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What are your "Hip" & Frugal Holiday Tips?

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Since I am all about being hip (or at least, I try to be ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and frugal, I was hoping that we could all share some of our best-kept holiday savings tips and tricks. Here are a few of mine…

* Send a Christmas postcard (only 28ยข postage) versus a Holiday card in an envelope (44ยข postage)

* Wrap presents with the comic strip section of the newspaper, magazines or consider using brown paper grocery bags that can be decorated with stamps, markers and more.

* Purchase wallet size photos of your kiddos/family, laminate them, and then use them as gift tags.

* Make your own home-made holiday decorations… my kiddos love to collect pine-cones. Spray the tips gold or silver, place them in a holiday bowl and you have an instant holiday centerpiece!

And check out this email that I received from reader, Sommer…

I thought I would pass along this money saving tip that has really helped us this year. With the upcoming holidays, buy 12 (or more if you wish) turkeys when they are on sale – $0.39 or less per pound. I averaged around $0.28 cents a pound for all of mine. Plan to make one once a month throughout the year. Yesterday, we cooked our last turkey & it really helped with our meat bill this year especially since we stretch it to last for about 5 dinners for our family of 5 (turkey dinner, casseroles, pot pies and so on).

How do you stretch your holiday budget when it comes to buying gifts, decorating your home, preparing meals etc.?

Collin founded Hip2Save in 2008 and has over 10 years experience as a deals and lifestyle editor, strategist, and creative copywriter. She is debt-free and has been featured in Parents Magazine, Today.com and MSNBC. Connect with Collin on LinkedIn

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Comments 453

  1. Melinda P

    I shop the after christmas clearance for gift wrap. I wait until it’s 75-90% off, tee hee. And I still get really cute paper for next year. I also try to find wrapping paper that could be used for birthdays, etc in the christmas paper too. Hey, no one’s gonna know (or care) that the solid green wrapping paper around that b-day gift is actually from Christmas….

  2. Brenda

    Collin, you said: Send a Christmas postcard (only 28ยข postage) versus a Holiday card in an envelope (44ยข postage)

    I do this, but rather than buying postcards, us the front of the beautiful Christmas cards that are sent to us every year. We cut the front of the cards off, assuming they are not written on, and recycle them by creating a postcard from them, and sending them out the next year. I always hated throwing out the beautiful cards, and this way, I don’t have to and others can enjoy them, too!

    Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone!

  3. Teresa T.

    I buy clearance Halloween candy to use in stockings. My stores generally start marking down the day after and it keeps going down in price every few days. Obviously not the black and orange variety, but KitKats are wrapped in red wrappers, so I’m a little picky, but generally can find a good selection. Also, if you make gingerbread houses at your home each Christmas this is a good time to stock up on that kind of candy also (usually the stuff no one really likes goes on 90% off) and it looks great on the gingerbread house!
    A friend of mine said that each year she lets her children pick their top 15 (give or take)favorite candies out of their Halloween trick-or-treat candy, then they all put the rest of their candy in a big jar to use for their gingerbread houses.
    This year I am giving games (remember the sale in Feb. or March where we were getting the Sorry, Scrabble card games almost free. Well, I was able get about 15 over the course of a month or so and am giving that to our neighbors this year with a box of popcorn for game night – less than a $1.00 per present! Thanks Hip2Save!
    At our ‘used’ store I have found really good books – looking like brand new. They make great teacher gifts – age appropriate, of course. But grade school teachers appreciate good hard cover books to read in class – I have found several Christmas ones and it is fun to gift early in the month, so the class can enjoy through the month.
    This year I have been saving my tin cans (vegetables, spaghetii sauce,cocoa, etc.) and am going to get some red spray paint and paint them all red and then put white snowflake stickers on them and then fill them with goodies for our neighbors who won’t appreciate a game night. I think that will be a fun project to do with our children.
    All this talk of Christmas makes me want to go put on some Christmas CD’s! I love this holiday.

