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 }

Stephanie December 3, 2008 at 11:04 am

My best money-saving tip this holiday season has been participating in Mom Central Consulting. I test products and/or write blog posts…and receive “compensation” (usually in the form of $20 gift cards to Amazon.com) as a result. The Amazon gift cards are really helping with shopping this year! And – best of all – any mom can sign up!

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Eva December 3, 2008 at 11:07 am

We’ve always made homemade Christmas cards and ornaments but this year I told the kids they will only be receiving one store bought item and the rest would be homemade. So far we’ve made coloring books, beaded jewelry, pillows, stuffed animals, dolls, and some baked goods.

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Rebecca December 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm

I try to shop for gifts year round so I don’t have to pay full price for anything. An added bonus is the Christmas season is much less stressful when I already have most of the gifts ready to go!

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Pinkadot December 3, 2008 at 1:43 pm

My best holiday money saving tip is to use reward programs from your credit card company to pay for presents. Every 2 years we cash in our reward points and it’s usually enough to pay for the majority of our gifts. This year we got $600 in Amazon and Target gift cards. It’s a good thing too as money is super tight this year. Just make sure to not pay late and pay your bill in full each month or it isn’t really free money.

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The Recessionista December 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I'm loving all these ideas, girls!

First off, my husband and I make a list of the people we will give gifts to – it may sounds cold-hearted, but we can't afford to buy presents for everyone we love!

I shop throughout the year (both online and in brick-and-mortar stores) and buy when I see little things that just say "sister" or "mom", etc. I use sites like SlickDeals to find the best deals and combine them with printable coupons and coupon codes to purchase high dollar & high quality items on the cheap. I also sign up for all the freebies and samples I can find throughout the year.

By the time December rolls around, I've got a great assortment of items to create personlized gift baskets for each of my dear ones according to their interests and likes! This year I'm rounding out the baskets (I say "baskets", but they can be anything from a cute purse or tote to a tackle or tool box on clearance) with scarves (I learned to knit this year!) and surprise packages of great-grandma's homemade fudge! Gran passed away 5 years ago and I found her "secret" recipe when helping my grandmother go through her old things. It will surely be the talk of our family Christmas, as we've gone without it for so long!

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Jo Ann December 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I think the best advice is to use what you have.

There are so many different things that are used and even thrown away in our homes every day that could be turned into special gifts. For example, clean an empty aluminum can, punch holes in the pattern of a star on it, paint it, and put in a candle.

You can turn ordinary objects into many wonderul things. This can also be used for holiday decorating. Have empty boxes? Wrap them up pretty and use them as decorations on your front porch. My sister has even used tomato cages to make fun, abstract Christmas tree decorations in her yard using the cage, a pot, ribbon, and garland.

So, look around your home with an open mind. Think outside the box and let your creativity flow.

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Susan P December 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

This year I am making some simple children’s toys out of wood scraps that we have left over from other projects. I am using plans from a book that I got at the library, called “American Folk Toys.” If you have some basic woodworking tools then the plans are easy to follow, fun, and cheap!

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Kaye December 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I enjoy sending ecards out for all the holidays, including Christmas. I have fun picking just the right one for each person. They save money, time, and are even “green-friendly.” My two favorite sites are FamilyLife’s, where each card includes a Bible verse – http://budurl.com/FamilyLife and American Greetings – http://www.americangreetings.com/ . I did try a one year upgraded ecard version this year, but have saved a ton compared to the cost of buying cards, even if I got them from the Dollar store :) .

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Kaye December 3, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Tweeted about this at SandwichINK – Frugal – Another frugal Christmas gift &/or card is to make a photo book using http://www.Smilebox.com . Find more tips-http://tinyurl.com/win500
:)

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Shelley December 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Make a list of potential gifts and recipients in January, then buy them at clearances/sales throughout the year. This also gives you lots of time to complete those special handmade gifts. Just be sure to keep notes of purchased/completed gifts (don’t ask how I know!). Merry Christmas!

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Deb - Mom of 3 Girls December 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

My best money-saving tip for the holidays is to comparison shop the sales for Black Friday, but also to shop the sales the week or two before as well. Some of those deals are as good or better, and by checking against the Black Friday ads online, you can see if the deal you’re getting is the best one or not. :)

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ERK December 3, 2008 at 8:11 pm

My best tip is to become crafty. I am currently working on several craft projects to give as gifts.

