2007 Frugal Holiday "Challenge" - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 328 Old 08-23-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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I get internet at home next week, so I could post some other recipes soon.
I'd love that. Thanks.
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#242 of 328 Old 08-23-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Sure! It would be much less conspicuous than bringing my giant cookbook to work here...
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#243 of 328 Old 08-23-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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I'm making gift bags for my dd, neice and nephew w/fun cheap stuff and socks etc.

You can also get alot of stuff FREE in the mail (freebie sites) and use them for stocking stuffers

 

 

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#244 of 328 Old 08-23-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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I'm making gift bags for my dd, neice and nephew w/fun cheap stuff and socks etc.

You can also get alot of stuff FREE in the mail (freebie sites) and use them for stocking stuffers
I've been trying to amass freebie stuff for stockings. What are your favorite freebie sites?
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#245 of 328 Old 08-24-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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I'm subscribed to two frugal Christmas threads -- is this the one where someone posted about a scrub? If so, do you think olive oil would work with the brown sugar rather than water?
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#246 of 328 Old 08-27-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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Well, as for the sugar scrub, I wouldn't use "brown" sugar because it is sooo soft. You want either white sugar or raw sugar, for sure. And, from experience, don't mix it up in advance and give it to people, it only lasted about a month before it was hard as a rock and couldn't be scooped out. I would make it dry in jars and attach directions about how to use it.

If you are the total opposite of me and can take oil on your skin, I'm sure olive oil would work fine. I, on the other hand, would turn into one big pimple!
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#247 of 328 Old 08-27-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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Thanks for that info. I actually want it for me. I've been using olive oil as a moisturizer, so I thought it would work in a cleanser.
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#248 of 328 Old 08-27-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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I've had great success making fancy socks for little girls. By that I mean I buy socks with the fold over tops & sew decorations to them--buttons in hearts, stars, puppies, etc., silk rosette flowers, satin bows, you name it. You can tailor them to the interests of the child as far as special pets, favorite colors, & so forth. It is easy & inexpensive & wildly popular. I saw some at a craft fair for $8-9 per pair that had bows made out of rickrack on the cuffs.
I need ideas on how to make the fancy socks - can you post pictures?

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wow - i am so impressed with all of these ideas. it's actually a little overwhelming when i think of all of the things i could actually make instead of buy...
that said - does anyone have any favorite online yarn stores? for a few of the gifts (fingerless gloves, wool diaper cover) i need/want to buy specific yarn. am also needing some more double point needles so i can work on more than one project at once. magic cabin used to have dpn for like $2 or something. anyone know if they still do, or where i can get some goodies for cheap? freecycle? craigs list? or a real store? thanks!

and by the way - you all rock my world - i can't wait to join you in conscious giving!
I'm cheap. I like knitpicks.com

~ Kim

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#249 of 328 Old 08-28-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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2nd here for the fancy socks!! My dd would love those for Christmas! Please post pics!
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#250 of 328 Old 08-28-2007, 11:12 AM
 
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Hey all~ I was just surfing Mindful Home Management, and reading the "green holiday" thread. There's an old post from 12/06 written by swampwitch where she shares this idea. I thought a lot of you would like it.

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Another idea for crafty greenies comes from my dad. For several years during our childhood he took a hunk of the tree trunk each year, sliced it into five rounds (there are four kids, plus one for my folks to keep), about 1/4 inch thick or so, and painted a simple design on one side while writing on the other side "Christmas [year]," and drilled a hole in the top. Those are some of the most precious ornaments I have.
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#251 of 328 Old 08-30-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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want more ideas bump....