  4. Teresa T.

    Oh, for all you Glade Candle coupon holders out there. Last year I was able to get a ton of glad candles for around .50 after coupons, with the sales, etc. and I gave them as neighborhood gifts and teachers and everyone! (haha) and I wrapped them in celephone with a very pretty bow and on the tag printed

    “We hope your holidays are Merry and BRIGHT!”
    I was worried this might not be that good of a gift, but they looked so nice all wrapped up and I got a ton of compliments! I bought the Christmas scents for most of them or apple/spice and it really was a good gift.

    • mg

      I took advantage of the Glade coupons too…lots of my friends are fans of The Office so I made labels and turned Glade into “Serenity by Jan” and there was a deal somewhere for free photo mugs that I made into mugs with my friends faces and blue stars a la Kelly’s “America’s Got Talent” party mugs and then I bought glass jars of beets and made labels that said “Schrute Farms Beets” and that combo was a big hit and so much fun to make and was less than $5 a person…although this year I’m feeling the pressure to come up with something as good!

      • Shelly P

        This is a fabulous idea!!! thanks for sharing.

      • Latasha

        I’m so stealing a few of these ideas for this year! My husband and I are huge fans of the series and always do one gag gift for each other in our stockings. I got Season 6 on DVD and it came with a “That’s What She Said” t-shirt so I can add some of these to that for him. Awesome!

  5. Lyla D

    I guess one thing that has helped our entire family during our Christmas gathering is drawing names for those over 16 yrs. The gifts don’t necessarily have to be purchased, they can be hand made, too (those are the best gifts). We still love buying for the younger ones. Also, I have a huge roll of brown kraft paper (36″ wide), and invite the little ones over to make sheets of gift wrap. They get to take home what they have created to wrap gifts for their parents, friends, other siblings, etc. The adults love getting gifts wrapped with their original art work. After some careful cropping, my son has framed and hung some of their creations to display in his family room. They change from year to year and holiday to holiday, but the kids take great joy in telling visitors that those are their creations. I love the gift tag idea, made with laminated pictures. That’s one I really have to do. There are a lot of nifty tips on here. Thanks everyone.

    • sierra martin

      you can buy that really thick painters paper from home depot for about $2-3 a roll, and it’s HUGE, easily 10x longer than a standard roll of wrapping paper. I use it as paper in my life drawing class.. but I’ve found it’s awesome to mail packages in, and it’s a really nice shade of brown for wrapping presents.

      • Jaden Brulotte

        That is a great tip! I need some craft type paper for my daughter to use for coloring… Thank you!

  6. Kim Boone

    WOW! What wonderful ideas!!! I do a lot of what everyone has already listed, but here is one that I do every year for my neices and nephews in college: I put together a HUGE box of all the free (or close to free) items that I get throughtout the year like shampoo, conditioner, razors, body wash, snacks, gum, lip balm, lotions, shaving cream, etc…These are all the things that college students need but don’t want to spend the $$$ on. I also do this each year for the birthdays. I usually put an envelope in the box with a little cash for them…sometimes they don’t find this envelope until much later in the year and then they’re really excited!!! I also use all these type of items as stocking stuffers for everyon else. Depending on who shows up for the holidays, sometimes I am filling 11 stockings! But I do it all with free items! In fact, I can’t wait until the Halloween candy goes on 75% off or more as I always use some of that in stockings as well.

  7. Karen

    Wanting to instill the value of giving in my 3 children, I have them make Christmas gifts for the special people in their lives. We’ve made candy, salt-dough ornaments, and ornaments from kits I purchased at the after-Christmas sales, but the best one was getting the little wooden cut-outs from the craft store…the kids loved painting them! Then we glued magnetic strips on the back, and signed our names along with the year. The magnets are still hanging on our family’s and friend’s refrigerators 10 years later! My husband works at the local newspaper…he got us the end of the newsprint roll that we subsequently decorated and used as wrapping paper. (That big roll of paper is useful to have year-round for lots of projects…check with your local paper to see if you can get some!)

    • Jakki


      Can you email me the recipe for the salt-dough ornaments? That sounds like a great idea!! Thanks so much!!