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rachael December 3, 2008 at 8:39 pm

my best holiday saving tip? why, shopping for everything on my list at wal-mart, of course!

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Mindy December 3, 2008 at 8:56 pm

I have been making my holiday money stretch by cutting out pharmacy coupons for gift certificates if I transfer my prescriptions. I have been transferring them all over the place and have received a bunch of $30 and $25 gift certificates. I then take them and watch the sales fliers. For instance, I got my 17month daughter a few toys at CVS's black friday sale of B1 toy get 1 free. I also used another gift card and bought my 10 & 13 year old daughters each a $15 Itunes gift. I wasn't sure i would be able to make my kid's X-mas special, but I have been doing ok with using these gift cards & clipping grocery coupons. I have been budgeting $50 a week for groceries and coming home with around $15 to $20 leftover that I have been using to get my girls' X-mas presents.

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Julie December 3, 2008 at 9:02 pm

My biggest tip is to stay at home and shope online…shop ebay…you will be surprised what unique gifts you can find.

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Laura December 3, 2008 at 11:14 pm

For friends and family we choose an appropriate Christmas book that is a gift from our family to theirs. Buying this family gift is a great tradition for our family and the books are fun for each family to pull out and enjoy in future years.

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Anne December 3, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Start a family tradition that limits the number of gifts but themes the gifts you do give. For example, everyone gets to ask for a book and a toy. Or everyone gets a pair of pajamas and a fun gift, etc.

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RAAEZ December 4, 2008 at 12:18 am

To save money, we play what is we call “The Ball!” Every person buys gifts (any kind of thing and amount- few things here and there all year!) Then we get together as a family and unwrap a HUGE ball of tape… inside the tape is ‘prizes’ and numbers (enought numbers to match the number of presents). To unwrap ball, we sit in a circle, rolling two di~ when you roll a 7 or an 11, you get to start unwrapping the ball. This ball is huge- bigger than a beach ball! You get to keep unwrapping and taking prizes and numbers until someone else rolls a 7 or 11. Then when we have fully unwrapeed this huge ball of tape (which usually takes about an hour!), we get to pick wrapped gifts…(those that everyone brought) the person with the number one picks a gift, unwraps it and then person with number two can either pick a new gift to unwrap or STEAL the others persons gift! This keeps going on until allt he umebrs are gone! You take home the gifts you ended up keeping that nobody stole from you!
This is a nice way to do presents- it is fun, and we all know about it ALL year long so we can find great clearence items and great sales!
We do not buy gufts for eachother- this is our ‘gift’ to eachother… surprize gifts and our time together!

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RAAEZ December 4, 2008 at 12:27 am

This year my 6 yr old daughter has een inspired to paint! I found 5×7 canvases at Dollar Tree and bought her a handful.
She paints as ‘craft days’ in homeschool and we are going to frame them and give them to grandparents, aunts, uncles and specail people in our lives… no one knows it costed us .50cents for the canvas and a buck or two for the frame!
BAM! We are set!
ladyverlina(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Linda December 4, 2008 at 4:06 am

I am an artist, but you don’t have to be. Buy a heavy grade paper and have your little ones paint Christmas pics (or any time of the year). To make the paint, pastels or pencils last forever, spray with hairspray lightly. I still have pics from high school that are in great shape. I purchased a pack of stick on magnets and cut four small pieces for each corner of the picture and display it on my frig. This one I made last night is actually an 8X10 that I will be giving away as a gift. If you can’t draw at all, use your cards you received last year for Christmas and pick your favorite, either rip the cover off or cut and glue it to a piece of construction paper or even wrapping paper that will show as the back ground or matte, place a magnet on the back and wall-a, frig art!

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Linda December 4, 2008 at 4:14 am

I never thought i could make a bow as beautiful as the ones you see on peoples porches for Christmas. After spending $6 for each bow at the local art store and of course I needed at least 7 to decorate my house, I went on line and found how to make a puffy bow and in 10 minutes I had a beautiful bow. I purchased beautiful ribbon at a after Christmas sale for near to nothing and a roll of wire and I make puffy bows now for my lantern outside, my trees and even for big gifts. It is so simple. westlovinlife at gmail dot come

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Lisa B. December 4, 2008 at 6:16 am

Start a gift closet. Shop clearance sales throughout the year buying items for pennies on the dollar.

