(Family Features) While often regarded as the most wonderful time of year, the holiday season is also an expensive spot on the calendar. Even as many families feel the squeeze of inflation and rising costs, there is hope for your budget when it comes to gatherings, gifts, food and beyond.
Consider these tips from the money-saving experts at Slickdeals and Head of Deals Vitaly Pecharsky to avoid overspending without sacrificing your festive spirit.
Stick to a budget. Beyond gifts and stocking stuffers, holiday costs can add up quickly once you factor in travel, decor, pet care, special events and more. Create an all-encompassing budget for the season then break it into segments for each type of expense, including hidden expenses like wrapping paper or extra toiletries for guests, so you don’t end up with an unexpected credit card bill.
Split up food costs. Instead of putting yourself under the pressure of full-time holiday chef (and taking on all the expenses that come with it), consider hosting a potluck-style gathering. Providing the main course and encouraging guests to bring an appetizer, side or dessert is an easy way to avoid a hefty hosting bill. Send an e-vite with a list of must-haves that allows loved ones to sign up for specific dishes to ensure everything is covered without doubling up.
Search for the best deals. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift from toys to technology or trying to save on travel costs and home decor, make sure you find the best price. Consider a site like Slickdeals, where a community of millions of people work together to save money so you can be confident you’re getting the best deal. With 12 million shoppers assisting others by vetting and voting up the top deals from renowned retailers, your holiday needs are covered without sacrificing quality. You can also set Deal Alerts that send notifications directly to your inbox when a deal that matches your criteria is posted to the site.
Share experiences, not just “things.” Gadgets and gizmos may come to mind when brainstorming holiday gift ideas but remember some family members and friends just want more time together. If you’re considering a special experience for – and with – that special someone, think about their favorite hobbies and activities. Animal lovers may be overjoyed with a day at the local zoo and gearheads would cherish tickets to the next auto show. Integrating experiences into your gifting repertoire often makes for a more memorable (and cheaper) solution.
Take advantage of gift cards. A quick internet search can lead you to discounted gift cards, allowing you to save cash on holiday purchases. Or, for the one on your list who has everything, simply give the card as a gift so he or she can pick out what’s truly needed. As an added bonus, discounted gift cards are typically available even at the last minute so procrastinators can still save.
Show off your DIY skills. Buying new holiday decorations and replacing worn out crafts are seasonal expenses you may not immediately factor into your budget. Rather than heading to the store for (likely overpriced) ornaments and tablescapes, put your creative cap on and repurpose goods from around the house. Reusing items like glass jars to make homemade snow globes, for example, can be a crafty way to save. Plus, it’s a fun activity for family members to enjoy together.
Seek out post-holiday sales. Once the holidays are over, it’s a perfect opportunity to get ahead of the game for next year. Stock up on gift wrap, decorative items and other nonperishables that are often heavily discounted in the new year.
Save throughout the year. A handy tip for holiday seasons to come, try creating a fund each year where you can save up for gifts, food, travel and other end-of-year expenses. Set up a special bank account specifically for holiday savings where you contribute a small amount each month to be financially prepared for the festivities.
Find more ways to save this holiday season by visiting Slickdeals.com.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock
George Magazine Introduces Children’s Magazine: George Junior
HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, USA /EINPresswire.com/ — GeorgeMagazine has recently launched their latest creation, a new children’s magazine focused on leadership, patriotism, and faith. The magazine is geared toward children ages 6 to 12 and features a thought-provoking theme each month. Its latest edition set to release today focuses on setting goals and creative ways to stick with them.
In this issue, readers can also look forward to:
1. Comic Book Style Stories: Read along as George Jr., his friend John, and his
sister Betsy, learn a lesson in setting goals, practicing, and staying patient.
2. Bible Stories: Each issue brings to life Bible stories, offering a kid-friendly
perspective on the teachings and morals found within these tales.
3. Branches of the Military: Children will learn the branches of the United
States Military and what each branch is responsible for.
4. Activities: Readers will learn how to create their very own snow globe as
well as how to make Garlic Toast Pizza.
5. Vocabulary: George Junior believes learning new words is important, and
each issue features a set of five words in the beginning of the magazine the
children will seek to find throughout the rest of the magazine.
6. Notable People: This issue features information about Nikola Tesla and the
inventions he created.
Parents can rest assured that George Junior magazine provides a safe and enriching environment for their children. The magazine’s focus is on providing quality content that is both educational and entertaining, allowing kids to explore the world around them while maintaining the innocence of childhood.
George Junior is available at georgejuniormagazine.com. Subscriptions are also available for added convenience and savings. The magazine is a monthly
subscription, allowing children to have something fun to look for in the mail.
With its dedication to fostering intellectual growth and character development, George Junior is the perfect gift for parents and grandparents looking to inspire children while keeping them engaged. Each issue is thoughtfully crafted to stimulate young minds and encourage them to dream, investigate, and thrive.