~ Kim

mama to E (01-2007) and wife to C

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#252 of 328 Old 08-30-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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We just picked up a bunch of CFL bulbs at Ollies for $1.99 each. We're gonna use some for Xmas presents. That is a stellar price, usually they're $5 or more!
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#253 of 328 Old 08-30-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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I'm going to be having an unexpectedly frugal Christmas this year. When I was growing up my parents spend $1000 or so on each kid (sinful, isn't it?) so I've had to adjust my expectations a lot. Last year we spent about $200 (a bit more)on each one of us and another $200-$300 on relatives. This year we will have $500 total. I realize that that is plenty and way more than many of you have so I'm embarrassed that I'm struggling but this thread gives me hope and a lot of exciting ideas. I think I'm really into the "Something you want, something you need, something to play with, something to read," thing. I think that might help me a lot. So I'm excited. I haven't gotten through the whole thread so I apologize if someone has already covered this but one of our biggest hit gifts was last year I gave coffee mixes from Hillbilly Housewife and dipped some thrift store spoons in chocolate to make pretty designs and found really cheap ($1.99) mugs that I could get my girls pictures on and made a coffee basket for the grandparents. It was cheap and everyone loved it.
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#254 of 328 Old 08-31-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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One thing i've started to do was join the swaps on the TP. Reverse swaps are good for this. I've already received DDs stocking gifts (hand felted troll doll and fruit leather) and part of DS (fruit leather). Im gonna keep my eyes open for the stuff/supplies on my gift list. Im also trying to be open minded about this. If someone has a giftable item I know my SIL (for ex.) will love, im gonna swap for it and scrap my original plan. Its easier and may be cheaper too.
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#255 of 328 Old 08-31-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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One thing i've started to do was join the swaps on the TP. Reverse swaps are good for this. I've already received DDs stocking gifts (hand felted troll doll and fruit leather) and part of DS (fruit leather). Im gonna keep my eyes open for the stuff/supplies on my gift list. Im also trying to be open minded about this. If someone has a giftable item I know my SIL (for ex.) will love, im gonna swap for it and scrap my original plan. Its easier and may be cheaper too.
Ditto. I am finally thinking ahead enough to pick up gifts on the TP. I was able to get DD's birthday present in a trade.
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#256 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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yay for this thread!

For adults we usually make a few different jams (it's easier than you may think...just cook down some fruit, add a pack of the low sugar pectin stuff, and pour into jars for canning. Chocolate Cherry, Ginger Apple, and Spicy Peach have been favorites) and a yummy fruitcake (using real dried seasonal fruit...not those scary day glo squishy things you see at the store). This way we have most of our gifts done in a few days and the per person price is just a dollar or two. Plus jam an fruitcake ship well!

For the little ones we make bean bags out of funky fabrics, little knit balls/blocks/bears using scrap yarn, fairy crowns and wands (braid scrap ribbon into a crown and leave the loose ends dangling down, and for the wand find a nice fallen branch, rub it down with a little sandpaper, drill a hole through one end and tie ribbons or gauze through the hole), and felt boards. For the babies we make tiny knit hats, funky scrap fabric bibs, and "fairy mobiles" (take small scraps of different colored fabrics and take a small ball of paper or use a bead for the head, drape the fabric over the bead and tie beneath it with string so you have a sort of "ghost", then using a needle/thread you can stitch through the very top of the head and hang it from a branch. It's really pretty if you can make a few fairies and hang them in "rainbow" order sort of spiraling down from a branch).

Oh, and the grand parents/great grandparents love getting things with baby handprints. A good one is a paper mache heart (use the junk circulars that come in the mail) painted red with little baby handprints (non-toxic finger paint). Then I use a sharpie to write names/ages. These make good ornaments as well.

And for ornaments... slice citrus fruit into rounds and let them dry. They smell great and have a gorgeous glow hanging in a window or in front of holiday lights. And just a few lemons and oranges make a lot of ornaments! Also if you eat eggs...blow the shells so you have hollow egg shells. Boil the shells clean, then dye them (with food coloring or food scraps like blueberries or onion skins or beets). You can dye them single colors and hang them, or you can melt crayons or canning wax and paint on designs...then dye then and wipe off the wax to make different colored designs. A few drops of essential oil dropped inside the egg makes a wonderful room scenting ornament!

And we make handprint wreaths and reindeer and candy canes...fun to hang and these make nice gifts for grandparents as well.

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#257 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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And in a seperate post...I need ideas!

I have a 13yo niece. Her family is very well off and she gets a lot of "stuff" on holidays/special days. She is also very image and brand conscious. When I asked her mom what she might like (I was thinking maybe a beginner knitter basket with some of my stashed yarns and a set of needles) I was told "Oh, just give her money" (suggested amount was a few hundred dollars, which is more than we have for everyone/everything else combined!)

Any ideas? She likes/has a horse (her only hobby), lives on brand names, and we are her only aunt/uncle so she does expect a gift!

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#258 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
And in a seperate post...I need ideas!

I have a 13yo niece. Her family is very well off and she gets a lot of "stuff" on holidays/special days. She is also very image and brand conscious. When I asked her mom what she might like (I was thinking maybe a beginner knitter basket with some of my stashed yarns and a set of needles) I was told "Oh, just give her money" (suggested amount was a few hundred dollars, which is more than we have for everyone/everything else combined!)

