Planning ahead for christmas gifts?- Frugal Savings

Is anyone already planning for the holidays? I know that it's early, but over the summer when i've seen yard sales I've stopped and picked up baskets so that I can repurpose them. I hate buying baskets for $5-10 each at the store when they usually just get discarded by the recipient. :piggy: I

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    Default Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    Is anyone already planning for the holidays? I know that it's early, but over the summer when i've seen yard sales I've stopped and picked up baskets so that I can repurpose them. I hate buying baskets for $5-10 each at the store when they usually just get discarded by the recipient.

    I only buy the ones that look really pretty and then we wash them with the steamer. This year I made some jellies and jams (Yes Liss- I made your Jalapeno Pepper Jelly & the jars are GORGEOUS!) I'm thinking of making "Southwestern Baskets" for everyone.

    I have 4 "family" gifts to make. I was thinking homemade fajita seasoning, corn bread mix, jalapeno pepper jelly, refried beans mix and a little cast iron flat pan for each basket. I found these at Bob's Discount on clearance for each and they're really cool!


    Do you make theme baskets for families on your list? What do you include in it?
    I'm a Freak!

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    I am thinking ahead as well and have picked up cookie tins at garage sales over the summer for church friends. For family I will be canning jelly and butter again this year. Last year I did apple butter and grape jelly. Both were very easy and everyone loved them. I have to ship mine, so I did not include anything else, but I might include a dry mix along with the jars this time - something like a homemade cookie or dip mix.
    SAHM to 2 blessings; avid saver since '08

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    ohhhh, Jane, can I be your friend? That sounds lovely!! I love the idea of themed baskets, but I never seem to have enough for any one theme. I just love the southwestern basket idea!!

    This summer I have been looking for cheap but in great shape muffin pans. I want to use them at our church bake sale. I think it would be really neat to sell cupcakes in a reuseable tin like that. Unfortunatley, I haven't found any yet! lol.

    I just found these really cute neon-colored soft, foldable coolers on clearance at the grocery store. They had yellow, pink, and green. Two sizes - one holds 12 cans and one holds 18. I am going to use them for gifts for Christmas. I was thinking about the inlaws (sisters and brother) but I might use them for the older teens instead. I am wondering what I can put in them. Does anyone have any suggestions???

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    I would like to do some baskets for Christmas/New Years. I think about it, then it slips my mind until it is too late. I will have to keep an eye on this thread to inspire me ;o) I know that I really like getting gifts like these, they mean more than something store bought that I do not want/need/like. It takes more thought to do something homemade. My problem would be, I do not think everyone (5 families) would like the same type of gift basket! But YES, Christmas has crossed my mind.
    Hope Everyone Is Enjoying The Day. Best Wishes From MN ~ Pamela

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    Quote Originally Posted by GandKsmom View Post
    ohhhh, Jane, can I be your friend? That sounds lovely!! I love the idea of themed baskets, but I never seem to have enough for any one theme. I just love the southwestern basket idea!!

    This summer I have been looking for cheap but in great shape muffin pans. I want to use them at our church bake sale. I think it would be really neat to sell cupcakes in a reuseable tin like that. Unfortunatley, I haven't found any yet! lol.

    I just found these really cute neon-colored soft, foldable coolers on clearance at the grocery store. They had yellow, pink, and green. Two sizes - one holds 12 cans and one holds 18. I am going to use them for gifts for Christmas. I was thinking about the inlaws (sisters and brother) but I might use them for the older teens instead. I am wondering what I can put in them. Does anyone have any suggestions???
    This past December, I found 6 ct muffin pans at Dollar Tree. I bought several and gave them for Christmas gifts along with some homemade muffin mixes-(gifts in a jar). I also included a couple of recipes for rolls that's baked in muffin pans.

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    Mrs Paws, I love that idea, but I don't know anyone other than myself that bakes! LOL!! I would love a gift like that, but my inlaws would wonder why I gave them pans and mixes! Thanks for the idea.

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    I wish I could 'can'... I crochet dish cloths and nylon scrubbies and sew pretty needlepoint designs to dish towels to give to my family and friends.
    I could make corn bread and cookie mixes though... I saw some recipes and they seem far less complicated!
    I also shop all year long for the holidays... I do not believe buying gifts for one loved in exclusive to the month of December~~ if I see a good deal or find something special, I pick it up and store it til their b-day or Christmas. ♥

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    that is a good find at the dollar tree! especially if they use muffin tins; I have found their metal pans can rust easily when scoured.

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    It is that time again. Every year faithfully, I think about thrifty and fun frugal gifts, collect ideas, and then usually don't follow through and carry them out until it is too late. I have to mail out boxed gifts to my families as all live a bit of distance away. Mailing costs are prohibitive sometimes. Thoughts on saving mailing costs?

