Tag Archive 'Frugal Christmas'

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Frugal Christmas: Do More with Less

How do we Do More with Less? Here are a few ways:

The holidays are almost gone and with it came wonderful memories that, as a mom, I hope will be cherished in the years to come.

Several years ago, I have started FRUGAL CHRISTMAS and our family has been practicing this ever since.

Here are a few of the Frugal Christmas practices I have done since I started though a lot of it, I have not blogged about:

Family photo Christmas tree ornaments which started as a project back when we were still homeschooling. These ornaments still adorn the tree and we have added more updated photos.

Handmade tree decorations. Children and adults as well should try this to foster bonding time, personalize their trees and unleash their creative energies. These hand-made Christmas stockings still hang from our tree this year. This year I added a 3D Christmas tree made of gold tinsel to the Christmas wreath I decorated hanging on our front door. The excess tinsel was used to wrap gifts.

3D Christmas star

Japanese paper as gift wrapper. You can choose any color you like depending on the theme of your gifts. This year, I used yellow Japanese paper with gift tags made by one of the children.

homebaked cookies
• Baked goods wrapped in yellow Japanese paper with personalized gift tags. Since we bake at home, it has been our practice to give baked goodies to friends. (see photo above)
Personalized gift tags. You can either print these yourself or make from scratch. We always opt for the latter.
• If you love going to bookstores and bookstores that sell bargain books, then you can spend a little time scouring bargain books to give to book-loving people.
Hand-made gold ribbons hang on our tree every other year. These have seen a lot of Christmases and hang alternately every year with the red ribbons. This year, we are having the red ribbons.

red ribbons
Hand-made notepads. The last two years had us made notepads to give to the children’s friends. These were made during times when they have “nothing to do”. They also assembled these while watching their favorite videos on their gadgets.
• For this year’s Christmas, everything we served for the Noche Buena were home-cooked or home-prepped:

noche buena
o Baked ham
o Chicken pasta and chicken fajitas (blog post coming up soon)
o Slow-cooked chicken
o Cheesecake
o Cheese platter

blueberry cheesecake

Blueberry cheesecake by the eldest child finally sliced and tasted, a day after Christmas! This is easy to make and you spend less than if you buy commercially baked ones.

For our family reunion Christmas lunch, we brought slow-cooked ribs and the eldest child made brownies. Easy-peasy prep, right?

Photo below is the Electrolux microwave being used to melt chocolates for the brownies.

I know the list is getting longer so I will stop. Finally, yes!

What do all these things mean for “Do More with Less” when it feels like there is so much to do with all the crafts that involve conceptualizing, cutting and pasting and with the baking and cooking tasks?


All these tasks, we do not do year after year. For the tree decorations, since we have plenty of these (and hand-made too!) we alternate what we put up on the tree. Buying Christmas tree decorations every year is not something we do since we already have at home. Baking goodies for family and friends is what we love to do and for the last three years, the children are tasked to do these, making me have more time to do other chores. The personalized gift tags are easy to make because we have been doing this for several years already.

We “Do More with Less” by planning ahead, making lists and following up on schedule to avoid the hustle and bustle of the season.  The gift packs for the village guards and Noche Buena packages for the families of Manang Salve (who helps clean the backyard) and Joey (our occasional DIY guy) have been distributed a day or two before Christmas Eve. Christmas and New Year’s Eves are not main worries because we already have the things that needed on-hand and so we don’t have to join the rush to purchase what was not bought and getting stressed caught up on long supermarket queues and traffic jams.

We “Do More with Less” investing in reliable appliances like Electrolux that make chores easier so we don’t see housework as burdens. Our Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner is something the kids use by themselves. This is the youngest child’s task: cleaning the area where the puppy stays.

cleaning the floor

We “Do More with Less” by giving more importance to tasks that foster spending time with our loved ones.

Aside from not spending too much money, the family also tends to give importance in having more time bonding because we are all working together to make wonderful Christmas memories that we will look back with fondess, joy and love.

Do More with Less” everyday, it is good for the mind, body and spirit.

Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

I have several things in my (mental) list of what I want to do for Christmas in terms of having yet another round of frugal Christmas gift ideas.

Of course, the notepads are a priority because the daughters requested I do these for their gifts. I’m slowly filling up my list and got some toys at a recent toy sale.

Should I do baked goodies again but do it differently? I think I should especially since I discovered about cookie bouquets. Of course it is easy to just send cookie bouquets but to actually make these myself would make me feel good albeit super tired. Let me say that I just love the idea of these cookie bouquets!

I’m guessing I’ll be adding cookie cutters in my list of to-buy 😀

Now how to do the frosting…


Posted by Treasure Jar on Nov 7th 2011 | Filed in From the Admin's Desk,Purse Strings | Comments (1)

Christmas Party Raffle

During last year’s Christmas Day lunch with the in-laws, I raffled out some goodies. This year, I’m planning to do this again so I am starting to put together a lot of things to fill up a bag for the raffle:

  • lanyards with different colors
  • baller bracelets of different colors
  • skin care products
  • shirts
  • accessories like bracelets, steel necklace and fancy earrings
  • knick-knacks like fans, folders, green bags
  • caps
  • water bottles
  • children’s bags

I hope no one gets a sad face this year. Sad face = sorry no more gift left.


Posted by Treasure Jar on Oct 10th 2011 | Filed in Bonding Time,Purse Strings | Comments (0)

Jell-o No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake


I wrote about  my son helping out in the kitchen in this post.

Presenting the finished product: our Jell-o No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake dessert:

Jell-o No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

Yes, it was a finger-licking, lip-smacking and two thumbs up dessert. What bliss!

After putting away their textbooks for the homeschooling lessons, the two kids are pretty much free to do whatever they like and sometimes they either go out and play or help out in kitchen/home chores. Cooking and the smells associated with it always draw them in the kitchen to offer a hand or two.

I bask from the compliments they freely give 🙂

Posted by Treasure Jar on Jan 1st 2010 | Filed in For Little Hands,Kitchen Needs,Plateful of Fun,Through the Lens | Comments (3)

Mail Those Christmas Cards Now

Or should those Christmas cards been mailed a few weeks ago?

I think the art of sending handwritten Christmas cards and letters is now lost because of the new technology that keeps people connected in more ways than one.

I love receiving Christmas photo cards. I told myself that the kids will do these handwritten cards but the truth is, we haven’t started yet.

Last year’s Christmas craft projects like photo ornaments and gift cards went underway early. I know I am to blame because I have been too busy with not so important things and have neglected this aspect of our routine.

I hope it is not too late to start these projects.

Posted by Treasure Jar on Nov 27th 2009 | Filed in Arts and Crafts,For Little Hands,Purse Strings,Visual Delights | Comments (0)

Red Wooden Christmas Tree

Last week of the Filipino Mom Blog‘s Fab Holiday Finds and the theme is RED and/or GREEN.

One of the gifts I got from my students was this red wooden Christmas tree which I already featured as a part of our Advent Wreath.

This mini tree has “gold” trimmings and red accents on proper places that lights are reflected on the glitters.

In the background is the big Advent Wreath which I got from NBS for less than PhP100.00 because the tag says “less 20% off”.

I am still updating my other blog for another red and green entry.

Here is my post about the Handmade Christmas tree ornaments with red and green colors.

Posted by Treasure Jar on Dec 30th 2008 | Filed in Arts and Crafts,FYI,Tagged, You're It!,Through the Lens,Visual Delights | Comments (10)

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