Each day we will be posting A Thrifty Christmas Tip, from our readers. At the end of the month, one of you will win a $100.00 Gift Card. For all the details click here. Keep those thrifty tips coming!!!
Every year it became difficult to find the “right” gift for all so I started a theme gift giving Christmas.Everyones gift may not be the same but it is related to the theme I choose. I started simple with a sweater year, then PJ’s, books, then I got creative. Beach was one of the favorites with sand and water toys for the little ones,sunscreens, flip flops, beach chairs for teens & young adults, beach towels, bags, umbrellas for the adults. Everyone’s absolute favorite(believe it or not)was my gift wrap year,little ones got craft,ornament or card sets to make, high school and college age-gift wrap, tape, scissors, tissue, adults-men got gift bags, tissue, and cards(they were the most appreciative)women-gift wrap containers, tags, bows, tapes, ribbon. You choose the theme at the end of the year so I always snag very cheap after season sales and you can watch all year to fulfill your goals. There is no more gift comparing, and now everyone looks forward to and try to guess my surprise themes!
I buy toys that are in like-new condition at garage sales. Sometimes I will save them and wrap them for my kids for Christmas! My kids are so happy & I’ve saved a ton of money. I find garage sales are really hit-or-miss…but it’s worth trying (especially if your kids are young)! It’s worked for me!
I save the free samples I receive through out the year and then make gift baskets for my family members. If I have a lot of makeup samples I make a make up basket with the samples. This year I have 3 spa baskets and two makeup baskets.
My husband’s side of the family is larger and when adding spouses and kids it got to be overwhelming and expensive. We eventually went the route of exchanging names which definitely cut the cost. One year, however, we had several with financial struggles and the thought was to do away with gifts that year but then we came up with an idea to draw names again but the gift had stipulations…. The gift could not be something that cost anything….
*You can use items from your home that you already have (i.e. recycle, upcycle)
*Regifting is okay
*If you have to spend money on items to finish the gift (i.e an ingredient, glue, packaging) then no more than $5 can be spent.
We drew names with plenty of time to allow people the opportunity to think about what to give and create if needed.
We even included the kids…. here are some gifts I remember:
A teacher’s kit for a little girl (pens, pencils, papers to grade, a briefcase, a clipboard,etc)
A puppet set- a slew of sock puppets stored in a bright paper covered box with a doorway puppet stage (tension rod with sheet)
Coloring books printed from internet
An original poem (that brought tears to everyone in the family)
Never used scrapbooks
And more that I can’t remember
It was a great memory maker and it was a great way to express the fun of giving yet not spend more than what we really could afford.
This year and the previous 2 years, my family and I have established a seperate savings account to be used for christmas gifts. This eliminates the need to come up with money at the end of the year and trying to figure out where in the budget it was going to come from. Also, Every year my kids clean out their toy box and donate toys they are no longer using.
December 4th, 2010 at 7:30 pm · Edit
Growing up my mom always made us clean out our toy box before christmas, normally I think she gave them to the salvation army. One year however there was a family that had just moved into the area and didn’t have much money. These people were and still are some of my families best friends. My parents took our toys to their parents and their parents were able to give gifts to their kids giving them a christmas. I remember going to my friends house a few days later and seeing the joy in my friends eyes at having “new” toys. I was only about 10 but can still remember it.
My thrifty tip:
I buy all my wrapping paper, cards, bows, lights and stocking stuffers etc the week after christmas for the next year saving 75-90%
I shop the week after christmas mainly the dollar stores and get packages of ornaments for about 25 cents. There are normally about 6 in a pack. Then wait for the next year and put my nephews names, my name and the year on it using it as a stocking stuffer. This way by the time they are old enough to leave home they will have a good start on their own collection of ornaments and maybe each ornament will help them remember that specific christmas. I also make homemade candy and give out boxes of it to friends and shut-ins.
I have a decent collection of high-value coupons and also coupons for free items that don’t expire until several months into the new year. I have saved them to give as xmas presents this year. I’m so happy for couponing because without couponing I wouldn’t be able to do this!