  8. Julie

    When I was growing up my mom would get inexpensive candy molds and then use old broken or used candles to melt the wax into the mold. We would make stars, hearts, angles, all kinds of designs. To add some sparkle sometimes she would dust the bottom of the molds with glitter before we began. After they spent some time in the fridge to harden back up she would put a small nail in the top to make a hole, and thread through some fancy ribbon. Twenty years later, I still have some of those ornaments and am excited that my daughter is almost old enough to try it! Just don’t hang them directly on a string of lights, it doesn’t always end well for the ornament! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ann

      We have done the same with broken crayons. If you take similar colors for each mold, you can make special crayons for each kid : ) We have huge hearts that are far from wearing out.

      You can also use scented candles to make you tree smell very fragrant or put the shapes in a little bag along with a tart warmer ($3- $8 each) to give as a teacher’s gift.

  9. Pam

    White elephant gifts for adult family get togethers. It’s always hard to find something that others will like and KEEP so last year we had fun bringing a white elephant gift to exchange. It worked out great and we all saved money plus had some good laughs!

    • Renee

      We do this too in my family- nice $10 gifts not “joke” gifts like some white elephants I’ve been to in the past. I look all year for $10 and under gifts for this!:)

  10. Emily G

    I got a bunch of free candles from walgreens last week (16 total! after coupons), so those will be great gifts. I also have about 6 or 7 coupons for $0.55/1 hersheys bliss chocolate bar. My local grocery store doubles, so I will be picking up a bunch of free chocolate bars for people too.

  11. Leslie Pressey

    offer homemade “coupons” for babysitting,dinner cooked,pet sitting,etc,etc.

  12. Tracy

    I do gift baskets every year i stock up on bath stuff from bath and body works when they have the clearance sale or i go to the outlet. No i will be using my freebies and almost freebies in baskets this year.

  13. Anonymous

    I know that my sister in law will not have much $ for getting gifts for the adults in her life this year, so I suggested the other day after seeing a painting my niece did at school to have her paint everyone pictures for Christmas. It will be inexpensive and a unique and meaningful gift. I hope she does that, I can’t wait to get mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. TCourtney

    I definately hit the clearance racks after holidays and save for the following year. I also plan on doing game night baskets, the popcorn idea to add to them is GREAT. I go to the dollar store and buy tins to put pictures in and give those as well. Freebie candles are great as well for baskets. Great ideas everyone. Thanks!

  15. Amber

    Love the postcard idea! We’re planning on making our card this year, but I never considered making it a postcard. THANKS!

  16. Kristin

    Last year I decided that instead of sending Christmas cards, I would send everyone a Christmas e-mail. I wished them all a Merry Christmas and told them that I had made a charitable donation instead of sending cards that year. The donation was made to a charity that helps supply fresh water in 3rd world countries. It’s close to the family because my Grampa dug wells in Ethiopia during their drought in the early 1970’s. This year my donation will go to my cousin’s church in Uruguay.

    • lyrafowlpotter

      I love that!!! Donating the money you save by not sending cards. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s wonderful! ๐Ÿ˜€ Though I love sending cards, and since I all ready send so many e-mails I enjoy the few times a year I do mail out cards, I might use that idea some time, that’s a great idea! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Elisa

    Another good tip is that you can iron tissue paper to make them look brand new. You just put three pieces together and set the iron on low. They flatten right out. You can even use the paper that has gotten torn up, just by shredding it. You can then use it in a gift basket.

  18. teresa longstreet

    i do most of what everyone else here has said, i do like to give baskets of the freebies or almost free items. and with all the shampoos and deodorants and stuff, my girls will wrap them up and give them to the elderly at the nursing home i work at. i also buy candy and wrap on clearance. and i love to buy newsprint paper and let the girls decorate their own paper. we have just started working with salt dough so i may let them make ornaments this year. thanks for all the suggetions.

