This year’s holiday season can be special for you and your family regardless of your budget. Here are some fun tips for creating new holiday traditions while saving money.
1) Make your cards from recycled materials. Cards can be made from paper grocery bags, cereal boxes, used file folders and even last year’s holiday cards. Feature your family’s artwork and use recycled wrapping paper or paper from catalogs and magazines for backgrounds. A great resource for making cards from recycled materials is "Creative Correspondence" by Michael and Judy Jacobs, available at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.com.
2) Have fun together and create a festive decoration by making a gingerbread house. You can bake the gingerbread yourself and use royal icing to construct the house and attach the candy. Another option is to use graham crackers and hot glue to make the house and frosting from a can to attach the decor. Great royal icing recipes and other gingerbread house tips are available on Cooks.com. Find you supplies at Cub, Rainbow, Trader Joe's, Target or Walmart in Maple Grove.
3) Save on your holiday treats by buying in bulk. Have a lot of baking to do or need volumes of crafting supplies? Check out Costco or Sam's Club.
4) Make your own decorations and ornaments. Find some crafting ideas at the Maple Grove Library and pick up your supplies at retailers such as JoAnn Fabric or Michaels.
5) Give gifts of your time and skills. Make a gift certificate up for an afternoon of tech support for your friend who's about to toss his new computer out of the window, an evening of babysitting so friends with little kids can have a date night, or a day of housework or yard work for an elderly relative.
6) Check out the free and low-cost holiday activities in Maple Grove. Check out Holiday Happenings around Maple Grove and check out the Patch events calendar.
7) Classic toys such as wagons, riding toys, puzzles, board games and wooden blocks make great holiday gifts and are often available at your local consignment and thrift stores such as Earth Exchange or Goodwill for a fraction of what you would pay at a big-box store.
8) Skip the breakfast or holiday dinner out and spend time at your favorite service organization such as C.R.O.S.S. Foodshelf or connect with a Maple Grove religious organization for other ways to give back.
9) Check out your favorite movies, holiday books and music from the Maple Grove Library and schedule some evenings to share childhood favorites such as "It’s a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street" with your kids.