Also, do not miss the after christmas sales! Wrapping paper, bows, decorations and lots of gift sets are Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!

I also shop derailed commodity stores for great finds!

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Robyn December 4, 2008 at 7:52 am

This year we made our Christmas Cards, and will be doing some baking. I shop early on in the year, and we don’t exchange with any adults. We buy for kids only!
Merry Christmas

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Anonymous December 4, 2008 at 8:01 am

Not really a holiday idea to save money but it hit us at this time of year. We installed a new electronic thermostat ours was over 30 years old and acting up. It cost us $100 including installation, but we saved that the very first month (October). Our power bill is now half of what it was last year and a third of what it had been recently.

I have handmade many of the gifts I’ll be giving this year. And using my newfound frugual ways, I’ve gotten many presents for free or almost free.

Thanks

Gloria
[email protected]

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Theresa December 4, 2008 at 8:52 am

I recycle all the gift bags that my family receives or uses to gift give. They all think I’m nuts when I go around and gather them all up after everyone has pitched them. It saves me quite a bit of money since I never have to purchase gift bags!

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sharon December 4, 2008 at 8:56 am

I bought most of my presents this year on etsy.com.
It’s a site where people sell their handmade items, very reasonable prices, often free shipping, great holiday sales, and I am supporting independent craftspeople and artists, while shopping online, saving time and gas!

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Theresa December 4, 2008 at 9:02 am

I tweeted!
@tborntreger Enter to win a $500.00 gift card to Walmart thanks to @youngmommy http://tinyurl.com/win500 My money saving tip is to reuse recycle, regift less than 5 seconds ago from web

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ang December 4, 2008 at 10:01 am

Cut down your own tree if you like live trees, and buy stuff early on in the year (or right after Christmas for the next year).

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alexis December 4, 2008 at 11:13 am

I use the little $5 and $10 coupon that come in the mail for stores like Victoria’s Secret and Bed Bath and Beyond to get cheap stocking stuffers for free!

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Tracy December 4, 2008 at 11:15 am

For me saving money means buying the best products I can for the least amount of money! I shop sales, clearance, after-Christmas and use coupons. I actually found some great stocking stuffers this year through Walgreens coupons….49Cent HotWheels cars and .99 box of 64 Crayola Crayons (which they were out of but gave me a raincheck for!). By doing things this way…I can buy at great prices throughout the year instead of spending alot more last minute at this time of the year. AND- b’cuz my kids are too young to care if somethings new- I can buy them decent used toys at Goodwill and Salvation Army for just a few bucks.

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Tracy December 4, 2008 at 11:23 am

http://tinyurl.com/win500 contest @youngmommy My $$saving tip: When kids are too young to care, buy 2ndhand toys…my 4 &2 yrolds dont care less than 10 second

This is my TWEET and my handleis ….tzdelar.

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Jenn December 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I always do my holiday shopping through eBates. ebates has over 900 merchants you can link to from the ebates.com home page. By purchasing this way I am able to receive cash back from my purchases and eBates sends me a check every few months! Plus, most sites offer free shipping around the holidays. Instead of trodding to the mall and waiting in crazy lines, I shop at home in my pajamas and get a better deal! Plus, I don’t use any gas, spend money by stopping for lunch, and can comparison shop! I also refer my friends and family and we both receive credits from eBates.

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onangelwings December 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I do a lot of joint family gifts instead of buying for each individual family member.

My girlfriends and I don’t exchange, we get together for a yearly (14 years and counting) lunch to dish and exchange photos from the year.

We make and bake all teacher gifts.

We are very selective about what we get the kids. They don’t need everything they ask for! It is healthy to want things but if you always get what you want you have nothing to wish for.

[email protected]

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Sharla December 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm

I really thought that I already posted a comment on this giveaway but I can’t find it. Weird. Here is my tip:
Want to save money this holiday season?
And if you’re like me, you don’t need a reason.
My new favorite thing is to make my own bows.
The time and love I put in really shows.
I recycle my paper and iron it out.
Showing your love is what it’s really about.

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Sharla December 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I tweeted about this contest! Here it is:

My best holiday saving tip is to give something heartfelt and unique, like a service. See the giveaway at http://tinyurl.com/win500

My twitter handle is momnerd. Thanks!