Any ideas? She likes/has a horse (her only hobby), lives on brand names, and we are her only aunt/uncle so she does expect a gift!
I would search out horse crafts. then maybe you can make a few little horse craft kits for her to do when she is bored with all her expenisve toys. MAybe a pillow or a scrapbook kit with mini horseshoes, a few horse stamps etc.
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#259 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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I was told "Oh, just give her money" (suggested amount was a few hundred dollars, which is more than we have for everyone/everything else combined!)
They actually suggested an amount?! OMG, how rude!

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#260 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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It was "I can think of plenty of things she'd like for a few hundred"...the implication being that a few hundred would be "inexpensive" enough for us. My SIL really is a wonderful woman but we are is such different places (financially, socially, philosophically) that sometimes I'm not sure we're living on the same planet.

The scrapbooking thing might work...she spends the whole summer at camp and maybe a summer camp memory box would be doable along with a horse theme.

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#261 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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It was "I can think of plenty of things she'd like for a few hundred"...the implication being that a few hundred would be "inexpensive" enough for us.
Did you say, "A few hundred dollars?"

Sorry, not being helpful here, but I just cannot get over this! We spend a few hundred on Christmas total.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#262 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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I know, I know. Even in "not broke" years we don't spend more than a few hundred dollars total for family, friends, children, parties, decorations, and extras. In years like this where we don't have much we probably spend 50 dollars or less on everything and everyone combined...and that goes mostly towards festive foods (thanksgiving, winter solstice, christmas, 12th night).

I have to laugh or cry, and laughing seems healthier!

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#263 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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How about a leather working kit or something, wombat? Maybe she would like it to work on her own saddle or bridle? Or a belt?
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#264 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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Did you say, "A few hundred dollars?"

Sorry, not being helpful here, but I just cannot get over this! We spend a few hundred on Christmas total.
No doubt. Where's the fainting smilie when you need it?

My niece is the same way. Only 3, but she usually gets thousands worth on her bday/xmas. Crazy!

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#265 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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My niece is the same way. Only 3, but she usually gets thousands worth on her bday/xmas. Crazy!
Okay, you people must stop with these stories. I'm about to have a heart attack over here! I was thinking of spending nothing on my two-year old this year and giving him a few toys we have already (that we got free or bought a long time ago and never gave him).

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#266 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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I was raised dirt poor (literally several people in my family still have dirt floors). But my mother was horrible with money and we would go hungry to have a huge xmas. It's not worth it. On the flip side, I remember when we became Jewish and sdad was not into Chanukah and we would not have the holidays.

I didn't want the stuff, but the family and cookies and getting something special. I guess I was spoiled, but I don't want my kids to miss out. So we spend under $100 by far on them each year. THat sounds like a lot, but I try to get something special or nice, not just $100 worth of plastic. Of course it always goes on the cc which is suffocating us. It's a hard trap to get out of.

My niece has *everything* in the world and her mother is more spoiled somehow. My dh is, too. I just don't understand the huge amount of money their family spends on the holidays, it's really astounding.

My kids' birthdays are all in the holiday season, so they always get a very small and frugal birthday, and we often take back most of the gifts they get on xmas from family to pay for groceries and their birthdays to get back our holiday money.

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#267 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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Okay, you people must stop with these stories. I'm about to have a heart attack over here! I was thinking of spending nothing on my two-year old this year and giving him a few toys we have already (that we got free or bought a long time ago and never gave him).
It's all about the wrapping paper anyway. Just don't skip it and use cloth bags and you'll have a happy little boy.

On the rare occasion I've gotten my son something new and then if I find it at a garage sale, he gets the used one and the new one goes to toys for tots. He almost never gets new.
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#268 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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It's all about the wrapping paper anyway. Just don't skip it and use cloth bags and you'll have a happy little boy.

On the rare occasion I've gotten my son something new and then if I find it at a garage sale, he gets the used one and the new one goes to toys for tots. He almost never gets new.
Good tip! I know with young kids (at least the ones I know!) the wrapping *is* the present. They don't really care what they get, as long as they get to unwrap something.

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#269 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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It's all about the wrapping paper anyway. Just don't skip it and use cloth bags and you'll have a happy little boy.
Luckily I have a HUGE box full of rolls of wrapping paper that I've picked up through curbside shopping. I never understood why people would trash perfectly good wrapping paper!

And I love the idea of cloth bags for presents, but with all the wrapping paper and gift bags I have, it will take me years (maybe my lifetime) to use it all up.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#270 of 328 Old 09-01-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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I was going to agree...for a 2 year old just wrap empty boxes and they'll be thrilled! Heck, dd usually wants to rewrap and reopen a couple times!

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