The Motherloot Blog: Product Reviews

Thanks to everyone who entered- I think that is a record high for number of entries over here. We would like to congratulate Lyndsi (commenter # 1,089) on being the winner of this giveaway (chosen at random). Lyndsi completed all three tasks to win and got herself a big fat $500 gift card to Walmart. Thank you again to Walmart & Nickelodeon on this fantastic giveaway. Check back each week for more great giveaways!

Times are tight for everyone this holiday season. Wouldn’t it be great to have a little more cash?

Wouldn’t it be great to figure out how to make the cash you do have stretch farther?

Thanks to Nickelodeon and Walmart you can do both!

Yes, Nickelodeon and Walmart have teamed up to sponsoring a contest that will not only collect together some of the BEST holiday money saving tips on the web, they are also giving one lucky MomAdvice reader a $500 Walmart gift card!

Talk about a present that will always be the right color and size!

There are multiple ways to enter this contest, but for each entry you must submit a separate-that means different folks-holiday specific money saving tip.

Be sure you leave an email address with each tip. If I can’t contact you, I’ll have to choose another winner!

You can enter 3 separate times by doing each of, or any combination of, the following:

#1-By commenting on this post and leaving a holiday money saving tip.

#2-By writing a blog post mentioning a) this contest, b) Nickelodeon, c) Walmart & d) MomAdvice. Then in that post you have to give a different holiday money saving tip (don’t just repeat your original tip) and link back to this post. Then you have to come back here and leave another comment with the link back to your blog post.

#3-Subscribe to my blogs,(pick one or subscribe to all three) then leave a comment letting me know you have with, yes, another holiday money saving tip. If you are already subscribed you don’t have to do it again, just tell me that and leave your tip.

I WILL THROW OUT any entries that are not about the holidays, or that do not follow the directions above (ie didn’t link back to this post in their post, don’t mention Nickelodeon etc)

The winner will be chosen at random (using the random number generator) out of all the valid entries. I say again-the VALID entries. Make sure you read and follow those directions above folks!!!

The contest runs from today-Tuesday December 2nd through Monday December 15th at 12 noon, EST.

You can enter to win a $500 Walmart gift card not only here but at all of the ElevenMoms’ sites. You can only win once, but you can try to win at each site. Each contest may have slightly different rules, so make sure you read carefully! Many of the tips will be featured on the Elevenmoms site-maybe even yours!

So good luck! I am looking forward to seeing all the great ideas. . .



  1. 1501

    My best money saving tip for the holidays is to give gifts that are handmade. As a college student, I don’t have a lot of money to buy gifts for everyone, so I try to save some by making my own presents. You can buy the supplies to make multiples of one or two things and save a lot of money. Plus, it often means a lot more to others when they know you really took the time to make their gift!

  2. 1502

    I guess the first thing, is to make a list of all of those whom you are going to buy for and then set a dollar amount that you are going to spend and stick to it!! Do your research on what you are going to buy at different retailers and then see if they offer any coupons for that item. Look for any of those items on sale and then use your coupon for that item… Try and buy things at the end of the holiday season that are also on sale and then you can use them for the following year!!!!!Don’t go over your budget and try not to buy on credit… Happy Holiday shopping…..

  3. 1503

    A sale is not always a sale. A clearance is not always a clearance. Don’t get caught up in the sign and promises. Keep your frugal head!


  4. 1504

    This year I am passing on a saving tip of making gift baskets for everyone. Lots of items are on sale food wise and a basket for $30.00 can make a great gift. Coupons placed into the baskets are great! Regift lotions that you may have received for several years in a row add pretty washcloths,scented soap and candles and this makes a pretty bathroom gift add a ribbon and bow and you are all set!

  5. 1505

    My best money saving tip is to try to win the gifts you want to give. I enter contests all through the year and I have won so many nice things that I couldn’t have afforded to give otherwise. I just recently discovered blog giveaways and I must say I am hooked. Not only on the giveaways but the reviews, the recipes and the sharing of everyday life. Many of my presents are from wins from blogs that featured individual artists and on many of them I added something to the order to save on shipping.

