2007 Frugal Holiday "Challenge" - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 328 Old 07-28-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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Not totally frugal, but a little more environmentally conscious - there's a Chico Bags co-op going on right now and I'm getting my mom some cloth grocery bags. She'll love it as she's trying to be a little earth-friendlier ... and it's a co-op, so they're cheaper, right? Does that count? haha.

I also took some old wooden clothes pins and let DD paint them and decorate them. I'll put a magnet strip on the back and give them to the grandparents from DD - they can use them to hold her artwork on their fridges.

Lauren
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#122 of 328 Old 07-28-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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Hi Everyone

I'm into making all the gifts this year...we have a hard time thinking of things for all the guys in our family too...I'm anxious to try the oyster cracker recipie, it sounds good and cheap too!! Baked goodies are always a hit w/ my family and here are a couple of ideas that we have for crafts...

~All the art work that my daughter draws/paints is cut into cards and bundled in sets of 10.. sometimes we make envelopes too, sometimes we don't.

~knit lots of scarves and dishclothes..

It's not a very long list, so will be needing some help...
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#123 of 328 Old 07-28-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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This year I plan on making a home made "home pack" for some of my family. Home made detergent in a nice package (probably a mason jar dressed up a little), nontoxic cleaner already mixed in a spray bottle, a peice (or a bar) of fels naptha soap for stain remover (this stuff works awesome if you haven't tried it), a home-made grocery bag holder (the tube shaped thing), and a little booklet full of home-made recipes for cleaning.

I'm also considering those "gifts in a jar" type stuff... dry cookie, soup or drink mixes.

This year for family and friends I want to go home made, but practical and useful. One of my cousins routinly makes my kids clothing for the holidays/birthdays and passes out something she's made from scratch and I think that is so cool.
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#124 of 328 Old 07-28-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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An idea I thought of that would be free, would be to write your children books.

I just finished writing a book for my kids on homebirth, because we're planning on having both kids at our upcoming birth next month. It took some time, but zero on cost except for a bit of ink and paper. I used pictures from my last homebirth and pictures i"d taken through previous pregnancies with the kids. My daughter loves it, and I'd like to make more for her on other various topics we find important.

Might not be a bad idea to make for your kids or other kids :-)
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#125 of 328 Old 07-28-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LilMama23 View Post

I also took some old wooden clothes pins and let DD paint them and decorate them. I'll put a magnet strip on the back and give them to the grandparents from DD - they can use them to hold her artwork on their fridges.
That's a good idea.

-Pam
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#126 of 328 Old 07-29-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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This year I plan on making a home made "home pack" for some of my family. Home made detergent in a nice package (probably a mason jar dressed up a little), nontoxic cleaner already mixed in a spray bottle, a peice (or a bar) of fels naptha soap for stain remover (this stuff works awesome if you haven't tried it), a home-made grocery bag holder (the tube shaped thing), and a little booklet full of home-made recipes for cleaning.
What a great gift idea. I'd love to receive something like that.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#127 of 328 Old 07-29-2007, 11:10 AM
 
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I have several friends who now have infants. I am sewing them some cloth ornements for the bottom of the tree that can't be broken or damaged.

I also sent in the wrappers for earth's best baby food and got the offer for the free book for 2 people. I bought the fruit anyway, all I paid for was the shipping.

I canned 2 boxes of liter cans of figs around the 4th of july. We are going to make gift baskets agin this year. I have a recipe for salsa if anybody is interested. It was a huge hit.

I am trying to do a little at a time because I work F/T and have very young babies....my mom says I always take the hard road.:

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#128 of 328 Old 07-29-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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This year I plan on making a home made "home pack" for some of my family. Home made detergent in a nice package (probably a mason jar dressed up a little), nontoxic cleaner already mixed in a spray bottle, a peice (or a bar) of fels naptha soap for stain remover (this stuff works awesome if you haven't tried it), a home-made grocery bag holder (the tube shaped thing), and a little booklet full of home-made recipes for cleaning.

I'm also considering those "gifts in a jar" type stuff... dry cookie, soup or drink mixes.

This year for family and friends I want to go home made, but practical and useful. One of my cousins routinly makes my kids clothing for the holidays/birthdays and passes out something she's made from scratch and I think that is so cool.
Thanks!! I love the home pack idea and hope to use that this year...
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#129 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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: I love so many of these ideas. I'm getting started this week on the kids and nephews. Thank you for the inspiration!
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#130 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 02:57 AM
 
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This may not be so frugal, but a good idea that will not gather dust on a shelf: I plan on giving family and friends gift cards this year. The local discount supermarket, (not Walmart-we don't need another hostile thread about them), Half-Price Books, family restaurants, etc. I love getting gift cards and I think others do too. I have already picked up 7 from different places for a grand total of $110. Though not a true savings, at least I know the money that I spend will be used and appreciated, not gracing the person's next yard sale. Last year, my college age son got two different Sonic Cards, plus we charged his university id card with money for him as part of his Christmas present. He told us at spring break that he hadn't had to spend any of his cash for food during the spring semester. I KNOW he appreciated that!
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#131 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 09:26 AM
 