  19. Megan R

    My family recently started doing a white elephant gift exchange since most of us are trying to live on a tight budget. It takes the pressure off of having to buy a gift for each of my siblings and their kids/spouses. The rules for the exchange are that it must be something that they already have in their possession (can’t go buy it specifically for the gift exchange) and it must be something that is in great condition that is not being used anymore but that COULD be used by someone else. We do an exchange like that for the kids as well, only with toys. Everyone wraps their gift and puts it in the middle of the room. Each person draws a number, which is the order in which they get to pick a present. Whoever’s turn it is can either pick from the middle (and open the present) OR “Steal” someone else’s present. If your present is stolen, you can either steal from someone else or you pick a gift from the middle of the floor. It’s SOOOOOO funny and interesting to see what people bring and end up with. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Christylee

    My family and friends always do a cookie exchange-one dozen for each person that signs up. If there are 13 people you only need to make 13 dozen of one kind of cookie. Then we pick an afternoon and get together swap out all the cookies and spend quality time during the busy holiday season. You get to go home with 13 different kinds of cookies and didn’t have to take out the whole kitchen in the process. Plus with coupons and sales you can stock up for your one cookie alot easier. We also do this early in December so you can freeze half of them so you will still have cookies for Christmas!

    My Daughter and I also make pinecone fireplace scent starters. You melt down all your old candles (half jar, 3 wicks you cannot burn down anymore ect.) or this year I have a lot of the Glad Jar candles that were free or cheap from coupon sales. I bought a used pot from Goodwill along with a used muffin pan. You line all the muffin pan with muffin liners or cupcake liners will work too. Take the pinecones and place in the pot of melted wax take them out one at a time and place in a liner. Pour extra wax over pinecone and fill liner base with remaining wax. Let cool. Wrap each pinecone in tissue paper and tie with curling ribbon or whatever you have on hand. We placed them in a basket that also came from Goodwill and give to people we know with indoor fireplaces. They help to start the fire becuse of the tissue paper and the wax fills the room with a great smell. The three people we have made these for have loved them and look forward to them every year.

  21. Kay

    I used the free Vista Print buisness cards to make Gift tags. I just left the info blank so that I could write what ever message I wanted. I also made Holiday lables with my Friends Last name on them, I’ll give them to her at the first of the month as their Holiday Gift. I used the rest of the free items there were offering in the way. I get free shipping after spending $30 so I was able to get alot of personal gifts for like thirty two dollars. What’s better than a personal gift that was almost free.

  22. Ann

    My favorite Christmas yet was the year that my husband lost his job in June. With the economy in the dumps, it looked like we would have a bleak Christmas. Unemployment was supposed to be running out in December too. So, (pre – Hip2save days!) I started shopping garage sales for new items and found tons. I then found an old toy box that I bought and refurbished for $5. I filled it with lots of new looking books from Goodwill for less than $10 and loads of clearance Halloween costumes that I paid $1 – $2 each for. Both kids have birthdays right before Christmas and for their birthday, I built them a stage in the basement. The costumes were perfect! My son’s only request for Christmas was a white kangaroo with green eyes and a big red bow. What a request… can’t even get that on ebay! So, from his grand collection, I snuck one of his duplicates out and used it as a pattern to make a special white Kanagroo for him out of a white velore blanket my mother in law found on clearance for $2. I also shopped the sample sale out the wholesale Merchandise Mart and got lots of neat toys and gifts for 75-90% off of retail. We made ornaments, cards and treats for relatives, friends and teachers as gifts. We called it our recycled Christmas! My kids knew that many of their gifts and gifts we gave were not “brand new” but, they didn’t care.. they were new to them. Now, with Hip2Save, I am DONE Christmas shopping already!! : ) I even have all the teacher’s gifts done (homemade tomato preserves and salsa) that I am adding to a gift basket of deals that I got from shopping with Hip2save! I even got a few gifts for me ; )Hurray! Thanks for all the help!!

  23. Elizabeth

    Last year I had all the siblings send me pictures of their kids and made those marble fridge magnets for the grandparents. I also made a ton of sour cream containers and put them in a basket for my friends to leave by their doors for people that drop by at the holidays. Both were big hits. Here are the instructions for the sour cream containers. They take little to no crafting skill, are super inexpensive to make and everyone loves them. I’ve also used them as name cards at a dinner party, as additions to fill out a cookie plate, and for classroom treats.

    • Elizabeth

      Oh I forgot, last year, my five year old got 7 or 8 Halloween costumes. I think most of our Christmas pictures he is one super hero or another. He loved it. They may have cost $15 total.