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    Well, I am really trying to follow through on my ideas this year. I decided that I would fill the coolers (see above) with some bags of flavored popcorn, using the recipes I found on this site! I am very excited abou this. My son's cub scout troop is selling popcorn and I can get bags of unpopped kernels to use. This way I can support cub scouts and make inexpensive Christmas gifts too!

    I too would appreciate any ideas on saving on shipping....

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    As a teacher I am always looking at the back to school supply sales. For Christmas I either fill a box or a basket for each grand child. (Baskets can usually be found for a quarter or half a dollar at yard sales). I have eight adult children and 19 grandchildren (and number 20 will arrive in May 2013). Here is how I fill them with gifts and stay under $250.00 to shop for my whole family.

    1. For the younger kids I make home made "playdough" and pack it in airtight containers - I add cookie cutters and "playdough" tools from the dollar store and throw in a plastic place mat so their mothers don't hate me for giving a messy gift. Crayons may be as low as fifteen cents per package at the Back to School Sales" and I stock up on them by buying about 20 packs each year. Each child gets crayons, markers or gel pens. Water color paints run about seventy-five cents. Everyone gets a set with an extra brush (a 20 pack of brushes is $1). Glue sticks are 4/$1 and scissors are also cheap at 2/$1 and I stock up on these as well. There are lots of sites to print off coloring pages on the Internet. I have found decent scientific calculators at the dollar store for just a buck. Depending on the child, I may add markers, books or a small lego-like brick set (costs about 1.49). My budget for each child is $5- $10 in money.

    2. At summers end, many stores clear out their garden seeds, peat pots, and gardening supplies. Seeds are as cheap as ten cents a package and last year I found a child's gardening set at the dollar store that had seeds, children's gardening gloves, plant markers and the plastic packaging was usable as starter pots for the seeds. All the kids over 5 and under 11 got these.

    3. For tweens and teens; diaries, sample sizes of toiletries (I collect these when I travel), earphones, book lights, T-shirts and fabric paint, a baby food jar of beads, wire and findings makes a good jewellery kit. I found electronic chargers can all be had for less than $5 each at Walmart. Target's $1 center often has games and other small items including wild colored socks. Some of the teens look forward to homemade fudge or a giant chocolate chip cookie just for them. Harbor freight often has a number of free or low cost items in their coupons each month - led flashlights, tools, etc.

    4. I keep the cash expenditures at a minimum by volunteering. I sign up to work Scholastic Book Fairs and Warehouse sales. Each sale has a set amount of store credit that is given to workers in exchange for their time. I usually end up with about $250/yr in store credit and stock up on books, stuffed animals, and the wide assortment of other gift items and kits that Scholastic sells.

    Another way to make volunteering pay is to organize a block yard sale. If you do a block yard sale, make sure you have about $5 of exchange credit for each of the families that are selling - you may need them to watch your sale while you take a break or feed children and when you do this for them you may have first pick at $5 worth of items that are just perfect for gifts. Never underestimate the power of volunteering!

    If I use boxes for the gifts, storage boxes (Avon boxes or paper boxes are also good) can be covered with leftover fabric by thinning down Elmer's Glue and brushing it over the fabric. As the thinned glue soaks in it sticks to the box and it dries clear. Let it dry completely before adding more glue, because too much moisture can buckle the cardboard. Add glitter, custom messages, sequins photos or pictures to make the box as special as the gift inside.

    By the time Thanksgiving comes around most of my Christmas shopping is done and I usually still have $100 - 150 of my budgeted money left for the pre-Christmas online sales.

    Knowing that there are no huge credit card bills awaiting me, makes for a Happy Christmas and a great deal of gratitude throughout the new year. JRodgers

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    I forgot to add that beginning in fall of each year Kohls usually has a book and a stuffed animal that is one of the characters from the book. I have bought a book and the stuffed animal together for $10 for toddlers through kindergarten. They love to have the story read at bedtime while they hug the stuffed animal. The stories are not holiday stories, so this can also be saved for a birthday or an extra gift in case the neighbors invite us over to share the festivities at a BBQ for one of their kid's birthdays. JRodgers

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    Thrift stores have muffin tins quite often

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    Default Re: Planning ahead for christmas gifts?


    You guys are very creative! Thank you for all the ideas, I have 9 grandkids and 6 kids with spouses so am always looking for ideas. I also make use of the after-school-starts sales and look for ideas at garage sales and the dollar store, they have been budget savers on many occasions. I am making wash clothes and towels right now but love the southwest baskets ideas. We have our own garden and raised lots of pepers and tomotes. We make hot sauce, salsa, dried tomatoes, etc. and give as gifts too. This year will be our first year to give our own honey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmjune76 View Post
    I wish I could 'can'... I crochet dish cloths and nylon scrubbies and sew pretty needlepoint designs to dish towels to give to my family and friends. ♥
    Do you have any instructions for your crocheted dish cloths? Someone gave my father some and I loved them when I was at his house last week. They are really the best dishcloths I have ever used. JRodgers

 

 
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