2007 Frugal Holiday "Challenge" - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 328 Old 07-06-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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Im still thinking about this year but last year I found a few old records ($1) of my parents favorite or kinda favorite bands and framed them. I found $5 record album frames at Michaels. Using their 40% coupon in the circular is even extra savings.
I made a few gift baskets with vintage postcards ($5 for a pack of 30 and split them up amongst the baskets) recycled old candles and made new ones, bought a pack of $1 store glycerin soap and melted it down to make my own soaps. I used cookie cutters as a mold and added EO & dried flowers to the melted soap as well. In my grandmas I added a few balls of yarn I found at the thrift. I also made my own bath salts with sea salt, EOs and dried flowers/herbs.
For the men in our family I made our own meat rubs. I reused old altoid tins and decorated them. We also printed up the recipe for the rub along with several others rub recipes and BBQ tips on index cards and laminated them. Put hole punch in the corner and added a keyring for homemade recipe book. I personalized each page with a cute drawing of a grill, beer bottle, wine glass or corn cob ect. what ever that person liked as far as food.
For friends we made our own mixed CDs and handmade the covers (I love to collage). We also made our own 1inch buttons for them and screen printed our own post cards.
For the grandmas, we found a great deal on aprons (99cents ikea) and put the kids hand prints on the aprons and added a saying. Something like Grandmas little cooks or helpers or something, I forgot but DD made a matching one for her to use while at grandmas.
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#62 of 328 Old 07-09-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Just scored two cool stocking stuffers for DS1 and one for my DD for a total of $3!

I got them each a large wooden, hand-carved train/conductor whistle for $1 each, and I also got DS1 a "Go Fish" card game set for $1. It's Crayola brand, and they are nice, thick, sturdy cards that come in a box.

So far I've spent $4.76 on Christmas. DD has two stocking stuffers, and DS1 has three. Pretty amazing!
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#63 of 328 Old 07-09-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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For the grandmas, we found a great deal on aprons (99cents ikea) and put the kids hand prints on the aprons and added a saying.
What a great idea -- I am totally doing this for all the grandmas and great-grandmas. That's five gifts for $5 (assuming I can find cheap aprons)! Thanks so much!
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#64 of 328 Old 07-09-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Margie : & DH - Mom to sweet Avery Naoma : Our surprise breech homebirth! :
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#65 of 328 Old 07-10-2007, 08:52 AM
 
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We celebrate Hanukkah, so that's 8 gifts for each child. (They are usually small, and something they need. PJ's, gloves, books, etc.)


Anyway, loving all the ideals.
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#66 of 328 Old 07-10-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Haven't read through the posts yet but I wanted to say I'm in!! We have a long list of people to buy for so I can totally use this! lol My list is: (not including my son and DH)

Mom
Step-dad
18 yr old sister
9 yr old brother
Dad
Step-mom
20 yr old step-brother
20 yr old step-brothers girlfriend
18 yr old step-brother
12 yr old brother
7 yr old brother
5 yr old brother
3 yr old sister
1 yr old twin brothers
Mother in law
Father in law
Sister in law (23)
Brother in law (20)
Nephew (1 in Sept)
DH's best friends 2 little girls (1 and 4 months right now)
My dad's parents
3 family members from my dad's side when we draw names

Right now I know that I'm doing bath items (baby wash *I have a ton of coupons lol* and bath toys) for all the babies. My 3 yr old sister is getting cheap nail polish, hair clips, etc she's all girl! lol
SIL and brother's girl friend will get BBW stuff during the Semi-Annual sale. :-)

Thats all I got so far. LOL I can make gifts for my moms family and dads family but DH's family has to be store bought. *rolls eyes and groans*
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#67 of 328 Old 07-15-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Joining......am still thinking of what to do for the holidays. Have a few ideas I am brainstorming.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#68 of 328 Old 07-15-2007, 09:40 PM
 
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subbing, will post later.
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#69 of 328 Old 07-15-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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I've decided that im going to take this ladies art and run with her ideas. Mostly for the women I have to give gifts for and DD too. Im not going to copy but am really inspired.
http://www.collageartist.com/
She does some awesome "sitting poppet ladies" that are really cool. In this months cloth paper scissors there is a step by step how to.

Heres one of her poppet ladies
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6417889
I think for my mom and MIL im going to do a series of their faces from when they were younger till recently. ITs very easy to put together. Go to your book store read the section on the how to.
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#70 of 328 Old 07-16-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I'm in. We are trying to keep christmas simple and fun, so far I found: wooden cherries for dd (which one?).

