Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Year end steals

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Instinctually, humankind must hunt and gather to survive.  In the modern day male, this need manifests itself in sports.  In the modern day female, we have a need to shop!  It’s not just about spending money either, it’s about hunting for the best deals.  I’m sure hundreds of anthropologists out there are shaking their heads at me right now.

Earlier this week I wrote about shopping the year end Christmas sales to save a pretty penny.  I finally managed to get to a few sales myself and only reinforced my money saving ideas.  From my previous blog post:

Item #1 – Christmas decorations, lights, and other holiday things – We don’t need much in the way of decorations, but I did pick up 2 little stockings for the kids for next Christmas.  They were 75 cents a piece down from $3.99.

Item #2 – wrapping paper for all occasions –  I scored 3 gorgeous rolls of wrapping paper that will do me for the rest of the gift giving year.  I even had several people “hunt” me down to ask where I had found my rolls. 

Item #3 – wired ribbon – Michaels and A.C. Moore are chock full of ribbons at rock bottom prices.  I purchased several spools in neutral colors and already have a Valentine Day craft in mind for the little one using my ribbons.

Item #4 – Napkins, paper plates, party supplies, etc – These I didn’t need, but they had massive inventory at the different stores.  I wish I had my camera with me to show you how much you could save.  One store was selling 25 pack small red paper plates for $1.50 in the Christmas section and then at the front of the store in the Valentine Day section they were setting out 25 pack small red paper plates for $4!!!  That’s a difference of $2.50 for the same item.

Item #5 – Regular items packaged for Christmas sale – I also didn’t need any of these, but saw shelf upon shelf of every day items that were 50 – 70% off.  At Target they were selling trunk organizers, touchless soap dispensers, emergency flashlights, mini-reading lights, coffee warmers, etc… for 50% off.  In Michaels these items were labeled “40% off Holiday Impulse Buys”.  They had tons of what they considered to be stocking stuffers that would make excellent party favors for your child’s birthday party.  They even had full fledge wood puzzles that would make excellent gifts period.

In addition to my 5 savings categories, I did break away and took advantage of the sale on regular items as well.  I purchased a winter jacket for my son for $18, down from $47.  That’s about a  60% savings from the regular price.  I bought it in a size 3T which will probably fit him for the next 2 winters.  Not a bad investment for only $18!

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Please understand that I am not suggesting that you go out to spend money just because there are sales out there.  I am telling you to change the way you think about shopping.  By planning ahead and cutting out impulse buying you can schedule your shopping around known sale dates, such as Black Friday or the day after Christmas, to save money.

Shop the after Christmas sales for year round savings

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

If you aren’t snowed in like we are, get out and shop!  Spend a little money now and cash in on some year round savings.  (I sound like some TV ad.)  Traditionally, the day after Christmas is when the prices are slashed for leftover Christmas items. 

Here’s a list of things you can save on:

1) Christmas decorations, lights, and other holiday things – This is an obvious savings.  If you get in the habit of shopping at the end of the year for the next year, you will never have to pay full price for Christmas stuff again.

2) Wrapping paper for all occasions – This is my favorite.  Usually the wrapping paper that is leftover were not festive enough for Christmas, which makes them perfect for the rest of the year!  I never have to buy wrapping paper off the shelf on any day other than December 26th.

3) Wired Ribbon – You’ll normally find these in big spools of gold or silver and little specialty spools of blues, reds, and bright patterns.  I buy gold, silver, white, and anything that doesn’t scream Christmas to use in crafts for bow-making, or to jazz up presents all year through.

4) Napkins, paper plates, party supplies, etc – I stock up on generic party supplies that can be used for other holidays and festivities.  Red napkins and table cloths can be used for Valentine’s day.  Red also can be added to your 4th of July celebration.  Green plates for St. Patty or as accents for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Silver and gold for any classy affair, such as cocktail parties, birthdays, and anniversaries. 

5) Regular items packaged for Christmas sale – Keep an eye out for items that aren’t necessarily holiday related, but were marketed for the season.  Serving platters, gold chargers, placemats, candles, candle holders – the list goes on and on.  You will find everyday items on sale just because they were packaged to be sold at Christmas .  For example, we bought nice regular non-holiday bookends for 75% off just because they were packaged to sell for Christmas as “Gifts For Him”.

