Friday, February 12, 2010

Frugal Friday - Gift Wrapping Frugally

OK, I have a question for everyone out there about gift wrapping. When I met my current husband and his family, I noticed at every birthday or holiday function that involved gifts, that at the end of the "party" all the gift wrappings would be balled up and thrown in the garbage. GASP!! Now, I am not talking about the ripped off wrapping paper, of course that was balled up and thrown away. What I am talking about are the gift boxes and, more importantly, the gift bags! I was shocked!! At first I didn't say anything, but I seemed to quickly become a part of this family so after a while I did not feel bad about grabbing up the bags/boxes and storing them for future use. Of course, they all laughed at me, especially my now husband and mother in law. You would have thought I was dumpster diving in a strangers home the way they laughed at me scooping up bags to reuse.

As long as I remember, I have just always kept gift bags and "recycled them" for future birthdays, holidays, etc. and I guess I assumed everyone did this......apparently NOT!

Am I the only person on the planet that does this, besides my mother of course?!?!

Do you know how much those little gift bags even costs?!? No, they are not $2o or $30 each, but they are sometimes $4 or $5. You take that $5 bag and multiply it by the 25 gifts or so you buy every year (even more including all Christmas!) and you have spent $100 or more on something that is simply discarded and thrown away by the gift recipient (not me of course)! You might as well wrap the thing in toilet paper if all they are going to do is trash it - right?!

So, in my house, everyone now knows to NOT throw that bag away because mom will come and swoop it up and put it in the gift closet to be used on the next appropriate day. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not going to use a Frilly Pink Gift Bag that my daughter may get to bag up something for my son for his birthday....I am not that bad .......yet. :o) And I'm not going to use a "baby boy" giftbag to wrap up a wedding gift for someone....after all, that may give the wrong impression to some people. LOL frugal friday tip for today is to reuse those gift bags! No one will ever know anyway! Don't have gift bags? That is OK. You can still wrap frugally by using some of the below frugal gift wrapping suggestions:

* Got newspaper? Use the comics to wrap a child's birthday gift in.
* Got brown paper grocery bags? or even lunch bags for a small gift? Give your kids some crayons or markers and let them decorate the bag. This is especially great for grandparents to receive. Then, they will most likely even keep the bag since their grandbabies made it! LOL
* Giving a small kitchen gift? Wrap it in a kitchen towel. They will be sure not to throw it away then.
* Use baskets. You would surprised how many nice baskets or wooden boxes, etc. that you can find at a thrift store that would make cute gift baskets.

Possibilities are endless...... Use your imagination.

For something that my husband used to laugh at me for, now he is the first to say "Hey, you got a gift bag for this?" when he has something to wrap. He is becoming more and more "frugally" the more he hangs around me. :o) ( that even a word?)

Do you have any gift wrapping ideas? Please share your ideas or comments on whether you think it is "acceptable" to reuse gift bags!

Have a great weekend!

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