapy candles (lavender and vanilla are soothing, the scent of mint is supposed to rejuvenate); bubble bath or other bath products, or New Age Relaxation tapes with nature or water sounds as well as oriental music. Add a bottle of wine if you are so inclined or play it safe with herbal teas like Celestial Seasonings.

Dinner Out

Purchase gift cards for restaurants such as Subway, Chili’s or even just for a cup of Starbucks and a snack. Help your favorite teacher get through the evening that much faster, so they can have some time for their own children after spending lots of time with yours. Not sure what they may like, purchase a Restaurant.com gift certificate that they can use to purchase their own choice of restaurant gift certificate. They can go out to eat right after they print from their home computer.

Books

Teachers love books, to either give as gifts or for them alone. Purchase gift cards from Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books and Company or Amazon.com. When you purchase from Amazon, they can use it for anything they like from books to gourmet food, so you know your gift will be appreciated.

Christmas Ornaments

Personalized or teacher orientated Christmas ornaments are those one of a kind gifts for teachers that they can each year pull out and remember the special thoughtful gesture of that student and family. Have fun with them, choose classical Christmas or humorous. Hallmark and many Christmas specialty stores have so many to choose from that you will have fun simply choosing them.

Homemade Goodies

Teachers have very little time to spend baking and making. But they do love and appreciate good food and drink. If you aren’t handy in the kitchen, think about something like Edible Arrangements, Harry and David or simply stop into any one of the specialty candy stores in your neighborhood or mall.

TIP: GREEN/ECONOMICAL/GIFT GIVING and SAVING.

Mary Hunt, author of Everyday Cheapskate and Tiptionary 2, is sharing her favorite holiday money-saving tips from a way to save your ‘Nog to an amazingly inexpensive gift any foodie will love.

Christmas Decorations

Lights Out

Lessen the serious jolt your electricity bill gets from all of your Christmas lights by adding an automatic timer to your holiday display.

Holiday Placemats

Pick up some clear contact paper and holiday-themed fabric. Cover the fabric with the contact paper and cut out your favorite placemat shape. Voila, instant wipe-off placemats!

Easy Potpourri

Peel an orange and put the peels on your stove to dry. Once the peels are thoroughly dry, mix them with a stick or two of cinnamon (broken in pieces) and several cloves. For fragrance, empty the potpourri into a small pot full of water on the stove and simmer, adding water as needed.

Make a Decorations Inventory

When you start putting away your holiday decorations, make a list of everything you have so you don’t buy things you’ve already got when the holiday season comes around next year. Roll forward to November 2011 on your calendar and write down the inventory and where you’ve stored the decorations.

Holiday Cooking

Pie Mat

Instead of using waxed paper for rolling out a pie crust, try a silicone mat or two. The crust won’t stick to the mats and it only takes a quick rinse to clean them off.

Leftover Meat

Don’t throw away leftover meat that might be dried out. Put it in the blender or food processor and shred it. Mix with mayonnaise and your favorite seasonings for a great sandwich filling.

Freeze the ‘Nog

Freeze extra eggnog in ice cube trays to use in coffee and other recipes. Place the frozen cubes in zip-type bags in the freezer and they’ll last until the holidays come around again.

Christmas Shopping

Stay AWAY From the Mall

But if you do go, don’t take money with you (this includes credit cards). Take the kids to see Santa and the carolers. All you should bring is $5 so you can buy the kids a cookie.

Avoid Shipping Costs

When shopping online, have your order shipped to the closest retail store in your area for you to pick up. Many online stores will then waive the shipping cost.  (See RockIt Mom’s earlier comment about www.amazon.com)

Holiday Wrapping

When you have a large gift to wrap, look for paper holiday tablecloths, which are usually inexpensive and more durable than regular wrapping paper. (Or at RockIt Mom we use butcher paper and decorate it ourselves. )

Christmas Presents

Army/Navy Surplus Stores

For any guy or teenage boy, head over to an Army or Navy surplus store. Ammunition canisters make perfect lunch boxes. And what boy wouldn’t love a pocket knife or army pants?

Holiday Mugs

Thrift stores have a great selection of inexpensive holiday mugs. They are usually in good condition, and you can fill them with cocoa mix and a candy cane and give them as gifts. (Just don’t give them to a teacher. They don’t want to be “mugged” at the holidays.)

French Baking Stone

“I learned this one from Julia Child,” Hunt says. Go to a home improvement store and get a 12- or 16-inch unglazed terracotta tile for about $1.59. The tile makes a great French baking stone – the perfect gift for any foodies on your list.

For more money saving tips, check out Mary Hunt’s site, debtproofliving.com.

4 Responses to “Weekly Tips for December 13, 2010”

  1. Dana 13 December 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Keep your holidays stress free: Check out this article to keep your perspective: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/stress-relief/get-happy/ready-set-recharge/?page=1

  2. federal student loan 21 December 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  3. social workers 24 December 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

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