Hi guys, I am catching up here.
The earlier poster who had trouble finding someone to pick up their freecycle stuff has my sympathy. Of the 5 lots I have freecycled, 3 didn't show and 1 took almost 3 weeks. Now, we are moving in 3 weeks, so I am thinking that I may have to donate all of my junk to the MCC thrift store.
My Sally Ann put all of the summer kids clothes on clearance at 10c-25c each! Ok, I have no idea how the perfectly fitting corduroy overalls for DS qualified as summer, but for 15c, I am not complaining. I also picked up a Mountain Equipment Co-Op jacket for him for the winter for $5 at the store. Even Zellers (CDN Target) sells their winter coats for $55 for a size 5-6.
I wandered down to my neighbor's garage sale yesterday, and for a Little Tikes cube with a slide for $15! Yaaay me! Our new house can't have any fixed playground equipment and we can easily set this up in the basement for the winter. I know, not necessary, but we had been planning to get DS something similar for Christmas.
Well, I didn't do so good finding frugal housing for us, now that we are moving back home. We drove around and looked at all of the cheaper places to live and, well, there is a reason they are so cheap. So, given the option of a townhouse at $675 plus utilities, or a larger townhouse with a pool at $860 including utilities, we opted for the larger one. I am such a snob when it comes to housing anyways. I am home all.the.time so I need somewhere decent to live.
As for non-crafty gift-giving, I relaize that not everyone on my gift list appreciates hand-knit socks, Dr Who scarves or needle rolls. For those naysayers
I go shopping in the best frugal tradition. My SIL loves stripey socks, which will run about $5-15 per pair at Christmas time. But, in March when the winter stuff is being cleared out, they go on clearance for $1-3 each pair. This year, i bought her 7 pairs of striped socks, a matching toque and gloves too, and the total cost was $12.
This is just one example. now, it may be too late for Christmas for a lot of you this year, but look around! Sometimes you will find the perfect bargain. I keep a list of who I have purchased a gift for, who is still in need of one, and what I got.
Also, for Christmas my mom and I are trying to convince the boys that we should have a gift exchange, with a spending limit of $50 or $75. See, my family is huge, and at $20 per person (not including DS, I am such a sucker for toys) I spent just over $400 last year on gifts.
Curly Top, do you sew at all? Chinese traditions deserve traditional chinese stuff (so i say, anyways.) My cousin just had her second, who's paternal family is a very traditional chinese one. I made her one of these: http://webpages.charter.net/dshiel0742/FrankenKozy.htm
out of a gorgeous brocade that was on sale, and some twill I had bought for $2/meter for some forgotten purpose. Total cost? $8. She thought it was pretty cool, her MIL just adored it, ad was so excited someone would give her a traditional carrier.
Gift baskets are good too. $5 worth of specialty coffee, a couple fancy tea bags (or loose tea, depending on recipient), home made shortbread cookies all arranged on tissue paper in a thrift shop basket look surprisingly similar to the $30 baskets in Starbucks. I also use my air miles to get Starbucks gift cards to tuck in there. I doubt I will be doing that this year though, ebcause I *will* get my mixer. Oh yes, i will.