Have a frugal Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I am getting to be some what of a “pro” at this whole frugal thing. I have always been cheap but with our current budget “cheap” takes a whole new definition! It is exciting though! I have learned to make “every dollar SCREAM” as our friend Dave says!
Last year, I had a Christmas budget of around $150. I am a big gift person! Unfortunately, it is my #1 “love language” so it was not an option for me to “not do gifts”! I am too stubborn and made it happen for everyone!
If you are in the same or close to the same boat this year here are some practical ideas!

Salt Dough Ornaments:
These are so easy! All you need is 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of salt and 1 cup of flour . You gently mix the three ingredients together and kneed for about 10-15 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, roll out and cut out your ornaments.

If you are not artsy, you could simply paint the ornaments a solid color and use some coordinating ribbon on a set.
Here are some other ideas:
(Shameless plug… I am selling these here)

Crayon molds:
I found this idea here and thought it was awesome. She just used candy molds and melted down crayons. Spoiler! I am giving these to all Trey’s playdate friends. Just throw some crayons and a little coloring book in a bag and “ta-da”, adorable, homemade gift!

Make your own car mat!
This is so easy! I took a white curtain I was not using and cut it in half. I dyed it brown (optional). Then painted a city scene with roads and all on top. You don’t have to be artistic! You can just paint a simple road scene with no pictures. It’s most likely for a boy right?! If you are artistic have fun! I did mine in the theme of Savannah. I painted River Street, downtown, the beach, parks, a baseball field, and football field. I made one for my nephew with an “Atlanta theme”. Bottom line is it cost me almost nothing! It was time consuming but because I could fold it up and work on different sections at a time, it was easy to work on!

Dress up clothes!
This year my kids are getting dress up clothes! I wish I had thought of this a little earlier because I could have cleaned up with after Halloween clearance. Oh well! Instead I am making most of them. I am going to do mostly vest (police, cowboy, fireman). But I got A LOT of imaginative play accessories at the Dollar Tree!

Photo Book Basket:
This is so simple and inexpensive! Buy a cheap basket (once again… Dollar Tree saved the day!) and those $1 photo books. I got mine at Walmart. Each book had a theme, “Christmas”, “birthdays”, “fall”, ect. Decorate the front cover with scrapbook paper and such. Then fill the inside with pictures. TheFrugalGirls.com keep me updated on who has the best photo print out deals (snapfish, photobucket, Kodak). All in all this project can cost as low as $15.

Gift in a Jar:

My husband makes some amazing BBQ sauce! We usually bottle it and gift it for Christmas. I always save our spaghetti sauce jars and even baby food jars. Everythingyourmommamade.com has TONS of ideas for mixes and such for jars! I love this gift idea! I got one, one year. It made some super yummy cookies! These are great teacher gifts!
Girlfriend Cookies

Chalkboard paint!
Chalkboard paint can make many fabulous gifts! This is one my wonderful and creative aunt gave me last year.

This is just a charger with chalk board paint on the inside! You could make a cute chalk board with an old frame from Goodwill or something. Take out the glass and paint chalkboard paint on the inside!
I got a little table from Goodwill that wasn’t in great shape (I think it was $10!) painted the top with chalkboard paint and wha-la! Perfectly fun table!
I also got some jars from IKEA for $1.99 on Clearance and painted and label across the front with chalkboard paint. Now I can use them for different things and still have labels!
Here are some more chalkboard ideas! You can go nuts! : )

The bottom line… no matter what your Christmas budget make look like this year, its not about this gifts! I love giving and making gifts! But, Jesus, and the celebration of His birth, is the “reason for the season”!
I wish you happy gift giving!


5 Comments on “Have a frugal Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

  1. raedurb says:

    My ornament that you made me last year is on my tree this year!! I LOVE IT!!

  2. Stacy says:

    Thank you for the car mat idea!! I was looking for something like that for my son!!

  3. […] this Part Two of One a Day: Slow the Season Down… First off, Trisha has a great post entitled Have a frugal Christmas and a Happy New Year! full of great ideas! Give a homemade “club” membership – dessert of the month, car care, […]

  4. monica says:

    I love our candy cane ornament from last year. I was inspecting it just the other day b/c I like the twirly wire that you hang it with rather than ribbon. And I wanta order a family ornament or two I think, need to get on that I guess.

    Photo books like that are GREAT kid gifts! Cole loves, loves, loves looking at pictures of people he knows more than anything. I made him a “Cole’s favorite people” book with scrapbook odds and ends, white cardstock and I typed the names of everyone and printed. I had mine laminated and bound at Office Max during a sale for like $4 or something with about 24 pages. Those little $1 books with pics in it though are fabulous. I also print pics for kids at school and put books like that in reading center. Another idea is “environmental print” books like that. Take photos of Target sign, Publix, McDonalds, signs he would know b/c of the print. Scan cereal boxes or something he knows how to “read” and recognizes. Make a book!

    The BBQ sauce is fabulous and I SO HOPE that is what we’re getting this year! (hint hint) I told Mark I want the recipe too if he’s willing to share it. 🙂 I LOVED that stuff!!!

    The crayons and mat are super cute too. Good job girl. I’d rather have homemade stuff than bought stuff ANY day!

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