Frugal Tip of the Day: If you are a shrewd bargain hunter, take advantage of the year end sales on all merchandise to do your shopping for the entire year.  I have known people who actually do their Christmas shopping on December 26 for the next year!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas at our house was low key this year.  We didn’t even cook a roast beast and opted for a Chinese buffet.  No mess, no fuss, and thankfully, no dishes!

We went shopping in our attic for Oliver’s presents.  I have Rubbermaid bins upstairs that have great items that we’ve purchased at consignment sales for mere pennies and have saved for Oliver.

We did splurge on a couple new toys for Evelyn that Oliver hasn’t chomped and drooled all over.

Oliver kept going to the tree to admire his handcrafted Christmas ornaments.  This was easily one of the most fun projects we have ever done.

We spent the day listening to Chrismas music, playing games, perusing our presents, and stuffed ourselves at a Chinese buffet.  I’d say this was one of our best Christmases ever!

Frugal Tip of the Day: (you know I’ve gotta have one!)  Save those bows and reuse them!  We’ve been using the same bag of bows since 2006.  We even have favorite bows that we look forward to using each year.  Also, save the wrapping paper if you have kids.  The backside makes great art paper.  On most wrapping paper, the inside is nice, smooth, and has a satiny finish.  This is great for finger painting!

Frugal Christmas Ornaments Toddlers Can Make

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I came up with a very frugal way for Oliver to have some Christmas fun.  We made ornaments out of a CheezIt box, some glue, scrap paper, sugar glitter, and a ribbon. 

First, I had to come up with a safe and edible alternative to glitter.  I decided to try sugar with food coloring.  I added a few drops of food coloring to some sugar and let my little guy shake it up.

He loved this part! He could have done this all day and have been perfectly happy.

We made some red and green sugar glitter.  So far, so good.

I gave him a glue stick and let him spread glue all over the cardboard I cut from a CheezIt box.  We stuck some black construction paper to one side, flipped it over, and repeated the gluing process on the other.

On this side we stuck a green scrap of wrapping paper that I had leftover.  My goal was to have black on one side and green on the other.

I then traced some cookie cutter tree shapes onto the green.  I did 2 shapes for each ornament and then cut out the pairs.

I put a small piece of cardboard inside a large, flat plastic container and made random squiggles on the green side of the tree.  I then let my son have a blast scooping and dumping sugar.  He became very adept at dumping the sugar exactly where it needed to go.

After the ornaments completely dried, I glued on a little cardboard spacer in between 2 finished trees.  Then I punched holes in the top, threaded some ribbon through the ornaments, and let my son hang them from the tree.

We repeated the process using red paper to make red candy canes.  I think they turned out great!

Frugal Tip of the Day: Crafts don’t have to be fancy or expensive.  We used scraps from around the house and Oliver loved, loved, LOVED it.

Toddler helps decorate for Christmas.

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Sorting Christmas decorations

Last year my son was too young to help with the Christmas decorations.  This year, we couldn’t keep him away from the tree!  We stuck with simple ornaments – all non-breakable – and put up our frugal tree. 

Decorating the Christmas tree at his height

We bought this little tree at a black friday sale last year for 20 bucks.  While the kids are small, you can’t beat the investment.  No pine needles or watering accidents and our tree is more flame resistant than the real trees.  Plus, for 20 bucks we’ve already saved bundles in 2 years instead of buying a real tree.  Someday, when the kids are older, we might spring for the big 8 foot blue spruce, but for now our frugal tree is fine.

All the ornaments went into one spot at his level.  It was the cutest thing ever.  When he was done he stood there grinning, clapping his hands and stomping his feet.  My hubby discreetly rearranged them later on.

His sister wasn’t as impressed and slept through the entire thing.

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Instead of buying a real tree and spending anywhere between $25 – $100 every year, invest in an artificial tree.  Buy one after Christmas or on Black Friday to reap the biggest savings.  You can get really nice looking trees for $40-$60 and can be used for years and years.  If you really want that pine scent, hang some car airfreshners on the inside of your tree.  Voila! Instant pine forest in your living room.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

 Subscribe in a reader