Friday, December 9, 2011

Frugal Christmas Tips - Guest Post

Brianne is a stay at home mom of 3, who uses coupons, stockpiling techniques and things around their home to stretch every penny they have. She is married to her best friend, who at first thought she was crazy to use coupons they way she was. But quickly liked the idea of having lots of extra food, cleaning supplies and health & beauty items to not only use themselves, but donate to friends, family and local food banks! All without costing them extra to do so- even getting some items for FREE! Come check out all the ways Brianne is Just Trying To Save Money

 With the economy still struggling, we are all on a tight budget for the holidays! One way our family cuts cost around the holidays is not using traditional wrapping paper for our Christmas gifts! We have several ways to find things around the house to use to wrap our gifts with little cost to us! According to EarthCycle Americans spend $2.9 Billion a year on packaging- ribbons, bags and wrapping paper! That means there are thousands of tree being cut down each year just to wrap your gifts! So we try to do our part and save a tree or 2 by using less gift packaging products at Christmas! 
Newspapers- If you are a couponer like me, you have at least 5 newspapers around your house each Sunday. Unless it is winter time (use them to start our fires in the fireplace), I drop these newspapers in the recycle bin. Using these newspapers to wrap your gifts would not only help you save a little cash, you are recycling and possibly giving your gift receiver something to read! 
Scrapbooking Paper- 
I have tons of totes filled with scrapbooking supplies and paper that I doubt that I will ever get to use. Scrapbooking paper has tons of designs and can be decorated with any supplies you have around the house to make them extra special! 
Brown Paper Bags from the Grocery
I remember using these bags to cover my books in high school and spending hours decorating them with my favorite tv shows, best friends names, and cute artwork I felt like doodling that day. Grab some extra craft supplies around the house and decorate them with stamps, stickers, buttons, yarn, etc. 
Old Book or Cookbooks
If you have some old books you are clearing out or cookbooks that are just not planning your dinners anymore, use the pages to cover your gifts. 
Old Maps- 
Maps seem to be a thing of the past, now that everyone can use their phone or computer to find where they need to go. So instead of throwing those old maps away, use them to wrap a gift or 2! 
Used Wrapping Paper- 
If you just had a party you attended, snag some paper from gifts at that party and save them for your own gifts. 
Old Gift Boxes or Gift Bags-
I have a tote with my Christmas decorations that I store all of our old gift boxes and gift bags from the Christmas before. I do keep birthday ones as well! This is a great way to save money and recycle. Those bags are expensive and can quickly add up if you are buying several for your holiday gifts. 
Old Wallpaper
Did you just finish a remodeling project and have leftover wallpaper? Instead of tossing it, use it to wrap your gifts! 
Old Jars, Cookie Tins or Jewelry Boxes- 
We make a lot of homemade cookies and fudge for friends and family for the holidays and old jars and last years cookie tins make a great way to store these items to give as a gift! Old jewelry boxes are also great way to wrap handmade items from the kiddos to grandma! 
Kids School Artwork or School Papers- 
With 3 kiddos in school this year we have tons of school papers and artwork coming in the house. I do have a hard time tossing it into the recycling bin knowing that my kids worked really hard to make that green Christmas tree with their button ornaments and yarn roped decorations!! So wrapping families gifts with it can help share your kiddos artwork with others and save you a little cash! 
FREE Gift Wrapping- 
if you just can't go without the traditional wrapping paper, hit up your local stores that still offer FREE gift wrapping. There are still a few stores out there that offer FREE gift wrapping with a certain amount purchased from their store. This isn't going to save any trees, but it will save you cash in your pocket and time to wrap your gifts.

So what ways do you save around the holidays on your gift buying needs? To see more ways to save from Just Trying To Save Money, check here!!

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