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The holidays are a great time to gather around and enjoy what matters most - quality time with your loved ones. Somehow, we all tend to get caught up in a frenzy and like to trick ourselves into playing the comparison game, when we can't live up to those 'big' celebrations that are always being advertised.



Sometimes, it just can't happen. Maybe you have bigger financial goals coming up this year; like saving for a house. Or maybe, you're just one of the few that believes the holidays are truly about more than gifts and you would rather spend your money making experiences, rather than on material things. Whatever the reason, it's nothing to be ashamed of and there are plenty of Christmas gift alternatives that are sure to get the entire family in the holiday spirit! 

Binge Watch Christmas Movies


Who doesn't love an entire day of Christmas movies? There's so many that have accumulated over time. You can pick your favorite for the kids and your kids can pick their favorites for you. Snuggle up in your favorite pajamas, grab a few blankets and watch away! 

Bake Christmas Cookies


Along with watching movies all day, you can take a break to bake Christmas cookies. Or even build a gingerbread house that you decide to eat after dinner. 

Cook An Entire Christmas Meal With The Family



Cooking is always fun and most of the times, it goes by faster when you have some help. Gather your ingredients for your favorite meal and have the entire family pitch in. Maybe older kids can be responsible for their own dish, while the younger kids help mix and measure. You can even go as far as letting the kids hunt for the ingredients while you're in the store. 

Make A Craft



There are lots of crafts on the internet that you can use as inspiration for your holiday project. Along with cooking and watching movies, you can make an entire day out of Christmas-themed activities and before you know it, no one will be looking for gifts with all of the experiences they've had. 

Take A Family Vacation



Instead of spending on things, gift your family an experience they'll never forget. There are so many special places to visit during Christmas time that will give your family the experience of a lifetime and have them appreciative for it for years to come. 

Go See Christmas Lights



Take a walk around your neighborhood, or drive/walk through the city, or your local park and view the beautiful lights. Places like city parks, museums, city streets all display lights and they're truly a sight to see. Some public places charge a fee to view the lights, while others are just as exciting to view, without the fees.

Attend A Play


What better way to celebrate than to watch a live play? You can go all out and buy tickets to a fancy show, or search online for plays held at smaller venues like churches, parks, smaller theaters and recreation centers.

Purchase A Family Membership



This is my all-time favorite! Instead of spending money on something the kids may, or may not play with for months to come - I love gifting them memberships to our favorite places like the children's museums, the zoo, etc. For the price of one visit, you can purchase a membership and you and your family can attend that special place, anytime you want for the next year - for free! 

Donate To Charity


Instead of receiving gifts, how about you give the gift of giving and donate unused items to a local charity. This can be so much fun for the entire family. Try making it a game by giving your kids a few days before Christmas to find the items. Have a wrapping party and finally, drop the clothes off at your local charity. 

Make Christmas Coupons


Instead of feeling as if you have to give NOW, how about give later. Create some super fun coupons for the kids, your friends and your family members, offering your services - like cleaning the kitchen, or the bathroom, or yard work, or taking out the trash. 

With all of these ideas for Christmas gift alternatives, you can definitely enjoy your Christmas break, gift-free or alternating these ideas around - saving you time and money. That's the entire purpose of Being Ecomomical. Happy Holidays and enjoy! 

xo,
Torche' 



The holidays are already stressful enough, without the added pressure of feeling as if you have to live up to society's standards on what the holiday SHOULD look like. With commercials and ads constantly pushing the idea of countless amount of gifts under the tree, matching holiday pajamas and a house filled with beautiful Christmas decor - it can definitely become overwhelming when you're barely getting by in the first place.


I'm here to tell you - you don't have to live up to anyone else's standards besides your own. Take the stress away this holiday season by taking it easy on yourself, your sanity and your budget. After all, the holidays are about the time you get to spend with the ones you love the most. It's not always about what you can 'buy' them to prove your love. Here are a few examples of what to do when you're low on cash for the holidays:

Create Boundaries

This is first and foremost when it comes to making sure you're not overspending during this time. It can be really hard to not give in and want to spend loads of cash. Think about it like this, Christmas is just ONE day. Once it's over, it's back to REAL life and you don't want to get yourself in a financial rut because of the hype.

Skip The Decorations

Decorations alone can add up. Skip them, or get crafty and try making some of your own. Not only can this be fun and get your mind off what you 'don't' have, it can also save your pockets a ton!

