Postage , Christmas Cards & wrapping paper

toomuchglassOctober 30, 2007

It's sneaking up on us ...... pretty soon it will be Christmas . Do you shop the "after Christmas sales" for next year's supplies ? You can't beat the prices. I've also cut way down on my Christmas card list . The cards are cheap - it's the postage that's a killer !

How do you save money at this time of year ?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't need a lot of supplies anymore so I don't. I cut way back on cards many years ago. I will send a letter to some people I don't see IF they don't have email. I spend time including clipart, maybe a recipe, a household hint or two, a picture or two of whatever they might find interesting and the like and I customize it to the person. Otherwise I use email. I think the sending cards for the sake of sending cards is obsolete.

I've cut down the gift thing too. Rather than giving trinkets to people I'm close enough to that I would give them a gift, I prefer to give them something more substantial when I know that they want it, can use it, and hopefully something they won't buy for themself. The wrapping thing is very little too. I tend to use, and reuse gift bags. I do tend to give things like home baked items or the like and put a bow on it or something. We've all been much happier, saved money and also importantly, cut down the clutter in our houses! Don't have an kids around the close group but they would have been an exception to the gift rules. Still though I hate giving something that's just clutter junk.

I do buy a few bottles of sparkling juice and champagne as drop by gifts for friends that stop by or if I go there. Usually we pop it then!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I cut back on Xmas cards years ago when I realized people were sending me one after they got mine. I write a letter with clip art to family and friends who live to far away to visit.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wanted to add, I just ignore the brag letters I get at Christmas time.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Postage is not a killer.... my 40 cards cost $16.40 to send. A small price to keep in touch with friends!

I don't do after Christmas sales.... not much there that I need.

I belong to a Christmas Club.
I charge everything from the end of November through December - deposit the Club check and pay the Discover card in full.
No interst charges but plenty of CashBack bonus to redeem!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't bother with after Christmas sales. After all the hubbub ,gifts,cooking,cleaning of Christmas, all I want to do is rest and stay out of stores. I find paper doesn't store well anyway. It always gets wrinkled,ripped,dusty. But I do put any left over bows,ribbons,tags, and stickers in a box and save them for next year. That reminds me, time to stock up on scotch tape and look for Christmas wrapping paper at my local 99 cent store!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We use our camera to take a family (mom, dad, kids)snapshot every Christmas. That becomes our Christmas card. We've dropped in to visit several people who still have the picture up several months later. To us, cards are worth it.

I also buy the Christmas themed computer paper to send out a Christmas letter. I guess if people don't want to read it, they don't have to. For us, it's a journal of what we did that year and what was important to us. A copy of it goes in our Christmas scrapbook along with our portrait postcard. I'd rather get a computer printed Christmas letter than an empty card with computer printed names.

I do buy paper some years after Christmas. If you get the right colors, you get birthday wrap too. The curly ribbon is cheap too.

A lot of my projects are kid oriented so I buy fun stuff for treat bags and treasures I donate to the school. I also stock up on tape so my kids can tape boxes, wires, string, and everything else together. It's better than video games.

Also, I buy the inexpensive miniature ornaments and doodads to make Christmas and other crafts with my kids and their friends every year. The Christmas fabric, pompoms, and we bought last year will be used for a nursing home project we plan to do this year.

Some of this stuff is more frivolous, but it's projects I do with my kids and that time spent means more to me than money.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

1. Send as many e-cards as possible. There are some really cute interactive ones that are great for families with small kids. I make copies of an old family photo to send to all the adult nieces/nephews and our siblings. I send it in a Christmas/Holiday photo card. That's their gift from us. Over the years I've sent out all the ancestoral grand-, great-grand parents, etc. going back several generations, along with information about the subject/s in the photo.

2. Get the end-of-the roll newsprint (paper used for newspapers) from your local newspaper (free/cheap) and use it for gift wrap. I tie them with inexpensive twine, rather than expensive ribbon/bows for a country/rustic look. Have the kids decorate the paper if you need a craft project for them.

