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How to Avoid Overspending this Holiday Season


How to Avoid Overspending This Holiday SeasonThe holiday season is a source of stress for many of us. Did you know the rate of deadly heart attacks increase during the holidays? That’s strange, but I guess it’s understandable. Spending time with parents and the in-laws are stressful. However, let’s try to keep calm and not to have a heart attack over it. Money is also a source of stress around the holidays. We’re expected to cook a big Thanksgiving meal and overspend on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Christmas is right around the corner and we’ll have to buy gifts for all the kids and other family members. New Year isn’t as big a deal, but it could hit your wallet as well if you are keen to go out and celebrate. Whew, no wonder retailers look forward to the holiday season all year long. Today, I’ll share how to avoid overspending this holiday season and still enjoy it with families and friends.

The Best Things in Life

The first step to avoid overspending this holiday season is to remind yourself what the holidays are really about. Thanksgiving is about coming together with families and friends to give thanks for the preceding year. And what a year we’ve had. The economy is doing very well and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in a decade. I’m extremely grateful that I’ve been early retired for 5 years and we’re still doing great financially.

We also need to give thanks for our health. This one is tough because we had some minor health issues this year. RB40Jr had the hearing loss issue which was diagnosed as a permanent problem. At least, it’s only his left ear so I’m very thankful for that. First grade is also going much better than kindergarten so we’re happy about that. Mrs. RB40 and my mom also had some health issues as well. Hey, we’re alive and relatively healthy so we can’t complain too much.

Thanksgiving isn’t about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sure, if you need to buy something, it might be a good time to get it. However, we all need to put family first and be thankful we’re alive and enjoying life in a free country. Everything else is gravy.

Christmas is also a time to celebrate with loved ones. It’s not all about gifts and oversized decorations. For many families, it’s the only time they can be together each year. The gifts are nice, but spending time with extended family is even better.

The holiday season is the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It’s not all about spending money. Once you’ve reminded yourself of this, it’ll be easier to spend less. Every one of us can appreciate the holidays without spending a lot of money.

Set a Hard Budget

Once we’re set in the right mental state, it’s time to get down to the mechanics of how to avoid overspending. First of all, you need to set a hard budget and stick to it.

Check your bank account and figure out how much money you have and how much of that you can spend. Make a budget for all the categories of holidays spending and set an estimate for each. Lastly, sum them up and set a hard budget for overall spending. This is best done before Thanksgiving.

Here is our budget for example.

 BudgetNotesActual spending
Thanksgiving dinner$40We plan to roast a chicken this year and tell RB40Jr that it is a baby turkey. Side dishes shouldn’t be too expensive.Around $30
Christmas dinner$50I’m not sure about Christmas dinner. I think $50 should cover our part of it.
Black Friday Shopping
Laser printer$80My printer bit the dust earlier this year. This Brother laser printer sounds like a good replacement.$69
USB cables$15Our USB charging cables are not working well. We need to fidget around too much. I found a 4 pack USB cable on Amazon that should work well.$13.99
Earbuds$10I caught Mrs. RB40 borrowing my earbuds and I think she should have her own pair. $8.30
Christmas Gifts
RB40Jr$40Lego sets are expensive...$40
Kids$40My niece and nephew.$33
Mrs. RB40$70She wants a new blender to replace her 20 year old relic that never worked all that well. I’m looking at a Ninja blender.$99.99
Star Wars Episode 8!$30We'll go to a matinee show.
Road trip to CA$200Gas and food for 1,300 miles round trip.
2017 Holiday Season Budget$600The total is $545. I’ll give us a little leeway and round it up to $600.So far .. $294.28

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you purchase something from Amazon or sign up with a service through the links on this page.

So our hard budget is $600 for this holiday season. I think that’s moderate as far as holiday spending goes. We could cut back if we needed to, but we’ve done well financially this year so I don’t feel too guilty about it. As long as we don’t go over $600, I’d be happy.

Of course, if you’re hard pressed financially, then you need to set a smaller budget. Check your bank account and see how much you can afford to spend this holiday season.

