You all know my favorites - home canned goods (jams, jellies, salsa, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, etc.), homemade candy, cookies, muffins, breads and yummies. All kinds of homemade goodies can be made and placed in thrift store baskets or reusable grocery bags (maybe homemade).
You can simply wrap the outside of a box with gift wrap, contact paper, fabric, whatever. Leave the top open like a basket - use what you have.
- Have a 2nd hand Christmas. Check with other family members and agree to do this (many families draw names at Thanksgiving). Make sure your gift is from a thrift store, yard sale, an heirloom, or something from your home that someone likes. Decide if you want useful and serious gifts or fun and frivolous gifts SET A LOW $$$$$ LIMIT.
- MAKE jars of soup mixes, or coffee or hot chocolate mixes, cookie mixes, etc. Use ingredients from your kitchen and if necessary buy those ingredients ONLY when on sale
- Keep a basket of mixes or small jars of jams and jellies by the door for that unexpected company
- Buy a box of different flavored tea bags each time at the store. Mix them up and gift (4 or 5 per gift) with a thrifted mug and a used book, or pair of warm socks
- Watch for those FREE coupons for product like from Bed, Bath and Body Works. Get the FREE items. Many stores have coupons that gives you FREE products. $10 off coupons if you spend $10 (Kohls and Pennies do this often). Check on-line for coupons.
- Bankcards gather points that can be turned into gifts or gift cards. Check with your card and see how many you have. You can go online and see what you can get for points
- I know there are many sites that offer points for GC's - I see many of you blog about them. I don't do any of them - so if you do PLEASE ADVISE us.
- Get on sample sites - there are lots of them and they will send you FREE samples of a variety of products. Samples are great for gift baskets.
- Have a swap party with friends before the holidays - everyone brings items they don't need and you simply swap goods. You can get a lot a really neat items for FREE and gift them to family
- Think DOLLAR TREE - so many stocking stuffers. Calendars, books, puzzles, hair accessories, bins and baskets, nail polish, candles, candies, ornaments...…….
- Yard sales and thrift stores - GREAT places to look. I always see brand new items at yard sales for pennies on the dollar.
- Think about putting together a RECIPE book of favorite family recipes for everyone. Ask all the family for their favorite and include it for all. Maybe add some pictures of grandma or mom or auntie - whoever the recipe came from. Make soft copies on your own printer at home. This could be a fun project.
- Make homemade CALENDARS - you can download the basic date part of the calendar and print. For the picture use old or new family pictures. It can be the kids, recent family pictures (weddings, holidays, showers, etc.) or they can be older vintage photos. Have fun with this.
- Frame the kids artwork in yard sale frames. You can even use your own artwork. Frames can be painted or left as is.
- Frame the front of a beautiful Christmas card (that you kept from previous year). They make great Christmas pictures to hang during the holiday.
- Remember that you can use recycled gift wrap, pretty boxes, bags, etc. I love to use the comics for wrapping kids gifts. Wrap baked goods in a pretty kitchen towel ($Tree), or colored plastic wrap.
- Provide coupons for a monthly homecooked dinner
- Give coupons for shopping trips, doctor visits, or just a fun excursion for a shut-in
There are a ton of ways to spend little or NO money for the holidays. Yes, many require you to keep your eyes open and scour around for coupons and freebie ideas. Be looking online for sample sites and start getting samples (usually takes about 6-8 weeks).
Take time to make fun gifts - you can make anything. Sewing, crafting, crochet, knitting, quilting, paper craft, painting, baking, canned goods -------- there is no limit.
I know many don't want to think Christmas yet - but it is a lot closer than you care to believe!
Get started now and have FUN WITH IT!
BE THE ONE TO START A NEW TRADITION OR TREND