Seek Alternatives To Spending

It's so easy to be tricked into spending your money. From new toys, new video games, new electronics, and let's not even talk about family members aside from the kids - the total amount spent can become ridiculous. Contrary to popular belief, the holidays aren't all about material things. Seek alternatives like crafting with the kids, building a gingerbread house, building a snowman, baking cookies, etc.

These are the times your kids will remember. Material things come and go, so save yourself the guilt and make memories instead.

Get A Side Hustle 

I recently explained just how easy it is to make money from home, or by doing the things you have to do anyway. Take grocery shopping for example - with services like InstaCart and PostMates, you can instantly make extra cash with your vehicle by picking up food and groceries and delivering them.



Think about it likes this, you're already running in and out of the grocery store; why not pick up a few more and get paid to drop them off? If that's not your thing, there are plenty of online jobs you can do from home to earn extra cash.

Trade Your Talents For Gifts

Do you have a special talent? If so, use it to your advantage this holiday season. Let's say you're really great at graphic design, maybe you can create a friend or family member's logo for their new business. Or maybe you can cook really well. Try being responsible for your annual holiday dinner and let that be the gift to your family. Or, maybe you love painting and creating things. Those skills can be put to good use as you help someone with a new home project...

Whatever the talent, I'm almost certain it can get you by this year!

Be Honest And Don't Be Ashamed

Understand that you're not alone. Everybody struggles at some point and the holidays can add more pressure, but you can't let that get to you. The year is filled with 365 days, don't let ONE day determine your worth as a person, or a parent.

If others are expecting you to be, or give, besides your immediate family - just be honest with them. You'll be surprised at how many people are going through something similar. Not only will they understand, but they'll appreciate your honesty.

If All Else Fails, Apply For A Loan

More than likely, if you're needing to apply for a loan, your issues go far beyond not being able to afford gifts - it means you just need help in general - and that's totally okay. If you go this route, be sure to commit to paying it off as soon as you can (tax time is a great time to commit) and not asking for a penny more of what you know you'll need to cover bills and expenses. Here, you can find a list of easily approved personal loan lenders.

All of these are super simple alternatives when you're low on cash for the holidays. After all, theses days will go as fast as they came and you can save yourself the guilt of 'not being able to afford it.'

xo,
Torche'






It's that time of year again - Halloween! I don't know about you, but my family loves everything about Halloween. From the decor, to the costumes, the decorative houses and of course, the treats! Not only is it fun to dress up and express a different side of yourself, it's also fun to get into the spirit by decorating the interior and exterior of your home.



Not only will your family enjoy the decor, but it also sets a mood for trick-or-treaters and visitors, alike. So get inspired and get ready to set a major mood with theses spooky Halloween decor ideas that won't break the bank.


This lace spiderweb looks great on any mantle and will definitely set the mood for the holiday. Deck it out with some candles and Halloween-themed sculptures and voila! 



What better way to set the mood than to greet any and everybody with this bold sign! Garnish your doorway with festive, fall-themed garland, a few LED pumpkins and a really cute Halloween-themed doormat.



Hang them in your trees, along your patio, or even throughout the house on your ceiling and watch your Halloween festivities come to life (or light in this case).


I don't know anything scarier than a giant spider web as big as my kids. I can take a witch, a ghost, or even a zombie - but let me come across a jumbo spider web and I just might lose it - and so will your guests! 



This huge ghost can be spotted from miles away and will definitely have the entire neighborhood talking (or walking). 



Cute, or no? I think so. Give your guest, or trick-or-treaters a great scare or a nice laugh as they approach your home.



I'm thinking strobe lights and smoke for this one! 



Jumbo spiders again?! Yes. As if one isn't enough, if you're throwing a party, hang this on the bathroom door to really get everybody in the spirit! 



To enter, or not to enter - that's the question! Wow everyone as they enter your home with this questionable sign that's sure to keep everyone guessing this Halloween. 

Whether you're throwing a Halloween party, hosting a few friends, or just love decorating for the occasion, these spooky Halloween decor ideas are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit. The great part about it, is that these Halloween decorations are easy to store for years to come. That way, you don't have to continue buying your decor, year after year. Talk about being 'EcoMOMical.' 

