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Monday, December 10, 2012

Frugal Christmas Ideas - Gifts & Decorating

Christmas is a time for giving, but the pain of that giving can often last well into the new year.  Here are some ideas to make your Christmas less costly.

Gift Ideas

1. Load That Kindle! - If you're giving a Kindle to someone in your household, or someone on your Amazon account has a Kindle - Start accumulating free books.  Kindle Korner on Facebook announces free books all the time.  Here's a Link to Amazon's "Free" Search.

2.  Free To Play Games  Free Games Link.  Add some surprises to the computer on Christmas eve and simply turn on the monitor in the morning to reveal your additions.

3.  Second Hand Movies and Games - I admit it. I've rarely purchased new games.  A trusted eBay seller with a great feedback rating (over 99.5%) is a great way to pick up movie collections or video games that get you more bang for your buck. Perhaps an old movie that no longer is available at your local store can be stuffed into a stocking.

4.  Book Lots.  Another great way to pick up something special is to check the book lots on eBay.  For the cost of a hardback, I've picked up an entire series.  This is also great for children's books.

12 Months -
6 Issues $4.97
5.  Magazine Subscriptions Under $10  Almost everyone loves to receive magazines in the mail.  Many of these are only $5.  Amazon allows you to print out a gift card to slip into the stocking.  The magazine will ship directly to the recipient.  Be aware - many are auto-renewing.  After I purchased these as gifts, I immediately removed the auto-renew feature.

6. Baked goods.  Whether it's a fresh baked loaf of bread with some jelly, or a tray of cookies - you can extend your gift giving without breaking the bank by remembering people beyond your usual shopping list - the kids' bus driver, school teacher, your mailman, trash collector, or a neighbor.

Decorating Ideas

Gift wrap scraps are free.  They usually end up in the trash.  When my kids were little, I would take tiny boxes made of whatever cardboard I could lay my hands on.  I'd wrap them in the prettiest paper scraps and use them for decorating.  The kids would occasionally be caught playing with them, but they're unbreakable and free.  Tie strings to them and group the tiny "presents" for a hanging on your front door.

You can add a little festivity to your children's rooms by using ribbon or wrapping paper to form a Christmas tree on their door - secured with a little transparent tape.

Using Nature
  • This time of year, there are plenty of branches (here in this colder climate of Western Pennsylvania) with oak leaves still attached.  Clip off a branch, spray paint it and sprinkle it with glitter while it's still wet.  If you have some spare ribbon, you can loop it through the small branches or tie bows on the ends of them. Wind an old string of lights through them and you have a festive display.
  • Pine cones - yet another wonderful resource.  Whether you glue bows onto the fat ends, or brush a little school glue onto them and sprinkle with glitter... or even wire some together and hang them on your front door, you can't beat the cost and availability of pine cones.  A ride down a back road, and I've gathered a full bag in no time.  If they're sticky with sap, or not quite as open as you'd like them to be - follow the tips on this page to prepare them. How to Prepare and Preserve Pine Cones
  • Plain or Pine branches - glitter - yes, glitter again.  OR nestling an ornament into a couple pine branches on your window sill.  Just be sure to put something under them to protect your sill.

Please share some of your own frugal holiday tips.  Later this week, I'll have more Holiday Ideas.

1 comment:

  1. My granddaughter received a Kindle a couple of years ago and her Aunt & Uncle loaded it with stuff!