Christmas Budget             Click here to Print

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#goodnatured - Says,

With the holidays coming I thought it would be a good idea to discuss how we budget for the holidays so that we don't over extend ourselves. I am asking that you add your suggestions of things that you do to make it through the holidays and not be finacially strapped because you over did it. It is one time a year, many people go overboard and pay for it all year long. Here is a list of things that I do.

1. I start the day after and get the sales on wrapping paper, cards and little things that end up costing alot the following year.
2. Recycle gift bags from the year before, this will save you money and you are doing something good for the environment.
3. I shop online when there is free shipping and sales included, this way I don't have to deal with the stress of store shopping and it is delivered right to the house, I save on gas and headaches.
4. Regifting, sometimes if I get something for a birthday or holiday and it isn't necessarily something I will use, I don't take it back, I put it in the closet and regift it to some one else, becareful not to regift to the person that you got it from. I will do this with household appliances, I have a really good blender but got another one for my birthday, I have no use for two, but my sister needed one, guess what she got for christmas. (This isn't being cheap, I think it is being frugal and not being wasteful).
5. Reusing holding cups and plates, filling a holiday cup with candy or hot chocolate, tea or other drink item and putting a decorative bag around it is a cheap easy way to give the adults something they will use. Plates are good for cookies and snacks as well, simply putting some colored plastic wrap and a bow on it will suffice for decorating it.

6. Whats your idea?????????????????????????

#goodnatured - Says,

Please list your ideas on this list, it may help someone have a less stressful holiday season. Save some money, share some holiday cheer and pass on some good information.
#Laura - Says,

Well my idea would be to prepare cakes. I am quite good at it. So for the time being going through the recipes for different kind of cakes. Cookies and chocolates will be prepared by my mother and we all are going to have a lot of fun that way.

As far as gift is concerned I would rather regift the way goodnatured said. I have a fetish for wrapping papers and the various goodies used in wrapping so I have a storehouse of them. Will use them while wrapping the gifts.
People staying far away can be greeted by hand made postcards. An email greeting card does not have that value which a hand made card still has. That extra effort is appreciated.
Every day after returning home we drop the remaining coins and dollars in a piggy bank my sister has made. This is her safety deposit and she wishes to use it during the holidays for candy treats, movies and the list continues about which even I have no idea. Smile

#goodnatured - Says,

Excellent points, I think Christmas has become so commercialized that alot of people are missing the getting together with family and enjoying each others company. Baking different items can be a wonderful way to share and lighten the workload at the same time.

I am glad that you thought the regifting was a good idea, I hesitated to put that one down, but it is so true when it comes to many items.

I will be careful opening to save on the paper and reuse it, that is an awesome tip that I will use, I don't know if I can get my child to do it, but we will give it a shot.

#debtstinker - Says,

Hee hee goodnatured, babies don't like to do anything neatly but that's half the fun of the holidays. I wish my one year old would open presents. we're still trying to work on that one. And yes, unfortunately the true spirit of Christmas has been seemingly lost though we have preserved it through the German traditions that has been carried on by our family.
Laura: cakes are wonderful!! everyone loves to eat and I think i enjoy our 'care' packages we get from family rather than store bought gifts.

I think this year we are doing care pkgs for folks because our money is low and it's way more fun to make things and prepare, wrap, and ship them than it is hassling with the malls etc. even shopping online can be a hassle!
We're going to make dozens of cookies (cheaply made with common ingredients), fudge batches, brittle batches and I'm going to go to a crafts store and get clear bulbs so I can personalize one ornament for each family on our christmas list and fill them with confetti or something.
What i do is save the funnies or as you guys have done, your old paper or bags and shred those. once you have all that colorful paper shredded you can make baskets very cheaply. I love doing things like this! you can get shrinkwrap from the dollar store and even small baskets and fill them with your homemade goodies and ship them off. really shipping is the priciest part as we don't have family members around here. as i get older and am around my son more, i have a more domesticated side to me Smile

#goodnatured - Says,

Wow, some good ideas, I probably won't be able to get the child to cooperate, it is more like diving in and tearing it up. She really enjoys opening the gifts as yours will soon.