      • Brenda

        I was thinking of doing costumes for my youngest this year. Did you wait to get them after Halloween or order them online or just look for a sale to get them so inexpensive?

        • Elizabeth

          I waited until after Halloween. There are amazing sales, 90% off. It was a lot of fun and he still uses them.

  24. Linda

    I’ve been using my RR and ECB to buy items for a box of food and paper products for a family that doesn’t have much. The church where I work hosts an event when we give away lightly used things, new items as gifts for kids, and these boxes of food and paper goods. They’re always so thankful for it. I’ve almost filled my box with everything I need, and gotten a lot of it on sale, and all of it with coupons.

    I’m also stocking up on freebies and things that didn’t cost me much money to give to my family members and friends this Christmas. I don’t think of it as cheap- it’s a wise use of my resources, and is a thoughtful way to be able to give a bunch of things to each person. I’ve already sent boxes of freebies and things I’ve gotten with coupons on sale to my parents, grandparents and sister & brother-in-law. They’ve loved all the things in them, and appreciated how I put them together. I re-gifted some pumpkin post-its to my sister, and she loves them! I got them as a re-gift from someone else. Spread the joy around!

  25. Terrie

    I love all the ideas! I also make teas and cocoas and mixes in a jar to give to friends and family. They love it and I get requests for repeats! I also do the freebies in the stockings-my family looks forward to it!

  26. Tricia

    Last year I hit Bath and Body a lot, since they put out a bunch of coupons and freebies. I then made up gift baskets and bags, decorating them with handmade ornaments and adding freebies and candles I’d picked up throughout the year. My favorite SIL got a huge laugh when we exchanged gifts and found out we’d both done the same thing – down to the scents of the B&B products!
    My Christmas donations are all the things I’ve been picking up for pennies – I’m donating 6 Monopoly games I got at Toys R Us for under $10 total, and I try to buy a bunch of fleece blankets when they go on sale (usually Black Friday) for about $2. I have an embroidery machine, so I can personalize them.
    Love all the ideas!

  27. LeAnn

    One thing I always try to do is REUSE! I save all tissue paper, boxes, bows, and giftbags. I have some giftbags and boxes that are older than me! My mom and grandma do the same so I come from a line of saving and reusing!!

  28. Tara

    We have a three gift per person rule for immediate family. It was good enough for the baby Jesus [gold, frankincense, and myrrh], so it is good enough for us. One year I had looked at what we had gotten the year before and realized nothing was still in use. Now we get three presents each that are better quality and they are all now certain to be used. Everyone does get stockings, but I put toiletries and stuff like that in there.

  29. Karen

    When I was in college, my roommates and I decided not to exchange gifts, but instead enjoy each others company by going out for a meal together. Also I like the idea of exchanging home baked goodies with co-workers.

  30. Jamie

    I shop throughout the year but leave a little bit of budget for the “must have” last minute toy but my kids know that by the end of the day Black Friday mamma is pretty much all finished. I buy wrapping paper by the trash bag full at yard sales and estate auctions (usually for no more than $1 a bag) or after Christmas sales for $0.10 each (I have enough right now for at least 2 years). I got together with our families a few years ago and we decided to only buy gifts for the kids (each of the kids & I get my hubby a gift too), it has taken a LOT of stress out of the holiday – not all the adults follow the rule (my grandmother still buys us gifts as does my mother in law) but almost everyone agreed that the adults don’t need anything anyway so spending time & frustration trying to figure out the right gift wasn’t worth it, we all enjoy watching the kids open their gifts and play with them and spending time together. I do make photo ornaments for each person and usually some kind of small handmade gift (knit a scarf, make a loaf of banana bread, etc.).

  31. Beth H.

    a fun little idea that i like to do is after the holiday when the holiday fabric and ribbon goes clearance, I buy a little each year. I sew bags similar to pillowcases and attach ribbon close to the top and I use them as “wrapping paper” only they are reusable every year! Saves me SO much money, I still wrap some of the kids things in paper for the novelty of tearing open the presents but it also save the headache of wrapping a bunch. the fabric can be cuter than the wrapping paper too!