3. I also make my own gift bags. You can make them any size you need using most kinds of sturdy paper. The trick is finding a box the size you need to use as the form to make them.

A. Using a large box that cereal came in, take your paper and wrap the cereal box - all but the top (try to make the seam at the back of the bag, not the side). DO NOT stick anything TO the box - it's just a form.
B. Use a glue stick and/or double stick tape at the seams and bottom.
C. Leave the top of the box you are using as a form open so that you can reach in and have something to hold onto when you pull the box out of the bag.
D. Finish the bag by cutting the top edge (if it needs evened out) - you can use fancy cut scissors or pinking shears, if you have some. Fold the top edge into the inside and glue down using a glue stick. You can fold it over twice if you are going to attach ties/handles.
E. You can add ties/handles using twine, ribbon, yarn, etc. by using a hole punch and making 4 holes (two on each of the long sides) about 3-4-inches apart and thread the twine, ribbon, yarn, etc. through the holes to secure the top closed.
F. Crease the sides in the center to resemble a regular paper gift bag.

4. Another easy gift bag can be made out of brown paper lunch bags (you can also find them in colors or out of decorative paper). Secure the top by folding over 2-inches or so, punch two holes through all layers of the folded down area, and secure with twine, ribbon, yarn, etc. You can decorate these with all kinds of things, or leave them plain.

We set a $10 gift limit for immediate family (kids/grandkid), but spend more on them for their birthdays. It's easier to budget this way. Hubby and I exchange one $1 gift from the Dollar Store. That's actually turned out to be a lot of fun...


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I plan to shop after-Christmas sales each year, weather permitting. If I need paper, lights, or cards for next year I can get them at a much better price. For those, I "go with a plan". Gift bags are wonderful! Haven't used bows in years...not worth the trouble. Then I look at decorations aka dust collectors :-) to put up for "I need a gift". Not just anything to be shoved at someone, but I do buy different items. Some I'll have 2-3 years before the right recipient comes to mind. I don't go over-board, but since I like holiday-specific decor items, I usually know which friend/cousin does too. And if I guess wrong, they're welcome to re-gift or donate to GW. I have gotten place mats after Jan 1 for a 'steal', and a step-gr'dau was thrilled to receive them for her new apt. Just an example. You just have to know the friends/relatives with whom you exchange little items. Neighbors get something homemade. Card list has been scaled back greatly. Like Jonesy, it seemed I was getting cards only because I sent my earlier. No thanks. Merry Christmas to all of you!! JayOkie

