Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 2, 2012

Frugal decorating and discount Christmas items

Melinda Hester
The Independent

ASHLAND — Here are some frugal decorating ideas for Christmas:

Lay a string of lights across your dining room table. Intertwine between the glassware for a very festive look. With a Christmas centerpiece, so beautiful. It’s simple and inexpensive.

I put white Christmas lights around my cooking area under the cabinets. It shows off glassware, illuminates. I may leave this one all year.

Discounts now

Stores are discounting Christmas trees, lights, wrapping and all things Christmas now.

Right when you need them is when they discount them.

KMart has 33 percent off lawn decorations, lights, garlands, trim, gift wrap, ornaments, tree skirts and wreaths, 50 percent off Christmas trees and 60 percent off holiday kitchen textiles, décor and tabletops.

Toys are being discounted now while Christmas crunch time is going on.

With SHOP Your Way Rewards, you can bring that price way down, if you are a member.

Amazon has it all

Amazon.com has everything you can think of, and if it is directly from Amazon, and not a company working through them, the shipping is still free if you buy at least $25. I did almost all of my shopping on Amazon this year.

With lightning deal alerts, you can get great discounts. Also, by using Amazon Prime, you always get free shipping and discounts on every order.

I typed in Estee Lauder gift sets and there is page after page. These might be left from fall, and they reduce prices to move them on. Type in Philosophy and gift sets come up. Why? Because of a package change or a drop of a certain fragrance, you get a great deal on something they no longer want on the shelves. Stores go by color, look and packaging. Everything must match and draw the customer’s eye. Take advantage of these deals.

ALDI has dolls for $5.99, Mattel stocking stuffers for $4.99, Pillowchums for $2.99 and Cat in the Hat books for $4.99.

CVS

Let’s see how far we can push $20.

Pampers- $9.99. Use $2 coupon P&G =$7.99 You get $4 EB Bucks.

All Detergent $3.99 - $1 coupon today’s paper  = $2.99. You gain $1 EB Buck.

2 Optic White MouthRinse. Spend $10 and get $5 EB. Use two 75 cent coupons, and if you have the CVS $1 off coupons use two of those (stacking). You just gained $5 EB Bucks.

You now have $10 in EB bucks to buy anything you want in the store.

Truvia Sweetner - $2.99 - $2 coupon = 99 cents.

2 Boxes Kellogg’s Raisin Bran 2/$5 Coupon $1 on 1 Use 2 2/$3.

Barilla Elbows 10/$10. You don’t have to buy 10 here or at Kroger.

Coupon $1 off 2 = 2 for $1.

Pepsi 2 liter is 88 cents.

1 eight-pack Sparkle paper towels $4.99, coupon 50 cents =$4.49 for eight, and that is 56 cents a roll.

We’re over by just a little bit, but we did have $1 in bucks left from last week to use.

Other deals you can play with and make your own game from CVS:

A $5 coupon off of any $25 fragrance purchase comes from the magic coupon machine this week. With fragrances like “Versace” you can’t go wrong. All men’s and women’s boxed gift sets are on this list.

Right Guard deodorant, $2.99 - $2 off 2 coupon = $3.98 for two and you get $1 EB coupon.

Almay. Spend $10, get $4 EB. Use $2 coupon on each product

Cover Girl. Spend $10, get $4 EB coupons. Use BOGO LashBlast Mascara and get a free Cover Girl nail gloss. Use $1 coupon on mascara.

There is a gift section of ideas under $20 and gifts under $10.

This week there is an advertised toy sale of $5 EB if you buy $25. If you are sponsoring children for Christmas, this is a great help. Use your store bucks for toys and gift needs.

Why do I push CVS so much over other stores? Because they are so kind to couponers. CVS helps us make a great deal. I can usually get $100 worth of items for nearly nothing counting the store bucks I get back. Last week, for example, I bought about $100 worth of things, paid about $32 and got $31 back in store bucks.

Using promotions such as $10 EB off of $30 on Hallmark items is a great way to get gifts, cards, wrapping, ornaments and receive a great gift back for anything in the store. Use coupons to make it go further.

Christmas recipe

Here’s a favorite recipe from Christmas 2006 . How do I know? I wrote down a favorite memory. It was served at Barby Hinton’s home and is one of my favorites. Have your girlfriends in for lunch.



Chicken and Rice Casserole

2 cups diced, cooked chicken

2 cups cooked rice

1 cup chopped celery

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 cans cream of celery soup, undiluted

1 ½ cups crushed cornflakes

½ cup melted margarine

Mix first 5 ingredients together well , and place in casserole dish.

Combine cornflakes, and margarine. Sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake uncovered at 325 for 30 minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.

Use coupons on the cornflakes, cream of celery soup and possibly on the margarine. Bring that cost down. Cooking at home is special and we can always bring that cost down by taking our binder to the store.

Mary Agnes Hinton and her daughters sure could cook.

Have fun in the stores!