Have Yourself A Very Thrifty Christmas
Let’s face it, during this special time of celebration, there is an inordinate amount of waste! We wrap expensive gifts: trains sets that Dad “tests” and breaks before the kids get a chance to play with it; china that gets put in the cupboard because it’s “way too nice” to actually use; exercise equipment that, let’s be honest, will only collect dust; lotions that smell like the Avon lady is next door; pajamas with feet (never appropriate); and kitchen appliances that aren’t appreciated, because what mom really wanted was some pretty jewelry. All this wrapped with expensive paper that gets shredded and thrown after being admired for…what…optimistically…2.7 seconds? That’s just the tip of the Christmas iceberg! SAVE YOURSELVES (hope you caught the clever pun), and follow these simple, practical, money-saving tips! As ALWAYS, I humbly have ALL the answers!
Ways to save money this holiday season:
Fruitcake: First of all, if you love your family, DON’T!! But if you must (maybe your family needs the character building), there’s a cheaper way to do this! Typical ingredients in fruitcake are red and green candied cherries, candied pineapple, walnuts, raisins, shortening, sugar, 5 large eggs, 4 Tbs vanilla, plus flour, baking powder, salt. YIKES! Most of that is SO EXPENSIVE!
First, take out the most expensive ingredients: no nuts and fruit. NO way you need 5 large eggs, use 1 XL egg, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is waaaay cheaper than shortening! Really? 4 TABLESPOONS of vanilla? There’s not a lot of difference between TABLEspoons and TEAspoons, so just use teaspoons. Now, bake up the rest! Viola! Maybe people will actually eat it.
Tree: REALLY? You cut down a poor, defenseless tree and then burn it 2 weeks later. Set aside the cruelty a moment and consider the waste! Christmas trees are EXPENSIVE! Is there a cheaper, more humane alternative? Simply “borrow” 1 limb from each tree from your neighbors’ backyard:
1. The tree will hardly miss it.
2. Your neighbor may not even notice.
3. You won’t scratch up the top of your car.
4. Tree trimming gets WAY more creative!
5. You can mix and match tree species!
What’s more lovely than blending a scotch pine with a cedar tree—pure harmony.
Holiday Ham? I say Holiday SPAM! Right?! What’s the difference…really…?
Christmas gifts: Why not let Christmas do double duty and get your kids things they really need: new blades for the lawn mower—Less time in the heat; they will thank you! Band-aides, what kid doesn’t use plenty of those (since it’s Christmas, do this one splurge, and get the Bugs Bunny ones)! Nail trimmers, bug spray, garden knee pads, trimming shears…you get the gist! (If you just have to buy something impractical, you can get last year’s calendars at huge discounts.)
The kids will have lots to open and then lots to do!
Christmas wrapping: You wrap a present and the recipient tears it open and leaveS shreds of glistening, metallic beauty. I suggest 2 separate piles: 1 pile of Christmas wrapping (still in the box), you hand it around, everyone admires and gently touches it and then it gets packed away, ready to come out next year. 2nd pile is the gifts- Come on, everyone already knows what you bought them anyway!
Outside Christmas Lights: Those bulbs have beautiful blown glass! Do they really need to be lit?? Save all that electricity AND it will add YEARS to the life of your lights!
Inside Christmas decorations: Are they necessary? That’s a LOT of stuff to dust! Who was the first one to cut mistletoe and put it in the house? Personally, I don’t know and do I really want to trust someone I know nothing about?? I don’t think so!
These are just a few of my nifty, thrifty, holiday money-saving tips. With all the savings, the family can now afford to buy mommy a black Mercedes with vanity plates, “UDBEST.”