Post # 1
I know that this is a bit late since it is 6 days before Christmas, but what are your favorite cost-savings tips? Here are a few of my own and family traditions.
- My mom would Christmas shop throughout the year, stockpiling gifts to ensure that we always had a full Christmas even though the amount wasn’t necessarily too expensive. The downfall is that she would forget her hiding places and random times during the year she would give us gifts that she forgot to give during Christmas (LOVE HER)
- Mine: I am starting a tradition of using newspaper for wrapping paper on all of our gifts. I cannot stomach the price of wrapping paper when I saved so much on other things. I am not a big proponent of the paper costing more than the gift. I googled pictures and found that I am “eco-chic” I guess that is a synonym for cheap as hell.
- Reusing Christmas ornaments. My best friend in the past would throw her entire tree away, ornaments at all. I had never heard of that practice, but since she did it others may, SAVE your ornaments! If you decide to change the theme, then keep your ornaments in a bin just in case the ones you purchase fit into future themes.
- Set a budget and stay within it.
- For those of us with kiddies ask them which ONE gift they want the most and get them that. The rest of the gifts get to be what you would like them to have (remember the pointer above while fulfilling your wish list for your kiddies).
- Don’t try to outdo anyone! I found out that one of my besties spent 600 per child on Christmas. I find that obscene and insane.
Remember we are all bees!! Crafting does wonders, take a look at this personalized desk that I made with my cricut personal expression (60) and table trays from Wal-mart for $12 each. Even those of us that aren’t crafty have etsy or at least the ability to PM other bees who can walk you through the process!!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!
Post # 3
My fiance saved me money at Christmas by buying all the things I was going to get him for Christmas BEFORE Christmas.
EDIT: Your mom with the random gifts during the year is totally cute.
Post # 4
We do a gift exchange for the adults so we only buy one adult in the family a gift but I do buy for all the kids. I also set a budget and list of who I am buying for and the amount. I also have my boys set a budget and make a list so they learn how to manage money. Our biggest tradition is baking. We bake gingerbread houses for all the families we know with children and then make bags with candy and frosting for them to decorate with. This year I crafted recipe books for all the kids in our family. I laminated them and had them spiral bound. I love the idea of using newspaper for wrapping! Very eco-chic
Post # 5
HA! My mom used to hide Christmas presents and forget about them, too! Score for getting random gifts all year long!
I definitely vote for an artificial tree over a real one. Doesn’t smell as nice, but reusing the same one each year sure does save you a lot of money!
Post # 6
@15happyyears: oh my kids totally would have loved that recipe book!! care to share some of them?! And I am totally jealous that I am not a family you know, I want to do the gingerbread houses too, I think that is sooooooo cool.
@pinkpaperbride: Coughing I actually do real trees…. I usually never have time or money to buy a great fake one. This year’s tree cost $25 and is really pretty. However my mom always did fake trees and I never had a real one, perhaps that’s the reason I like them.
My kids will probably balk at the idea of newspaper wrapping when they get older and do only “real” wrapping paper.
Post # 7
@crebre80: I’m kind of your tree opposite–we always had real trees when I was little, but now that I’m grown I like the ease of a fake one. Also, no pine needles on the floor to stab me in the foot! Has that ever happened to you or did we just not do it right? If you’re interested in an artificial one, try shopping after Christmas sales–you can usually find great deals!
Post # 8
I love the wrapping with newspaper = “is a synonym for cheap as hell.”
My brother (27) still does this but it has to at least be the comics section. SIL hates it.
Post # 9
your friend threw away ornaments?! i have never heard of someone doing that! my parents have ornaments that they received when they first got married 30+ years ago.
Post # 10
@pinkpaperbride: LOL!! I haven’t stepped on one yet (is that crazy?!) And I know about the after Christmas sales, unfortunately I am usually shopping for clothes lol!!!!!
@aandmklover: See I am thinking about doing comics for the kids or black and white regular paper with cool christmas stamps….. My hubby actually thought it was brilliant lol!!!!!
