Thursday, December 2

Thrifty to save you some moolah!

With Christmas just a few weeks away, gift giving is on my brain. We all know that times are hard and even with the store deals out there, gift lists are getting longer and more expensive.
So this week I thought about some alternatives for gift giving. But first let me say this, some people, no matter how much you try and suggest, are just name brand people, brand new people, not that into second hand or recycling or up cycling or handmade anything.My suggestion  to you is to talk to those you need to give gifts too. Explain that you think Christmas should be about tradition, family and friends just celebrating all the many things we do have. Mention that from now on, you only want home made or second hand gifts. You will be surprised at how many people really want to go down this road but may be afraid to say it. Ya know really is so much fun thinking of a creative gift for someone. If you put your heart into it, your loved one is sure to feel it.
Moving on...
There are the easy, tried and true gifts like fudge, cookies and ornaments. Today's tip is about thinking outside the box for some one of kind special gifts.
You all know I am a bread making fool, so one gift idea I may suggest is baked loaves or rolls. Maybe a jar filled with all the bread ingredients and a recipe card, how about homemade pancake mix in a jar? Add some cute cookie cutters and you got a great family gift. Maybe they will start a new "Pancake Sunday" tradition because of you.  How about that for a gift that keeps on giving! Home made laundry soap, lip balm, teas heck even cocoa or cake mix can look cute in a ball jar with some ribbon on it.
   I love old fashion popcorn and I happen to think its a great gift, add a movie and you got yourself a gift. Books also make a wonderful gift and are the one thing I think people don't mind getting used. Ask your local library if they are going to have a book sale. Many times there are terrific sales like $5.00 a bag. I shop these all year long getting books for kids, hobbies books, science fiction, anything really, you never know when you might need a gift. Make a personalized book mark and your gift went from good to wow!
  Do you know someone who loves stationary? why not try making gift cards and decorated wrapping paper as a gift. Think about it, a basket filled with tape, cards, paper, bows, ribbons. Seems a little weird but trust me, I have a basket filled with these things and I have not bought these items in years. Makes a great gift for a mama with toddlers, call it "rainy day mess kit". Trust me she will thank you for it. This kit can be have brown paper bags, yarn or string, paint, brushes, markers, stamps maybe even a home made play dough recipe. The possibilities are endless!
Check out craft stores for some inexpensive wooden shapes, birdhouses, crates and stools. Hey make some jewelry or create a personalized tee shirt for someone.  Joann's Fabric, A.C.Moore and Michaels always have great coupons. Do you have a photo you like? put it into a matte and frame and voila...a gift.
Whats wrong with making a gift certificate for a friend, giving them a date night or dinner maybe even some babysitting. Got a bunch of girlfriends, how about suggesting accessory swap. Everyone wraps up one of their purses or necklaces and you give that,you can always trade again next year.
With all these suggestions there should be no reason why you can't get into the spirit of giving! 

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