  6. 1506

    I subscribed! My second favorite holiday money saving tip is if you are going to make homemade goodies pick one thing to give. Whether it be banana bread, candles, cookies, etc. You can prepare better for one type of thing rather than several. Your shopping list will be much shorter and if you plan ahead you can save money by buying the ingredients you need in bulk or by using coupons.

  7. 1507

    I shop any and all clearance items through out the year and stock pile them up in my “gift closet” – I always have a gift for any person and/or occassion ready on hand. It also saves me time to enjoy the month of December with my family and not worry about shopping lists. AND by shopping throught the year, you don’t feel the spending pinch all at one time…I use about $20.00 per month and you don’t feel that as much as you would feel $240.00 all at once in December!

  8. 1508

    As a mom of five with no extra cash we make gifts as a family. We make cookies, put a picture collage together for our family, or make a cookie or hot chocolate mix in a canning jar and attach a nice message or a poem. It gives your gift a more personal touch.

  9. 1509
  10. 1510
  11. 1511

    I like to do a little shopping here and there throughout the year. When there is a sale and I see something that one of my friends or family members might enjoy, I buy it and save it. Around Christmas I take those “gifts” that I’ve been collecting and saving throughout the year and it takes the weight off of Christmas shopping. I am not stressed about time or going to busy shopping malls (although I still inevitably have a gift or two to purchase). Since I distribute my purchases throughout the year and I buy on sale I end up saving a lot of money

  12. 1512

    Make the holidays about family and good food, not gifts. If you must purchase gifts, limit yourself to children under twelve.

    deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

  13. 1513

    We like to buy little inexpensive candles for a $1 or less. We also buy ornaments for everyone, instead of clothes, etc. Giving these two items are an exciting yet inexpensive way to buy for everyone. Plus it is something they will actually use at some point.

  14. 1514

    My money saving tip is this…is Christmas is for the kids this year!.. Since we have 3 children and my younger sister (age14) has just moved in, So what we did was asked the kids what they really wanted this year and we bought them each one big gift and a few smaller ones, to save money.

  15. 1515

    My biggest money saving tip for the holidays is that I start to buy gifts the day after Christmas of the previous year. This is a great way to get gifts for all ages at 50% – 75% off. It also gives you a great head start and relieves some stress when you have so many other things going on during the next Christmas.

  16. 1516

    A few months ago I asked a home improvement store for any old wallpaper sample books. They gave me a bunch just for asking! We have since used that paper for decoupage projects. Then when I ran out of wrapping paper for a birthday present one day I thought of the wallpaper. Some designs even work for our Christmas presents. Our gifts look great! And to think, it was all free just for asking…Yay!

  17. 1517

    I subscribed to your feed. My best tip is to shop ONLINE!!! Free shipping and great deals at many stores. Can’t beat shopping from home, espeically if you have kids!

  18. 1518

    My second money saving tip is to start shopping early! Make your lists months in advance so you have time to find the best deals, instead of waiting until crunch time to buy all the gifts.

  19. 1519

    My best tip about saving money is to simply stay out of stores as much as possible. IF you must go shopping, go with a plan and a budget…and stick to it!
    Also, we save a lot of money by limiting our gift purchases. We mostly buy for the kids and our parents. Not many others. And you know what? They don’t mind. Really, who needs another Yankee candle or BBW bath wash?
    Thanks for this chance to win.

  20. 1520

    Be patient! As it gets closer and closer to the holidays, things tend to go on sale. If you need a random grab bag gift, find something in your house that is new and regift it. Obviously you don’t really need it if you haven’t opened it yet.

  21. 1521

    Shop for next year, this year. If you know that someone collects things, pick up something this year during the after Christmas sales and save a bundle of money. Also, starting a Christmas Club at your bank or credit union, can really help with the financial burden of Christmas and it also shows you exactly what kind of budget you’ll be working with. I recommend opening it somewhere out of the way though, rather than just trying to use a savings account linked to your checking. That is too easy to dip into… remember, out of sight – out of mind.