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This may not be so frugal, but a good idea that will not gather dust on a shelf: I plan on giving family and friends gift cards this year. The local discount supermarket, (not Walmart-we don't need another hostile thread about them), Half-Price Books, family restaurants, etc. I love getting gift cards and I think others do too. I have already picked up 7 from different places for a grand total of $110. Though not a true savings, at least I know the money that I spend will be used and appreciated, not gracing the person's next yard sale. Last year, my college age son got two different Sonic Cards, plus we charged his university id card with money for him as part of his Christmas present. He told us at spring break that he hadn't had to spend any of his cash for food during the spring semester. I KNOW he appreciated that!
GCs are great! I'm earning free ones through MyPoints. I've earned two $25 GCs so far and am hoping I can earn one more before the holiday season. They're great gifts for my dad who is ridiculously hard to shop for.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#132 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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I'm getting my mom some cloth grocery bags. She'll love it as she's trying to be a little earth-friendlier ... and it's a co-op, so they're cheaper, right? Does that count? haha.
A great way to personalize tote bags or t shirts for grammy & grampy are with pictures of their little angels! I just made my dad a shirt when he came to visit. He's a big outdoorsy guy (well, so are we!). I took a picture of DS in his hiker back pack, blew it up real big, and wrote "Take a Hike!" on it at the bottom. (I used photoshop, but you could easily do it in publisher or maybe even word - I have corel which I prefer, but I think publisher comes with most computers.) Then I printed it on a tshirt transfer. He loved it so much, he put it on when he left so he could show it off to his friend he was going to see!

I will advise, as a photo junky, to don't try to save on your photo paper by buying generic. Buy the brand that matches your printer or you'll regret it. It will be streaky & fuzzy.

Well, I finished scarf #1, and am about a third of the way into scarf #2. First scarf was shorter & fat, now I'm working on one for BF that is long & skinny. I ordered 3 books on felting from the library. They should come in this week, and conveniently, it's payday this week and michaels has felting wool skiens on sale.
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#133 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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Last year I gave my db and sil a calendar and marked 2 different saturdays that I could babysit. I think the calendar was a nature/wildlife one that I got free in the mail.

we have a local consignment shop that sells new and used items. I can take some things in and get credit and buy a few gifts there new.

BCBS health insurance has a rewards catalog. Everytime you excersise you get a point and after 30 you get a prize. I log on all year long and buy christmas have about 20 things between my husband and I. Lots of them say BCBS but not all of them. Last year I got a blender that I gave to my neice for college.

my husbands family is pretty big so its hard to think of gifts for all those nieces and nephews. They are all teens now for the most part and have gotten harder and harder to shop for frugaly.

One year I made my own cards with my babies footprint and gave them to everyone in the family.

my dd and I are working on homemade windchimes. Out of dirft wood, shells and beads. I need more ideas like this.
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#134 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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My friend makes peanut brittle every year and puts it in little jars with bows. She swears that it is the easiest and cheapest way to do the holiday.
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#135 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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my husbands family is pretty big so its hard to think of gifts for all those nieces and nephews. They are all teens now for the most part and have gotten harder and harder to shop for frugaly.
I think at a certain point, it's time to take the older kids off the gift rotation! At my gmas house, there's so many kids, I don't even know their names anymore! Or, if you can't take them off, maybe you can just go with an accross the board $10 gift card to somewhere. It's cheap, but hey, it's $10 they didn't have before, right? At some point, they have to understand they're not babies anymore. We have pulled pollyannas in the past, and when you turn 13, you're in pollyannas and off the gift from everyone list! Is this a possibility in your family?
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#136 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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We have pulled pollyannas in the past, and when you turn 13, you're in pollyannas and off the gift from everyone list! Is this a possibility in your family?
What is this?
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#137 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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GCs are great! I'm earning free ones through MyPoints. I've earned two $25 GCs so far and am hoping I can earn one more before the holiday season. They're great gifts for my dad who is ridiculously hard to shop for.
Please tell me how you are doing this. It sounds like such a good idea! Thanks for sharing.
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#138 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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my husbands family is pretty big so its hard to think of gifts for all those nieces and nephews. They are all teens now for the most part and have gotten harder and harder to shop for frugaly.
You could always make soaps and bath salts. Its super cheap to make.

Make mixed CD's for them as well and personalize the CD covers. I did this for some friends and they LOVED it! I made a mixed media cover and on the inside, collaged the song names and artists. It was really fun to make and DH and I put A LOT of thought into the songs. We had a theme and actually spent a few hours one night deciding what song should be first and what song would sound great after that ect. It ended up being really epic. Fun way to connect with DH too

DD is planning on tie dyeing white socks (thanks for the help w/ dyes Frog )
for gifts this year. Something like this may work great for those teens in your family too. You could even dye white sheet sets or curtains for them as well. I often find linens at yard sales in awesome condition for super cheap.

