No-Stress Holidays: Planning Starts NOW!

The holidays are just around the corner. When it comes to planning, that means you need to start NOW. Over the next few months, your time will probably be split between working, blogging, planning dinners and family get-togethers and holiday shopping. So basically Sis, the holidays are here, right now, today. Let’s get it together! 

One of our favorite things to do is PLAN! At Educated Qween, we plan with purpose, for success, on purpose! Picture this: family/friends come in town; they’re in awe of how well thought-out and unstressed you are. Your event/get together is organized, and you actually have time to enjoy it! This CAN happen! 

Today, we’re going to get a jump start on holiday planning, to avoid stressing out during the holiday rush! We’ve got three main areas you can focus on to take planning one step at a time, and ensure you reach your non-stressed destination. 

Your Plans

What are your big picture holiday plans? We get it. Your family/friends may not be ready to finalize holiday plans, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. In fact, you should take that as a sign that you’ll need to set a reminder to check back in frequently with those people, to get concrete answers and information. Start having those conversations and get the ball rolling on a list of potential event specifics including event type, location, & guest list. 

Questions like how many guests am I expecting, and what is being required/expected of me, are foundational planning questions that should be answered sooner than later to ensure a well-executed plan.

Your Money 

Nobody likes to stress about everyday coins, but holiday coins can be another level of stress! The key to not breaking the bank during the holidays, is budgeting. Set aside the money you need to plan the holiday you want to have. Here’s the goal: Save as much as you can now and use those savings to fund your holiday plans. Couponing is still a winning method, but in 2019 there are even MORE ways to win back your coins, by spending them. How great is that?

A tried and trusted method of saving money is thru Ibotta. Download the free app and with 3 simple steps, you’re on your way to sending coins back to your purse!  

  1. Search for offers on products you use. (Sometimes there will be offers for ‘any’ items, which means any name brand in allowed. See the example below). 
  2. Head to the store (or visit online) to buy the products you selected. 
  3. Redeem your offers by submitting your receipt through the app, and cash will be deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours. 

The best part is, there are a ton of Ibotta supported retailers (274 to be exact) including: Walmart, Kroger, Target, Food Lion, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Sam’s Club and even Groupon deals! When your savings reach $20, you can withdraw your coins via several methods including: Venmo, PayPal or other gift cards. 

Getting your coins back means that you can create a holiday savings account to use when it’s time to buy meals, gifts or entertain company. Download the free app now and let’s get saving! 

Your Menu(s) 

One of the best things about the holiday season would have to be the food! How many times have you found yourself spending the entire day cooking and then too exhausted to actually enjoy the event? Particularly on Thanksgiving, we find ourselves chained to the kitchen with little time to spare. The sooner you solidify your menu, you can move onto the next step, which would be deciding who is cooking or bringing what. 

When those choices are made, you can work backwards to figure out what needs to be made, how much needs to be made and by when. This timeline will allow you to break the cooking up in phases, leaving only a minimal amount of work for the day of. 

Let’s take it one step further. If you’re expecting out of town guests, planning a menu for the dates they arrive until the dates they leave will make your budget smile. You can even create a day where all the guests put in for a meal, or plan to eat takeout. Having these decisions planned on purpose, in advance, frees your mind to tackle any necessary Plan Bs or unforeseen circumstances as they arise. 

Alright, there you have it. It’s time to get planning. Let us know what help you need this season. No worries, we’ll be here along the way with more tips and tricks to win the holidays and enjoy them, on purpose! 

 By: Tonia Tyler