  22. 1522

    Our family has decided to save money this year by drawing names for a gift exchange, instead of buying gifts for each member. This way we can save a bit of money, and be a bit more thoughtful about what we do buy for one person.

  23. 1523

    My money saving holiday tip is to just not get caught up in all the buying hype!!! Enjoy the holiday season & that does not mean spend a ton of money!!! The kids and family don’t usually remember what they have got for Christmas anyway even a couple months down the road…. but they do remember the things that you did!!!!

  24. 1524

    I sometimes wait til the last minute to do my shopping because I know things will go further on sale (if you don’t mind fighting the crowds)!!! which I don’t!!! I always get good deals and read up on the stores that you’re going to go to, it may be cheaper somewhere else!

  25. 1525
  26. 1526
  27. 1527

    I have always loved giving at Christmas. I head to the clearance items in every store I go, all year long. I buy for alot of people so if I find something “different” I will buy several items if available and give it to everyone. This year I found awesome kites on clearance at a local retailer for $2.50, and bought enough to give to each male in the family. I think they will enjoy flying them with their children. I also found small childrens kites for 25 cents each, so the kids can fly one with their Dads, and Uncles!!

  28. 1528

    My tip is to use coupons to get free items for stocking stuffers. I’m sure by now most people know the power of coupons to save lots of money. I was able to get 28 Glade candles and 32 Glade candle holders to give to friends (my weekly card game, my dance class buddies, neighbors, etc) for free or the cost of tax.
    It makes me feel good to give these things into the Domestic Women’s shelter because those ladies have so little and we all love to be pampered, especially at the holidays.
    So coupon away and spread the joy!

  29. 1529

    my moneysaving tip is to make baked goodies as gifts this year. EVERYONE loves good soft cookies and cakes to eat around the holiday.. its a lot cheaper and shows you are giving more love than just buying something off the shelf.

  30. 1530

    To save money around the holidays, we make Alot of homemade gifts. We do a couple days of baking and then package the goodies up for teachers, bus drivers, and neighbors. This allows us to save money instead of trying to purchase gifts for all these people, and my kids love participating. The experience teaches them about giving and how it doesn’t have to be an expensive item to be heartfelt. Plus, it’s great bonding time!

  31. 1531

    I have been reading your blog for over a year now and really enjoy it. In order to save money at Christmas one could take internet surveys and use the money earned to buy presents.

  32. 1532

    I always buy all my Christmas necessities after Christmas when they are all on sale for the following year. I haven’t had to buy regular priced Christmas wrapping paper in years! I can always get gift boxes, ribbon, gift tags, etc.

  33. 1533

    I’ve already subscribed to your momadvice blog, so I’ll leave another tip. Costco has some great deals on their giftcards. For example, they have a package where you can buy 5-$20 Starbucks giftcards for $80. That’s like getting one free! If you have a lot of people to buy for this is a good option. They also had a spafinder gift card 2-$50 for $80. I’m spending less, but the recipient ends up getting more!

  34. 1534

    This is probably dumb, but every holiday I scour the ads and buy two of the cheapest turkeys I can (usually .39/lb) so that when Christmas gets here, and we’re low on money b/c of gifts, that’s one less thing I have to worry about!

  35. 1535

    I bought $1 pre-printed calendars from Target and have used left over scraps from my scrapbook stash and photos I did not use from throughout the year. I made four calendars and each of them turned out really cute and unique.

  36. 1536

    I always start shopping early in the year. Even the week after Christmas. This is when I get great buys on toys for birthdays throughout the year. Also, I always go to consignment sales with good deals such as mothers of multiples. This is where I get most of my gifts and clothes. I am able to buy entire wardrobes for my kids up through size 16 for 50 dollars. They also only sell clothes that aren’t stained etc.

