My Purpose

As a recent college graduate preparing to be a teacher and a recent bride, I'm learning how to live in a limited budget. In the process, I've had to find money saving tips & ways to re-use common items, create cheap lesson plans, cook inexpensive meals, design DIY wedding projects, and more. With the economic situation that many of us are in, I think we can all use any ideas that people care to share, and that's exactly what I want to do-- share my own ideas and those that I've found in my searches. I hope you find this blog useful and share it with others.

The blog can be viewed in chronological order of posts via the "Home" button, or you can select a specific title for pages that contain information organized for one idea, such as "College," "Wedding," or "Party Planning." Also, you can view pages specific to one particular label by using the "Categories" element down the left side of the screen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Money Saving Tips for Christmas...

I know it's post-Christmas, but put the ideas from this blog in a file somewhere to use for Christmas 2010...Print it, Bookmark it, or take notes from it...

As a young woman staying on a budget, here are some hints to helping save money at Christmas time---

1. Try going green- Save money on postage and Christmas cards by creating a multimedia card and displaying it online for all your family and friends!

2. Re-use last year's Christmas cards--
---Make new gift tags with a part of the picture
---Use them as a writing prompt for students
---Frame and mat them as artwork for your home
---Cut them in half and use the top half as a new "Christmas Post-Card" (it even uses less postage!)

3. What to do with those scraps of wrapping paper that are too small to wrap even a small gift with?
---Roll them around a roll of paper and secure with a small piece of tape. This will keep the roll closed and keep it from getting ripped and wrinkled.

4. Keep the tissue-- don't toss those sheets of tissue paper, they can be folded up and put in a box or bag for next year! If they're too wrinkled to be used in gift bags or in a gift outside of your own home, they can at least be used for a gift to your child or spouse... or as packing!! There's no need to waste a new piece of tissue paper as packing next year!

5. Save money on gifts--
---Do all you can the day after Thanksgiving when the sales can save you money.
---If you won't be seeing the gift recipient until after Christmas, wait to shop! Buy what you can when things go on sale again between Christmas and New Years..
---Make the gift... Sometimes a gift from the heart means most... Try baking cookies, framing photos, making a scrapbook or personalized ornaments, inviting the recipient to spend one-on-one time with you, or personalized coupons... You can also learn a trade-- knot a scarf or paint a picture...
---Shop online! Try
---Suggest a Secret Santa or Dirty Santa to save on gifts in the workplace or within a group of friends...
---Buy early... When the weather starts to get cold, start brainstorming ideas... When you're out shopping, pick up a gift here and there.. Put it away to make sure you can find it when you need it!
---Shop at Craft Fairs or Thrift Stores... They usually have great buys that are unique!
---Let's be honest... Re-gifting is always an option! Just make sure that you keep track of who the gift came from!

6. Create a budget-- and stick to it!

7. Do some shopping at stores that give the shopper "in store cash."
---For example, Kohl's gives $10 of Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. It's not year-round, so you have to do your research to find out when the deal is going on...

8. Cut down on the cooking-- instead of cooking a full Christmas dinner, try going smaller-- soup and sandwiches? Or maybe a potluck dinner is the way to go for your family..

9. Decorate on a smaller scale-- Try using ribbons, wrapping paper, pine cones, and other cheap Christmas related items.
---Framed wall hangings can be wrapped to look like Christmas presents instead of buying Christmas themed wall hangings.
---Search Craigslist for used decorations..
---Everyday candles and decorations can be spiced up with a large fabric bow, sprigs of flowers or greenery, ornaments, cinnamon sticks, and more... Get creative! Use what you have!
---Put un-used ornaments to use... Fill a cake stand, large vase, punch bowl and more with ornaments, greenery, or pinecones...

10. Swap with family and friends... Take those unwanted gifts, decorations and supplies. Create a large swap with a group-- take wrapping paper, recipes, ornaments, re-giftable gifts, and anything else you no longer want....... someone else might want them!