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I heavily rely on the after Christmas sales. But not for the wrapping paper or cards. Well actually i'll buy 1 package of cards for teachers. But usually i will wait for the next season. I have 3 kids and Santa wraps their presents in 3 different wrapping papers. This way they can tell whos present goes to who. I try to buy paper that they like such as Batman for my son or Sponge Bob for my older DD. Buying stamps really adds up. So the people i see alot i will give them the card. A few years back my neighbor sent me my card by postal service. Our mailboxes are right next to each other. I told her i will buy a flashing light for my mailbox so she can find it easier.LOL!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love after Christmas sales at the salvage stores. They usually have decorations and paper at 90% off. I find beautiful cards and cut them to make Christmas postcards. All I have to do is draw a line down the middle of the back of the picture and put the address on the right and a short note on the left. It saves postage. This could be done with your own pictures too. I love getting family pictures at Christmas and those Christmas newsletters.
The decorations purchased after Christmas last year will seem new to me this year. Last year I bought a bunch of Hallmark collector decorations regularly priced from $10 to $20 for 10 cents. They were dated four years earlier, but I used acrylic paint and covered the dates.
Grainlady thanks for the directions to make the gift bags. I will use those.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our family often gives one another movie coupons or gift certificates. Only to the places they enjoy and we know they enjoy. I love to give baked goods that are appreciated since many people seem rushed for time. Rather than wrap gifts, my family started years ago making fabric pull string bags in various sizes - we use them all the time and have since knocked down wrapping paper to a roll or two each year.
My other favourite thing to do is to make my own gift baskets with a theme. You don't have to be expensive. I check thrift stores year round - it never ceases to amaze me how many items appear with their original price tags still on them! My brother is a relatively new home owner and a bachelor. He once noted that his house lacks the female feeling. I found some gorgeous fabric on sale and made him a nice kitchen table cloth which he loved. One year I picked a food theme and got a big basket and filled it with some grocery items and some homemade items. It was like a treasure hunt in the basket and fun.
Unfortunately some of my family still prefers the manufactured items no matter how good my items are. I have spent time and money to make very good milk baths and lovingly made bags to fill only to hear this summer (slip of the tongue) that items like that are kept on show for awhile and then tossed in the garbage. This year they'll get the standard movie coupons. One year I made the same person a very nice handmade card - I spent a lot of time doing it - later that year I heard her complain about a handmade card she got from another friend. Well, if they want manufactured then I get my manufactured box of cards on sale after xmas for next year and they get one of 'those'. Now if I make any super nice hand made stuff its either for myself or someone I know will appreciate and use it.
The basket theme is always enjoyed. There are lots of ideas for them all over the internet.
I also start shopping in the summer so I don't feel such a pocket book hit.
With many friends we have stopped the gifts and make time for each other when things get quiet, email more and share photos online.
I guess it all depends upon your situation as to what works for you. If people buy stuff just to get stuff without the spirit behind it - they get crossed off my list entirely. I don't care about gifts - its the person behind them.
It all starts at a young age to make the traditions that the fondest memories are derived from. For me its all of us sitting down at the table.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you do not sent out xmas cards with bragging letters, and just send out simple cards with a prayer or a holiday greeting, you can save on postage by sending xmas POSTCARDS. Yes, they do sell them, although they are hard to find. Or you can make your own.

You'll save on postage and the recipient still gets a pretty card and greeting from you.

Lexi, that is a clever idea to convert xmas cards to postcards! And then you still have the envelopes to use for other things!

I only send snail mail cards to elderly relatives who do not have the internet. Everyone else get email.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 11:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When my daughters were younger (and very cute), we'd take a family photo on Thanksgiving, then make about 50 copies and enclose with our annual Christmas card. Nicer than a family brag letter. Can you imagine a real Christmas newsletter? well, the dog died and Joe came out of the closet, and Bill got a DWI,etc,etc.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jannie - I got letters like that ! I'd much rather see a picture ... Is it expensive to do that ? Whoever knows me - knows my Dogs ..... Is it cheap ?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Every January, when I'm putting away my Christmas decorations, I flip one of those new calendars for the New Year, go to December and write myuself a note of reminders for next Christmas. Such as:outdoor lights are in garage, need lots of Scotch tape, tree stand broke-must buy a new one, etc.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 1:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Best Money Saving Advice
What do you do that saves a lot of $$$? I know many...
reusable cloth grocery bags/ save money or not?
I decided to buy some reusable cloth grocery bags from...
How to get $1.00 worth of Cdn. charitable value for 50 - 60 cents
If I buy some groceries in the food store and put them...
Money saving idea
Start deep cleaning your home. It is amazing the things...
How some people can make 35% on some of their money ...guaranteed
At a "World MoneyShow" in Toronto last month,...
Sponsored Products
Medallion Set Of Six Cream Buffet Cards
Classic Hostess
42-inch High Pre-Lit Clear Mini-light Merry Christmas Snowman Decoration
American Atelier Bianca Bead White 7-piece Place Card Set
100 Personalized Correspondence Cards w/ Plain Envelopes
$80.90 | Horchow
Cordless Holly Jolly Swag
Grandin Road
All-weather Corn Toss Game
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
Tendrils Sunrise Rectangular: 6 Ft. x 9 Ft. Rug
Set of Six Green Mini Antique Ornaments
$14.50 | FRONTGATE
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™