Gifts at the holidays do not need to break the bank. Frugal gift and decoration ideas tone down the holidays and bring out what’s best: time spent with loved ones.
It is not necessary to go into debt in order to enjoy a wonderful holiday season. With the right attitude and even the most basic craft and gleaning skills, the holidays can revert to being a time for loved ones, not a shopping frenzy.
Home-made Holiday Decorations
Every year, decorations are bought fresh, costing a small fortune. To save money, families can make decorations instead. A simple paper chain can be made by cutting up magazines into strips. The ends of a strip are taped together, a second strip is woven through then taped, and the process continues until the chain is long enough. Tree decorations can be made by gluing cut-out pictures onto cardboard. Paper clips make good ornament hangers.
A string can be hung up on pushpins and used to display greetings cards. Cards can be quite cheap to buy, but expensive to mail; where it is economical to do so, all cards for a single household can be sent in one envelope. Instead of a tree, holiday decorations can also easily be hung from a string, or even a piece of tinsel. This holiday season we are using Basic invite for our cards! They have a great variety of cards you can choose from dog Christmas cards holiday photo cards 2019 holiday party invitations templates
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Some areas have a community forest where a set number of trees may be cut for free. People living near colleges may wish to check out the dumpsters around the semester’s end. Students often abandon perfectly good trees that can be reused. Check local laws about dumpster diving; sometimes decorations may also be gleaned.
Frugal Holiday Dinners With Less Waste
It is probably not possible to get free food for the holidays. But for a small family, a small chicken might be a better option than a vast turkey. It costs less to cook, too. Of course, if the turkey will be used for leftovers, that is different – these traditional birds sell for only a few cents a pound near the holidays, especially with buy-one get one free deal. But if leftovers are generally stared at in hatred after a few days, a smaller bird may be the way to go.
Christmas cookies are easily and inexpensively made, and their creation is a fun family activity. It is often possible to pick up holiday-themed tins in dollar stores and thrift stores or to decorate tubs saved up over a year.
Saving Money on Gift Wrapping at the Holidays
Instead of buying huge amounts of gift wrap, newspaper comic pages, advertising flyers, or colored magazine pages can be used as gift wrap. While magazines can often be picked up for free from laundromats, libraries, and friends, the availability of junk mail is a sure thing.
Better still, gifts can be wrapped inside reusable containers – anything from socks to dish towels. There is no law that states that everything must come meticulously gift-wrapped and covered in bows, especially when one’s bank account is groaning under the strain.
When it comes to gifts, a family might learn something from JRR Tolkien’s hobbits. The hobbits accumulate “mathoms” – loosely equivalent to “stuff” – and routinely re-gift these items around the village. A gift need not be new to be enjoyed.
Stretching Limited Money Into Many Gifts
For some, lots of gifts to unwrap on the day are part of the game. Such people might enjoy the dollar store game; each person takes an agreed-on amount to the dollar store and uses it to buy gifts, frequently of the surreal and silly variety.
Each person can make coupon books, filled with favors that they think up themselves. (If a child can think up an idea, chances are it is age-appropriate, but in general, an adult should supervise.) A child might receive a coupon to be excused a hated chore on one occasion; a parent might receive an offer of breakfast in bed. These really are the gifts that keep on giving, yielding good memories and smiles all year.
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