I have a love hate relationship with wrapping paper. There’s nothing like a lovely packaged gift, tied up neatly with the perfect bow and tag. And yet, we literally spend our hard earned cash on items that will wind up in the trash after a frenzied unwrapping. It’s estimated that Americans spend $3.2 billion dollars on wrapping paper, bows, and tags every year. That’s quite a bit of money on trash.
I’m not suggesting you wrap this year’s gifts in grocery store bags. However, you can save money on Christmas wrapping without becoming a scrooge. Here are fifteen of my favorite hacks.
1. Save Bows, Bags, Boxes, and Tissue Paper
Probably everyone engages in this practice on some level. Recycle gift bags as much as possible. Be sure you have a central location to neatly store items so they don’t get smashed or lost.
2. Buy Wrapping Paper For Multiple Seasons
If you can, select a wrapping paper and/or bags that could be also be used for birthdays or other special occasions. Solid colors like red or green or even patterns that don’t have traditional seasonal icons can get more use.
3. Use Household Items for Boxes
As fewer and fewer department stores hand out free boxes, look around your home for cereal boxes, oatmeal containers, or shipping packages to double as boxes before you wrap.
4. Make Wrapping Part of the Gift
Rather than buying a bag or paper that will be tossed, consider purchasing something that will last and bring greater joy to the receiver. Baskets, mugs, dish towels, purses, and even throw blankets can enhance your gift.
5. Create Your Own Paper
What’s better than a brown paper package tied up with string? Not only is brown kraft mailing paper a classic wrapping choice, you can let your children put their handprints or unique artwork all over it, too. Use stickers or stamps to create one of a kind wrapping. You can also use butcher paper or the backside of paper from another season and decorate it, too.
6. Print Tags
While most peel and stick tags aren’t incredibly expensive, there are ways to avoid the extra cost. Pinterest has a number of fantastic FREE printable tags for you to use.
7. Use Household Items
You may have a number of wonderful wrapping items in your home. Maps, newspapers, sheet music, magazines, paper grocery bags, and even fabric can all be used in a pinch – especially if you run out of paper and don’t have time to get to the store. You can even turn a chip bag inside out and use its shiny side as a gift bag.
8. Print Your Own Paper
For smaller gifts, you might be able to print your own paper at home. Obviously, if you’re wrapping a large quantity of gifts, the ink will cost you more money than needed. But if you just need a small sheet, you could get away with just printing a sheet or two and not buying an entire roll. You can find some cute patterns at Family Shopping Bag, Homeyohmy, and AltogetherChristmas.
9. Hit Christmas Clearance
Come December 26th, what you would have paid retail for a few short days before will be up to 90% off its sticker price. Hit the Christmas Clearance to save on next year.
10. Use Fabric or Twine Ribbons
Who says you need curling ribbon? Fabric or twine make awesome ribbon replacement.
11. Buy Plastic Table Cloths for Large Items
Have a bike or a teddy bear to wrap this Christmas? Hit the dollar store and buy a plastic party table cloth to use!
Think outside of the box this Christmas and do you best to spend the money on the gifts you’ll give instead of the paper that will land in the trash. What would you add to the list?
Check out my ebook Keep the Happy in Your Holidays: 21 Ways to Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity This Christmas for more money saving tips!
My book is now available: Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Ever After. You can also check out The Debt Free Devotional on Kindle.
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