Be sure to have the safest and most enjoyable Halloween ever!
xo,
Torche' 










Football season has arrived and it's time to plan those epic gatherings for game day. I know so many people (women mostly) who are always at the football gatherings just for the food. These super easy game day party appetizers will take entertaining to another level! 



Your guests will love the creativity you put into planning the party and your taste buds will love how these easy game day appetizers taste. A party isn't complete without the decor, so don't forget to add a touch of football party decor while you're at it. 









1. Football Cupcakes - The Flying Couponer 
2. Cookies And Cream Football Cheese Ball - Cooking With Carlee 
3. Chocolate Fudge Football Brownie - The Frugal Foodie Mama 
4. Easy Pizza Kabobs - The Frugal Foodie Mama 





5. Brownie Bite Football - Dukes & Duchesses 
6. Chocolate Covered Football Strawberries - The Happier Homemaker 
8. Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies - The Monday Box 
9. Nutter Butter Football Cupcakes - Baked Broiled And Basted 
10. Football Brownie - Mom Always Finds Out 
11. Easy Football Twinkies On A Stick - Home Cooking Memories 



12. Buffalo Ranch Football Cheese Ball Peas And Crayons 
13. Frozen Football Pizza - Diana Rambles
15. Individual Party Pull Apart Bread - Food Meanderings 






18. Caramel Crunch Popcorn - Christina's Cucina
19. Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Dill Pickles - A Fun And Frugal Life
20. Kickin' BLT Dip - Daily DIY Life
22. Crispy & Easy Air Fryer Potato Skins - Daily DIY Life 
23. Instant Pot Honey Buffalo Wings - Flavor The Moments







24. Cheesy Tofu Nuggets (Vegan + Gluten-Free) - Healthy Helper Blog 
25. 5-Minute Homemade Guacamole - Flavor The Moments  
27. Easy Cheeseburger Dip Recipe - Cutefetti 
28. Loaded Cowboy Queso Dip - The Cozy Cook 
29. Parmesan Crusted Tortellini Bites - The Cozy Cook 
30. Garlic Bread Meatball Sub Cups - Cutefetti 
31. Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings - The Cozy Cook 



Easy Chicken Nacho Bites - Crayons And Cravings



32. Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Footballs - The Baking ChocolaTess
33. Touchdown Towers - Urban Bliss Life 
34. Football Character Cookies - Intelligent Domestications 
35. Game Time Deviled Eggs - Cooking On The Front Burner 
36. Spicy Meatloaf Footballs And Beef Empanadas - Courtney's Sweets 
37. Football Tailgate Chocolate Bark - Dukes & Duchesses 
38. Football Taco Boats For Game Day - Finding Zest 


39. Stuffed Pizza Footballs - Cooking With Carlee 
40. Easy Football Cupcakes - Delicious Everyday 
42. Football Brownies - Celebrating Sweets
44. Bacon Beer Cheddar Dip - Swirls Of Flavor 

Not only are these game day party appetizers quick and easy to prepare; they are super tasty and certified crowd-pleasers! Overall, no matter who you're rooting for, food is what brings everybody together. Enjoy the season and have fun! 

xo,
Torche'








































For some time now, meatless dinner ideas has been a huge trend. For my very own reasons, my family and I are now meatless eaters - and have been for a little over two years now. 

Most people have it in their head that the transition will be hard. Honestly, it's not and it's easier than ever when you have delicious recipes, such as these listed below, to substitute those cravings. We often get questions like 'Well, what will you eat?" the answer is simple - food. 


There are so many alternatives to meat. Take mushrooms, for example. Or even lentils, cauliflower and chickpeas. Toss them into your favorite sauce and there you have it - a deliciously hearty, meatless meal that the entire family will love and even request for it weekly. 

There are so many options below that may even have some of the members of your family questioning if it is indeed, meat or veggies. Have fun and get creative! 