That is a great idea about shredding the funnies, I supposed you could even shred your torn wrapping paper if need be to keep it a little festive. I think the shredding would work as a box filler for smaller gifts too or as shipping material to keep items from breaking or your cookies from crumbling.
Sounds like this thread is going in the direction that I was hoping it would. People sharing ideas and saving a few bucks.

#debtstinker - Says,

Oh yeah! my mom actually got me started on the funnies, never would have thought and here i have a pretty decent shredder and love to make baskets. boxes too! instead of going to UPS or the like, we do it ourselves as they charge and every little bit saved is in my pocket not theirs Wink doesn't having a little one make ya feel like a kid again at Christmas? oh i'm so looking forward to when our little man can just go to town. right now he looks at me with that expectant look on his face, like 'come on mom you do it! you do everything else for me' and then is like the cats, he plays with the box not the toy Wink
#goodnatured - Says,

Another idea is to gift a favor, here are some ideas. Of course this will your require you spending some time.
1. One free house cleaning, one free window cleaning, one free chore day, etc, etc. If you have kids this is a great idea to get them to invest thier time and they see the value of spending time instead of money. Imagine what an elderly neighbor would think of a free snow shoveling or a free lawn cut or some other chore that would be hard for them to do.

#debtstinker - Says,

Hey that's pretty cool! never thought about that Smile you're very resourceful you know that! wonder if that will work with hubby...hmmmmm must train lol
wonder if he'll do me those favors wink wink Wink

#goodnatured - Says,

You are bad debtstinker if you are thinking the way I think you are thinking, lol.
You could always start it out by crowning him "King for the Day" and do all his chores for him, do not nag or be negative all that day. Who knows what he would have on his honey do list.

#goodnatured - Says,

Drawing names from a hat of all family members is a good way to save money. You can avoid buying for everyone this way. You can then purchase nicer gifts for a few instead of smaller ones for alot. This is done on christmas eve on the family get together, write it down in a book because there will be those last minute folks that forget who they got.
#carol - Says,

This conversation is really funny debtstinker and good. I laughed like crazy. Well I keep so busy that half of the time I dont find enough time to join the preparations for the season.

Well but I noticed what my brother did. He is a kid and surely full of ideas. I had given him a bunch o comics and other books which had gobbled down easily. This time to earn some pocket money he smartly went and sold them to his friends. His explanation was that if he wanted the books back he would rather exchange it with another and keep doing so. Smile

He used the shredding machine for something really weird. Now as the packaging season has started shredded papers are required in a huge amount. He smartly made the deal with all the neighbors here a few weeks back. He actually got papers from their storage and sold these shredded papers back to them LOL. Now he will keep doing all this till he accumulates enough for the holidays. I am waiting to see him mow in the neighbors garden now Sad. He hardly does it for ours. LOL

#Laura - Says,

Guess what I had caught my sister with all the friends of the locality selling masks during the Halloween Smile They had actually made these with scraps, but wonderful they were for sure. I dont know what their idea is for Christmas.
#debtstinker - Says,

Oh ladies, this is wonderful. Kids are great arent' they? husbands arent' far behind hee hee...Good, hubby's family does draw names and with as big as that family is, i'm soooooooooo glad. of course we always get things for the kids, parents, and grandparents. but there are so many aunts and uncles it's hard to keep track.
I'm so glad Carol and Laura you joined us! it's fun to talk to all of you.
Carol your son is very resourceful and smart!!! that's how millionaires are made, i'm not kidding.
Laura...keep us posted on what your sister does for Christmas! Wink

#Laura - Says,

Yes i will do so. I just cannot pry on her but for sure will bump into all the funny things that they do. I wish I was that adventurous and smart when I was a kid. These fun ideas never came out of us Wink...or did they?
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