Win $500 in the Nickelodeon Holiday Money Saving Tips Contest!

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 26, 2008

Share your Holiday Money Saving Tips and you can win BIG!

Nickelodeon and the ElevenMoms want to know how you save money during the holiday season. To urge you to share your BEST holiday money saving tips, Nickelodeon has given all of the ElevenMoms a $500 Walmart gift card to give to our readers!

You can enter to win a $500 Walmart gift card not only here at From Dates to Diapers, but at all of the ElevenMoms’ sites. Even though you can only win once, will you have 20 chances to win, AND your tip may be chosen to be featured on the Elevenmoms site!

Since this is a CONTEST, the rules and ways to enter vary slightly from my giveaways, so be sure to follow the rules carefully, so your entry is valid.

There are three ways to enter, but all entries must be different than the others. You may enter once, twice, or all three times, but all entries must be received in a separate comment by 9pm (pst) on Monday, December 15th. Be sure you include an email address with your tips, or your entry will be disqualified.

How you can enter:

  • Leave me your best HOLIDAY money saving tip here in the comments.
  • Create a video with your best HOLIDAY money saving tip, post it on your own blog or upload it to YouTube, and leave me a link here in the comments. You must mention fromdatestodiapers.com and this contest in the video.
  • Tweet your best HOLIDAY money saving tip, with a link to this giveaway (http://tinyurl.com/win500), and leave a copy of your tweet and your twitter handle in the comments, so I don’t miss it!

Only up to three entries, per person, will be accepted.

How the winner will be chosen:

  • The judges will choose the top ten tips, based on originality and creativity.
  • The winner of the $500 gift card will then be randomly selected of the top ten tips, and announced on December 17th, here and at elevenmoms.com.


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{ 363 comments… read them below or add one }

HomeBizLiz December 10, 2008 at 8:29 am

I am making a lot of my gifts this year!
Thanks for sharing!

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Jill December 10, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Recycle Old/Forgotten Toys- If you have any old toys that have been stored away you can give those to your younger children for Christmas. My 1-year-old loves Elmo so she is getting the tickle me Elmo that my 6- year- old never played with. My husband has also found and saved some old star wars toys of his from growing up and is going to give them to our 4-year-old for part of his Christmas.

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Jen December 10, 2008 at 1:45 pm

This year, I am creating a very unique gift for my brother. I think men are either hard to buy for or too expensive to give too…a few years ago, he went on a missions trip to thailand. I collected all his pictures, created several digital scrapbook pages, and am in the process of adding his original journaling to the pages. I will print this out on my printer (8×8) size, buy a scrapbook for half price at hobby lobby, and give it to him. The cost for my paper and ink will be minimal. I’m really excited to give it to him this year!

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Rhonda Parker December 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm

One of my favorite ways to save money is to give of your time. Create special “coupon books” that have the intended recipient’s interests in mind.

Homemade Gift Certificates for any of the following:
* yard work
* 2 hours of decluttering
* cleaning out the gutters
* car wash and wax
* date night – free babysitting

Just use your imagination.

Print them out on cardstock and tie a ribbon around it for extra frill.

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Megan December 10, 2008 at 9:48 pm

I used the cashback and points I earned from using my debit card to buy giftcards this year. It saved me over $300!

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jamaise December 10, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I have thought about this at great lengths. I have lots of tips that I use that help trim the fat and add fun to our holiday season. To condense them all I would say this – Have a vision. Stop the chaos of trying to buy the perfect gift, plan the perfect party or dinner. Stop thinking perfect and think about what Christmas really means to you. Use some of your favorite Christmas memories as a template to create your own.

I can remember the smells of baking that drifted through the house at Christmastime. The family going together to pick out the tree. Choosing a new ornament each year. I remember my Grandma's homemade candies – the best in the world. Letters to Santa & cookies too. The importance of buying gifts for others – keeping Mom's gift a secret. Discussions about the first Christmas and setting up the nativity. Family dinners, unwrapping one gift Christmas Eve, & reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas". It was always a special, magical time that only comes once a year.

