Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From Thriftyfun.com: How to Fill a Stocking For Free

From Thriftyfun.com



"We all love stockings. Up until just a few years ago, my mom would still give me one and it had always been my favourite gift to open. Stockings don't have to cost anything and are supposed to be filled with small trinkets and goodies, not things like $50 gift cards and iPods! Remember when we used to get clementines in there? What happened with that? :)

"Here are some things you can get for free, but plan early for some of these:




  • If you happen to go to trade shows or conventions, you can always get free things there. Have a look around. I usually go to a Health Show every year and get a free goodie bag with things in it.

  • Go to freebie sites, start collecting early and keep a box set aside for them. There are SO MANY free things to be had out there from big companies. A few years ago I kept a box with all the freebies I got just to see how full it would get. Over the course of a several months it was filled with things like books, cards, samples of makeup or soap, shampoos, cleaning products, amazing.

  • Craft Shows. Right around the holidays there are a lot of craft shows. Some crafters give out free samples of things that you can keep and set aside. (like soap pieces for example)

  • If you are planning to spend money on some holiday gifts, look for items that you get something free with purchase. This time of year that's easy! Use the free gift for a stocking.

  • Best Buy gives you a gift card if you trade in an old cellphone. So dig out that dinosaur phone of yours and bring it in!

  • Cash in credit card points or airmiles for free gift cards, magazine subscriptions, video rentals or movie tickets. They often don't cost a lot of points.

  • My drugstore often has deals where if you purchase a certain amount of goods at the store, you can get a free gift card of some sort. It is usually movie tickets or coffee cards. I rarely go in and spend $40 in one shot, so sometimes I wait till I need something big or lots of things then make a big trip so I can get the freebie.

  • Make some cool Rock Candy! Most people have sugar and food colouring in their pantry, so follow this recipe: http://candy.about.com/od/hardcandyrecipes/r/rock_candy.htm

  • Go to a department store and ask for samples of perfume and make up. Maybe get a free makeup application while you are there :)

  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a lot of free stuff to give away like stickers and booklets. Check out their website for all the freebies. http://www.peta.org/

  • Print out some free Baking and Cooking E-books here: http://www.preparedpantry.com/baking-guides.htm or some other independent books can be found here that are free: http://www.ebook88.com/shelf.html or do a search for free ebooks online.

  • Make Compilation CDs with the recipient's favourite music or a new band that they may not have heard of yet. Myspace.com has tons of free indie music that can be downloaded from upcoming artists!

  • I don't recommend eating at fast food places, but sometimes they will give away free trinkets for children, even crayons and a colouring sheet or book. I've seen people just come in and not buy anything and ask for a free toy for their child.

  • Make candy or caramel apples! Most of us have sugar and apples at home or this time of year you can probably still get some for free from farmers. http://www.allfreecrafts.com/halloween/candy-apples.shtml You can use recycled and washed chopsticks to put in the apple.

  • Make a free printable calendar for kids that they can colour in: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/calendars/a/2010calendars.htm

  • Have a swap or exchange with friends of items that you no longer want or things that you want to re-gift. This can include clothing, gadgets, handmade crafts, bath and body items (un-used), kids' toys, etc.


"Good luck and happy holidays everyone!"


Tips



  • The point is to get creative.

  • Last year my daughter requested a nice letter from us as parents instead of a gift in her stocking. The kids loved it, and that idea just might turn into a tradition.

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