A friend of mine and her family has decided this year to save money by making all of their Christmas presents. Not only is this idea much less expensive than buying everything at the store, it’s also much more personable. I asked my friend to give me her list so that if our readers were interested in having a homemade Christmas, you’d have some ideas. Here’s what she and her family are doing.
Remember, just because it’s bought in a store, it doesn’t mean it’s a better product. A lot of times, homemade is better!
1. Homemade mascara. I didn’t even know you could make it, but you can. HERE is a simple recipe with just two ingredients. And better yet, it’s all natural!
2. Peppermint sugar scrub. Again, this only has a few ingredients. I bet if you bought it in a store, it would have way more. I love that it’s peppermint too, so it’s like Christmas! HERE is a simple recipe.
3. Brownie mix. You’ve probably heard of homemade hot cocoa in little jars given as gifts, but did you know you can make brownie mix too!? HERE is a great recipe that I’ve used before without the pretty jar, but they’ll make amazing gifts.
4. Playdough. It’s not that it’s really expensive in the store, but it’s even cheaper to make because you can skip all the expensive packaging.
All you need it….
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops
To make the dough, just put everything into a boiling pot and stir on low heat until a ball forms. Then just add the food coloring of your choice and let cool on tin foil. Make sure you store it in an air tight container or it will dry out.
5. Teacup candles.
This is the only craft that I haven’t done, but I adore this idea. Especially because I have some antique cups that were my great aunts. I could totally do this with only a few ingredients and put those cups to use instead of having them stored for no one to see. Check out this awesome VIDEO tutorial HERE.
The average family budget for Christmas is $749.51. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a lot of money. We are always trying to cut corners on Christmas while still enjoying the season and letting everyone enjoy the spirit of giving and receiving. Here are some things we’ve done over the years to cut back.
1. We got a fake tree! It feels blasphemous to even say it, but two years ago we scrapped the tree. First of all, our tree was always dead and ugly by Christmas. It never failed. I guess we are just bad tree taker carers. Who knows? Regardless we were spending $40-$80 on a fresh cut tree. After Christmas we found an amazing deal on a fake tree. We paid $50 for a tree that will easily last us several years. Are real trees an absolute in your family? You can get them cheaper by cutting them down yourself if you live in an area where that’s possible and you get the correct permits. In our area, a permit costs around $10!
2. Nix the Christmas cards. Although you can get pretty cookie cutter cards from places like Wal-Mart and Costco, the postage is still an issue. We were sending out 100 a year and at least tacking on an extra $75-$100 to our Christmas cost. This year we decided to nix them and just send a generic Facebook greeting card. I will miss the cards we receive after sending ours out, but it will help us out. Honestly those close family members would probably rather a phone call anyway.
3. Draw names for gifts. My husband has a rather large family with lots of nieces and nephews. Instead of buying for them all, we’ve decided to draw names and our family buys 4 gifts instead of 30! We also all pool our money together for a big present for the in-laws. Instead of them getting 4 smaller gifts, we can get them one big one.
4. Give gifts that people want. This is probably based more on principle, but I’d rather spend money on something that a person is actually going to use rather than something they would throw away or regift. Ask around and get specifics.
What are you doing to save money on Christmas?
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Amazon has a great deal on a digital camera. I know I’ve had lots of people asking me about what cameras are good and where they can find a good deal at. This one is originally $599!
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Attention Christmas Shoppers!!! Here is a great deal on a kids camera.
Every time I turn around, my almost three-year-old has his hands on my camera trying to take pictures.
If I have a future Ansel Adams on my hands, I better get him something to learn on.
Today’s Daily Steal is perfect for your amateur photographer!
I bought this deal last year and bought all of our immediate family calendars with my kids pictures on it. BEST. GIFT. EVER.
Check out this deal Livingsocial has in Washington D.C. (If you are new to Livingsocial, you will have to sign up first then choose Washington D.C. as your city)
Want to buy more than $50 worth? They also have an option for $35 for $75!