I am trying to focus on the feelings & experiences and not focus on making everything perfect. It really helps cut back on holiday stress that can consume.

So bake together, decorate together, shop together. Create traditions that can be passed on from generation to generation. They'll always remember how it made them feel!

Thanks for the oppertunity, & Merry Christmas to us all!

jamaisew@gmail.com

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Angel December 11, 2008 at 5:43 am

We love to make homemade ornaments from our craft scraps we collected all year. We have lots of leftover fabrics, yarns, paints, glitters, pompoms, craft sticks, etc. and our tree looks fabulous each year! Plus it’s a great way to spend time with the kiddos. Each year gets a little better because of the memories from prior years hanging on the tree.
Also, holiday meals are well planned so we can purchase our non-perishables in advance with coupons and sales. Stocking up on flour, chocolate and sugar for holiday baking takes the bite out of budget.
Thanks for the opportunity to win such a generous giveaway!

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Kate December 11, 2008 at 9:17 am

In 2009, my goal is to save money and the environment. Last year, we grew vegetables in pots on our balcony. This year, we’ll have a house and I hope to grow at least 10 vegetables in the real garden. I hope to save money not just on shopping, but on water by using the bath water to water the plants. That, of course, will be helped by switching to home made soap and cleaning supplies. I can make 6 months worth of laundry detergent for just 50 cents!

Thank you for holding this contest! baggyk at yahoo dot com

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Danetta December 11, 2008 at 10:15 am

throughout the years of being online, i have found some really great and reliable rewards sites. these sites reward you for taking surveys, visiting sponser sites, shopping online, etc. i save up reward points throught the year and redeem them for gift certificates that i use to purchase gifts with. so it’s a huge savings for me. it only costs me a few minutes of my time each day (or however often the rewards sites send me opportunities) and of course, the cost of internet service…but that’s a cost i would spend regardless. :)

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Rachelle December 11, 2008 at 11:34 am

Like a lot of other people here, I start shopping the day after Christmas. Especially for stocking stuffers. The costs of those alone can be pretty pricey and you can go overboard without even thinking about it.

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Keitha December 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I love to shop the after christmas sale, and put it all of for the next year. It is so fun to go back through everything, because you forget what you bought after a year. It is also fun when you look at your very nice gifts saying “I can’t believe I only pain $$$ for this!

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Anonymous December 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I always shop at “Walmart” where I know I can get everything from household goods to food at exceptional values :)

goddesspaula17@aol.com

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rachel December 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm

This year we splurged again and bought a Christmas tree, not a success in my mission towards frugality. However, when we arrived at the tree lot I noticed a sign above a stack of boughs that said “Free.” My favorite! So, I have Christmas boughs decorating our house for free. The tip? Check your local Christmas tree lot for free boughs.

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Jen December 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm

here’s my twitter. I price match at Walmart when i can.
http://twitter.com/jennijean

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Mechelle December 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm

My Best Holiday Savings tip~ Well it starts in January~ There are several versions depending on what works for your family ~ How easy do you think it would be to save 1 dollar a day? Just take a dollar put it away where you won’t spend it and when December rolls around you’ll have around 300 dollars to spend on your Christmas~ The other option is to save $1.00 per family member~ We save a dollar a day per family member… There are 3 of us so we save $3.00 a day
It’s a stress free way to have money for Christmas.
((Hugs)) Mechelle

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Tracye December 11, 2008 at 6:48 pm

One year when we were REALLY short on money, I made up coupon booklets for services I could provide, like vacuuming the house, babysitting, cooking a meal, folding laundry, washing windows, etc. From my husband, we made coupons for the men good for a fishing trip or hunting trip, or free oil changes. I made each coupon look different by using different patterns, pictures and fonts, but tied it all together by using red, white and green on each one. I just used a desktop publishing program already on my computer. I printed and cut them out, then stapled them all together on one side, and made a pretty cover.

