Friday, September 26, 2008

Frugal Living Friday: Wrapping Paper

Welcome to Frugal Living Friday! Each week I will feature a tip that can help us stretch our budget and live more frugally! If you have a tip that you want shared on Frugal Living Friday, let me know and you could become a guest blogger for a day.

Wrapping paper is lovely, but also expensive. It can add up if you wrap every gift in pretty stuff. And don't be fooled: Most of the wrapping paper at the dollar store is not a better deal...the rolls are small and the amount of paper on there is minimal. If you do love wrapping paper and can't part with it, your best bet is to purchase and stock up when it is on clearance after the holiday. Target has birthday and other occasion wrap on clearance several times throughout the year. The wrapping paper I do buy I always get on clearance for way least 75% off.

Growing up, the only time gifts were wrapped with real wrapping paper was at Christmas time. And it was special..and we had to open the gifts with a knife to keep the paper good so my parents could recycle the wrapping paper. We would wrap presents next year with the same gift wrap...until it got too old to use.

Anyway, back to the topic, one way to keep costs down and still have fun with your gift presentation is to use plain butcher paper or some other type of plain paper and have your kids decorate it for the occasion. Real Simple had this idea also. You can read about it here.

Another thing to do is use the comics from the Sunday newspaper. If you get the Sunday newspaper, instead of recycling the comics immediately, save the comics in a stash for gift wrapping. We do this a lot at our house, and my kids love it.

Or, you can even try using things for gift wrap that are truly re-usable, like fabric or a pretty dishtowel.

Real Simple had a fantastic article last year on this very thing...Creative Wrapping Ideas. There are six fabulous ideas here, so be sure to scroll through the entire article.

Not only does not buying lots of wrapping paper save you money, but it saves our landfills too!

What have you tried or done to conserve gift wrapping costs?



Kellie said...

You can also use "gift bags" that are used for shopping from stores (i.e. gap/cracker barrel paper bags with handles) and decorate them...using scrap paper around the house or pages from a coloring book the kids have used. Most of the stuff you will already have on hand and it adds a personal touch for super cheap.

Marne said...

Thanks for sharing Kellie! That is a great idea.

April said...

brown paper packages tied up in string these are a few of my favorite things....(you can keep singing if you'd like)

every morning the newspapers are dropped off in bundles, divided in butcher paper- I have a huge stack of this paper now and I am excited to wrap presents in it- I love the just brown paper and white string look- plus Kenzie uses the paper for art, pain and coloring-

Sarah said...

we sometimes use old comics from the paper, which is fun. But my favorite thing to do is use gift bags (That have been gifted to me previously.) And then instead of tissue paper, I use my paper shredder and shred magazines to fill the space and cover the gift. I always have a stack handy from all the free mags I get, so it's not painful to shred a few pages for a gift. It's colorful and different!

Doty Family said...

I love the dollar store!!! I also recycle gift bags over and over and over. Come check out our Some of This and Some of That blog for chance to enter and win a custom set of 25 free Christmas cards. Great way to save a little Christmas cash!

Holly said...

I just clued into the dollar store being a great place for wrapping stuff. I was in Walgreens and asked if they had shirt boxes. The cashier, very helpfully mentioned that the dollar store would.

I picked up a package of 6 shirt boxes for a $1. The supply of gift wrap and cards wasn't bad either. I'm definitely going there a lot more often!

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