Track Your Spending

The next step is to track your spending. It’s not useful to set a budget if you’re not going to track it. The most foolproof way to do this is to put aside the budget in an envelope and once it’s gone, you’re done. You can even use a credit card with this system. When you buy something online, just transfer the amount from your budget envelope into your bank account.

The envelope system works well, but it’s too much manual work for us. I’ll just keep track of our spending on my trusty spread sheet. Personal Capital is also pretty helpful. I can check my credit card spending whenever I logon (almost every day) and update my budget spreadsheet accordingly.

*If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to help manage your investment accounts. We have many accounts and Personal Capital shows me the big picture in just a few minutes. Whenever I log on, I can see our net worth, how our investments are doing, our spending, and more. Personal Capital is a great tool for DIY investors.

Avoid the Advertising

There’s bound to be some fantastic deals this week. However, it is best to avoid the Black Friday ads if you’re on a budget. I just saw someone waiting for Best Buy to open so they can return a huge 4K television. I don’t even know what a 4K TV is, but I bet there will be some great deals for it on Black Friday. Our old 720p TV still works and we don’t need anything new. The key here is to avoid looking at the great Black Friday deals. If I start looking, I’d be tempted to buy the much improved product. We don’t really need a new TV yet. Once our old TV stops working, then I’ll look at the ads.

Besides, if I get a 4K TV, we’d need to get a new UltraHD player, cables, AV receivers, Netflix subscription, and a host of other paraphernalia to maximize the viewing experience. I’m not quite ready for the upgrade yet. (I just looked up 4K TV on the internet…)

Bottom line, avoid going through all the ads and focus on what you really need to buy.

Choose the Right Credit Card

Earlier this week, Mrs. RB40 asked if we should go back to our cash allowance system. This system worked well for us when we needed to cap our monthly personal spending. Each of us got $100 cash per month to spend on whatever we wanted. However, we signed up for new credit cards to get the bonus and never went back to the cash system. It’s just easier to track what we spend with the credit card. We also received really great sign up bonuses and visited Hawaii and Cancun with them. Using the right credit cards can help you get some cash back and save money on travel.

You have to be vigilant, though. It can be easy to overspend when you want to fulfill the signup bonus conditions. It’s usually spending $3,000 in the first 3 months or something like that. If you’re not disciplined with money, then just stick with your regular credit cards and don’t sign up for new ones.

Cut Back on Travel If Possible

Travel is expensive during the holidays. The flight and car rental for our Bay Area visit would cost us over $1,200 for 4 passengers. That’s why I’m going to drive down instead and save $1,000. Of course, that’s not possible for many people. Flying is much more convenient and you don’t have to spend so much time on the road. You just have to do what you have to do and put it in the budget. Flying during the holidays is so stressful, though. The airport is always packed. I always hated it.

*If it snows this Christmas, we’ll just stay home and Skype instead. That’s the good thing about road trips. It’s more flexible.

Have a Great Holiday Season

I hope you’ll have a great holiday season without overspending this year. It’s very tempting because the economy is doing so well, but you need to check your bank account too. Let’s keep it modest so we don’t have to pay for it later in January. Remember – avoid those super deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It’s much more fun to stay home and enjoy the holiday with family and friends than joining the frenzy at the store.

How much money are you planning to spend this holiday season? Will this year be expensive for you? Have a terrific Thanksgiving!


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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Tako November 20, 2017, 12:32 am

    One of the best ways to save money during the holidays is to simply not spend any. Why buy gifts at all when the simple act of spending time with your loved ones can bring happiness?

    Mrs. Tako and I usually agree on a dollar amount for our holiday gifts, but even then our gift giving is very limited. We might have millions in the bank, but we resist the “Call of Holiday Spending” by focusing on what’s important in life.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:51 am

      That’s very admirable. Mrs. RB40 and Junior aren’t on board with that, though. The kid wants LEGO. 🙂
      Other than that, my purchases are all replacements and family activities.
      Maybe we can cut back to very little when he’s out of the house. Us adults don’t need anymore gifts.

      • Pennypincher November 20, 2017, 1:39 pm

        I found a massive collection of Lego at a garage sale once. What a buy.

