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Topic: CHRISTMAS! ...on a budget?  (Read 5535 times)
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Psychocraftishredhead
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« on: October 07, 2008 06:33:17 PM »

Lets face it, times are hard financially.  People are penny pinching, and they should be.  People are losing money in the stock market, jobs are scarce, and some of us just let our boyfriend, mom, and old manager talk us into quitting our job at quiznos against our better judgment and are starting to regret it.

But... THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING UP!!! My personal favourite time of the year, a time of cocoa and trees and parties and wreaths and caroling and all my favourite things about life.  A time to spend lots and lots of money!  But there in lies the problem: now isn't a time to be spending lots of money.

So does anyone have and thrifty/cheap/recyclable money saving tips for the holiday season?  If you have any ideas at all I'd love to hear them.

Cheers!
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008 08:17:39 PM »

1. the obvious would be to make gifts. especially if you have a "stash"
2. baked goods make wonderful gifts too---you can make a crapload for cheap
3. use recycled goods for wrapping. newspapers, pretty bows from magazines, there's a thread on here somewhere, i tend to collect boxes...from everything pretty much...use them as storage--for swaps---and well to put gifts into so the receiver [MY BF the present shaker & guesser] doesnt know what it is. back on the wrapping paper---dont waste what you do have. i still have wrapping paper from last year & probably the year before lol
4. use all of the free resources that come to you...like per say...junk mail. If there are a lot of women/girls you will be gifting to. Use up that junk mail & make recycled paper. On the same note...you can personalize it with stamps & stuff. Throw in some envelopes [stamped the same]. wahlah.. you have custom stationary sets for the cost of 1 box of envelopes, stamps [or use some you have in your stash], 1 ink pad [or use one you have in your stash], & free paper. S0o if you were only had to buy the envelopes...then it would cost 1 dollar for a whole crap load of these. s0o why not buy a pack of pens to throw with it lol.
5. enjoy the season. there are plenty of things to do during the holiday season rather than spending money. -go sledding. free. snuggle up & read a good book. free. build a snowman. free. sit on your porch, balcany, or just sit by the window lol & drink coffee/hot cocoa whatever.
6. if you have kids, have them "help" with the baking. Have them MAKE ornaments as gifts. Usually people have the stuff for ornaments on hand because there are a billion ways you can make an ornament.
7. crochet, knit, sew---or do whatever hobby it is you like. usually...well you have stuff on hand for it. so its technically free because you -already bought it-someone gave it to you-you found it- whatever
8. If you chose to buy gifts rather than make them-for whatever reason-. I highly suggest a "gift closet" or storage tub or whatever. Shop year round during sales & stuff. Thats the 2nd easiest way to save money -as opposed to making gifts- for the holiday season. OR take the saving route. if you start in january & put away $20 a month...well by the time christmas rolls around you have $240 for gifts.
9. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER charge gifts on a credit card - no matter how broke you are. That perfect gift you found for your mom on clearance for $5, Cool shirt for the man in your life $50 [he really wanted it], Necklace for you grandma $200 [because it was custom & you KNOW she will just adore it], etc will easily skyrocket once all that interest kicks in. PLUS you'll be biting yourself in the butt in the long run. Sure, its easy to just swipe the plastic...However, it's definitely not the thriftiest way.
10. Scour thrift stores! Sometimes you can find the coolest stuff that just screams "[insert name]" because you know they will love it. Vintage stuff from their childhood...All very cool. My thrift stores happen to have supplies lol so i love it. I get a deal on yarn & stuff as opposed to the Jo-ann's right across the parking lot. Wink
11. Do craft swaps. There are many MANY MANY talented people on craftster. Some of which have better skills than you/do things you cant. They send you stuff thats totally awesome & well...it can be gifted. Most of the swaps I do are for other people in my life. It's the easiest way to umm...shop for the cost of shipping? & well of course the supplies for your partner's stuff [but maybe you already have everything you needed in your stash?]. Do it year-round [yes...i have an addiction lol] & you have a whole crapload of gifts by the time christmas comes around.
12. Planning is the key to being thrifty. Seriously, if you think about it. It really is. I know my mom would stock up on shoes for us kids when they were on sale. Buy them in larger sizes & stuff...So that when the time came that we needed shoes she wasnt trying to scrounge up the money for them or making us kids wear too small of shoes/holey shoes etc.
13. Use it up. Simply meaning use what you already have. THEN buy what you need.
14. Always remember that the simpliest things are the most memorable & treasured things.

Those are my thoughts. I could probably think of a zillion more. I know I moved away from your original question. But its all about planning really. Plan ahead & the holidays go much smoother [on your wallet too].