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Little Piddles December 4, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I always buy things on sale! If buying clothes Kohl’s always has great sale especially before Christmas. I buy my kids stocking stuffers at the $1 section at Target. I make gifts when possible. I found free instruction on how to make scrabble tile pendants so this year I’ll be making lots of them as well as cell phone vinyl monograms, and candles with the person’s last name in vinyl on them. I also make lots and lots of candy to give as gifts.

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itsahumanzoo December 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Here are my best tips:
-Shop ahead. I try to do a lot of shopping right after christmas, or a few months before. I keep an eye out for awesome deals and think to myself “Who might like that for Christmas?”
-Don’t feel obligated to buy everyone in the world a gift. Family and very close friends are the only people I buy gifts for. Everyone else gets some homemade, such as some yummy christmas cookies, or a loaf of my famous banana bread!
-Take advantage of clearance. After the holidays I buy gift wrap, decorations, and cards. That way, I’m ready for next year. And if something comes up, those are a few small things that I don’t have to stress out about!

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!
Angela
itsahumanzoo(at)gmail(dot)com

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CPA Mom December 4, 2008 at 7:35 pm
CPA Mom December 4, 2008 at 7:36 pm

another holiday tip: shop year round to take advantages of sales when you see them. put them in a box in your garage or attic and keep track of them in an excel sheet. No debt surprises in January!

cpamomva at hotmail dot com

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Tanya December 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm
JaMean December 4, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Honestly, I am frugal when it comes to buying non-dated items.
ie: wrapping paper, bows, gift bags, lights, ornaments, tinsel: Buy them when they are on clearance for 75% off at Wal*Mart.

Buy anything else you can out of season for kids: tank tops, flip flops, jeans and such. It takes a bit of guesstimation to guess how big your kids will be. But, typically, they grow at the same rate (’til they hit the teenage years) and you can save at LEAST 50% or more!

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Jacqueline December 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm
ct December 5, 2008 at 2:20 am
Sarah Berry December 5, 2008 at 6:56 am

I save money during the holidays by hitting the black friday sales. It maybe frustrating and take forever but in the long run you do save alot of money. I also always check out the clearance section of all stores I go in, but that is year around.

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wigget December 5, 2008 at 7:16 am

set a budget for your various gift recipients and try to stick to it.

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Toners December 5, 2008 at 9:12 am

My best tip? Buy from thrift stores! Nothing more personal than a uniquley you gift, one of a kind and that actually means something.

The salvation Army is my salvation this time of year!!

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fbartlett December 5, 2008 at 10:37 am

On bills that are a set amount each month, I pay $5-10 extra on top of the set amount. Then about once a year, I get a free month where no payment is due. This helps a lot around Christmas time or in the month of a vacation!

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The MacQueens December 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Turn old happy meal toys, especially figurines, into ornaments by screwing a tiny eye hook to the top & tying some ribbon through the eye to let it hang. We did this when we had a bunch of Disney characters from old happy meals. The kids still love them, years later! Email the family newsletter or Christmas card-save on stamps & cost of printing/making the cards. Cut snowflakes out of paper, laminate them, & hang them on the tree or decorate the windows with them.

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Geri December 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

I have a new favorite holiday money saving tip this year that I will employ every single year from here on and beyond!! PERSONAL SHOPPERS!
I have discovered a service that has saved me much frustration and a ton of money! I have several “personal shoppers” that I heavily rely on to shop deals for me and review products that I know without a doubt my five adult children, their spouses and my nine grandchildren will absolutely LOVE and that are financially the BEST deals anywhere. Those “shoppers” are, of course, my daughters who love to shop, I just tell them what I’m looking for throughout the year and when they see it they pick it up for me, often offering addition ideas for my consideration!
Secondly, it is FROM DATES TO DIAPERS.COM and other review sites, like Walmarts 11Moms, that I refer to as my “personal shoppers” because they have firsthand knowledge about the products I know people love to give and recieve!! What a great tool and they do a fantastic job!! Thank you to all of my “Personal Shoppers,” your service has saved me not only $$$$ but time.
Have a very joyful and grateful Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year!

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ps9906 December 5, 2008 at 5:38 pm

We draw names in the family and the kids get lots of treat bags.

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NC2 Team December 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

The best tip I have would be to let my husband (in case yours is not frugal enough) approve each and every purchase you make! I personally guarantee he can convince you that ‘whoever’ really does not need ‘that’. But seriously I make a list, a budget, and RESEARCH the best deals. I also try to cut our grocery budget even more than usual (eat more sammies) so that we can splurge. There’s nothing better than watching my children open up that most desired Christmas present!

