Creative Frugality

Once you have a child (or children), you find yourself going to a lot of birthday parties. Buying gifts can get pricey, so I want to conserve a bit where I can. Starting with 2010, to keep track of who gets what and keep from going insane, I’ve decided to select a “book of the year” as the birthday gift for every child we celebrate. I’ll choose a book that is less common than some so as to (hopefully) not give a duplicate. Then I’ll buy the books in bulk and save some money. I like that idea very much.

When I was pregnant, I bought a huge roll of butcher paper for future crafts. I assumed I’d be going through a lot of paper in the next five years. I was right. Now, what does a mom do with the swaths of painted and colored paper? I decided they would make excellent gift wrap, thus saving me money on wrapping paper. Until Claire is actually painting a picture of something that she might want to keep, we’ll make use of her creative endeavors this way. (Except for Christmas, in part because I have a ton of holiday paper, and in part because I don’t want Claire to receive gifts in paper she wrapped; it seems a little Oliver Twist to me.) Here’s a photo of just-wrapped gifts:

homemade wrapping paper
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3 Comments on “Creative Frugality”

  1. gerry rosser Says:

    Two excellent ideas.

    Too bad we can’t, as a society, tone down the idiotic gift-giving mania.

    I said “tone down” not eliminate, you’ll note.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Love your idea of a kind of “book of the year.” My kids are in the 3rd and 1st grade and we now give exclusively gift cards to independent bookstores.

    Your giftwrap idea is pure genius.

    Thanks for the continued inspiration.

    Claire is lucky to have you for a Mom!

  3. Joyce Says:

    Great idea, and oh, so pretty!