    • reBaby

      I love this! I want to do this – I think it will be cute & in-handy for years & years to come. Thanks for sharing ;+)

  32. Cindy

    I let the kids paint packing paper when they want to paint and then use is for wrapping paper – grandparents especially love this

  33. jen s

    I too always buy gift wrap in January and stock up. If there are a couple things on the santa list that I know my kids really want I will buy now, keep the receipts and just watch for a better deal. Usually one comes along, but if not you’re not frantic trying to find that IT item. You can always return the one you bought earlier if you change your mind or find it later. This year my kids have squinkeas and beyblades on the list. Not super expensive items, but I don’t want it to be like the year of the ever elusive zhu zhu pets that my kids didn’t put on their list until 2 weeks before christmas. I bought the squinkeas and beyblades this week. My time is valuable and this greatly helps to reduce the stress around the holidays!

  34. Sandy

    I think there is something to be said about a beautifully wrapped gift. Last year all of my gifts sparkeled in some way. I found foil paper and unusual ribbons at Dollar Tree, shinny red bows at Hallmark (free because of the $5 coupon they issued), and glittered ornaments of all sorts of shapes and colors for $1 at Walmart, which I placed on some packages in lieu of a ribbon. I had most of my shopping done and wrapped by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. I placed the gifts all around our home in place of decorations other than our tree. It was so beautiful! Everyone commented about how lovely our home looked. Some even took pictures. And the best part was, other than the tree, there were no holiday decorations to put away once we gave our gifts!

    • Peg

      Now there’s a great idea! No cost to decorating yet festive.

      I agree with your comment about a present that is wrapped pretty. It shows thought and really adds to a gift whether it is inexpensive or not.

      • Tcourtney

        Love that idea! I think wrapping presents is one of my all time favorite activities. I’m not kidding, it’s like a therapy session for me, I always offer to wrap gifts for others. And I usually get comments about my wrapping. I never thought to put that to good use as decoration in my home! Thanks!

        • KV

          we always wrap the pictures and mirrors that are on my walls in the house. easy decoration and good use of wrapping paper.

  35. Heather

    As many others have said, I collect gifts throughout the year when they are on sale for great prices, but I still can’t resist some of the Black Friday prices. I spent a few years going insane knowing that I couldn’t get to all of the stores early enough to get everything I “need”, so my mother and I divide and conquer. I will pick up her top picks at my first stop, and she’ll get mine at another store. That way I can at least count on getting what I wanted from two stores, if not more.

  36. Tanya

    I love the turkey idea, but just don’t have room in my freezer, so we buy the turkeys when they go on super sale and then can the meat in glass jars. You have to have a pressure canner, but that way I can keep it on a chelf instead of in the freezer. Its just like canned Chicken and we use it in tons of dishes.

    I love to make gifts that I can buy the supplies for cheap and then with just a little time and elbow grease make great gifts. Last year we bought cheap cookie jars and then glass etched our friends names on them (google for instructions, super easy and cheap). Filled them with an assortment of yummy home made cookies and they were a huge hit.

    • KV

      I have a pressure canner but have never canned meat. Can you give me some tips?

  37. Sharri

    We pick some type of craft for my kids to make for grandparents and siblings. That way they learn about giving, but realize that it can be someothing from the heart. We also use old christmas cards to make ornaments for the tree. It gives the kids a chance to be creative and they can be used to decorate a tree for the kids or be mixed into the regular tree for a homemade touch. We also string popcorn garland, then put it out for the birds after christmas. We may try cranberries this year.

  38. Elizabeth

    We have also started giving ‘experiences’ One year it was swimming lessons for my son. A fun thing in the middle of winter. Or art classes at the university for my daughter. The education program there has college kids that are becoming art teachers teach a series of lessons. There are some amazing family memories to make, they don’t take up space in the basement and don’t get broken. As my kids get older we will do this more and more.

  39. Leah

    As far as the turkey advice goes, I’m not sure if this has been mentioned, but my friend just gave me a tip (and I’m planning to try around Thanksgiving). She bought 3 turkeys @ $.29/lb right before Thanksgiving. She cooked them and then cubed the meat and put them in “meal sized” bags. She’ll just throw a bag’s worth into a recipe that calls for turkey/chicken. So simple, and takes less freezer space than a whole bird. Plus, saves cooking/prep time. You can make broth w/ the bones to really get your money’s worth! Turkey is really good for you…I can’t wait to buy some!!