Frame a poster of their favorite artist, art, record album ect. I did this for my parents last year. Found a dollar record at the thrift (Queen for Dad and Dwight Yokeum (sp?) for Mom) and bought a record frame at Michaels for $5 and used the 40% coupon for both frames.
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#139 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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What is this?
Pollyannas are when everyone puts their names in a hat with a list of items they might like as a gift. We usually set a $25 or $30 limit. Everyone picks one name, and then you only are responsible for buying a gift for the person you pulled. Of course, grandma doesn't enter - everyone gets her a gift or we all chip in on something big for her. And kids under 13, most people buy them a gift (toy or book, etc). I stopped doing it though, cause the last time, one of the 13 yr olds picked my name, and his mom didn't supervise his gift purchasing. I endedup with $5 of dollar store crap. But hey, it's christmas, right? Most of the time, Mom just buys the gifts for the kids and puts their name on it, kwim?

This is really good for large families, or poor ones. My DH's family did it one year, with like a $100 limit, but it only lasted that once. There's only like 3 couples and 2 grandkids, so it's no big deal.
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#140 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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DD is planning on tie dyeing white socks (thanks for the help w/ dyes Frog ) for gifts this year.
It's my pleasure--I'm glad they're going to be used!
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#141 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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Candycane - You can log in through mypoints.com and register. It is completely free (although people can earn points by referring you).

They send you e-mails and you get 5 points for each e-mail that you click through. Some e-mails contain links to surveys and if you qualify for and complete a survey, you earn 10 to 1000 points depending on the company.

You also get points for clicking through the mypoints website to online retailers when you purchase. For instance, if I was planning to purchase something at Barnes and Noble online, I'd first visit the mypoints website, click on their B&N link, then I'd get credited with 10 points per dollar spent. If you shop online anyway, it is a great way to earn free GC to tons of different places.

I do very little shopping online but still manage to earn at least a $25 GC each year just by clicking their e-mails and not qualifying for their surveys (apparently my location isn't one that surveyors want to hear from). I can buy a lot of small kids books with that GC and use them as Christmas gifts.

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#142 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I would love to crochet or knit reusable string shopping bags for my relatives similar to the ones below, but can't find a pattern. If anyone knows where I can find a pattern, I would really appreciate it.

http://www.reusablebags.com/store/ec...lack-p-14.html

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#143 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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#144 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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what a good idea...when searching i found this site:

http://craftyminx.vox.com/library/po...ping-bags.html
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#145 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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#146 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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Thanks Frog!!

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#147 of 328 Old 07-30-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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This year I plan on making a home made "home pack" for some of my family. Home made detergent in a nice package (probably a mason jar dressed up a little), nontoxic cleaner already mixed in a spray bottle, a peice (or a bar) of fels naptha soap for stain remover (this stuff works awesome if you haven't tried it), a home-made grocery bag holder (the tube shaped thing), and a little booklet full of home-made recipes for cleaning.
I've been thinking about doing something along this line. I'm brand spankin' new to homemade cleaners though. I checked out a book from the library but haven't had much chance to try many of the recpies yet. Would you be so kind as to share some of your recipies/instructions? : I'd be forever grateful!
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#148 of 328 Old 07-31-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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Wow, Frog, thanks for th link! I think I'll try some out soon! I finished scarf # 2 - it's kinda funny, but I like it. It's from burled yarn, kinda fat at the ends and skinnier in the middle. Then I made 2 giant pompoms and attached them about a third of the way up the scarf, so you can then tie the scarf shut at the neck with a bow and have the pompoms dangling. Scarf #3 halfway done - need a second skein of yarn - it goes fast when it's super chunky.

This is exciting! I'm gonna try the shopping bag and I have a purse pattern too - It's super '70's but it's funny, thats the style again.

Oh, I thought about this last night, too! We might invest in getting nice reusable water bottles for some people. Frugal & earth friendly! Not those plastic ones, I've been eyeing up some nice stainless ones for myself...fwiw.
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#149 of 328 Old 07-31-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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Any frugal ideas that can include something to do with dinosaurs? My ds is crazy about them. He will be 6. For all of our gifts this year, I'd like to do homemade things if possible.
(I haven't read all of the way through the thread yet so forgive me if this is already mentioned)

If your ds likes to paint craft stores usually have wooden shapes for about $0.25 each. I've never looked for dinosaurs but I'm sure they'd have them. You could get him some dino cutouts and paint.

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#150 of 328 Old 07-31-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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(I haven't read all of the way through the thread yet so forgive me if this is already mentioned)

If your ds likes to paint craft stores usually have wooden shapes for about $0.25 each. I've never looked for dinosaurs but I'm sure they'd have them. You could get him some dino cutouts and paint.
Hey, Berty! Look what I found on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Thames-Kosmos-...5893197&sr=8-4

$10 for the pair, age 6 to 9. You'd probably have to help him, but I've seen these models for $15 each at museum stores. A bargain, if you ask me. Just a suggestion!
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