But my favorite tip is to read lots of comments in these great blogs!

Merry Christmas!

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Stacie December 5, 2008 at 7:55 pm
Tracy(bookroomreviews) December 5, 2008 at 8:36 pm

What amazing comments you are getting! Great tips! We set a limit for each child every year too and it is lower compared to a lot of families I know(although this year might be different for them)
We shop online, early for deals and with extended family, we only exchange gifts for the children.
My husband is very good at sticking to our limit too.
Thanks for the chance and the awesome giveaway!
Happy Holidays!

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Tracy(bookroomreviews) December 5, 2008 at 8:37 pm
kristine December 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Oh man! WHere do I start?

** I make my own gift tags!!
** I make my own Christmas cards!!
** This year I have already made 3 handmade gifts for the kids!
** I enter TONS of contests for lots of different things – things that aren’t even for myself or kids and give them away to other people (that has happened a couple of times already this year!)
** Instead of buying gifts for everyone at our large get together we do a name exchange so we only have to buy one gift!

I really could go on and on and on…..

kristinemjones at hotmail dot com

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kristine December 5, 2008 at 9:20 pm

kristinemjones “Your best holiday tip could win you a $500 Walmart GC! Mine is to win stuff and use it for gifts! go here http://tinyurl.com/win500 to enter” less than 5 seconds ago from web

my twitter handle is kristinemjones

email is kristinemjones at hotmail dot com

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Anonymous December 6, 2008 at 1:59 am

My best HOLIDAY money saving tip is this: Ask yourself, “What kinds of skills and talents do I have that some of my friends and relatives would like to learn as well?”

With that in mind, send those friends and relatives of your choosing a special card containing the following information, adapted to you, your lifestyle, and the person to whom you are sending it:

“For your Christmas gift this year, I’m willing to spread some HOLIDAY cheer with you in an unusual way! Think of something I know how to do well (craft, cooking a certain recipe, baking, art, sport, making your own blog, etc.) that you’d like to learn how to do, too! Write it down on this enclosed postage paid postcard, or email me or give me a call, and let me know what skill it is that you would like to learn, whether it is making homemade tamales, how to play frisbee golf, watercoloring, etc.

For your Christmas gift this year, I’m willing to take some time to show you how to do this skill. Think of it as a little mini-workshop just for you!

Let’s set a date on the calendar, and get the supplies ready…and I’ll be ready to be your personal instructor for a few hours. Merry Christmas!”

Julieanne M.
[email protected]

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cari_and_kevin_king December 6, 2008 at 8:39 am

Sometimes homemade gifts are the least expensive, but I have a lot of children in my family who want to be involved with their toys.

I’ll create a doll pattern or a wood project. I’ll include the necessary items needed to complete the project…stuffing, yarn or paint and brushes…

it’s homemade, its cheap and they love that they get to put it all together.

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sara b December 6, 2008 at 9:39 am
Malaika December 6, 2008 at 10:12 am

To save money, in our family we pretty much limit the gift giving to the children. Amongst the adults we draw names and put a gift under the tree for the name picked. It´s a huge relief for all involved and spares the wasted money and embarrassment of someone unwrapping a half dozen sweaters or six sets of bath salts.

I have a very large extended family that gets together for Christmas dinner. One way we share the workload and the cost is by dividing up the cooking responsibilities and then bringing it all together. Everyone gets to prepare their “speciality” and no one slaves away in the kitchen doing the whole thing.

[email protected]

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Anonymous December 6, 2008 at 11:55 am
walters123 December 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm

You can make your holiday cards yourself, on your computer/printer. Or add a special touch and have your kids help out and have creative cards.

walters123 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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Samantha December 6, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I purchase art supplies throughout the year on clearance and at the dollar store and then my daughter makes homemade presents for grandparents and aunts and uncles. They love to get those with the homemade paper she designs from newspaper endrolls and crayons or stampers.

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Wrinkled Shirt Ministries December 6, 2008 at 8:05 pm
Ginny December 7, 2008 at 11:12 am

Right down everyone you have to buy for & make a budget. The key is to stick to that budget. When you are done, try to stay out of stores or avoid the aisles that you might be tempted to overspend in.

