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Cheap Grandparents Gift


Just a few more days until Christmas! Are you done with your holiday shopping? If not, I’ve got an easy, ultra-frugal last-minute gift idea that’s perfect for Grandparents or out-of-state family members. Check it out…

I got the idea from an item I saw on Etsy. I loved the basic idea, but didn’t love the price tag ($25/each). I figured I could make my own for a fraction of the cost and guess what – I did!


colored card stock (on hand)

State shapes (free images found online and printed at home)

Sharpie (on hand)

silver paint marker ($5 at Michaels, purchased with a 50% off coupon)

photo (33 cents from Walgreens, purchased with a 20% off coupon)

frame ($1 document frame from Dollar Tree)

I made 5 pictures for all our grandparents, making the total cost under $3 a piece. Doesn’t get much cheaper than that!

Do you have any great frugal gift ideas?

Update to Plan #1: Pay Off Debt


At the end of October, I revealed my initial plan to pay off debt after being so focused on saving since I started my new job this past March. It had been a long time since I could focus on that goal with so much of my energy focused on keeping us housed and fed during the time I was unemployed or at least under employed. This plan had three goals:

  • Pay off my Amazon line of credit
  • Pay off my computer line of credit
  • Settle one of my collections accounts (the largest one at the time)

Dec 1 Status Update

Amazon – As of Nov 1, I paid off the Amazon account and have not used it since.  Doing a happy dance for debt pay off and celebrating self control!

Computers – I have continued to pay the minimum due on most of my bills and we have focused on not spending unless it is a need (with the exception of our Thanksgiving trip to Orlando) and as a result, I believe I will be able to pay off this debt in whole the week after Christmas.  I will make my end of the year goal by the skin of my teeth, barring any emergencies. I will pay off this debt! I will keep you posted.

Collections – I made the call to this account to discuss a settlement or pay to remove situation and they were not willing to negotiate much. I got angry and hung up.  And to be honest, with the goal of paying off the computers, I am not sure I could have done this too.  BUT…the other collection account (several smaller bills held by one company) is willing to negotiate and remove the items from my credit report once paid.

Making Money

I mentioned recently about my W2 employer’s “notice of firing” for lack of a better description. I could write a really long rant on that situation, but I am controlling myself. Anyways, I have been applying for jobs like a mad person and spending a lot of time looking for freelance work as well.  I am happy to update that I have had several nibbles at freelance work, good work. I am in the middle of the interview process with several companies and am doing some introductory work for a couple as well.  I feel good, at least better, about the situation.

With that being said, if I can bring in some extra money in December my goal is to tackle goal #3 with the collection account, just not the one I originally planned.  With that being the goal and I’m hopeful I will be able to make it happen. I guess it’s time for me to come up with my next steps in my paying off debt plan!

I’ll get a debt update posted in the next week or so. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions on what my next goals should be.  I won’t be able to focus on anything else until the new year and will have to temper that with what my job situation is looking like, but right now, today, I’m hopeful and proud of the steps I am taking.

P.s. If you’re a ton of debt, some people have had good results with balance transfers.  One company that you might consider checking out is Credit Soup.  They have a wide rage of options for folks every credit score and financial situation.