Two of my most favorite things in the world are birthdays (especially my own!) and Christmas. I love the happiness and buzzing atmosphere that these times bring. I love the lead up and anticipation to these fun filled days. I love the joy on the faces of my children when they are going to bed the night before, knowing when they wake up in the morning that they are in for a very special day.
But do you know what I don’t love? The costs that come along with all of these celebrations. Birthdays and Christmas can quickly add up to very expensive events. As a result, I thought I would compile a list of ways in which you can save a little money or save a lot of money, but still have a super great time that isn’t compromised.
Re-use your gift bags
About five years ago my eldest daughter received a massive gift bag from one of her friends at her birthday party, full of many lovely gifts. During the party clean up I folded up the gift bag (as it was still in perfect condition) and figured we could reuse the gift bag at a later stage, saving us from having to purchase a new one next time. I popped it in the cupboard and grabbed it out when it was my middle daughter’s birthday a few months later, and ever since we have been reusing the same gift bag over and over when it has been one of our birthdays. Sure the bag is beginning to look a little sad after five years, but my kids couldn’t care less what their presents are wrapped in, and I have saved a fair few dollars along the way!
Stock up on wrapping paper
Sometimes the above tip is not always practical, such as when you will be giving gifts to someone outside of your family, so this is where this next little tip comes in handy! As you may be aware, during the after Christmas sales everything Christmas related becomes heavily discounted. It is at this time that I stock up on plain wrapping paper. You can always find a roll of plain gold or silver wrapping paper in those discounted tubs, which are perfect for your gift wrapping needs throughout the year, not just at Christmas time!
Re-gifting is not a dirty word!
I love to re-gift – do you want to know why I love to re-gift? Because I feel much better knowing that a gift that I did not particularly love will be going to a much more appreciative recipient. Isn’t it better to pass on the joy than see the gift pushed to the back of your wardrobe, neither loved nor wanted? I think so! I am not ashamed to say that any gift my family receives that they do not love and we cannot return or exchange, gets popped into the cupboard and re-gifted at a later time. This also means that I nearly always have something on hand that I can wrap up should a gift giving situation arise that I was not prepared for, saving me a possibly costly trip down to the shops to grab the first thing I see!
Make a card
$5 for a card? I don’t think so! As lovely as it is to give and receive cards, let’s all be honest here – how many of these cards end up in the bin a short time later? My guess is most of them! So what better way to show off your children’s artistic talents, but to get them to whip up a birthday or Christmas card! All it takes is some nice paper and a few coloured pencils, and in a short while you will have a one off masterpiece that I am sure will be loved far more than anything Hallmark can give you!
Bake your own gifts
This may be shocking to some, but gifts don’t have to come from a shop! I have given and received some lovely homemade gifts over the years, the best of which have been home baked goodies. It is super cheap and easy to bake your loved ones a batch of sugar cookies, wrap them in a little cellophane and top it off with a bright coloured ribbon. Gifts like these are perfect at Christmas time for the kids school and kindergarten teachers, as you can easily get the whole family involved with the measuring, mixing and of course the most important job – the spoon licking!