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Emily N. December 7, 2008 at 12:37 pm

My extended family all gets together around Thanksgiving and we write down on 3×5 cards several items under a set dollar amount (we chose $40) that we would like to get for Christmas gifts and then fold the cards and put them in a basket. Then we each draw one card from the basket to see who we’re going to buy for that year. We like this because we only have one person to purchase a gift for so it cuts down on the cost plus we all get things we like because we’ve written down our suggested gifts. Then at Christmas time we get together again and reveal who we got something for as we all exchange gifts.

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Nixkickin December 7, 2008 at 1:16 pm

We’ve always done lots of baking and crafting – and especially this year when everyone is feeling crunched! My kids and I decided to give our relatives gifts that will give them memories, skills or time together: cookie mixes in a jar, all those blogger foodie gifts, and craft “kits” we put together ourselves – embroidery, knitting, crocheting, jewelry making, etc. Cheap to put together and builds relationships – the real goal!

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Never2Late2Save December 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm
Claire December 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Best money saving tip for Christmas.. I buy wrapping paper and bows after christmas for next year to save money!
I also shop all year long for Christmas so that the money is spread out and not spent all at once.
I use an artificial tree, bought it the day after Christmas one year. Saves tons of money and saves trees!!

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Kristie December 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I have been using gift cards I’ve won recently, and ones I’ve gotten from cashing in points earned at MyPoints, survey sites, etc, to do my Christmas shopping. Each time I get a gift cert, I look to see if there is something I can find that will make a good gift.

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amanda December 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm

At the holidays, we all want to give to those that need it most – but often that conflicts with the already tight budget for our own family gifts, etc.

This year my boys and I (my husband is currently deployed) are saving money by eating soup. I have made a number of different kinds of soup that usually provide up to three meals for us. We usually eat it the night I make it and then I freeze the other portions (I even used leftover Thanksgiving turkey for one of them!) So, whenever I pull out a soup for dinner we put $5 in a jar to save for a Charity of our choice. My kids are making the connection of ’sacrificing’ in order to bless others…

And in the meantime, I have learned some really great soup recipes! =)

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Angie December 7, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Instead of buying gifts for our loved ones, we give them our time instead. I make coupon books for everyone that include things like free babysitting for a parents’ night out, free homecooked dinner and dessert, a free car wash, free dog sitting, my hubby has done free oil changes for people, I have painted several rooms for someone, free carpet shampooing, a day playing board games and baking with our nieces, a week of housecleaning for my gramma…basically, we look around at what we can offer, and provide that service that someone would really appreciate. Last year, we gave our elderly neighbor a coupon for unlimited free snow shoveling. I have found that doing this has really made our relationships with friends and family a lot closer! And, they tend to remember the gift a lot longer than something that was bought at a store.

Angie
sandalsndaisies(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Angelika December 8, 2008 at 12:34 am

Research before you buy! Make sure you are getting your money’s worth!

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Heather December 8, 2008 at 6:47 am

I take old clothes to the consignment shop. We earn a pretty decent amount from that. Also, at our consignment shop, they will hold the money as long as you like, so I just cash out in December and use that money for buying Christmas presents.

We also sell old toys that are in great shape on Craigslist/Ebay. Then we can use that money towards buying new gifts as well.

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cherylvelda December 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm

All of my stocking stuffers and most friend and kids friends gifts are from Rite Aid rebates freebys.

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McGiven Family.... December 8, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Instead of sending out Christmas cards and spending money on the cards and stamps, post it on your blog. It is the way of the future and will save you a lot of money, especially on stamps!

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Rebecca December 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

This year we are making many of our gifts; from homemade cookies and candy to ornaments made by the kids. I am even learning a new skill and am making tutus for all of the girls (and a couple of the little boys to avoid fights, LOL!). I also have been stocking up on baking basics at the weekly sales. It takes a few extra trips to the store, but it seems like one week butter is on sale, the next week sugar and the week after that flour. By the time I am done I have eerything I need and have spent about half of what I would have if I had bought everything at once.
beccaj73[at]hickorytech[dot]net

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Anonymous December 8, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Take a few days to really think about your purchase. The last thing I want is something I spent time and energy and hard earned money buying for someone to sit in a closet somewhere. If I find a great deal I will buy it and return it if I decide it really isn’t perfect. charlenegale at yahoo dot com

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julialynn December 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

