Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Create your own fabric baskets

I got sick of looking at the ugly yellow bucket that my laundry soap came in and the pile of dirty dish rags and bibs that accumulated on the floor of my laundry room, so I created these cute little fabric baskets for them, for FREE!

I see cute fabric baskets at the store for a minimum of $10 each (and that's talking Walmart, can you imagine Pottery Barn?!) . Since I am a cheapskate mom, I searched my basement for suitable sized boxes and covered them with fabric items I had laying around my house.

The big basket is made from a crock pot box and a table cloth that doesn't fit my new table. I got the table cloth for $1 at an after Christmas sale a few years ago. I simply wrapped and folded the table cloth around the box and slid the laundry soap bucket in.

For the small box I used an Eggo waffle box from Sam's club and put an old flannel pillow case that we never use over top. I secured the corners underneath with clear packing tape. I chose to leave the fabric bunched on my baskets for texture but you can wrap these up as tight as you want to. Both boxes are very sturdy.

I now feel much better about my laundry room and it didn't cost me a penny. Feels good...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Think Outside the Christmas Box

Everyone knows that after Christmas is the best time to buy things for the next Christmas. For example last year we got $50 from our grandma for Christmas. My husband and I bought a 6 1/2 foot tree with lights, and over 200 christmas ornaments. We saved hundreds of dollars since the tree alone was over $150 the day before.

But what many may not think about is that this is also a great time to stock up on items for other times of the year too. There are always table cloths and plate sets and other house hold items that we never think to look for that are also majorly discounted. I have several beautiful table cloths and place setting that I have purchased for pennies that don't "look" Christmasy so I use them all year round. For example plain white or a beautiful sage green, both of which match my kitchen.

Think about other special occasions as well. I was getting married in April and I knew that my colors were going to be black, white and red accented with gold. My mom and I went to an after Christmas sale and stocked up on red and white candles, gold platters and thousands of white lights. We used them to decorate my reception. It looked elegant and not like Christmas at all. The money we saved was spent on the designer dress I just had to have and our honeymoon at Lake Tahoe. A much better allocation of funds.

Also, be sure to check out clothing departments. You can always find very nice dress clothes for your kids at very low prices. Some dresses and things are clearly Christmas but many can pass all year round. If it's an item that is clearly Christmas that you just love buy it in the size you think your child will wear next year. If it doesn't fit them when the next year rolls around sell it at a consignment sale. You'll probably get more for it than you paid for it.

This year, think outside the Christmas box and save youself a lot of money on things you can use year round!