    • Yvonne

      Great idea! We bought a few turkeys, but luckily we have a drop freezer. But pre-cooking will be a huge time saver later on. THANKS!

  40. L. H

    I am making 72 hour emergency kits. I bought placemats on clearance after last Christmas and you take ribbon and sow it down the middle of the placemat (going to use this to tie it closed) then on the other side of the placemat you sow in 5-6 ziploc sandwhich bags (so you have little compartments). And then I am going to fill it with all of the samples etc. that I have gotten.

    • Darcie

      interesting… never heard of that. i might try a modified version. thanks

  41. eabates

    Every year we decorate our house by making snowflakes. I googled how to fold the paper in thirds (looks like an arrow). The snowflakes look pretty fancy. I also pick out the Christmas cards from the previous year and replace the cards in my picture frames or if I get a deal on picture frames, I will frame the card and hang up during the holidays. Of course we shop the after holiday sales for wrapping paper and supplies. We also put together cookie trays for our neighbors and friends/family. I shop all year using all the great tips from this website and a few others for Christmas presents. We save enough to get those “must have” presents that our kids need to have. The one big expense is our Christmas cards. We started writing a newsletter that looks like a front page of a newspaper and include info about the year we have had and highlight any news about our family. We have been doing this for about 6 years now and our friends and family just love it. We get so many compliments every year. Last year, we did our newsletter in black & white and my husband (who does the writing) did a tongue and cheek style of writing to mimic the writing syles of the 40’s and 50’s. I am saving these newsletters in a Christmas binder so we can look back at these for a reminder of our years as a family.

  42. Yvonne

    This is our 2nd year canning. (It’s really not that hard!)We have made jams, jellies, salsa, pickles and saurkraut. Many of the ingredients we grew ourselves (cucumbers, tomatoes, hot pepers, cilantro, grapes for jelly) Others, we found for FREE growing in the wild-blackberries when we went camping in August, Crab apples growing in a state park. Once we mentioned to a few friends that we were canning, many of them Gave us cases of jars that had been sitting around. They were so glad to get rid of them! Of course, we traded them for the finished product. Other jars we found for super cheap at garage sales. We will be making gift baskets of homemade goodies for adult gifts. We got super-cute FREE labels from Vista print for the jars. AND I scored a great deal on beautiful, handmade baskets from Hip2save’s deal alert from Ten Thousand Villages!!! It was a lot of work this summer, but all of my “shopping” has been done since August-I just have to assemble the baskets!!

  43. Jessica

    Instead of buying wallet sized photos, get the 4×6 prints. They usually cost a lot less, and some sites allow you to put 2 pictures on a 4×6, which makes 2 wallets.

  44. Anonymous

    I love sending christmas cards out each year with a current picture of our family. Does anyone know of where I can still do this but in a postcard style instead of the normal card style so tha I can save money on postage? Thanks.

  45. super-couper

    My tip for saving money is to shop for clearance decorations after Christmas. That way, I don’t feel like I need to buy new decor because when I unpack it all I have new items waiting for me!!

  46. AC

    Thank you!!! There are so many great ideas here.

    I would like to have “like” button on your post ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Elise

    I email holiday cards instead of snail mailing them. I include a picture of my kids. I’ve done this for a couple years now and I love it. Many of the recipients respond to the email – something that doesn’t usually happy with a traditional card. I love connecting with these people I rarely see! It also means I can send more than I would be able to afford through snail mail.

  48. Eve

    Help please…It says 449 comments on this “thread” I’m on 247- how do i get to the other 200 some odd posts- the latest ones???? or do the 231 and 231.1, 231.2 count in that number. I’m enjoying reading all of these and it’s nice how everyone is sharing their tips and experiences. I’ve got quite the page full of notes and ideas that I’ve borrowed. I especially like the SOUR CREAM CONTAINER thingie.

    • Valerie D

      I think the “231.1” count! So you’ve made it to the end!

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