December 31, 2007


Two More Tins

Filed under: Craft Project,Debt Reduction,Organize,Save Money — sandilarson @ 8:27 am

Use the next largest tin for your Christmas fund.  If you or other members of the family might be inclined to dip into the fund for “emergencies” during the year, use this method to insure success.  Using a chisel or screwdriver, punch a coin slot into the lid of the tin.  Make sure it’s big enough for quarters and folded bills, but not big enough to shake money through.  Then, using a strong glue, glue the lid to the tin.  This will discourage all but the most determined from borrowing from the fund.  Place the tin in a prominent place where the entire family can have access to it.

Use the next largest tin for your wish list. Put a memo pad and pen in the tin, or glue a magnet on each, and attach them outside the tin.  Throughout the year, when you shop with your kids, and they ask for something, tell them they can write the item down, put it in the wish tin, and then let them put the money in the Christmas tin.  Do this for yourself and your spouse as well.  For example, instead of buying a new shirt for yourself, write down the store, price, size, etc. on the memo pad, drop it in the wish tin, and place the money you saved into the Christmas fund.  Make sure each family member puts their name on their wish so you will remember later.

November 26, 2007


Lots to Do

Filed under: Cooking Tip,Craft Project,Organize,Save Money,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 7:46 am

Begin making a special “I love you” gift for each family member.  Plan on opening these gifts on Christmas Eve.  You’ll see some ideas in some of the up-coming pages.  This is also the time to begin making any special “from your kitchen” gifts for friends, family and neighbors.  Make a few extras for hostess gifts.  Herb oils and vinegars, fruitcakes, sourdough starters, plum puddings, and other items like these need time to “mellow”.

It’s Time to open the Christmas Tin.  If you’ve been working this plan since last Christmas, you’ll have enough money in the tin to pay for all gifts, events, food, and entertaining.  If you’ve only been doing the plan for a short while, you may not have enough, but do EVERYTHING you can to avoid using the credit cards this year.  Follow the plan to the best of your ability, and by next Christmas you’ll be set.

Take all the money from the tin to the bank.  Try to make this a family event.  It’s very exciting to see how much everyone has been able to save.  Don’t go to one of those “change machines” at the grocery store, they take a percentage of your money, and you’ve worked too hard for it to leave a portion in a machine.

November 17, 2007


Make Postcards

Filed under: Craft Project,Save Money — sandilarson @ 8:53 am


            If you saved last year’s Christmas cards, select all appropriate cards that have no writing on the back of the picture.  Cut out 3”x 5” or 5”x 7” postcards from the old card.  Turn them over, draw a line down the middle, write an address and return address in the right section, and a short greeting in the left section.  Send these Christmas postcards to people that you need to acknowledge, but aren’t close to.  You’ll save on cards and postage!


            Make last minute arrangements for Thanksgiving.  If you are cooking, finalize menus and entertainment plans

November 10, 2007


Advent Calenders and Other Ideas

Filed under: Craft Project,Shopping Tips — sandilarson @ 10:02 am


            Make your own “Count-down” calendars for each of your kids.  The easiest is to photocopy a December Calendar page for each child, glue them onto poster board, and place each child’s name at the top of a calendar page.  Have the kids spend the evening decorating the poster board around their page. Hang the poster at kid height in the family room or kitchen.  Make sure it’s sturdy, since you’ll be attaching lots of “stuff” to each square. 



            Purchase little treats like individually wrapped candies, party-favor toys, gum, and favorite snack items.  Make sure each thing you purchase is small enough to fit on a calendar ‘day’.  If there are family traditions like viewing Christmas lights, attending a special event, etc.. write the event on a small piece of paper, and roll it to be wrapped and placed on the calendar on the appropriate date.  Include such things as “Today, Jesus wants us to do a secret good deed for someone old”, or, “Today we need to find 3 toys to donate for children who don’t have very much,” or “Today we get to make Santa’s Christmas Cookies together.”  These “gifts” should be rolled, wrapped, and placed on the calendar on appropriate days.


            As you accumulate the special treats and make the message gifts, wrap each in gift wrap scraps or colorful tissue paper, and using a glue stick, attach to the calendar squares for each child.  They love checking every day to see if something new has been added to their calendar, and this is nearly as much fun for them as removing the “gifts” later.  You can add just one thing per day per child from now through December 1st.  Easy for you, fun for them!



            Visit a few Church and Community gift bazaars.  You’ll often find unique and special gifts and decorations.  I visit each year just for fun and ideas.



            Purchase all non-perishable items you need for Thanksgiving and store them away.

August 25, 2007


Egg Shell Mosaic

Filed under: Craft Project,Save Money — sandilarson @ 7:52 am

Find those colored egg shells you saved from Easter, and sit down today with the kids and a bottle of glue and begin making mosaic “anythings” for Christmas gifts.  If you didn’t save any egg shells, you can just use white shells from breakfast and paint them with acrylic craft paint, finger nail polish, or even house paint leftovers.  You can do a search for free clip art online, trace patterns from color books, or just make free form designs.  A cute idea for grandparents is to trace around children’s hands and use that design on a plaque, on the lid of a photo box, even on an old plate.  Almost any useful item can be made special with mosaic.  Paint the item first with a dark color of paint (I prefer black) then just glue on the pieces. 

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