They were VERY well-received.

Last year I gave personalized stationery to all the ladies. I found pretty font online (for free!) and printed each person’s name and a unique graphic onto plain card sets I bought on clearance last December 26th.

I also made personalized calendars for the family. Each month had family pictures, and a photo of each family member on their birthday. That gift had many recipients shedding tears.

You don’t have to go to Shutterfly or Vista Print to do this stuff. Most computer programs allow simple design ideas like these.

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Anonymous December 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I just do the Black friday sales. I can get every one done for under 150.00 total. That works 4 me.
a.lichtenbarger@yahoo.com

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Mommyhood is Thankless December 11, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Homemade saves money and it makes the giftee feel wonderful that you took the time!

Also, you can put together cheap spa baskets by getting baskets, poofs, small towels etc, and making some sugar scrub, soap, etc and making a nice inexpensive spa basket!

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dawntrenee December 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I use coupons and sales together for as much as I can. Yesterday I used 15% off at Kohls and got 3 picture frames gifts, 1 holiday pillow gift and 1 hanna montanna gift between sales and coupons cost $40. I also use my points and participation money for presents. Pampers points = $10 at Target. Shoppers Hotline Scans = $25.

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The Royal Family December 12, 2008 at 9:07 am

make homemade gifts… a little baking or sewing is sometimes more personal then the WII game you could have spend money on.

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one6ylady December 12, 2008 at 11:02 am

After Christmas each year the kids and I go to Michaels (for those who’ve never seen one, this is a craft supply store chain) and we buy a lot of little paintable figures on clearance, then the kids paint them up and give them out as their gifts to their Aunts, Uncles, Parents, Grandparents, teachers, friends, etc. Last year I paid about $40 and we got 55 figurines and a new large paint set and some new brushes to use for this year’s gifts. That might have covered 3 full-price gifts if we’d gone store shopping. Plus, the grandparents love lining the figurines up on the mantel to show the changes in taste, color choice, and painting ability from year to year as their grandchildren grow up.

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Sarah in MO December 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

One way our family saves money at Christmas time is to make cloth gift bags to use instead of wrapping paper. These bags are really cute and can be used over and over.

We also take advantage of sales as well as using E-bates or Big Crumbs for online orders. :)

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

misterjimmy at sbcglobal dot net

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Anonymous December 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

I like to shop online especially for hard to find electronic items and I visit various sites to compare prices but I would have to say that my holiday money saving tip would be: exercise prudence and good judgment. A money saving tip surprisingly may not always be going with the cheapest price for an item especially when shopping online. It is important to check out the stores return policies, guarantees, shipping fees, etc. Make sure the website clearly displays a phone number and call to make sure that you can speak to a live person. See what kind of rating the web store has and read customer reviews. Sometimes it’s better to do business with an established web store than to buy the least expensive items found, especially if there are costs involved to you for returns or exchanges.
I like my shopping experience to be economical as well as including good customer service, even if I have pay a little more for it.
I hope this tip will be beneficial to your online holiday shoppers!
Shop wisely, be a good steward of the resources God has blessed you with, and remember to give a little back to Him!
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
tgscalziatzetabb.com

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Timster December 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Best Holiday Money Saving Tips
Shop online and save on gas and frustration energies

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lfetz01 December 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm

When you have an entire family to purchase gifts for, buy one family gift as opposed to individual ones. It can be a “theme” gift such as a “Family Game Night” to include a board game and some snacks; “A Day at the Beach” which could include a beach bag filled with sunscreen, water shooters, a Frisbee, and fixings for smores; “A Day Out” to include a few plastic sleds with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Not only will it help to cut down costs, it will also encourage families to spend some quality time together. The holidays are meant to be shared with those that you love, what a great way to help instill this!
Happy Holidays!