      • Wes November 23, 2017, 5:03 pm

        I used to love legos as a kid…

        To be honest I’m excited for my son to be of LEGO age so we can build things together.

        #Happiness at its best – spending quality time with my son playing with legos!

  • Michael @ Financially Alert November 20, 2017, 1:30 am

    Budgets are great, spending time with family – even better!

    Good reminder to pre-plan and focus on what matters most.

    Joe, have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving holiday with your family.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:52 am

      Thanks and I hope you have a great holiday as well. RB40Jr has 5 days off so I won’t have much time to spend online this week. It should be a nice staycation for us.

  • Pennypincher November 20, 2017, 1:56 am

    -The heart attack rate rises over the holidays? People need to stop eating so much, then sitting around. Get out and walk it off-ha,ha!
    -Experiences and being w/friends/family is far better than having a bunch of “stuff” under the tree. But I do start shopping a year in advance for a few things.
    -You only need a basic 250 watt blender to pulverize most food into a smoothie, not a high powered machine. Save some $ there.
    -I really messed up my ear w/earbuds. No more earbuds for me. The Beats brand, over the ear phones went half price @ Best Buy last year. So comfortable-I’ll never go back to earbuds!
    -Too tempting not to check out the Black Friday deals @ Amazon. Sigh.
    -I also use chicken instead of turkey, no one knows! Same herbs and spices so why not? Shhh. Keep it a secret. ; )

    • Pennypincher November 20, 2017, 2:28 am

      One second thought-that Ninja blender is nice!

      • ks November 20, 2017, 6:50 am

        Vitamix is even better, more capable & durable, made in the US, with a solid guaranty. I understand Joe’s Amazon incentives, but most of what he plans to purchase is likely available for less via thrift stores, eBay, and shopgoodwill.com.

        • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:28 am

          I just checked Vitamix and it’s pretty expensive. That makes me a bit hesitant. I’ll check Good Will for USB cable and such.

      • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:55 am

        Her old blender never worked all that well so I want to get her a nicer one. It’d be worth it if she eats more fruits and vegetables.
        I only use earbuds when I go to the gym. Other than that I don’t use headphones. Mrs. RB40 has an over the ear headphone, but sometime she wants to listen to something in bed and borrow my earbuds.
        Chicken should be fine. We rarely roast it, though. I’ll have to look up a good recipe to get crispy skin. Yum..

    • Chris @ Duke of Dollars November 20, 2017, 3:36 am

      Amazon makes it so easy to find deals, especially in the recommendations section.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance November 20, 2017, 2:52 am

    This is such a timely post for the holiday season! It’s great to spend time with family. But I totally agree with you that being with parents and the in-laws for a long time can be super stressful >_<

    Mr. FAF and I are having a hotpot at our house for Thanksgiving. We're not exchanging gifts or sending postcards for Christmas. I think it will save us lots of money.

    If it's the Chinese New Year and if we were in Asia, however, it would be different. We would need to budget for lucky money (red envelopes/hong bao) not only for kids but also our parents. I guess staying in America during the Chinese New Year saves money @[email protected]

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:56 am

      Hot pot! That sounds great. We haven’t done hot pot since last winter. Thanks for the reminder. I’ll put it on the menu again.

      • Pennypincher November 20, 2017, 1:43 pm

        Does this appliance cook rice nicely too? It does everything, right?

  • [email protected] November 20, 2017, 2:52 am

    Happy holidays Joe. You covered the classic 1-2 punch of personal finance in this one. 1) set a budget. 2) Track spending against it. If you do so, you will come out a winner.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:56 am

      Sometime the basic is the way to go. Have a great holiday!

  • Chris @ Duke of Dollars November 20, 2017, 3:36 am

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday can really get you overspending on fake sales. I’d recommend people check out the prices of the same items using camelcamelcamel.com or some other price tracker. Also – check models of “sales” for TVs or other electronics.

    The two days can be a fabulous day to get some sales, and also an easy day to get jipped 😀

    thanks for sharing the tips!

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 9:57 am

      Thanks for the tips. I will check those price out. It’s hard to know if it’s a real sale when we rarely buy those stuff. What’s the real price?