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Source: GEORGE Magazine
WILSON’S ‘GIFT OF GAME’ CELEBRATES SPORT THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON
Wilson’s holiday giveback focuses on enabling access to play at the YMCA; Special event for NYC kids to feature surprise athlete appearances
NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — With the holiday season upon us, Wilson Sporting Goods Co., the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance sports equipment, apparel and accessories, will be celebrating the “Gift of Game” by partnering with YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the 2,500+ YMCAs across the country, to enable access to play for kids of all skill levels and backgrounds.
“At Wilson®, we believe the spirit of the holiday season is about so much more than just the traditional exchange of presents. That’s why we’re encouraging our global sport community to give the ‘Gift of Game’ this year,” said Amanda Lamb, Global Vice President of Brand at Wilson. “Shared experiences in sport offer a unique opportunity to build bonds, foster camaraderie and enable access to play in a way that is truly representative of the holiday season.”
Wilson and its global sport community will give the “Gift of Game” to YMCA kids across the country through a donate and match program online and in-stores from mid-November through the end of the year. Consumers will have the opportunity to add $1, $3 or $5 to their order at checkout to be donated to the Y. Wilson, in year three of its national partnership with Y-USA, will match up to $25,000 in customer donations.
Money raised through Wilson’s “Gift of Game” donation will benefit local YMCAs in 20 key markets around the U.S. Funding will be used to provide more Y scholarships, enabling access to play by subsidizing more membership and youth sports fees for under-served kids in 2024.
As a celebration of the “Gift of Game” campaign, Wilson will host a day of play with New York City kids at the La Central YMCA in the Bronx on Saturday, Dec. 2. Each attendee will receive a Y membership, have the chance to experience different sports throughout the event and leave with special holiday gifts from Wilson. The participating kids will also get to interact with athletes and special guests expected to make surprise-and-delight appearances.
For holiday shoppers looking to give the “Gift of Game,” Wilson offers an assortment of best-in-class equipment across a variety of sport categories, including basketball, football, tennis, pickleball, golf, baseball and more, as well as Wilson’s iconic sportswear collection, featuring technical apparel for both men and women. Follow along @Wilson and visit Wilson.com for more information.
Chicago, USA-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., part of Amer Sports Group, is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. The Company brings more than a century of innovation, history and heritage across many sports including Racquet Sports, Baseball, Softball, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer and Golf. The brand also offers Wilson Sportswear inclusive of lifestyle and performance apparel for all to live like an athlete. Leveraging player insights to create products that push equipment and apparel innovation into new territories, Wilson empowers athletes at every level to perform at their best. Visit www.wilson.com for more information.
About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at ymca.org.
SOURCE Wilson Sporting Goods
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
(Family Features) Among nature’s most powerful phenomena, hurricanes are destructive, rotating storms that form over warm water and move toward land.
These dangerous storms are accompanied by high winds, heavy rain, a rise in water level, flooding and even tornadoes, which can cause damage to the coast and locations far inland. However, taking action to prepare ahead of time can help you protect your home and loved ones in the event of a natural disaster. Consider these tips to prepare for a hurricane.
Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts
In the event of inclement weather, ensure you have a way to be informed, such as smartphone alerts, watching the local news or listening to a weather radio. Be on the lookout for hurricane-specific alerts and make sure you understand the difference so you can react appropriately:
- Hurricane watch: These alerts are usually announced about 36 hours before an anticipated storm, notifying people that hurricane conditions are possible.
- Hurricane warning: A more serious alert; experts typically issue this warning of expected hurricane-force winds or dangerously high water or waves within 24 hours of a storm.
Evaluate Community Risk
If you live, work or plan to vacation near the coast or close to a waterway connected to the ocean, it is important to understand if you’re in an area prone to flooding, tropical storms or hurricanes. You may also research through the Federal Emergency Management Agency whether your property is in a flood-prone area or at high-risk for hurricane-force winds.
Follow Evacuation Guidance
If a hurricane is on the horizon, authorities may advise you to evacuate or shelter in place should driving conditions be unfavorable. Never ignore an order to evacuate; even well-built homes may not hold up to a hurricane. If you need to evacuate, grab your emergency supply kit (food, water, medicine, important documents and first aid and safety supplies) and follow the recommended route. Alternatively, if you receive orders to shelter in place, stay inside and away from windows with easy access to emergency supplies until the “all clear” is given by local authorities.
Build a Home Using Resistant Materials
For areas prone to natural disasters, constructing a home using resilient materials is paramount. For example, houses built with insulated concrete forms (ICFs), such as those from Nudura, can be engineered to withstand natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires. Superior at resisting high winds and protecting from the impact of flying debris, ICFs offer a tested, safer alternative to wood framing.
Prepare Your Home
If heavy rain and damaging winds are expected, these steps can help protect your property from damage:
- Clean out drains, gutters and downspouts.
- Secure or bring patio furniture and other items inside that may be blown away or damaged.
- Consider elevating your heating system, water heater and electric panel above ground level.
- Cover windows with storm shutters or exterior-grade or marine plywood.
- Turn off gas and electricity at the main switch or valve, if instructed by authorities or the power company.
Learn more about preparing your home to withstand hurricanes at nudura.com/hurricane-prep.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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