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Eileen December 12, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Giant Eagle grocery stores offer $.20 off per gallon of gas for each $50 in gift cards bought at their store. Buy gift cards there before doing your Christmas shopping or use them as gifts and save on your gas budget as well.
Eileen5Ruthie@yahoo.com

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Eileen December 12, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Create your own “living” evergreen wreath to decorate a table. Start with a circular oasis. Collect evergreen and herb clippings from your yard (ie: bayberry, holly, juniper, sage, etc.) and insert them into the oasis until it’s covered. Add berries, dried flowers, etc. To finish put a candle in the center and set up on a pillar cake stand. Beautiful and inexpensive! Be sure to soak oasis once a week and mist daily to keep it green.
Eileen5Ruthie@yahoo.com

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Anonymous December 12, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I like to shop online especially for hard to find electronic items and I visit various sites to compare prices but I would have to say that my holiday money saving tip would be: exercise prudence and good judgment. A money saving tip surprisingly may not always be going with the cheapest price for an item especially when shopping online. It is important to check out the stores return policies, guarantees, shipping fees, etc. Make sure the website clearly displays a phone number and call to make sure that you can speak to a live person. See what kind of rating the web store has and read customer reviews. Sometimes it’s better to do business with an established web store than to buy the least expensive items found, especially if there are costs involved to you for returns or exchanges.
I like my shopping experience to be economical as well as including good customer service, even if I have pay a little more for it.
I hope this tip will be beneficial to your online holiday shoppers!
Shop wisely, be a good steward of the resources God has blessed you with, and remember to give a little back to Him!
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
tgscalziatzetabb.com

Reply

Rachel Heart December 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

*For Christmas- Give from the heart. The most priceless gifts can be the least expensive. This holiday, give creative gifts that come from your heart. Videotape a message of love, make a CD of favorite songs, create a photo album or scrapbook of special memories. Be a sweet and hide little notes for your loved one to find. Make gift certificates redeemable for thoughtful services: breakfast in bed, a day free of chores, a romantic homemade dinner, a massage, hugs and kisses. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

* For New years eve- Go to Consignment shops and thrift stores that offer designer deals for discount prices and are the secrets of the best-dressed most the time. Some retail boutiques will rent evening wear for a small fee, so call around. Or, if you have a very fashionable best friend who happens to be your size, maybe he or she will let you borrow an outfit, maybe even shoes:) if you ask kindly.

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girlof80s December 15, 2008 at 1:24 am

My holiday saving money tip is if you just have to buy wrapping paper, gift bags, Christmas Cards, etc. to buy those things at the Dollar Store. Those things are a lot cheaper at the Dollar Store than at other stores especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This is a great giveaway. Thanks.
girlof80s@aol.com

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Cynthia December 15, 2008 at 4:56 am

I have several things that I do to save money around Christmas. Here are some of the things me and my family does.

1. One thing is to pick up things that are on sale or clearance during the year and put them away for Christmas. Also I shop the day after Thanksgiving sales to get gifts alot cheaper than I can all year round.

2. Another thing I do that the grandparents really love is that I take the Kids and get their picture taken at walmart (you get a big package for like $4 or $5) and then Me and the kids make homemade picture frames out of old cereal boxes, old clothes & fabric, buttons and ect that we have around the house. We buy stick on letters at the dollar store for like a couple of bucks and put a special saying on them sometimes. We have also took pictures throughout the year and printed them and made homemade picture albums for the grandparents. Their are so many items you can make for grandparents and others with old things that you already have but dont need anymore.

3. We also make decorative boxes for deserts, cookies and candies to give out to family, friends and ect for Christmas. I will shop for things on sale and use coupons for the ingredients and then me and the kids will take one day to make the homemade decorative desert boxes and then we will take another day to do all the baking. It is so much fun. You can also use old shoeboxes and other boxes to make homemade decorative gift boxes. We have a blast and we save money by making our own gifts.