  • Ms99to1percent November 20, 2017, 3:58 am

    I agree with all the above especially traveling during the holidays. It’s very expensive and stressful, and if you are traveling to/from a snowy place especially in December, your flight might even get delayed or cancelled, and you might miss the festivities.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:21 am

      I hate flying during the holidays. The airport is such a zoo and the traffic is always horrible. Flying would take probably 6 hours with all the overhead these days. Driving will add 5 hours, but it’ll be a much smoother trip. I just hope it doesn’t snow this year.

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify November 20, 2017, 4:56 am

    One of the things I like about Thanksgiving is that it is not a commercial holiday. There is no expectation that gifts should be exchanged, cards should be sent or shopping must be done leading up. It’s just time spent with friends/family around a nice meal. I’m not sure who is to blame, but unfortunately the Christmas season now starts on the evening of Thanksgiving cutting short my favorite holiday and extending my least favorite ones. Christmas has become my least favorite holiday because it is so commercialized. I guess we have capitalism to blame and our own desires to accumulate stuff. Oh well, it’s still all good. We are lucky to live in a land of such abundance. Tom

    • ks November 20, 2017, 6:52 am

      No, Christmas starts right after Labor Day, in synch with all the pumpkin spice mania.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:22 am

      I’m with you. It is such a big change from when we were kids. Back then, you just enjoy the holidays, watch TV, and play games. Black Friday really ruins it.

  • The Grounded Engineer November 20, 2017, 5:06 am

    I’m totally surprised that you didn’t know what a 4k TV was – especially as an engineer. I need to have better discipline like you, Joe!

    Ultimately, I think you’ve done an excellent job of focusing on the things that make you truly happy. And you’ve limited the number of things that make you happy to a manageable amount and this appears to have increased your happiness.

    This is an area I’ve been working to improve upon. For example, with our friend group, over time we’ve focused our energy on spending time with a few number of friends, but increasing the engagement with the friends we continue to hang out with.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:23 am

      I haven’t kept up with technology lately. It’s mostly laziness and I already have plenty to do. 🙂
      Nice move with the friend group. I think that’s natural as you get older.

  • Lily @ The Frugal Gene November 20, 2017, 5:26 am

    Woahhhh she doesn’t have her own headphones? My Batex headphones were 5.99 on Amazon and I love them!! I now have 4 back ups haha.

    We’re planning to do some taxes on Thanksgiving. The Xmas plan is to drive back to the bay area and relax as much as we can. It shouldn’t be too expensive. Our budget for both holidays runs to be about $500.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:24 am

      She has an over the ear headphone, but she borrows my earbuds when she wants to listen to her phone in bed.
      I can’t find a Batex headphones. Is that spelling right?
      Have a good drive. I’m not quite looking forward to it. That’s a long drive.

      • Lily @ The Frugal Gene November 22, 2017, 10:17 am

        Oh gosh, nooo sorry! I’m a turkey. It’s Bastex!! “Bastex Universal Earphone/Ear Buds 3.5mm.”

  • Helen @ Retire Early Helen November 20, 2017, 5:32 am

    Very good points: set up the budget, track the spending, and don’t overspend. I guess “don’t overspend” is hard, as the temptation is always there. I don’t know about the 4K TV either. My TV is a very old one, not a smart TV, at least it’s a flat screen. Hey, it still works.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:25 am

      Execution is always harder than planning. I’m with you on the TV. If it works, why spend money to upgrade. 🙂

      • Pennypincher November 20, 2017, 1:51 pm

        Use things up until they die or fall apart, I say!

  • Solitary Diner November 20, 2017, 6:00 am

    All good advice. I celebrate “Buy Nothing Day” on Black Friday to get myself in the right mindset of not overconsuming for the holidays. It helps remind me to focus on family and friends, not the newest gadget.

    • zaf November 20, 2017, 6:55 am

      me too, T’giving & black Fri are designated as non-commercial/no spend days for me. Shenandoah National Park or Price William Forest Park are my go-to destinations.Both are delightfully uncrowded. BJ’s has roasted turkey breasts all year long for $7 for you east coasters.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:25 am

      That’s great! I don’t think we’ll buy anything on Friday either. I’ll order these stuff online. Who has time to go camp out in front of the stores. It’s so rainy here.

