Sense & Centsibility Blog

Another Blog On How to Save Money During the Holidays

Tis the season for personal finance holiday blogs – all my favorite bloggers have one. I always enjoy the challenge of saving money but maximizing the fun! Long time readers of Sense & Centsibility will know I am pathologically frugal – by upbringing and necessity. While I am not supporting other humans any more, I have put in my time being a single parent on not a lot of income. Holidays were tough with all the pressure to buy, buy, buy. There are lots of tips out there to help keep the spending in check. We ourselves have published several blogs – here are a few: 10 Tips To Avoid Financial Chaos This Holiday Season, How to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season, How to Save Money Traveling Over the Holidays, Reduce Holiday Stress & Create Enduring Memories,  Ideas for Inexpensive Gifts. But, this blog is about wrapping the gifts you carefully bought or made.

Wrapping paper is not cheap!

  • Except maybe after. Stocking up on clearance gift wrap is a good idea.
  • Save the gift wrap and ribbons from gifts you receive. My family and friends may get impatient when I am carefully unwrapping their gift to reuse the lovely paper they paid for, but it goes against my very fiber to toss out perfectly good paper. My grandmother saved gift wrapping paper, and so will I.
  • Use calendar pages to wrap smaller gifts.
  • Make gift bags from magazines or old wrapping paper. The Worldwide Web is a treasure trove of how-to videos and ideas.
  • Make gift boxes from Christmas cards past. Lots of directions online – here’s one:
  • Use the ubiquitous brown paper bags that collect in the home and create your own beautiful designs.

Ideas for decorating brown paper bag wrapping…

GiftMy daughter and I would pull out the glue and glitter each Christmas. It can be messy, but we had a great time thinking about the recipient of the gift and creating a custom designed work of art. We’d also go outside in the yard and find interesting plant parts in the snow. Add ribbon, gold paint, glitter, or doodads and you have a one-of-a-kind gift package decoration. In our back yard we found ...

  • Ostrich Fern spore fronds (Google them to see what they look like :) )
  • Milkweed pods
  • Black-eyed Susan seed heads
  • Pine cones
  • Twigs
  • Pine needles
  • Grasses

The holidays don’t have to be just about spending money and the anxiety that causes. Carve out time to be creative and save money. You’ll reduce stress, have a creative outlet, and give something really special.

Wishing everyone a joyful and stress-free Holiday Season!

Author Mary Ellen Kaluza is a Certified Financial Counselor and resident frugality expert with LSS Financial Counseling.