4. We also make some of our own decorations out of things we have at the house and things that I found on sale throughout the year. Our family has even started asking us if we wanted things they were going to throw out so theres lots of ways to get cheap or free stuff to use. All the family has always loved the gifts and we have even been asked to come and so others how we do it all.

5. I also shop the day after Christmas were alot of times you can get decorations and other Christmas items cheap.

I hope this helps! Also you dont have to be good at crafts to be able to do this. You would be surprised how pretty something turns out even if you really don't know what your wanting it to look like before you start. Just play around with things besides the best gifts come from the heart.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Cynthia
crphil3@yahoo.com

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Cynthia December 15, 2008 at 5:05 am

I have tweeted this.

crphil3 Win $500 in the Nickelodeon Holiday Money Saving Tips Contest! Go now for your chance to win! http://tinyurl.com/win500 Holiday savings tip: One thing is to pick up things that are on sale or clearance during the year and put them away for Christmas.

Here is my link:http://twitter.com/crphil3

Thanks,
Cynthia
crphil3@yahoo.com

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Sheila December 15, 2008 at 7:18 am

I bought $1 pre-printed calendars from Target and have used left over scraps from my scrapbook stash and photos I did not use from throughout the year. I made four calendars and each of them turned out really cute and unique.

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Heather December 15, 2008 at 7:18 am

There are so many things you can buy online, and not only can you find incredible deals, but you can also find awesome coupons. There are some sites dedicated to storing online coupon codes, ranging from free shipping to 25% your order! There are also sites that allow you to collect a rebate after you buy (ebates comes to mind), which they’ll send to you after you reach a certain amount. Do some research before you buy and you could end up saving more than you would on Black Friday (which, for you own sanity, I don’t recommend).

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Heather December 15, 2008 at 7:19 am
ANNE S December 15, 2008 at 8:14 am

Give money instead of gifts that need to be wrapped, bowed, and often sent out of town. The kids might as well have the cash rather than the USPS. Plus, they love being able to make the decision of what to buy.

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Anonymous December 15, 2008 at 8:28 am

I like to shop clearance sales throughout the year for Christmas and be completely done by Thanksgiving to enjoy the season of Peace.
Kris Hickey
sendmyspamto@hotmail.com

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Sara December 15, 2008 at 8:57 am

I’ve saved money by making fleece throws for everyone and I bought the fleece on black friday when it was 75% off!!

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lighttraveler December 15, 2008 at 9:05 am

My very best tip would be to shop on Black Friday. Get all the ads on Thanksgiving. Write down the gifts you plan on getting people and make a list for each store that has what you need. You will find some fabulous savings!

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lighttraveler December 15, 2008 at 9:13 am

Enter to win a $500.00 G.C. from http://tinyurl.com/win500 Tweet about a money saving tip! Save money by shopping black friday.

http://twitter.com/bonmay

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Shannon "Coupon Princess" December 15, 2008 at 9:39 am

Here is my tip for the holidays! Drive with a friend to do your shopping, how does this save money? Well, you will save gas, and possibly time. When you just need to run in a store really quick, you can avoid having to park and walk, and be dropped off at the door!

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Patsy December 15, 2008 at 9:43 am

Look for the Super Cuts Training studio in your area. I get my haircut and colored for free which saves me over $100!! I get to feel good about myself and not spend a time! Mammycat@cox.net

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Keni December 15, 2008 at 11:32 am

Buy things on clearance – you can do this all year – then “flip” them online for holiday cash! My co-worker does this at Walmart and other supercenters.

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DAVID December 15, 2008 at 11:38 am

I like to shop online to save gas and sales tax.

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mthomson December 15, 2008 at 11:48 am

I make my own fudge as gifts. Also, only take cash to the store – you will spend a lot more if you use credit. Look for items on eBay – sometimes they are cheaper (sometimes they are not, if there is a big demand for them – so beware)

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Michelle December 15, 2008 at 12:24 pm

My favorite money saving holiday tip is buying stocking stuffers at our local Dollar Tree where everything is a dollar per item. You can find lots of great finds there.