0o0or another option is to be like a few people in my family. bah hum-bugs. lol they say forget the holidays I aint buying sh*t. and well....they dont lol Thats actually the thriftiest way probably lol. not exactly the funnest though Wink
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008 08:46:09 PM »

we sometimes do a "recycled" gift exchange.  Wrap up stuff you don't use, or stuff you get at garage sales/thrift stores.  I like to use newspapers for wrapping to continue the recycled theme--old maps work well, too.  We usually do a "yankee trader" style exchange, where we draw numbers and #1 chooses and  unwraps a gift, then #2 can steal it or open a new one, and so on.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008 01:46:40 PM »

all i can say is, start as early as possible! christmas is expensive but the more time you spread it out over, the less money and stress it'll be. and if you start early, you won't end up panic-buying! look out for deals, find family members you can share a gift with if it's a bit expensive (my little brother is loaded and a rubbish gift-buyer). use what's in your stash to make generic gifts. some things can be made really cheaply, like a hot chocolate kit. plastic spoons dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, a dollar store mug, and some sweets or chocolate mix! gifts that can be made in bulk save on supplies and time. and baking is always good. don't waste time or money on people who won't appreciate it - bake them something instead. massive batches of cookies last a while and everyone has taste buds, right?
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metalpunkmonster
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008 06:21:15 PM »

i'm in the same boat.  my boyfriend and i don't make a whole lot of money, but we have a ton of people to give gifts to (he had a HUGE italian family).  i've already started crafting as cheaply as possible.

-bake cookies and make candy.  the ingredients aren't too expensive, plus a lot of baking stuff is on sale this time of year cus so many people bake.  also bags of flour and sugar go a long way.  cookies usually go over well too.  i can't think of anyone who will turn one down!  you can package them in inexpensive gladware and have fun decorating it with glitter glue, ribbon, etc.

-free wrapping paper!  when you go to the store to pick up all that flour, sugar, and eggs, have the bagger put it in paper bags.  then cut off the bottom and down one side, and decorate it with stamps, paint, glitter, etc.  one grocery bag is enough to wrap a standard shirt box.

-craft from your stash.  if you knit, crochet, cross-stitch, or do any other craft that leaves you with extra for a stash, do some stash busting!  that way all of your materials are "free".

-keep it simple.  instead of thinking about each person and what he/she would like the best, i'm making generic gifts that anyone could use.  i'm mainly doing christmas ornaments, but i think i might make some scarves from my yarn stash too.  they're pretty quick and easy.

-take advantage of sales and coupons.  michael's and jo-ann's put out coupons in the sunday paper.  ask family and friends to share them with you if they don't need them.

i hope this helps.  good luck!
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008 06:33:29 PM »

My dad makes our xmas wreath each year, out of the trimmings of our xmas tree! It's perfect, and looks so much better than the bought ones. Also, make cookies/candy to give away to those people who you feel you need/want to give a gift, but can't spend a lot of money on.
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MandaRue
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008 08:47:40 PM »

I LOVE the idea of the hot chocolate kit. I have a question though. How/What do you use to make the chocolate dipped spoons? My craft is painting on jars and such, but I love learning new crafts and new ideas. We're on a budget this year too. First year married, money's tight. But I've got some family, my side and his, that would love the hot chocolate kit. Thanks!
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008 05:47:28 AM »

I LOVE the idea of the hot chocolate kit. I have a question though. How/What do you use to make the chocolate dipped spoons? My craft is painting on jars and such, but I love learning new crafts and new ideas. We're on a budget this year too. First year married, money's tight. But I've got some family, my side and his, that would love the hot chocolate kit. Thanks!

I know your not talking to me, but I did that last year as gifts! You can use heavy plastic spoons. Here's a site that has instructions that will help! Good luck Smiley

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/chocolate-covered-spoons.shtml
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008 12:21:36 PM »

My suggestion would be:  GAMES!

Since times are a little bit more challenging, people will be spending more time at home.

You could make a HUGE checkers game using plywood and come up with something creative for pieces. 

You can do the iron fabric thing and make personalized bean bags. 

You can make personalized coloring books.

There are ton of things you can recreate.
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MandaRue
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008 04:30:04 PM »

I LOVE the idea of the hot chocolate kit. I have a question though. How/What do you use to make the chocolate dipped spoons? My craft is painting on jars and such, but I love learning new crafts and new ideas. We're on a budget this year too. First year married, money's tight. But I've got some family, my side and his, that would love the hot chocolate kit. Thanks!

I know your not talking to me, but I did that last year as gifts! You can use heavy plastic spoons. Here's a site that has instructions that will help! Good luck Smiley

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/chocolate-covered-spoons.shtml

Thank you so much! I've decided I'm going to make those for some people in the family. And for others I'm making chocolate peanut butter fudge, buckeyes, no bake cookies and chess bars (for my aunt, she loves em Smiley ).. for my grandma, i'm going to get her a bag of coffee and a big mug (she loves coffee).

my uncle has an embroidery business and i'm waiting on him to embroider me 4 panels i cut out for my dad. he loves led zeppelin and the celtic stuff. so i got my uncle to embroider 4 panels with the led zeppelin logo and i'm going to make a quilt with some celtic fabric i bought off ebay years ago. hopefully he'll get it by christmas. if not it'll be father's day lol
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