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Holidays on a Budget

Hello all!




   With the holidays fast approaching and the economy being what it is we are all looking for inexpensive if not free ideas to to still make the holidays Merry and Bright! I would like to devote the next couple of weeks to posting tips for celebrating the upcoming holidays as frugally as possible :) We would greatly appreciate your ideas on decorating, cooking and gift giving on a budget!!

Here's a few gift giving ideas I stole from another site that I liked :)

Muffin mixes with muffin pan
Books ( from a used book store)
Mixed cd's
Plants from the $1 store in pretty 2nd hand pots
Decopauge ( buy 2nd hand tins or boxes from a thrift store and decorate them yourself)
Homemade recipe book

Homemade journals ( cheap notebook decorated for each individual person)
Home baked cookies on a pretty plate ( decopauge?)
Homemade soup mixes or cocoa mix in a pretty jar
Collage of special photos ( you can buy inexpensive frames from the $1 store)
Home baked bread, include recipe
Homemade scented candles or soaps





My parents use to tell me stories about how their poorest holidays were there best holidays! My mom said everyone had to be much more creative and involved. She always said "you can't BUY  Christmas spirit! It comes from your heart"  :)

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
darktalynn
Nov. 10th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking in some homemade key chains.

Last year I offered handmade book markers, and some decoupage boxes. They come out pretty cool.. sorry I don't have pictures for posting.
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
I love decopauge. You can be so creative with it. Boxes, tins, jars even plates :) Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
The floral stores are a great place to get natural decorations! Great ideas thank you!!
elegant_emily
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
My husband and I always do homemade goodies for our extended family and parents... gingerbread cookies and homemade vanilla extract last year. They ship just fine. I'm not sure what we'll do this year... maybe spiced tea mix, or homemade cocoa mix, and/or gingerbread biscotti...

Our nieces and nephew are all going to get books this year, because I have a lot of Scholastic Book Club points, so I can get them by redeeming points (not really free, since I bought a lot of books to GET the points... but without spending ADDITIONAL money).

My sisters and our SOs and I all do secret santa, so we have one gift to buy there.

Not sure about my parents... was thinking of getting my in-laws a T-45 (the plane my husband is flying now) tree ornament, and a shirt from the squadron here for my sister in law... not sure about brother in law..

In all, I'm guessing we'll only spend 100-200 dollars total this Christmas. We're trying like crazy to pay off our very last loan (almost done!) and save for a "baby car" in a couple years. So we're trying to be pretty frugal!
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
Homemade goodies are my favorite! Thank you :)
elegant_emily
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
oh also... my dad and stepmom just emailed me yesterday with a request that my sisters and I NOT get them anything for Christmas... so I will probably just bake them a spice cake while I'm visiting them.
kholan
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
I remember when I was a kid making a very large batch 'nuts & bolts' (with the shreddies, cheerios, pretzels etc. in it) and dividing it into jars to give to relatives. The jars were decorated with Christmas pattern material over the lid and ribbon holding it on. This usually went over great since we have such a large family.

We used the recipe on the back of a cereal box - though I forget now which cereal it was!
zadok_allen
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
http://www.chex.com/recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=6709&CategoryId=343

Pretty much the same as our recipe, except we use dry roasted peanuts instead of mixed nuts, and omit the bagel chips.
feministyogini
Nov. 10th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
I love this idea!!
Who doesn't love 'nuts and bolts' snacks?
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
My sister does that for everyone in the family each year. We all look forward to it!
imabadkitty
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I crochet, & make a lot of scarves for people who usually love them. I like to use fun yarn like eyelash yarn or fun fur yarn, which now you can find at the Dollar Tree stores.

a new Christmas craft that I'm doing this year is decorating wine bottles. You take an empty wine bottle with a pretty label,rinsed out & dried. I put some potpourri in the bottom of it, then fill it with a string of 20-30 white twinkle lights. I decorate the top of the outside of the bottle with silk ivy leaves, small artifical grapes, & tie the whole thing together with a raffia bow, leaving some of the pieces of raffia all dangly. It's practically a free craft after you invest in the grapes, ivy & lights, really pretty once it's all together, & everyone seems to love them. My presentation this year will be to give them in gift bags meant for a bottle of wine, which you can also get at the dollar store, in fact, almost everything that I use to decorate them with can be had from the dollar store, except for the grapes. I had to get them at Walmart but they were a couple of bucks & you get a bunch of uses out of one bunch. We're on an extremely tight budget this year because of medical bills, so I am definitely into thrifty presents this year!! Great ideas that you shared-thanks!
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
Oh I would love to see a pic of one of those! They sound beautiful!
disgruntal_goat
Nov. 11th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
We are doing a secret santa with a group of friends this year. We all spent way too much money last year getting individual gifts, so this will help.

My husband and I agreed to a set budget (which is very low) because we want to focus on working on the house instead. I think that a set budget always helps.

In the past, I have made some home-made gifts like a painting or drawing. THat works if you are artistic. You can always get a picture put on a mug, or mouse pad for a fairly reasonalble price. Home made jewellery is cheap too. You can usually get the supplies at the dollar store.
sweetcharity
Nov. 11th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the ideas :) I love the secret santa thing!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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