1. Vegan Eggplant Pulled Pork Burger (GF) - Rhian's Recipes 
3. Easy Vegan Black Bean Burgers - Shivani Loves Food 
4. Chipotle Pinto Burgers - Veg Annie 
5. Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash - Sheri Silver
6. Easy Spicy Peanut Pasta Salad (Vegan) - Food Meanderings 
7. Low-Fat Buffalo Cauliflower - Seven Roses


8. One-Pot Thai Green Curry Noodles - Delicious Everyday 
9. One-Pot Vegan Jambalaya - Delicious Everyday 
10. Baked Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas - Dizzy Busy And Hungry 
11. Vegan Stuffed Peppers - Masala Herb 
12. Easy Vegan Eggplant Meatballs Spaghetti - My Pure Plants 
13. Easy Indian Lentil Curry Recipe - Whole New Mom 
14. One Pot Mushroom Ragu With Pasta - Kitchen Sanctuary 



15. Cajun Mushroom & Spinach Rigatoni - Stylish Cravings 
16. Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta - Delightful Adventures 
17. Spicy Thai Noodles - Stylish Cravings
18. Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese - 9 On A Dime 
19. Parsley Parmesan Pasta - Brooklyn Farm Girl 
21. Chickpea Curry - Daisies & Pie 



23. Aloo Curry (Indian Potato Curry) - Indian Ambrosia
24. Summertime Grilled Vegetable Soup - The Peasant's Daughter
25. Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup - Money Wise Moms 
26. Easy Pineapple Fried Rice Masala Herb 
27. Mumbai Pav Bhaji - Indian Ambrosia
28. Easy Vegetarian Black Bean Chili - Mash Up Mom 
29. Balsamic Portobello Caprese - Swirls Of Flavor 
30. Sheet Pan Gnocchi With Roasted Vegetables - Dancing Through The Rain



31. Roasted Black Bean Tofu - Very Vegan Val
32. Easy Vegan Skillet Lasagna - Foodal 
33. Easy Minestrone Soup With Beets - Very Vegan Val 
34. Low-Fat Buffalo Cauliflower - Seven Roses
35. Dinner Vegggie Omelet - Midlfie Healthy Living 
36. Vegetarian Taco Soup - Foodal 
37. Instant Pot One Pot Meatless Pasta - Pressure Cook Recipes 


39. Bean Burrito Casserole - Honey And Birch
40. Creamy Vegan Curry Bean Soup - Cheese Curd In Paradise
41. Tofu Fritters Recipe - Your Ultimate Menu
44. Copy Cat Vegan Chick-Fil-A Nuggets - A Wellness Space
45. Garlic Butter Crispy Tofu - A Wellness Space 


48. 3 Cheese Zucchini Pizza - Home Cooking Memories
49. Vegan Naan Pizza - Shivani Loves Food 
50. Eggplant Chickpea Peanut Curry - Rhian's Recipes
51. EZ Crust Dairy-Free Quiche - Whole New Mom
54. Sweet Potato And Chickpea Curry - Cook It Real Good 


55. Vegan Salad Spring Rolls - Pass Me Some Tasty 
56. Vegetarian Red Curry Stir Fry - Happy Kitchen
58. Creamy Coconut Vegan Korma - Little Sunny Kitchen
59. Kidney Bean Curry - Little Sunny Kitchen 
60. Caprese Pasta Bake - Little Sunny Kitchen
61. Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers - My Cultured Palate 
62. Air Fryer Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas - Awe Filled Homemaker 


63. Broccoli Cheese Soup - Wholesome Yum
64. Easy Curry Pasta And Vegetables - Dizzy Busy And Hungry
65. Creamy Pumpkin Pasta - Your Ultimate Menu
66. Instant Pot Yellow Dal - My Kitchen Love
67. Kale Pasta Recipe - A Magical Mess
68. Slow Cooker Paleo Chili - April Go Lightly 
69. Easy Gluten-Free Mexican Pasta Salad - Strength And Sunshine
70. Instant Pot Corn Chowder - Recipes From A Pantry


72. Thai Pineapple Fried Rice - Allergy Yummy 
73. Instant Pot Potato Curry - Attainable Sustainable 
74. Instant Pot Lentils & Rice (Mujadara) - Piping Pot Curry 
75. Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) - Piping Pot Curry 
76. Eggs In Purgatory - Claudia Canu 
77. Instant Pot Chipotle Peruano Beans - Moon Spoon And Yum


78. 20 Minute Sweet And Spicy Noodles - Served From Scratch 
79. Simple Vegan Quinoa Fried Rice - Happy Kitchen 
80. Gluten-Free + Vegan Chickpea Nuggets - Strength And Sunshine

Eighty, delicious ideas to help you make the perfect meatless dinner. Not to mention, they are easy and relatively cheap to prepare. That's close to three entire months of meatless meals - if you were to prepare one, per day. 

xo,
Torche'