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Busy. It is a word that has been around forever. However, nowadays, some people don’t like to use it. Some say it causes stress and makes you feel even more overwhelmed. I, for one, disagree.

I, by choice, am always busy. Being a small business owner, my work day never really ends. Then I have a family to take care of. I volunteer in the community. I also do extra things like write this column, teach coupon classes and other things to occupy my time. But for me, this works. I love having things to do. If I am sitting with no plans, I get bored. So I welcome the long to-do list. And this time of year, that list only gets longer.

I always say, once Thanksgiving comes, it seems like my family is busy every weekend until the end of the year. Family get-togethers, traditions, company parties and then all of the holidays. It sure is a busy time of year, but if you plan ahead, it can be a great time to save money on things you will need to buy this season.

Eat in-season food: Pumpkins, squash, apples and potatoes are priced lowest this time of year. Take advantage of the low prices and stock up on these fresh items. Plan ahead menus so you don’t waste the fresh produce you have bought. There are many recipes online if you need help planning.

Stock up on baking supplies: The best time to buy these is between now and Christmas. Manufactures know that everyone does a lot of baking this time of year. There are many coupons and sale items available in this category. A lot of these items have a long shelf life, so you are able to stock up at rock bottom prices.

Save on a new dress or outfit for the party: Check out the many online sites to save money and enjoy free shipping. Or enjoy a day of shopping and treat yourself to a new outfit or dress. If you have more than one party to attend, buy something you can wear more than once and spend the money you saved on something else! Over the summer I rented a dress. It was wonderful, and I saved a lot of money.

Get lots of coupons: November is known to be one of the best months to get coupons. There are normally more printable coupons, bigger inserts and sometimes more each week. Check out the many online sites to print coupons, and buy some extra copies of The Post-Star on Sundays if there is special coupons your family will use.

Whatever you do this month, enjoy the time you have making plans, getting ready for the party or having an event yourself. Try and save the most money you can and still have fun. It is a great month to remember how thankful we should all be each and every day.

Kimberly Butler is a busy mom, wife and child care provider who loves to save money. She lives in Queensbury with her family and her black lab Duke and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star.

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