10 Ideas to Save Money on Wedding Ceremony & Reception Party Music

wedding march violinIt’s amazing how certain tunes are so ingrained into our culture. The Happy Birthday song, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and of course, the wedding march, can all be recognized within a few notes.

“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white…” Boys and girls alike learn that song at a very young age. Amazingly, even the most tone-deaf rendition is recognizable. There’s no hiding the wedding march!

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“How to Shop for Free” Book Review by Kathy Spencer

how to shop for freeEverybody likes getting something for nothing. There’s a little thrill that comes from taking an item up to the cash register, then walking out the door with it, not having paid a cent.

In fact, just yesterday I went to a fast food restaurant with my kids, handed over three coupons, and left with three free pink lemonades. We all agreed that “free” tasted pretty good!

For most of us, getting free stuff is an event that happens pretty infrequently. For Kathy Spencer, on the other hand, freebies have become a way of life.

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How to Buy and Enjoy Beef Recipes on a Budget

beef slicesDo you have a house full of hearty meat eaters? For some families, only beef will do.

At our house, we’ve been reducing our beef intake recently for health and budget reasons. But when we want to splurge on our diet and our wallet, or are having hardcore carnivores over for dinner, I like to have a multitude of ideas ready so that these situations don’t disrupt our budget too significantly.

Here are several secret weapon strategies to enjoy red meat, while staying within your budget.

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23 Cheap Wedding Reception Food & Drink Menu Ideas on a Budget

wedding food drinkWhen my husband and I were planning our wedding, we wanted to keep it simple, elegant, and most importantly under budget.

So we were a little shocked when our caterer quoted us her lowest price of $35 per person for dinner – not including alcohol. With 160 guests, we were already at $5,600, and with an open bar were looking at a total bill of more than $10,000 just for food and drinks! Our total budget was around $10,000, so we needed to find a few ways to scrimp and save when it came to the dinner and alcohol.

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First-Time & Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit – Rules and Limits

home buyer tax creditIf you were one of the millions of people who became a homeowner between 2008 and 2010, whether it was your first time or your fifth, your purchase will have quite a noticeable effect on your taxes. That’s not only due to the lovely bump you’ll get from deducting your mortgage interest and property taxes, but you may also receive a nice fat tax credit on top of that!

For many, participating in these programs will have effects for years to come. There are special rules to determine who’s eligible, as well as tax credits available for non-first time home buyers, and a special extension for members of the military and federal employees who were stationed outside of the country, which we’ll discuss below.

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9 Ways to Clean, Repair, and Restore Your Old Outdoor Gas Grill

gas grill upgradeEvery time I go to the Home Depot in the summer, I stare longingly at the shiny, manly grills lined up out front like soldiers waiting for orders. They’re so new, and have so many knobs and buttons! They can smoke, grill, or keep baked beans warm!

Like most Americans, I had an old grill on my back porch. It was a little rusted and had years of wear on the rack, but it could still turn out a decent hamburger. So instead of buying a new grill, I saved money by restoring and upgrading my old grill to its former glory – and added a few bells and whistles along the way.

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16 Ways to Save Money on Cheap DIY Wedding Invitations on a Budget

wedding invitationsWhen I got married, my crafty aunt handmade my wedding invitations as a wedding gift. Though they were exquisite and I got multiple compliments on them, I didn’t realize quite what a gift it was until I learned that the average amount that a couple spends on wedding invitations is $650 – and lots spend upwards of $2,000 or $3,000.

Who knew that paper cost so much? But it’s not just the paper – there are envelopes, second envelopes, response cards, response card envelopes, tissue paper, and postage, for starters. Money also goes into the design of the invitations as well as the actual printing of the message.

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