All of us frugal gals know that we watch our pennies, and plan ahead. We make gifts, we raise extra money, we shop sales, we look at clearance, YES we plan ahead.
We have had a lot of new readers here - so maybe we need to give a few ideas on how to have a wonderful gift holiday and save money.
Holidays seem to be a lot of people's downfall. They think it is a time to blow the budget, go into debt, and buy, buy, buy!
Tell me how it makes sense to spend a ton of money for one day (on things no one NEEDS) and then spend the next several months paying for it and all the interest! It makes NO sense. DON'T do it.
Keep it simple. The day should not be about gifts. If you are a spiritual person - you know the religious reasons for the season, and that is the most important. It should also be about families celebrating being together - NOT the abundance of gifts. A nice meal and time spent together.
IF you are doing gifts - get creative. Many of us believe homemade is the best. One of a kind, no duplicates, and hopefully less money spent!
- Gardens are going now - think about canning specialty products to give. Special sauces, jams, jellies, salsa, spaghetti sauce, soups, etc. Shred and put up zucchini and other items for baking sweet breads. These are items that are yummy, unique and appreciated.
- Start putting together dry mixes. It can be jars with brownie mix, hot chocolate mixes, cookie mixes, soups, specialty tea mixes, coffee mixes, mixed beans, etc. There is no limit to the types of goodies that you can fit into a jar. Just Google jar mixes and find TONS of ideas.
I receive requests for jelly. I know people who would be very disappointed not to receive.
- Start going through your cookie and candy recipes and decide what you want to make. Buy some cute/pretty plates at yard sales/thrift stores for pennies to put those goodies on. It is a pretty gift that they can keep and a yummy gift that they can eat.
- Crafting is big. Make any type of items. There are so many ideas. Wood crafts, crochet, sewing, painting, recycled items. Think games (make unique board games) or something like cornhole - holiday decorations - home décor. etc. Simple quilts or lap covers, T-shirt blankets/throws, pillows, etc.. IF your imagination limits you, just look at Pinterest for ideas. There is no limit.
T-shirt throws. Using what is on hand. Can be school or hobby related. I made this one for a nephew - I was given the shirts (his old ones) and all it cost was time and the backing.
- Put together items for kids. Dress-up box, school supplies (they need them all year), art supplies, books, etc. All items can be purchased at Dollar stores, or thrift stores or FREE from around the house.
- Think about giving heirlooms - passing things down in the family. EXAMPLES - Frame a copy of grandma's noodle (or whatever) recipe and a picture of grandma, frame a pretty doily from the past, make a recipe book of family favorites, pass on a knick-knack, etc.
- Give coupons for personal service - babysitting, snow shoveling, cookie a month, a meal a month (for a shut-in), travel to doctor visits or store, etc.
You get the idea. There is just no limits to the things you can do frugally or just plain old FREE. Free doesn't mean not nice. Some of the best gifts I have received were homemade gifts, home canned foods and just time spent with others.
Ways to get together some extra funds.
- Sell things you don't need. Have a yard sale, sell at thrift shops or consignment shops, list on FB or Marketplace. There are many options to get rid of unused items and make extra money.
- Think about buying small gift cards that can be used. They can be given as gifts or if you buy while you have extra money - you can save them to use later when money is tight (for yourself or others). BUY these gift cards at times/places that offer incentives. Kroger has offers all the time to earn 4X fuel points when purchasing GC's (except their own). It works out as a win-win situation.
- If you have a credit card that you use - make sure you know if you have been earning points on it. Those points can garner you GC's or items.
- Do something part time for a bit to earn extra money.
- Offer your services for pay. Do fall clean-up of peoples yard, bake (your specialty), sew for others, craft and sell, help clean out a basement or garage...….. There are unlimited options to help raise a bit of extra money.
- First and foremost - look around your home. You will find all kinds of things that you can use or do that cost nothing. Gifts from the heart mean the most.
We are just 4 months out - and despite nice weather, it is time to start thinking about gifts. So get creative - use your garden goods or farm market finds, collect odds and ends from around the house to use, sell things to raise money, watch clearance sales (things do not have to be for the current season), watch cheap school supplies, shop thrift and yard sales (things don't have to be new).
Get that brain activated and get motivated to have a fun and FRUGAL holiday. No stress, no debt, just simple and creative. Fun time with family!
SHARE your favorite ideas!