My list:
Dh
5yr old dd
3yr old dd
baby
Mom, Dad
MIL, FIL
FIL
Grandparents
Grandparent
Grandparent
and 5 other gifts which we will draw names for.

Now for ideas....
baby is easy- soft cloth or wooden teether, new jammies and a book

Usually I have ideas but this year is a blank.

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#71 of 328 Old 07-16-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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Also subbing.

I saw something today that gave me an idea: a tissue paper flower kit. The Discovery store was selling it for $20, but all it was was precut tissue paper in assorted colors, green pipe cleaners, precut green tissue paper leaves, and a little vase. Oh, and directions, but really, 5 minutes of hands-on time with the giftee would take care of that!

I'm totally doing this for our 5-year old niece!
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#72 of 328 Old 07-17-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I've started working on socks for the kids and dh. They may end up being for next christmas with how slow a knitter I am. I have already found a few things though. A new book for ds#1, 2 dolls for dd, lots of fabric too to make different items.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#73 of 328 Old 07-17-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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There are all kinds of freebies on the net; I used to love to hunt them down, I never thought of using them as stocking stuffers! What a good idea!

last year I made lavender rice pillows, lavender e.o. spray and pumpkin bread. This year I am starting to make jams with all the fresh fruit thats around, and I'll be putting some up for gifts.
I also made dd a no sew tutu which only took we about an hour to make, soo easy, and I just used old fabric and ribbons I had.
Potted plants are a nice gift you can find some nice pots at a garage sale and transplant or start them from seeds in time to have something nicely growing by then.
Keeping an eye out now for sales is a great idea. I did that last year and ds got a wooden pirate ship set for less than half the original price, but I had to buy it in July and hide it in the closet for months!!

Oh, also the trading post here is a great place to score nice cheap toys!

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#74 of 328 Old 07-17-2007, 10:46 PM
 
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#75 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 03:59 AM
 
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#76 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 11:46 AM
 
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Just scored a bunch of wooden train track pieces and wooden trains. ALong with the find came a bridge and a bunch of wooden trees, animals and people.
$3 at the thrift!
Im going to make a small train table for him out of found scraps/pieces of wood. This will be for his b-day tho. Its in August.
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#77 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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I love all the ideas. I have some wine I made a couple years ago that I will probably give to some friends. And I total forgot about the lavendar rice packs I made a couple years ago. I think I will have to make more of those this year, expecially since my pair of socks I am knitting me are taking so many months to make!

Sarah
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#78 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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Okay, you got me!

I have been a maker for several years now. I'll share my tips...

Let's just say I have a serious canning problem, er, um, I mean Hobby, yeah, that's it! But the baby is hampering that this year, and last year was hard to. Who wants to stand in front of a stove for 8 hours over boiling water when preggo? Oh, the ankles!

Anyway, I take my preserves & pickles and make gift baskets. I've actually started giving less, since I have a sneaking suspicion my IL's just empty them out and give me the jars back, but I can't be sure.

So, I buy cheap baskets. I also make herbed vinegars or sherries and oil. I just bought (last year at ollies) the Betty Crocker Ultimate Holiday Cookbook, let's see if I can find it on amazon....hmm none of those look right, I'll check tonight. Anyway, it has additional recipes I made last year for things like chocolate covered pretzels & candy canes & spoons. As well as mocha mixes and others. Things it seemed to me were more likely to be consumed quickly than left to be wasted in the jar and tossed out. (I'm sure they did it!)

I also scour dollar stores & TJ Maxx & border's for things to add to the basket Like:

Chinese Yo Yos
Tiny cookbooks (good to go with things like spreads or herb rubs)
Magnetic Shopping list pads
Cheap holiday CD's (scored a bunch at the dollar store)
Picture frames (we have a nice photo printer, so we can put them in cheap frames)

I arrange them nicely and hand them out, one per family. Very cheap. I'd say, all in all, about $20 each basket including preserves, book, CD, yo yo, frame, pic, and the basket! (That's for the big family basket, little basket for friends, probably like $5 to $10 - and it's spread out over the year, not all at once!)

In previous years, we have had calendars made. The year we went cross country, we made about 15 with the pics we took. We got a deal at Staples for what amounted to about $11 each. Now that I have a good printer, though, I can make them at home. I can "borrow" binding material from work, or you could probably get them bound for a dollar or two each. With the kiddo, who doesn't need more pics of our cute little man?

Oh, I've recently picked up crocheting again, so I plan on making some scarves or something.

