Holiday Season Saving Ideas

It’s that time of year again… a little cliché?

This year, I have decided to reduce my spending limit on family, friends and co-workers.  Not to be mean, but to be more thoughtful.

Remember the last time someone made you something from scratch; took the time to gather their supplies, make the gift, hand write the note.  And remember how it made you feel?  Now compare that to a store bought item.  Not the same feeling, is it?

I love homemade gifts from family and friends.  It shows me that they cared enough to take the time to think of something they knew I would like/appreciate.  So in turn, I like to do the same for them.

You’re Welcome!

If there is an avid baker/cook on your list, why not consider making them some homemade rubs and spreads, sauces and even preserves.  Here are some jams and spreads to try by Martha Stewart.

One batch can make gifts for several people.  Use mason jars to store them, label them and include a small spoon.  Wrap a piece of fabric over the top and secure it with bakers twine or regular twine/rope and you have a rustic gift.  Do a search in Pinterest to find many recipe ideas to try.

Yum!

homemade-jam-1

image courtesy of inspiredwomen.co.za

Homemade Christmas / Holiday cards are a nice touch as well.  Use punched decals to give the card some detail.  Write a heartfelt message or a poem and maybe a family photo.  Easy to mail as well 🙂

 

diy-christmas-card-photo

image courtesy of imgkid.com/

Gift Wrap can be quite expensive only to be ripped to shreds on Christmas morning.  Unique ideas for wrapping gifts include:

  • Using fabric is a great way to stay green and environmentally friendly.  Your friend can re-use the fabric for an upcoming project.  Follow this tutorial here.
  • Re-using store paper bags, either by itself as is and topping with tissue paper or turning the bag inside out for a clean, fresh slate to jazz up with ribbons and bows even stamps to give it some detail.  White store bags with a gold polka-dot all over is simple and clean and takes not time at all.
  • Table cloths are also a unique way to wrap gifts or even a great design shower curtain.  They won’t fray, waterproof as well so if it’s being mailed or left on a front porch it won’t get ruined and really inexpensive and comes in large sizes that can be cut down to fit the gift.  They come in many designs and patterns as well.
  • My personal favourite is using brown kraft paper or brown paper.  I bought a large roll for $3 and it just seems to never end.  It gives a nice rustic appearance and it’s sturdy as well.  It’s a blank canvas which is great for holiday stamping / painting details or stickers or even layering ribbons.

    Kraft-Paper-Ribbon-Christmas-Gift-Wrapping

    image courtesy of stayglam.com

  • Lastly, purchasing ribbon, gift wrap and cards after the holidays when they are reduced by 50%-75% off is also ideal so you’re all ready for the following Christmas.

And lastly, the best gift giving idea of all is spending time with those you love.  One of my friends said to me, when asked what they wanted for Christmas, and they said;

nothing, I want to collect life experiences.

Wow.  What an idea.  So this got me thinking, instead of gifts, why not create new or keep with Holiday TraditionsSo simple, I love it and can be so affordable as well.  Take some pictures of the moment and share embarrassing moments together.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go skating with the family, or skiing, tobogganing (a true Canadian past time);
  • All the gift ideas mentioned above, why not get your family and friends together and make them all in an evening paired with some hot chocolate and some holiday music, hello craft night;
  • Visit some free holiday displays throughout your community, city, such as art installations or decorated homes in your neighborhood;
  • Go see a holiday play or as a group, go caroling around your neighborhood;
  • Grab some board games and playing games (classics like Monopoly, Othello, Risk, Jenga, Battleship, Scrabble, etc. or playing card games like War, Uno, Euchre, etc.) and a have few rounds with the family.  Create a leader board to create mild competition;
  • Bring back a true classic and read a holiday story around the fire; or
  • Volunteer your time at a local charity, food drive, even gift wrapping services at your local shopping center.

So here’s a long list of great, inexpensive ideas.  What do you think?  Have you tried any?   Do you plan on trying any?  What are some inexpensive ideas you use over the holidays?

J.

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