Save Your Money (and Your Sanity) for the Holidays!


NO, I AM NOT KIDDING. Not only can you save your sanity, but you can finish your shopping before December!

Having your gifts bought, but not going broke, and still buy meaningful presents for those family members, friends, and teachers? It is possible. Then, we can sit back, sip eggnog and actually enjoy the holiday season!

Arguably our greatest asset as Moms are our darling children (face it, we wouldn’t be Moms without them!) And, if you are like me, you have a smartphone that is full of pictures of your photogenic angels. We all have super cute pictures of their first day of preschool, beach day, trick or treating, etc. What better gift to give that hard-to-buy-for family member/teacher/uncle than something personalized? Christmas tree ornaments, shopping bags, desk calendars and luggage tags, complete with a personalized message and photo of your children are sweet, meaningful gifts. And I assure you, it is not as pricey and complicated as you may think.

Lily with Henry's Library bag from Vistaprint
Lily with Henry’s Library bag from Vistaprint

My secret holiday weapon: websites such as Vistaprint, Shutterfly, Tiny Prints and MPix. I can make almost anything on these sites! My favorite being reusable totes, journals, notepads and Christmas tree ornaments. All of these websites have fantastic sales right now, but when you pair them with deal sites such as Living Social and Groupon, you are certain to save even more money. Right now, Groupon is offering a deal where you pay $27, and you receive $70 worth of product at Vistaprint! That’s quite a bit of personalized pens & luggage tags! Check it out here.

First, get those pictures off your phone! Use a free program such as Picasa to organize and enhance them. To add even more pizzazz to photos, check out PicMonkey – it is a free photo editing site with some really unique features.

Then, go to the photo sites listed above and sign up for a free account. Normally when you sign up, you will almost immediately receive offers for free products. (Almost weekly, I receive an offer from Shutterfly for free address labels or a mousepad!)

Lily with her calendar from ArtsCow
Lily with her calendar from ArtsCow

But Jessica, you said I would save money and be finished by December.

This is the bonus. If you spend a little time now uploading & creating your ornaments/notepads/library totes, you don’t need to pay for expedited shipping. You can even choose the “free shipping” offer from some of these sites. And then maybe, just maybe- you can sit back, relax and plan your Black Friday excursion for the bigger things on Santa’s list. With these smaller yet meaningful gifts already purchased (for a fraction of the price), you will not be distracted by a $3 USB Memory stick for Aunt Alma. Aunt Alma is receiving a beautiful “Life’s a Beach” ornament complete with your beach bunnies on it. Which would you rather have?


As seen on The Morning Show:

Groupon $27 for $70 worth of products from Vistaprint (library book bag, calendars, photo cards)!

$5 Metal Print 

$10 for a personalized 20 page photo book from Shutterfly

$10 Photo mugs from Shutterfly

$7.50 for reusable shopping bag 

Personalized TO DO lists

Other great deals on Photo gifts:

Personalized Photo Puzzle for $5.99

2 Wooden photo ornaments for $12.99

Jessica Morgan
Jessica was born in the “Bold New City of the South" and loves her some Jacksonville. Not only is J-Ville the place where she was raised with her twin brother, but is it also where she met and married her super-handy hubby, Melvin. Together they have a lovely daughter named Lily and a very competitive son, Henry. In a previous life, Jessica was an Event Coordinator for many years at a local country club. But at 40, she took a leap of faith- trading in her fancy weddings and parties for block crayons, lavender oils and melodicas to become the Director of Special Events at her children's Waldorf school. Jessica has appeared on local tv discussing topics ranging from Black Friday to couponing, - dirty hair, consignment sales and summer camps. Jessica enjoys Florida Gator Football, all things Disney, inappropriate jokes, singing show tunes, making fudge, big ugly shelter dogs, reading Emily Post and writing in cursive. Keep up with all Jessica's antics at


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