  • Jennifer November 20, 2017, 6:07 am

    Hello, I see that you mentioned going to a movie. Our family just signed up for Movie Pass it is like the Netflix for the movie theaters. It is 9.95 a month per person but it allows one to see one new movie every 24 hours. Since we recently live in Portland I checked out what theaters are participating and I think Baghdad and Hollywood theaters are listed, works in 90% of theaters. They also have a Black Friday special for $6.95 a month with annual subscription. We are very excited about this as we like to go to the movies a lot but rarely go due to cost. We cancelled our Netflix subscription to offset the fee and might only keep it for the holidays. May only be good for frequent moviegoers just fyi! btw I don’t work for moviepass 🙂


    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:27 am

      Wow, that’s a great deal! This is really tempting, but it will be over 300 bucks for 3 people. The only movie we really want to watch in theater is Star Wars. This would be worth it if we didn’t have a kid. It’s tough to go out nowadays. Someday…

  • Steve @ familyonfire.org November 20, 2017, 6:50 am

    We have told our kids we are cutting back on presents this year and looking more at “experiences” like a trip to an escape room or a visit to a nice restaurant. In years to come they will remember this more than more cheap plastic crap.

    Oh and 3 of you can definitely see Star Wars for less than $30 if you shop around!

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:31 am

      That’s a great plan! Our kid is probably a bit too young to appreciate experiences. Now he wants material things. He’s desperate for the First Order Tie Fighter Lego set.
      Where can I get cheaper movie tickets? Baghdad Theater would cost $22.50. That’s better than the normal theaters. Maybe we’ll do that.

  • freebird November 20, 2017, 7:33 am

    My holiday shopping will be from home this year, I’m ordering online, and I’m not talking about from Amazon or eBay– more like Schwab. Black Friday bargain bin is overflowing now with the likes of your favorite (and not so favorite) retail chains. Check out the share price histories on places like GME, BBBY, DKS, not to mention pretty much every name in the rag trade.

    The way I see it anything you’d buy from these places depreciates by half as soon as you receive it anyway, and that’s my stop loss limit, so worst comes to worst, at least I saved some landfill space. But if business turns around next year (like if most people ignore your advice and mine) these could turn into big winners.

    Anyway my suggestion is don’t forget to treat your future self during the holidays, and have a great one!

  • Mr. Groovy November 20, 2017, 7:56 am

    Haha! I love it, Joe. Great advice. And to put things into perspective, this year is going to mark my 57th Christmas. Know how many Christmas gifts I remember? One. When I was in junior high, my brother, sister, and I all got yellow bean-bag chairs. We loved those smelly things. Anyway, my family no longer goes crazy over Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Christmas, we don’t even do gifts anymore. Every one just contributes a $25-or-less gift to a grab bag we hold. That’s it. Like you, we focus on our incredible good fortune and on dedicating ourselves to be better people in the forthcoming year. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. Cheers.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:33 am

      I don’t remember any Christmas present, but it was never a big deal for our family. I bet Mrs. RB40 remembers most of her gifts. She has great memory. Happy holidays!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher November 20, 2017, 8:05 am

    Setting a hard budget really can help prevent spending. We’ve started using a rewards credit card for all of our expenses throughout the year, and then we pay for Christmas with the rewards. Yay for a zero budget holiday. 🙂

    We also start shopping early and we also use discounts, coupons, and clearance racks.

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:33 am

      Nice move with the reward card. Mrs. RB40 picked up the Lego set a few months ago when it was on sale. 😉

  • HP @ Full-Time Dollars November 20, 2017, 8:09 am

    It’s soooo easy to overspend, because aren’t all the goods that much more sparkly during the holidays? In my household, with hubs and I we set a spending limit and have to get creative, but it’s all in good fun. Also, for family and relatives we have found a way to make everyone happy with group gifts. Happy Holidays!

  • Jim @ Route To Retire November 20, 2017, 8:16 am

    We don’t really budget for Christmas (or anything really!), but we just tend to naturally keep things very tight. I will be buying a new wireless router on Black Friday since mine is toast, but other than that, we won’t be spending much on BF or Cyber Monday.