But with my *mad* lay out & design skillz this year for father's day I made a memorable book for DH. You can buy board books at the craft store, and make them into whatever you want. I made a book called "The story of me & my daddy" with lots of pics of the first 6 mos of DS & DH fun times together. I was thinking about doing this for the family, and giving it to grandparents, or having them professionally printed. Found a great site to do it for not too expensive...they look really nice. I'll find the link and post it...

So, that's my plan. Of course, with DS, we'll get him something special. Plus it was my promise to him that he would never get the combo xmas/bday present that plagues all december babies (myself included). I want to try to cut down on his plastic toys and convince the fam to stop buying him crap.

Okay, that's it for now!
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#79 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 06:36 PM
 
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I wanted to pass on a great site for some stocking stuffer freebies;
http://yesall4free.com/index.html

Also a great place for cheap toys is shopgoodwill.com usually people dont bid on the wooden things because they dont treasure them like we do!

Saamy Student mama to  superhero.gifand hearts.gifand babyf.gif

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#80 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that our fam. does the "four somethings",too! I really love it.
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#81 of 328 Old 07-18-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hklinefelter22
Let's just say I have a serious canning problem, er, um, I mean Hobby, yeah, that's it!
Hi, I'm Jennisee, and I have a canning addiction. "Hi, Jennisee."

My canned goods went over SO well last year that I'm doing it again this year. In addition to the usual pickles, jams, relishes, and fruit-in-syrup, I'm planning to add some funky things this year--BBQ sauce, honey mustard, pesto, blackberry liquor sauce. Jam is very easy to make, even for newbies, and you can check out a book on canning from the library.

If you have a few herb plants, you can make some dried herb blends and put them in pretty bottles. I've already decided that I'm making a Simon & Garfunkel blend--parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. It's for chicken, and I'll round it out with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I'll probably also do an Italian blend--basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder.

I grow my own popcorn and may give some of that in pretty containers.
I've acquired a lot of holiday tins over the years, and I need to fill them with food and regift them, LOL--cookies and candy for the sweet tooths, and spiced nuts for those with hotter palettes.

I need to start checking out thrift stores for vintage T-shirts with band logos, quirky sayings, product promotions, etc. That kind of thing is right up my teenage brother's alley, and he has no qualms about wearing secondhand.

I'll try to think of more to add later.
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#82 of 328 Old 07-19-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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I'm planning to add some funky things this year--BBQ sauce, honey mustard, pesto, blackberry liquor sauce.

If you have a few herb plants, you can make some dried herb blends and put them in pretty bottles. I've already decided that I'm making a Simon & Garfunkel blend--parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Careful, Jennisee, from one addict to another, trust me when i say it is easier and cheaper (and in my case, tastier!) to buy bbq sauce from the store! I spent 14 hours making bbq sauce 2 years ago, only to end up with like 6 - 1/2 pints. Sooo not worth it! I did pick up a good tip of making butters (apple, peach, tomato) in the slow cooker, after I also spent 12 hours stirring my peach butter also only to get about 6 - 1/2 pints. Thus, I think, my, err, "problem"!

Oh, and as for Scarborough Faire - I made this Scarborough Faire Apple Jelly for my wedding favors! The recipe for spiced apple jelly came off a box of lids, i think, and the spices I had, were, do I have to say it? Oh, man, I have issues!
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#83 of 328 Old 07-19-2007, 09:33 AM
 
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A paul simon song just came on the radio at work! weird!
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#84 of 328 Old 07-19-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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Careful, Jennisee, from one addict to another, trust me when i say it is easier and cheaper (and in my case, tastier!) to buy bbq sauce from the store! I spent 14 hours making bbq sauce 2 years ago, only to end up with like 6 - 1/2 pints. Sooo not worth it! I did pick up a good tip of making butters (apple, peach, tomato) in the slow cooker, after I also spent 12 hours stirring my peach butter also only to get about 6 - 1/2 pints. Thus, I think, my, err, "problem"!
Hmmm, I might still be crazy enough to try it just once. : I wonder if BBQ sauce would be easier in the crock pot as well. My Ball book has a whole chapter devoted to condiments, and I really want to try some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hklinefelter22 View Post


A paul simon song just came on the radio at work! weird!