I Twittered a comment- Not exactly sure how to post it, so I just copied and pasted, my twitter name is Jcarter462

jcarter462 YOU, yes you, can win a $500 giftcard here!!! Check it out! (http://tinyurl.com/win500 less than 5 seconds ago from web

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julialynn December 8, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Hmmm…My best holiday money saving tip, well, I like to make a list of all the people who I have to buy for, I think about what they like, what they really like, and I try to make something that corresponds with that, for example, my daughter loves to plat pretend, so last year, I made her a playhouse out of cardboard boxes, it looked wonderful, and she loved it, and it cost hardly anything:) Another example, i made my mother-in-law, a scrapbook featuring photos of her and my four children, i had already absorbed the cost, as I had materials on hand, and there is nothing that i could have bought at a store that she would have cherished more. So my tip, is to figure out what would mean the most to the recipient and try to make something that would speak to them, if you produce it yourself, you won’t spend nearly as much as if you would have just bought them something. And most people cherish homemade gifts a lot more than something from a store!

Julia

[email protected]

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Jennifer December 9, 2008 at 6:13 am

For a cheap and easy Christmas gift for the people in my family and friends, I take pictures all year long of the kids and families doing whatever when we all get together and at the end of the year I make a DVD with music on my computer and give to them as a Christmas present along with some holiday homemade candy or cookies that you can make dirt cheap if you watch sales close to Thanksgiving. This lets everyone have a DVD of memories which make the gift priceless and they can eat the homemade goodies while watching.
[email protected]

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gbmom2407 December 9, 2008 at 7:23 am

I CHRISTmas shop all year round. I have a space in my storage room for the items I find at amazing prices. Waiting until the last minute just means you spend whatever you have to to get the items you wanted.

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Elizabeth December 9, 2008 at 7:23 am

My best gift giving holiday tip is to give homemade gifts. I knit scarfs, caps, mittens and blankets throughout the year. I also like to make baked goods for the neighbors.
My other tip is to make a spending budget for gifts and stick to it.

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Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 10:39 am

MY best holiday saving tip is: Before you go shopping, make a list. Sit down and write down the names of everyone you plan on buying for. Then, sit down with your spouse and decide how much $$ you want to spend on each person. Write that number down by their name.Stick to this number. Then when you get in the store and see all those signs promoting “amazing” deals you will have your budget. Instead of going in there and spending way more money than you would normally just because it was “on sale”. This could potentially save you a lot of money. Especially if you use credit cards. Thanks for the opportunity! Shannon

[email protected]

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Lacey December 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

We saved money on Christmas cards this year. We usually do 4″x8″ photo cards and include a Christmas letter. This year, my husband and I each got 75 free 4″x6″ prints by joining Kodak Gallery. So, we uploaded our Christmas picture, added a festive border, and paid just $4.98 to pick up 150 pictures in the store. We’ll add them to our Christmas letters. Now we just have to buy envelopes (cheap!), and postage!…Thanks for the giveaway! (coupons (at) lukeandlacey (dot) com)

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Kelley December 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

My money saving tip is to just use cash! 3 years ago, after one terrible January credit card bill, I vowed not to use credit for Christmas again.

#1. I only use my debit card- the one that comes right out of my checking account.
#2 I carry cash when I go shopping and leave my credit cards at home. The drive home is kind of my “cooling off” period. 9 times out of 10, I dont go back and buy that “thing I just had to have.”

Good Luck all and Happy Holidays

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Kelley December 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm
Kimber December 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

If you’d like to reach out during the holidays but don’t have much extra money, try finding a local shelter and finding out what they need (often a “wish list” will be posted online), then watching sales and clipping coupons! This year I have been looking out for great deals and freebies and have been able to collect a big pile of items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, dish soap, shampoo, hair elastics, etc.) for around $10. I am excited to drop the bags off to a local women’s shelter – I feel like I am able to make a difference without spending a lot of money.

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Kimber December 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Sorry, forgor my e-mail …
kimberlyc (at) provo (dot) edu

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NedaAnn December 9, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Our ways of saving money include: (1) Shop the sales. Make use of the ads that come in the newspaper. Some stores will even match or beat competitor prices, so ask.
(2) Use coupons. We get a lot of $10 off a $10 purchase coupons. If you combine this with a good advertised sale, you can get the item for FREE. We also try to use as many % off coupons as we can to save as much as possible.
(3) If you bought an item and a week later it is advertised at a lower price, go back with your receipt to see if the store will refund the difference. Not all stores will do this, but a lot will in order to keep you happy & shopping in their store.