    We also tend to find that on the gift side of things, our family enjoys the opening more than the presents themselves so we usually buy just a bunch of stupid things for fun. One year before our daughter was born, my wife and I each spent $20 at the dollar store and then we each had 20 presents to open. That turned out to be more fun and laughs than most Christmases!

    — Jim

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:34 am

      Someday we’ll get there. It’s tough to avoid gifts when there is a 6 year old boy in the house. 🙂
      Have a great holidays!

  • Lily November 20, 2017, 10:34 am

    Urgh, please tell me you are NOT going to give Mrs. RB40 a “blender” for X’mas?! Ok, you can do that AND also get her something more personal, right? Blender is in the same category as vacuum cleaner, socks, etc. :p

    So Jr. is still interested in Lego Star Wars, huh?

    • retirebyforty November 20, 2017, 10:40 am

      A new blender is a great Christmas gift! It’s not the same as socks, I don’t know what you’re talking about. 🙂
      Yeap, Jr is still crazy about Star Wars Lego.

  • Dividend Portfolio November 20, 2017, 10:49 am

    I agree. One of the best ways is to plan for the holiday spending throughout the year so that you don’t have to rely on the credit cards. But, of course, that requires you to have a hard budget and track your spending, which you clearly point out.

  • Kris November 20, 2017, 3:10 pm

    We had the ninja blender for almost a couple of years. It did its job for us like making smoothies and drinks. If that’s what Mrs. RB40 gonna use the Ninja for then its perfect.
    I seen some 4K TVs whenever I pass by the TV section at Costco and the picture looks cleaner than the one I have but its not worth spending all that money to have a TV. I have a good ole’ 720p TV at home and barely use it.

  • Enoch @SavvyNewCanadians November 20, 2017, 4:15 pm

    LOL – spending too much time with parents and in-laws may be harmful to your health! I find that trying to look for great deals on days like Black Friday often lead to me spending money I don’t have on things I don’t need. Like you mentioned, I try to avoid the advertising in general and if an item has not been on my “must-buy-at-some-point” list for a while, it probably won’t “happen” during the festive period.

  • Damn Millennial November 20, 2017, 7:47 pm

    No heart attacks for me this year. Thanks for sharing all the tips. Which one have you found works the best for you?

  • [email protected] November 21, 2017, 11:37 am

    My wife told me not to buy her a gift this year…and she means it. It’s great to have a frugal spouse! =) For our 4 year old, we already have a gift in mind which he’s been talking about. And yea, none of this “buy 4-5 gifts!” He’ll get gifts from aunts/uncles/grandparents too so no shortage of gifts. And our 16 month old…couldn’t care less what he got.

  • GYM November 21, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I bought my husband a Ninja blender a few years ago and it works great! It’s no Vitamix (heck I never used Vitamix but I know it’s like $400) but it works for us.

    I never had turkey until I was age 15 (at a work party) because my mom never liked that it was too dry. So I think telling RBJR that it is a baby turkey is a great idea!

  • VegDad16 November 22, 2017, 2:35 pm

    To our surprise, we spent $1,000+ last year on Christmas, it adds up so fast. We were also bringing in a little more income so were more liberal with money. This year we put an end to it and are only exchanging presents for kids (no adult gifts). No more excessive shopping for gifts ‘just because’.
    Another vote for Vitamix! We’ve been using one almost daily for 10 years! It absolutely annihilates anything you put in it to make awesome smoothies, soup, peanut butter, almond milk, etc. Other ‘blenders’ we have used leave little chucks and don’t get it nearly as smooth. I don’t have experience with a Ninja but definitely cast a vote for Vitamix if you want really smooth smoothies… (no I don’t work for Vitamix).

  • Richard Nielsen November 27, 2017, 9:24 am

    My wife would kill me if I give her a blender for Xmas! C’mon man! give her something she can wear or enjoy by herself – just saying though

    • retirebyforty November 27, 2017, 9:27 am

      She purchased a pair of boots for herself. 🙂
      She is super picky and never liked anything I buy her. It’s better to let her go shopping by herself.

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