For young children, I remembered something my local library did. They had a reading program, and one of the prizes was a "traveling fun pack" that they made on their own computers and printed--crossword puzzles, word searches, coloring pages, travel bingo (pictures of things you would see while driving), list of the 50 states for looking for license plates. I think it also included a pencil, a crayon or two, an eraser, and a piece of candy.
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#85 of 328 Old 07-19-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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I would like to join. Here's my list so far:

Dd
- handknit stocking from stash yarn $0
- candyland rug game (big rug , and it's a game too, bonus!) $2 salvation army, unopened and unused

Sister1
- tan crocheted bag keeper (she requested it) $0 (yarn from stash)
- a bunch of thrift store cardigans (she constantly wants mine, so these aren't really a gift just a quick wanting my stuff kind of thing) $1.50

Sister2
- blue crocheted bag keeper $0 (yarn from stash)
- a cool, dragon tea pot from a garage sale, very unique looking $2

Sister1 Dh
- small box of unopened golf balls, garage sale $0.25

Sister2 Bf
- Vintage Star Wars collectible glass $2

GM
- dark blue crocheted bag keeper $0 (yarn from stash)

Okay, I have to think on the rest. I know I've made more things but not sure who to give it to yet.


I'd like to also make homemade Irish Cream for FIL. More added later!

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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#86 of 328 Old 07-20-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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since this is the 1st year w/ a DC, i think it is important to start traditions, yet hard to decide what they will be.

::
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#87 of 328 Old 07-20-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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since this is the 1st year w/ a DC, i think it is important to start traditions, yet hard to decide what they will be.
We have our own traditions too. It stems from our faith. We buy/make a few gifts for each child and we don't do santa. Never have, never will. The Advent is most important to me.
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#88 of 328 Old 07-20-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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Yeah, Advent's very important to me, too, so I hear that.

The biggest hurdle we have around the holidays is that we both come from more-is-better families, particularly at Christmas. We mostly do thrift gifts, which is a step in the right direction...
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#89 of 328 Old 07-20-2007, 12:52 PM
 
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YAY! I'm so glad other mommas are thinking along these lines as well .....

I mentioned this to my DH the other day ..
I'm going to do Christmas on the cheap this year .. for a number of reasons
--why spend the money(that we don't have) to buy "something" .. that may get shoved in a closet, or tossed to Goodwill
--we both have large families, and for the life of me, I can't get anyone to draw names!!
I like getting gifts for people that they ENJOY and USE ... instead of just getting just anything ...

What I did last year ...
--earrings for the women/girls .. took me about 1 minute to make a pair! Hobby Lobby had the hook thingys, as well as really pretty pre-made straight pins with beads .. all you had to do was put them together
--WINE MARKERS --- these turned out so pretty, and I think I still have some sets left over to give as teacher gifts this year

Things I am considering this year ...
--peppermint brittle (piece of cake to make, and I could package it up cute)
this is for sale on websites for $9 and up
--chocolate covered pretzels .... I've done these for YEARS, since I was a little girl! This year, I'm going gourmet, and doing them fancy, with some toppings, like here ...
http://www.metrocandy.com/Gourmet-Ch...vered-Pretzels
http://fretzels.com/original_assortment.htm#
I'm going to do the big pretzels, and maybe the rods. My idea is package up 12 big pretzels for a family(couple, etc), or 18 rods. I may package up some minis for the kids. A lot of the price when buying 'store bought' things is the packaging/presentation, so I want to spend some time/thought about how I'm going to wrap these up.

Another idea is chocolate covered spoons ..... dip plastic spoons in chocolate, wrap up pretty and give to folks to use with coffee ...
http://www.metrocandy.com/Gourmet-Ch...vered-Pretzels

There are some ideas for packaging here ...
http://www.celloinabox.com/shop/shop...categories.asp

I read in one of these threads ...
Buy school supplies (extra) NOW while they are on sale, like pencils, pens, markers, crayons. Put these aside for a crafty gift later. I'm going to pick up a few sand pails on clearance at the end of summer, and package these up for the nieces and nephews.

Books ....
Clean out your bookshelves, and pick up some books you want for next to nothing. All you pay is postage (less than 2.50!)
http://paperbackswap.com
Earn giftcards to give as presents ...
http://mypoints.com

With a bit of planning, I'm going to do this Christmas cheap ... saving for re-doing some of my house!

Keep the ideas coming!!

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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#90 of 328 Old 07-20-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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Okay, as promised, here is the link to the Betty Crocker's Best Christmas. DH thought it was funny I got a BC book, but it has great craft ideas, as well as food recipes, gift recipes, kids crafts, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Crockers...4949711&sr=8-1

I think I'm going to try to make a couple of the apple slice wreaths this year too.

Good luck frugal mommas!
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