[email protected]

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Dawn @ Dawniemom Reviews December 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm

We always have to live frugally, so when the holidays get here, I usually already have started buying gifts. I shop at WalMart and pick up things on almost every trip – just a few things here and there but that will help fill out those christmas lists.

I also do my holiday food shopping as much as I can in advance, when things are on sale. The only things left at Christmas are the perishables, which I get at WalMart for much less than the local stores!

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Dawn @ Dawniemom Reviews December 9, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Here's my tweet: dawniemom Yay, another $500 giftcard giveaway: http://tinyurl.com/win500 – My best money-saving holiday tip – shop early & often!

http://twitter.com/dawniemom/status/1048413633

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Charlotte December 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Our city has a company that liquidates all of that expensive school fundraiser merchandise. Instead of paying $8 for wrapping paper from the catalog, it’s only $1.39! In fact, everything they have is that price, so it’s a good place to stock up on other gifts and stocking stuffers, too.

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evrythingisababy December 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm

My biggest money saving tip for the holidays is to get the timer for your christmas lights outside.

Also, keep up on the freebie deal blogs for walgreenz cvs etc because for example today I got 6 rolls for scotch tape for FREE. So, take adavantage of anything free

Also, budget yourself. Decide before you shop how much you are going to spend and who you are going to buy for.

If you have a big family consider just picking names so you dont have to buy for everyone. This yr my family is not picking names, we picked a charity and our $15 is going there from each of us.

=D Hope those helped!!
990.My biggest money saving tip for the holidays is to get the timer for your christmas lights outside.

Also, keep up on the freebie deal blogs for walgreenz cvs etc because for example today I got 6 rolls for scotch tape for FREE. So, take adavantage of anything free

Also, budget yourself. Decide before you shop how much you are going to spend and who you are going to buy for.

If you have a big family consider just picking names so you dont have to buy for everyone. This yr my family is not picking names, we picked a charity and our $15 is going there from each of us.

=D Hope those helped!!

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The Mommy December 9, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Leftover wraping paper may be used for the following: 1. Cut scraps from the paper to make holiday cards for next year. Most cards have a repeating pattern that you can find and cut out, and use that for the focal point on your hand made holiday cards. 2. If the paper is in decent condition, fold it up or wrap it around an empty wrapping paper tube (use a rubber band to secure) to save for next year. 3. Shred the paper in your paper shredder to make colorful holiday paper grass to place in gift bags or as packing material. 4. Shred the paper and put it in your blender with water to make paper pulp and couch to make paper sheets. 5. Fold the used wrapping paper into paper hats to wear on New Years Eve. 6. Origami!!!

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The Mommy December 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

I gave you some tweety love: Win a $500 Walmart gift card at From Dates to Diapers & Beyond! http://tinyurl.com/win500

My twitter name is yourimpact.

Thank you for the extra entry! Much bloggy love,
Janeen

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CherryPal: Computer Friend or Foe? December 9, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I have so many ways to save money during the holidays it’s a challenge to narrow down to one. However, I do admit that I all sorts of websites for coupons and do my shopping online. I save gas and don’t waste time waiting on line. Also, I feel that I spend more when I go to stores as when I’m online I only look up what I want to purchase. Additionally, I am a great baker so I use my talent to give some of my family recipe desserts as a tiny token of thanks! :)

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CherryPal: Computer Friend or Foe? December 9, 2008 at 10:23 pm

I tweeted this! http://twitter.com/Dreamer08

my username = dreamer08

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Anonymous December 9, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Wow a lot of my tips have already been posted so here’s something that I did it is not necessarily cheap but saved me money. My sisters and I all have children around the same age and they all want video game systems. But my daughter wants a wii and my son wants a ps3. Since they are expensive we decided that we would all purchase different ones (wii, ps3, and xbox) and rotate them every month or so. That way all the kids are happy and they won’t get bored as easily either. And we all save some money.
[email protected]

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Jade December 9, 2008 at 11:11 pm

To save money during the holidays, a few select friends and I agree to ‘celebrate’ Christmas during another random month throughout the year. Think, Christmas in July, only pick your own month! This way we still have fun picking and receiving gifts later on, but that’s one less on our list to stress about right now! ([email protected])

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