Sunday, November 24, 2013

Frugal Holiday Crackers & Are you being frugal?

Frugal Holiday Crackers

While looking for a craft project using cardboard toilet paper rolls recently, I came across someone's idea of using them as a holiday cracker. Although they look like a cracker, I'm not sure that they will, in fact, crack open when given a good whack. But that's okay, we'll tear 'em to shreds when the time comes. I've got more to make but thought I should share the idea now while it's fresh in my mind. Stinks being forgetful.

Gather your goodies to fill them with and your wrapping supplies. I placed a small wad of tissue paper on either end inside each tube so that the kids(or adults, for that matter) won't try to cope a feel to figure out what's inside each tube. I'll be picking up more gum and individually wrapped candies to make more soon, as well as some sugar-free goodies so that the sugar-watchers can enjoy, too. Might put a dollar or two in a couple, maybe small toiletries, and even a lottery ticket. Not sure what sort of game we'll play with them yet. (Any ideas?) Once loaded with sweets, roll up in a piece of tissue wrap, tie off each end and trim off extra paper. Then decorate as you please. I used some leftover gift wrapping scraps. Oh, and if toilet paper cardboard turns you off, you could use paper towel cardboard.

Frugal doings: 
1.) Resisted going out to eat. Ma & Pa went to some county hall meeting and ate soup and sandwiches that were provided for those who attended. While this scenario often leads to us running into town for fast food, we stayed home and popped a frozen pizza in the oven which had cost $1.88 with a coupon this past week. While I did have a half piece of low-carb pizza that I'd made with a low-carb wrap last week, I did cheat and also eat a piece of D & J's pizza, too. I know... I know... At any rate, $1.88 for all three of us was awesome! So glad we didn't waste gas driving into town and on fast-food.
2.) This involves money spent, but... I'd purchased 4 notepads with pens at a book sale at work. I paid $5 for each, though they have a list price of $12.95 printed on the back. These will be for "A" (not reading this, are you?) and her 3 roommates at college. They put their tree up last night in their apartment and I thought it would be nice to put a gift under there for each of them right away. I wrapped them in brown paper that I'd saved and rolled up from an Amazon package to disguise the shape some, then wrapped in the remaining 4 sheets of super-messy-glittery gift wrap that my sister had given me some years ago. I'll finish them off with some twine that I already have and some homemade tags made from past Christmas cards.
3.) Thanksgiving meal won't cost us an arm and a leg! Decided on making a low-carb raspberry & coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving. I have all the ingredients, including garden raspberries, in my freezer and pantry! Woot! (I'll post the recipe if it turns out well.) Parents have already bought a sugary pumpkin pie - blech! I have a bag of cranberries in the freezer that I'd got for under a dollar with a coupon a few weeks ago and will make a low-carb sauce. Ma & Pa will provide the sugary kind - blech. Bought my turkey with a store coupon for 66cents/lb. If there was room in the freezer I would buy an extra at that price! I also already have the ingredients to make a low-carb bread of some sort for stuffing, too. Parents bought carby Stove-Top - blech! I also had bought a carton of sugary peppermint stick ice cream a couple of weeks ago with a coupon for less than $2. No "blech!" there. I may give in to that sugary goodness, though. But it's another cheap dessert option for others.
4.) I called around to see if underbelly tape was available in our area. Of course it is not. So I ordered it off of Amazon, which did look to be the cheaper option of the two that I'd found. It was just under $40 shipped. Which sounds crazy for tape. But it is 4"x108', can tolerate heat and extreme cold and, unfortunately, is a necessity. There is a tear in the underbelly material under our trailer that "J" repaired with duct tape. But that doesn't last very long, loosening with the cold temps. This tape is a far more affordable fix than letting the current fix go and risking critters chewing or clawing it open further. The material that covers the underbelly is over $230!
5.) Recently ordered and received 20 photo Christmas cards for free from Walgreens. If you "liked" them on facebook you were given a code to redeem when placing the order. They are flat, one-sided 5x7 cards. Yes, it would be free to send email greetings. But I'd rather pay the postage and send the real deal. It's not the same to get that electronic greeting as it is to receive a card in the mail. I think that it shows more effort and care to send an actual paper card. They look great.
6.) Told a s-i-l that, as long as they are in agreement, we would like to not have to worry about buying new for gifts and would like the option to either buy gently used or homemade. Haven't heard back yet. But assuming that they will be greatly relieved from this pressure, too. Sometimes we are basically just exchanging gift cards anyway, which seems a bit silly to me.
7.) I know some will say this is not a frugal idea. I signed up for a Walmart charge card through a deal they have going on right now where you get a $25 credit on a purchase of $75 or more. The thing to remember is that you must make your purchase the same day that you are approved the credit. "J" and I had intended to buy a $100 tablet there anyway.We've got the money already set aside to pay off that balance and will close the account with that payment. Sweet!

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