  37. 1537

    This is a really inexpensive gift for a family with a dog.a mason jar with homemade dog treat mix in it. I sold these when I had my collectibles shop around christmas time and they sold fast! I also gave them as gifts to friends with dogs. All has some easy, inexpensive dog treat mixes. You can buy a case of mason Jars at Walmart, fill with dry ingredients, tie a dog bone cutter and directions around it with ribbon-so cute!!

  38. 1538

    This holiday season, with the terrible economy, we have chosen not to buy presents for everyone in the family. Our money saving tip is to choose names and buy for only one person. This is a great way to save money and still receive a present on Christmas!

  39. 1539

    My kids and I make all kinds of delicious holiday cookies, candies, and treats, then we package them up in tins, and give out for the holidays. This saves us purchasing gifts for each relative. We can give the gift to the entire family.

    Thank you for the chance to win, this would really help me christmas shop for my two boys, I haven’t even started.


  40. 1540

    Do your Christmas shopping online! Not only do you save on gas, but many sites offer free shipping around Christmas! You can even have your gift shipped directly to the recipient, saving you postage to send it yourself! Many websites offer just as good, if not better, sales as your local mall.

  41. 1541

    My first tip is to shop for holiday gifts all year. When you come across a good deal on toys / books / clothing, etc. for people on your list, take advantage of it, then store the items. Works for birthdays, too! Come December, all you need to do is wrap and write the card! Saves money and your sanity by avoiding the last-minute rush and the madness in stores from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve!

  42. 1542

    I subscribe to your blog – and here is a follow-up tip: if you absolutely need to shop for the holidays in December, never go unprepared. Round up the sales, the coupons, then make a list and stick to it. Shopping online works best for me, with free shipping / online promo codes. I can focus and avoid impulse buys and distractions, and never leave my house! Sanity, money, and gas saved ;-)

  43. 1543

    Planning and budgeting ahead of time saves tons of money because you can cut back on things like baking and decorating. It also gives you time to make things. One of my biggest savings comes from cutting back on gifts that I used to spend quite a bit on. Teachers and coaches used to get a gift card, but this year I’m making a small jar of M and M’s with a poem I found online thanking them for the good job they’ve done. It’s only a little time and a lot less money, but is a thoughtful way of thanking them.

  44. 1544

    This is a great giveaway. My christmas money saving idea is to purchase things throughout the year when they are on sale.

  45. 1545

    I have a holiday planner that I carry with me during the holidays. I’ve divided it into sections for gifts, lists, cards, and menus. I’ve also attached an envelope to the inside back cover for receipts, recipes, and coupons. My planner helps keep me on budget and on track so I don’t overspend and don’t buy someone the same gift two years in a row. I couldn’t make it through the holidays without it.

  46. 1546

    my daughter is in third grade. as all children, she loves to take something to school for everyone!! we now make “magic raindeer food”(glitter & oatmeal mixed together in a baggie, to be scattered outside for santa & his deer to find your house) & cookies. it doesn’t seem to matter how old they are they love both!!

  47. 1547
  48. 1548

    Although the comments are nice, it seems everyone forgot what Christmas is really about. Our best Christmas’ are focused on giving love and memories that can be shared for years to come. We craft inexpensive ornaments with pictures from our children and family throughout the year, every year we add another to the collection and it is often fun to set around and reflect on how lucky we have been to be there for each cherished moment and to have each other to help us through the tough times, as each child reaches adulthood and has a home and family starting of their own it is nice to give the growing up ornaments as a gift of reflection and love from their past and a prayer for their future. Think about Christmas’ past before buying gifts was invented….homemade is heartmade

  49. 1549

    Here is what I do. I have a separate bank acccount that I start depositing money into at the beginning of the year. In October, I start making a list of what I need to purchase. I check to see what is in the Christmas account and make sure by the end of the holiday, I have at least $100 left. I feel it is better to try to leave money in the account and then I will have a head start for next year.

  50. 1550

    I subscribed.

    Set a limit to how much you will spend on your holiday shopping and how much for each person on your gift list. Consider drawing names with a set limit.