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How to Have a Giving but Frugal Christmas


If you like being generous during the holidays but your budget won’t cooperate, Christmas can become a major crapfest. This is especially true for grandparents, who love giving grandkids the best gifts. Something must be done, to fix the problem. The following are some strategies for giving at Christmastime on a painfully tight budget.


A Frugal Christmas Requires a One-Year Head Start

Real Christmas thrift begins one year in advance. The first step in being ready for next year is to buy things on clearance a few days after Santa has come to town.


Wrapping Paper

If you always have a lot of gifts to wrap and love to use nice wrapping paper, no need to sacrifice in this area. Simply visit stores a few days after Christmas and buy the best wrapping paper at 90% off or more. It’s practically free! While you’re at it, buy discounted ribbons, bows, and gift tags. Just be sure to store the bows and rolls of Christmas wrap carefully for the next 11 months or so.


Family Ornaments

Provide the entire family with the traditional family ornaments they have come to expect by getting after-Christmas bargains. This is a well-known secret, which means you have to be on your toes. Even if the selection isn’t everything you would wish for, you can buy very nice ornaments for a fraction of the usual price.


Work on your Gift List

Get your gift list all set, and spend the entire year grabbing the best bargains on the presents loved-ones and friends really want. Many stores have amazing sales. One of the secrets is to have some shopping money ready a couple of months before Christmas. Retail establishments apparently love to reward early shoppers with unbelievable deals. Just keep a constant eye on the sales at your favorite stores. Subscribe to your local newspaper and check stores in your area, as well.


Homemade Treasures

If you have a talent of some kind that all of your family and friends treasure, you will spread a lot of cheer by sharing your homemade gifts. Some ideas follow, for creative types:

  • Framed photos
  • Soup kits
  • Hand-knit items
  • Homemade soap
  • Ornaments
  • Canned jelly, salsa, or pickles, etc.
  • Sketch and add color to original art tailor-made for individuals
  • Create a recipe book with all beloved family recipes


A Sentimental Scrapbook

If you can write creatively, spend time preparing a homemade mini-book or scrap book for loved ones. You could include lots of photos but the main idea is to write about your memories of special times. Include things they said or did and laughter shared. This type of gift could easily be a loved one’s favorite of the season, especially if it’s obvious a lot of time was put into it.


Have a Merry Frugal Christmas!

It can be discouraging to be empty-handed at Christmas. But the truth is, everyone falls on hard times. Your true family and friends will be glad to celebrate the season with you in their company, if you are too strapped to buy presents. You could take joy in knowing that next year, with above tips, you could surprise everyone with something under the Christmas tree.

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