@BirdofaFeather: OMG me neither. When she told me that I was like OMG my mom still has gifts from when I was a little girl, I love seeing them! After I told her that I think she felt bad lol!!! I just never heard of that before in my life. Of course I am the frugalista so I wouldn’t dare :D. It is against my new less is more philosophy.
Since the recession has hit and times have been extremely difficult for us this year with layoffs, I have seen a new side of me that I didn’t know existed. I am so frugal it is nearly to a fault. Each time I think I want to buy this, I think of the great depression and how people worked hard and saved money afterwards and were richer in ways other than money. I am enjoying my newfound freedom…
Post # 11
@deliciousappleblue: that is pretty funny and totally something that I used to do. BTW I love your avatar!! My mom is cute and pretty darned funny! She is going to be surprised by her Christmas gift, I got her a photo-album from Wal-mart with some of the wedding pictures in it and a promise of more to come (I haven’t gotten my CD’s yet from my photog).
Post # 12
Shopping on Amazon. I bought pretty much everyone’s gifts from Amazon. No Tax and Free 2 day shipping using their Student Prime Membership. It’s awesome! And almost everything on there is cheaper than in the stores to begin with too, not factoring in the no tax and free shipping thing.
Post # 13
@amariem25: I have never done amazon (is that strange?!) i am an ebay’er craigslister type person lol!
Post # 14
You’re crafty, so you might like a few of these 🙂
I made my own ornaments a few years ago because my pets kept breaking the glass ball style ornaments! Using a styrofoam cutter and sheets, I made 2 inch cubes, wrapped them with nice leftover paper from the previous year, added skinny wire ribbon and made present ornaments. I also purchased decorative ‘table scatter’ like what you might put with candles in a hurricane or tossed on a table as part of your centerpieces – they looked like small disco balls, so I used some of my jewelry making tools and wire to glue hooks into them. Total, I decorated the tree for under $20 and have used them for four years running. Very unique and cute!
Last year I worked hard for a couple of weeks to make my MIL a prayer bracelet and matching earrings. She loved them! I’ve given crocheted scarves and blankets in the past.
This year, I’m giving all the iPhone users in my life a set of stretchy style gloves (99 cents!) which I have sewn in fingerpads that allow you to use the touch screen with your gloves on. After supplies and shipping, each pair came in around $2 including the price of the gloves 🙂
I’m giving a lot of baked goods for gifts this year. Breads, cookies, cake bites.
And I’ll say it – I’m a re-gifter. I try very hard to be sneaky about the way I do it – and so far I haven’t been ‘caught’. I recently received something super useful from a name brand company that just doesn’t match my things – Mom is getting it under the tree because it goes with her kitchen. 🙂
Post # 15
One last comment. I’m AWFUL about buying too much for people – I’ll be in a store and see the ‘perfect thing’ and think, ‘Oh, I’ll just pick it up. I know I already bought something else but oh well…’ and the next thing I know, I’m WAY overbudget.
Despite paying shipping and gift wrap fees, shopping online this year saved me the hassle AND a lot of money!
Post # 16
Fake tree on Craigslist, cost as little as a real tree and we only had to pay once instead of every year.
The best idea I had this year when I was searching for ways to make our home look really beautiful and festive was to buy some of that three-inch-wide bendy white sparkly ribbon with gold edges that you can get to decorate presents, and put it all over the house. I draped it in loose curls all around our windows, bannisters, and ledges. It’s like the cheapest garland ever and looks splendid; we’ve gotten compliments from everyone who’s seen it.
Also, after considering paying fifty bucks each for our pets’ stockings on Etsy, I found my sanity and instead grabbed cute miniature stockings from our neighborhood grocery store for a dollar each.
Finally, Sam’s Club. We got a free membership through a friend and our light-up hearth garland and some under-the-tree light-up decorations were dirt cheap there. I love the sparkly glow they add.