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This is the busiest time of the year. Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, the weeks just fly by until the new 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 the lowest this time of year. Take advantage of the low prices and stock up on these fresh items. Many of these items can be frozen and used at a later date. Plan menus ahead so you don’t waste the fresh produce you have bought. You can always go online and find websites that can help with menus and recipes as well.

Stock up on baking supplies: The best time to buy these is between now and Christmas. Manufacturers 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. Take a look at neutral items such as sugar, flour, baking soda, etc. — staples that you can use all year round.

Save on a new dress or outfit for the party: Check out the many online sites to save money and enjoy free shipping. There are even websites where you can rent dresses. This may be a good option for you if you never plan to wear it again. 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.

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 are special coupons your family will use.

With Thanksgiving behind us, many people forget how important it is to donate and continue to help programs or the upcoming months. When stocking up, grab a couple extra items. Look through your pantry and see if there is anything you will not be needing. It is a great month to remember how thankful we should all be each and every day. It is also a great month to help others.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family. We are in the process of planning the class’s upcoming dates. Feel free to call 518-742-3309 or go to poststar.com/couponclass for more information.

Head over to my blog at Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing to find some great deals around the region this week. These will point you in the right direction to saving more money. Post your questions, comments and deals in the comments section. Let’s start saving money together.

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Kimberly Butler is a mom, wife and child care provider located in Queensbury and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com or visit her Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing Blog at www.poststar.com/blogs/making_cents.

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