December 9, 2014

Christmas on a budget!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE giving gifts!  Whatever the occasion.  Giving to people and making them smile puts a smile on my face too.  After all, that's what the season is all about, right?!  I also love being creative and saving money (don't we all!)  This time of the year can be tough on our wallets and our minds.  I am going to show you a couple of ways to keep your wallets full and your stress level down.

Any one who knows me, knows I love gift baskets!  It's a great way to put a bunch of little things together as one big gift.  Its a way to spread your money out instead of spending it on one gift.  For instance, you can create a basket with $5 movies from the discount bin at Walmart, bags of popcorn and some little boxes of candy from the dollar store, a cozy fleece blanket and you have a nice "movie night"  basket for under $20.  

I went to the Goodwill store the other day (my secret frequent stop) and found some great scores!  They have nice big baskets for $1-$3 each.  You would pay a lot more at any department store.  Tons of dishes, cups, glasses, blankets, rugs, pictures (and frames) and little nic-nacs that are in good shape and easy on the wallet.  You have to take your time and browse with patience but you just might find something pretty awesome.  When I was checking out, I couldn't believe the items that the woman in front of me found.  Cute Christmas decorations, beautiful sweaters and soft, cozy blankets.  They also offer 50% off of certain "colored" items every week.   When you walk in the store, they will have a sign that usually states "all pink sticker and barbed items are 50% off".  So it pays to pay attention to the "color" of the week.  Let me show you a couple of the items I found during my visit.

3 baskets for $1-$2 each, Candy dish for $1, 2 Santa dishes for $.50 each, 2 green "distressed" mugs for $.50 each, Silver and pink centerpiece dish for $4, and really nice wine glass for $.50.  The pink basket was originally $4 but the handle was falling apart so I got it for $2.  (it never hurts to ask to pay less than sticker price if you feel an item is priced too high for the condition it's in) When I got home, I wrapped the handle in pink ribbon and it was like brand new!  I paid $12.50 for all of these items that would have cost me A LOT more if I had bought them at department stores.  All of these items were like brand new (minus the pink basket)  No chips or scratches.  I was thrilled.  

My second favorite place to shop during the holidays (who am I kidding, any other day really) is Dollar Tree.  Some of their items really are worth the dollar, but you can also find some really good items too.  I usually purchase the fake flowers, candies, some food items (like the cookies) and craft supplies.  Not every store is set up the same, and sometimes you need to walk around and around until you can find what your looking for.  But I have frequent them so often, I can usually figure out where to go.  I also have different store locations that I frequent more than others.  Some are bigger or some are just nicer inside.  Anyways, here are a couple of items that I grabbed while I was there.

I also wanted to show you a quick candle using Dollar Tree items.  This candle cost $3.00 to make and I have left over items to use to decorate the baskets.  This took me 10 minutes to make and I think it looks adorable.  This is something that can be used year round, not just during the holidays.  So, let's get started.

Hope you enjoyed and will walk away with a couple of ideas.  If you liked it, Pin it or share on Facebook.  Caring is sharing :)  Or subscribe to receive awesomeness right to your inbox!  

Happy Saving! ~Amanda