Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frugal Holiday Wrap-up

Wow, it seems like the holidays this year lasted such a long time! This holiday season there have been some exciting new developments due in large part to my frugal adventures—some past, some on-going. This week’s article is also going to be an important post-holiday update about gift giving!

I know what you’re thinking, that this is going to be about re-gifting? Wrong-o, as the Grinch would say! Of course, its a possibility that we won't turn up our noses at, but I'm talking about being more creative. This is about using your frugal femme knowledge to get people presents that a) they want and b) won’t break your budget. Now I’ve got the perfect example: my dad. His birthday is right after Christmas and he can always name about half a dozen different things he’s had his eye on that he thinks would make great gifts. Unfortunately, they usually cost way more than the family budgets for, so what to do? Keep notes on people. No, take it one step further, stalk them! Haha, not really, but maybe a little. Remember when they point at something or mention something, write it down even. That movie he wanted to go see? Guess what—that’s part of his present. And surprises aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. I just ask a lot of the time. Hey, my budget is this, what would you like? And it works, as long as you do it far enough in advance that its not rude- or desperate-sounding.

Besides buying presents, remember to make upcoming holidays and birthdays special by doing little things! Baking something special or knitting something yourself, like a scarf, doesn’t have to cost a whole lot. A bag of pretzel rods and some chocolate to melt and dip them in? $5 max. A large skein of yarn to knit a scarf? Under $5. Just be creative! Last year I made Easter baskets for people--this was before I started couponing--and even though there wasn't a live bunny in the baskets, my family still really appreciated that I was thinking of them and did something to make the holiday special.

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