Yay! We have made it to the week of Christmas, but we still have a few people to shop for. We still need to wrap gifts…and send out cards…and get to the very busy post office. It is the season crunch time and there is still so much to do. Here are a few ideas to keep the stress down while finishing your holiday chore list.
Wrap For Donation
There are charity organizations, such as pet shelters, that offer wrapping for a donation. You can choose the amount you are willing to pay for their service. You get your presents wrapped without stressing out. You don’t have to buy the stuff to wrap presents yourself, or at least , you don’t have to buy quite as much as you would have. Plus, knowing your money goes to a good cause is just an added bonus.
Buy Gifts In Bulk
Places like Sam’s Club or Costco have items such as gourmet hot chocolate as several boxes packaged together. There are some packages that come with up to twelve types of tea in their own decorative tins. If you are still searching for gifts for a number of friends get one of these packages and break them down to the individual box or tin. Stick a bow and card on them and give them out to your friends. It will save you both time and money and you will still be able to get your friends’ gifts out in time for Christmas.
I know it seems impersonal to give gift cards, but consider the benefits. It’s likely that you haven’t a clue what to get most of the people that you have put off buying a present for. When giving a gift card you know they will be able to get something that they will like. Buying gift cards is also a good way to stay in budget. Often at the last minute we are in such a hurry to get a gift for someone, we spend more than we should. Gift cards are for a specified denomination of money. You don’t need to worry about going over budget too much.
I’m pretty sure that we’ve now officially entered the “late shopping” zone. If you are still shopping today, it’s late! But it’s not too late to come up with some frugal and personal gifts for friends and family members. I actually thought that I was done with all my shopping until just a few days ago. We decided to get together with some friends for dinner this week. It dawned on me that we should get them a little something. I racked my brain trying to think of something that would be personal, practical, and frugal for a family of six.
Then, it came to me! (And I just had to share it.)
So, here are just a few tips to making a gift basket suited to the recipients tastes and to your budget.
1. Personal does not have to be expensive.
Our friends share the desire to eat healthy but have admitted to needing a re-start and not really knowing where to start. Since eating healthy (or, mostly healthy) is so important to us, it was easy to figure out what to put in the basket once the idea finally came to me.
I went to Costco and bought the same coconut oil we have been using lately… for just $12.
Then, I happened to find a coupon for one of my favorite brands of raw honey. So, I got this for $6.99.
We bought an extra gallon of raw milk (from our local farmers) to add to the basket. That was $7.50.
2. It can be pretty and practical.
Then, I put all three items in a basket that I’ve had around (and never used) and tied some ribbon around it.
3. It doesn’t have to be complicated! I actually enjoyed doing it. Those of you who are much more creative will be able to make it look so much cuter than I made mine. But, you get the idea. It works. We know they will like it because of what we know about them and we were able to make it happen fairly easily.
So, even if you’re shopping at the last minute, you don’t have to spend a ton of money or time to make a special gift for a friend.
What other gifts have you made for friends or family members?
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What do you get the people who have it all? When it comes to grandparents often a gift must come from the heart, because they have everything else. Gifting to grandparents requires time and a little creativity to make their holiday season a little bit more special.
This is not the type of art that is expensive, considered an investment, or has a well known creator. This is family art. You could make a family mosaic. Collect a large amount of family photos including of you growing up, you and your siblings’ families, and all their grandchildren. Use scissors and glue to create a collage like creation on a poster board. When the glue is dried, frame it, wrap it, and send it on to the grandparents. Another artistic idea is sending them a toddler abstract work. Take a poster board and let your toddler go to town with a set of markers, frame it, and send it on its way. If you are worried this sounds a little unsophisticated remember there are people who dip cat paws in paint and let them walk all over canvas. This too is considered art, but grandma will love your little guys work much more.
We all know that we need to spend time with the ones we love, but when grandma and grandpa live far away that is more than a little difficult. So instead share a record of the time you have been apart. Send scrapbooks made from the past year or keep a daily journal of your children’s exploits from a point of view a grandparent would appreciate. You can even add a parent’s footnotes or have your little one write a note or draw a picture each day.
Last but not least you can create the perfect gift for that special grandparent that has blessed your home with the noisiest toys known to man. Record an hour long concert preformed by your child and his favorite music toys. Or if you have a talented and musically inclined teenager, create a CD with a sample of music from each month of the past year. The gradual improvement of the CD should let mi-maw and pop pop know of all the hard work your child has done honing their talents. The best part is they will have proof to go along with their bragging rights.
If you shop organic and know the prices of organic apples, molasses and spices, among other things that might be on your grocery list, then you know when you see a good deal on organic foods. And as you peruse this week’s Whole Foods organic foods sales and deals, you will see that there are some very good deals on this week’s list. Your holiday meal can be both tasty and healthy (or, at least healthier) if you use wholesome, organic ingredients. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. This week’s list of organic deals at Whole Foods proves it! Check it out!
Organic Fuji Apples $1.49/lb
100% Organic Grass-Fed Organic Grass Fed Beef Brisket $8.99/lb
Natures Path Organic Oatmeal Pouches $3.50
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Frozen Pizza $6.99
Suja Elements $3.50
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Molasses $4.49
Amy’s Organic Soups 2.50
Use one $.75/1 Amy’s Coupon
Final Price: $1.75
Imagine Organic Soup $3.00
Use one $1/1 Imagine Whole Foods Coupon
And use one $1/1 Imagine Coupon
Final Price: $1.00
Spectrum Organic Shortening $5.39
Use one $2/1 Spectrum Coupon
And use one $2/1 Spectrum Whole Foods Coupon
Final Price: $1.39
Imagine Organic Broth $2.99
Use one $1/1 Imagine Whole Foods Coupon
And use one $1/1 Imagine Coupon
Final Price: $.99
Kettle Organic Potato Chips $2.99
Use one $1/2 Kettle Chips Coupon
Final Price: $2.49
From JCPenney Facebook – This Sunday (12/21) only, JCPenney will be giving away FREE Disney 2014 SnowGlobes in-store at 8AM, while supplies last! No coupon or purchase required. Not all stores are participating, so you may want to call ahead to confirm that your local store will be participating.
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