Michellemorris at gmail dot com

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Michelle December 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm

My favorite holiday savings tip is buying stocking stuffers from our local Dollar Tree where each item is a dollar.

Michellemorris123 at gmail dot com

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Jill December 15, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Use an artificial tree that will last for years to come. It saves money in the long run and tree every year! If you do use a real tree, make sure to recycle it!

davidandjilljacobs(at)hotmail.com

Thanks!

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Stephanie December 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm

My best holiday money saving tip is to create priceless family memories. They last longer than any toy or gift. As a family, visit a local church who is hosting a live nativity or pack a “picnic” of hot cocoa and cookies (from home) to take to a local Christmas light display or make homemade ornaments from salt dough so that each year you add to your ornaments and your child can have memories that last year after year! These are all free and so meaningful to your children!!
haughtmama@hotmail.com

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Shannon December 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm

We have 3 kids so don’t have a lot of extra money during the holidays to buy gifts for family and friends. I like to make people gifts, whether it’s baking them an assortment of cookies or putting together a scrapbook of my kids throughout the year and giving it to grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

It saves a ton of money and people LOVE items made from the heart.

themommyfiles@gmail.com

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Amber December 15, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I like making gift baskets, full of free samples that I accumulate over the year. It’s a nice homemade touch and helps cut costs.

Thanks, amberd_short@hotmail.com

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Tiffany December 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Instead of sending out physical holiday cards to people’s mail boxes, I have decided to use my graphic design abilities to create custom e-cards. This way, I spent as much time on these as I would a normal card, it comes from the heart, I am being green, and I save myself the money on buying the cards and for postage.

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Amiee Lindstrom December 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm

I go to Super Cus Training Studio to get my family’s haircuts and my hair colored! It is FREE and they do a wonderful job!! They do this year round so its not just during the holiday seasons!
Thanks for the chance to win this and good luck all!!!
Amiee Lindstrom
all4225@yahoo.com

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Carol December 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Our family makes photo ornaments by laminating our favorite pictures, punching a hole in the top and hanging it on the tree with a pretty ribbon. We’ve done this for 18 years now and have a beautiful (and inexpensive) family history on our tree.
Qpon.Lady at yahoo dot com

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carriem72 December 15, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I always do lots of research to make sure I’m getting the best price.

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julialynn December 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Really think about what the people on your list will want and use, and only buy that, by not buying a lot of things that they may or may not like, and only buying one thing that they really do, you will save money!

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Denise S. December 15, 2008 at 8:05 pm

The adults in our family have drawn names the last few years. You have to give hints for 2 or 3 things you would really like to have. The grandkids also give a list
but it has more like 20 things on it. A few days before Christmas my daughter and I will get together to make baked goodies to share with everyone.

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Anonymous December 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I keep a list of sizes, favorites, etc. and buy items on sale throughout the year.

acptuser(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Anonymous December 15, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I keep a list of sizes, favorites, etc. and shop throughout the years at sales, etc.

acptuser(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Ann Russell December 15, 2008 at 9:49 pm

My best holiday money-saving tip is to shop the dollar stores and Target Dollar Spot for inexpensive stocking stuffers. I’ve especially found great items at target that are characters that my kids love like Disney Princess and Cars!

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Samantha P December 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm

make your own holiday decorations out of material that you can find around the house. Like you could make streamers out of painted newspaper, or make paper links out magazines!

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Jay Jones December 15, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Instead of regular Christmas cards, use Christmas postcards. You can still do your message on the back, a nice picture , even a family pic on the front, and the cost of mailing is cheaper than a card!

jaysonj @ centurytel dot net

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Sasha Fierce December 15, 2008 at 10:09 pm

I love to dye newspaper and use it as wrapping paper. It recycles and save money on new gift wrap.

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