Halloween was yesterday, so that now means quite a few of us are now starting to fret about gifts, celebrating, and cash for the ChristmasHoliday season. We are scouring the sales fliers, looking for deals, and the perfect gift for everyone, without going totally broke.

Tips and ideas

Layaway: Some stores offer layaway plans only around the holidays, and others do it all year long. I love Layaways, I try start an early one for some big ticket items, paying a small amount down, then making small payments for a few weeks, is good prevention from putting it on credit card.

Skip Grocery shopping: Yes you read the right.

Skip the grocery store for a week, make meals from what you already have on hand, use that Money on gifts.

Have a toy swap: Invite a group of friends to swap gently used cleaned and sanitized toys. Wrap them up, and the kids will not suspect a thing.

Do it yourself gifts:Homemade vanilla extract, split 3 vanilla beans in half, place in a glass jar, and cover with vodka, store covered jar in a cool dark place, shake occasiionally, after 6 weeks your vanilla is ready, pour into a pretty jar. There are hundreds of great ideas for gifts - check out Pinterest.

Comparison shop: Make sure you are getting the best deal by comparing ads, and online prices. If you see an item you purchased a week ago is now on sale, don't be afraid to go back with your receipt and ask for a refund of the sale price, most stores honor this request within a reasonable amount of time.

Thrift stores and yard sales: Yes it is ok to shop for gifts at a thrift store. You can snag amazing deals on toys (the kids will never know), as well as decor, I have found some amazing deals at my local shops.

Think outside the box

You can create an amazing Christmas, without spending a lot of money.

Take the kids out sledding, or ice skating, have a Christmas movie night complete with pajamas, hot chocolate, and popcorn. It's all about memories. My favorite memory for myself, is the year I got double blade training ice skates, and my sisters took me skating and gave me lessons (I was 4 years old).

I don't recall anything else I received that year. Make some memories! And have a great holiday season.

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