Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frugal Friday - Wrap it!

I went to a fun baby shower this week and one of the games we played entailed everyone getting a present and unwrapping it. The presents were wrapped so cute that I had to keep my wrapping paper. I was not ashamed when the hostess went around collecting the paper to throw it away.

Me: I want to keep this.

Hostess: You want to keep it?

Me: Yes.

Hostess: Oh..kay

Seriously the paper was so cute and had very little damage. If I was really brave I would have asked to keep every one's paper. But I wasn't.

Anyway...I wanted to share a few ways to save on gift of them being recycling used paper.

You could also use newspaper - but it has to be to the right person who knows you are a cheapskate and still loves you.

For everyone else, I take pride in the appearance of outside wrapping of the gifts I give. So, here are some tried and true ideas that are SUPER cheap or FREE:

  1. Recycle gift bags - I have a TON of gift bags that I received from my wedding, baby showers, Christmas, etc. I re-use them all the time. Every year my work has a Christmas ornament exchange. I was delighted one year when I received my ornament in a gift bag that I gave several years before! Side note...if you become overrun with these, I have sold them at yard sales with great success.
  2. Brown grocery bags - This could fall under the cheapskate category if you don't do it right. I remove the flat bottom of the bag and cut a slit up one side. I wrap the gift so that the printing from the bag is on the inside. Then put on a raffia bow. If you have stamps or a sister-in-law with a stamping obsession, you could put rubber stamp images on the outside of the bag. You could also decorate with stickers or have your children color on it for grandparent gifts. I hear you can also make a stamp out of a potato...but I haven't taken it that far :)!
  3. Christmas wrap - Hear me out on this one...I like to purchase Christmas wrap at ROCK BOTTOM prices at the end of the season. I dig for wrapping that is one solid color or that could double as birthday or other. One year I found a roll that had a green background with red and blue dots. I have used it for all occasions.
  4. The Funny Papers - I did this a lot as a kid. Wrap gifts to kids in the comics from the newspaper. They are colorful and fun and a great way to recycle.
  5. Aluminum Foil - I have done this too, it is especially great for those FREE with overage rolls of Reynolds Foil many of us got from Walgreen's a few months ago. I would only do this for smaller packages.
  6. Other common items - use old maps for your traveling friend, old sheet music for your musical friend, etc.

I also save boxes of all sizes to be used for wrapped gifts and I recycle ribbon or use cheap ribbon I buy at after holiday sales. I've also heard of people fashioning saran wrap into fancy bows with great success - I have not done this. With a little creativity, though, there really is no reason to pay for gift wrap - just use your imagination.

Want to find out other ways to be more frugal? Check out Life as Mom!


Hoosier Homemade said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Wow, lovin all the alternatives!


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