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ask dsm readers

Christmas presents under the treePhoto by Alan Cleaver

Every week I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

There have been a ton of great deals this holiday season. One of my favorites is this Radio Flyer Tailspin Trike (normally $89.99) that I got for my almost 3-year-old for $29.99. I paid for it with Swagbucks, making it an even better deal!

What's the best deal you've gotten so far? Was it something you knew you wanted and watched for a sale or something unexpected? Did you splurge on any gifts even without a deal? What are you hoping to get for Christmas?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

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Ask DSM Readers: How Do You Display Christmas Cards?

by Tara Kuczykowski on December 9, 2010 · 22 comments

Christmas CardsPhoto by Pretty Handy Girl

Every week I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

It's that time of year and Christmas cards are starting to show up in the mail! We like to tape the cards we receive on the spindles of the banister going upstairs, and I usually save them from year to year and cut the fronts out with pinking shears to use for gift tags.

If you're looking for inspiration for your cards, Mandi from Life...Your Way put together this fun gallery with 9 other ideas for displaying Christmas cards.

How about you? How do you display the Christmas cards you receive? What do you do them once the holidays are over?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

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Ask DSM Readers: What’s Your Favorite Christmas Cookie?

by Tara Kuczykowski on December 2, 2010 · 39 comments

Pizzelles Recipe

Every week I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

My husband has been begging me to make pizzelles this Christmas, and I finally bought a pizzelle maker and gave them a try. The results were delicious! I shared more about the history and flexibility of this Italian cookie over at my new blog, Unsophisticook, along with a fabulous pizzelle recipe.

Christmas baking season is upon us, and I'd love to know what your favorite cookie is as well!

What's your favorite Christmas cookie? Is it a traditional recipe or  something unexpected? Do you enjoy baking? Do you give cookies as gifts, serve them at parties or just enjoy them with your family?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

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Ask DSM Readers: Do You Pay Yourself First?

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 18, 2010 · 11 comments

Ask DSM Readers: Do You Pay Yourself First?Photo by bigburpsx3

Every week I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

Ask any financial guru, and they'll tell you that an important part of taking control of your finances is to pay yourself first. Of course, they don't mean that you should pay yourself to get a latte instead of your bills! But it's easy to waste money if it's in your account, and setting up automatic transfers to your savings account is a good way to prevent that from happening. I mentioned before that we were able to save for a vacation simply through these automatic transfers, and you really don't miss the money when you just take it out of your account before you ever see it!

Do you pay yourself first? Do you have "sinking funds" to save for the holidays, vacations, clothing or other seasonal expenses? Do you have automatic transfers set up, or do you transfer the money manually? How did you decide how much to pay yourself?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

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outlet shoppingPhoto by prayitno

Every week I'll pose a question for you to share your experiences and tips. If you have a question that you'd like me to post, I'd love to hear from you!

Recently, Kelsey sent me an email looking for tips for shopping at outlets. We shop at outlets, but I'm always very conscientious of what we buy. I tend to only buy things that I know for a fact are a good value, and I look everything over carefully.

A lot of stores are now manufacturing lines specifically for the outlets that are of lesser quality than what's in stores in addition to sending products that are flawed to the outlets. And sometimes, the deals you find aren't much better than those found in regular stores or online with a coupon.

So how do you make the most of an outlet shopping trip? Do you visit outlet stores regularly? Are the prices really that good, or are there better finds in the clearance sections of regular stores? How do you decide if a deal is worth getting? What are your best tips for finding a good deal?

Join the discussion -- add your two cents to previous Ask DSM Readers questions too!

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