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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

$ense & $ensibility Monday: Celebrate Without Breaking the Bank

Katharine Albritton is a writer and editor who loves living large on little in New York City. Visit her $ense & $ensibility blog and follow her on Twitter for more tips.

Happy December, gorgeous Tranquilistas!  We're well into the annual holly daze and gift giving extravaganzas.  Showing everyone in your life you love and appreciate them without blowing your budget or completely breaking the bank can be a struggle when you get caught up in the season.  Here are some simple, quick, and (best of all) cheap ideas for gifts this season.

Mix it up
As a baker, I love giving and receiving baked goods.  That said, I don't have the time to bake that many cookies nor the budget to buy that much butter and eggs.  Also, baked goodies don't always survive being shipped across the country.  So, I love giving jars of baking mixes as an alternative.  Plus, basic canning jars are easy to come by and inexpensive.  Slap on a pretty ribbon with printed instructions and you're good to go.  I also like giving jars of homemade hot cocoa mix with cute labels. 

Pretty packages
I have a secret.  For goodies I do decide to bake up, I package them in cute, holiday-themed bags and boxes I pick up from the dollar store.  Seriously!  You can spend a ton of cash on packaging (which, let's face it, is likely to be thrown away after the treats inside have been devoured) at the usual retail outlets.  Or, you can spent $1 on a few holders which are just as cute.  It's your choice!  One of my favorite things to put in these packages is some Easy Chocolate Fudge.

Let yourself shine
Can you knit? Are you an awesome scrapbooker?  What about your woodworking skills?  The old adage that handmade gifts are from the heart is so true.  They mean so much because you put a lot of effort into them.   We all know the holly daze can be crazy and I don't advocate starting on any projects right now.  But maybe for next year you can plan ahead.  Start with the after Christmas sales and see what tools of your trade you can find on sale that will help you make great gifts for your loved ones.

How about you?
What kinds of gifts are you giving this year?  How are you sticking to your budget during the holly daze?  Whatever gifts you decide to give, I hope you have a lovely season!

Holiday wishes and cheer
It's been wonderful sharing tips about living large on a budget with you this year.  I've really enjoyed getting to know you all, so thank you for letting me be a part of your life!  I wish you all a brave and joyous new year!

Keep living big on that budget,

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1 comment:

kimberly wilson said...

a BIG thanks for sharing all your *genius* ideas with us in 2010. you are beautiful! xx