I am so glad that Jill asked me to guest host for her today!  She asked me if I could speak on holidays or on being thrifty along with being a mom.  Well, I guess I can do all those things!  You see, I am a mom of five precious children ranging in age from almost 3 years of age up to 11 years of age.  Four of them are girls whose names all start with the letter K, and we like to do crafts together, so we call ourselves the Creative K Kids.

I also am rather thrifty.  God has blessed my husband (who is an assistant pastor) and me to be able to pay our bills and to live with all our needs and many of our wants provided for.  We live modestly and within our means partly because both of us came from homes where our parents did not have much, yet they loved us and worked hard and did not get in debt.  We also live the way we live to honor our Heavenly Father.
So I hope you enjoy reading this guest post about how we try to live frugally yet express appreciation to others in our lives.

Since this is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and two days before the biggest shopping day of the year, I would like to incorporate two thoughts into this post:

  1. Being thankful for those who help us in our daily lives

  2. Ways to give gifts to others without breaking your bank

I recently shared on a DIY Christmas post on my site how we like to give many gifts to teachers and the children’s helpers at church at Christmas time.  With 5 children, that could get very costly if we went out and bought all those gifts!

So, what can all of us do?

There are so many things we can do–some elaborate, some quite simple!

  • One thing I like to do quite often is get the children involved if we can.  I want them to be thankful for the people who have poured out themselves for the children (often without any kind of monetary reward!)  One thing children love to do is make their own cards.  With a little help and supervision, they can have a very nice card that requires very little money.  I already have scrapbooking paper that I never use for scrapbooking anymore due to not enough time in my schedule, and every year I keep the fronts of cards that are sent to us that I think would be great to cut up for scrapbooking or card making.  The kids rifle through those cards and cut out the pictures for their own cards.  It is a lot of fun for them, and it makes them feel like it is their project.  So save those cards this year!Making Christmas cards
  • I like to give something to the teachers of my children more often than just Christmas.  I was a teacher before I had children, and I know how those little gifts just brightened my day.  Even if they won’t use the gift, they know that someone was appreciative of all that they do.  So in October, I make my caramel corn and put it in my scrapbook paper covered Pringle cans.  They are very simple and economical to make (especially as I have been getting scrapbook paper on clearance or at garage sales.)  You could do this idea at Christmas.  Just cover those cans with Christmas wrapping paper that you already have and put in caramel corn, peanut brittle, chex mix, candy coated popcorn, trail mix, or store-bought candies.    The options are endless!caramel corn and Pringles cans
  • In November, I make a mini-loaf of pumpkin bread and send it in to the teachers.  The bread recipe I use makes about 6 mini-loaves!  You could use any bread recipe you like, and you could even send in full-size loaves if you would wish to.  Then I cut out with the little cricut (that I got from a garage sale for $15 🙂 ) “Thank You” on fall covered scrapbook paper.  I wrap up the bread in plastic wrap, allowing enough plastic wrap to wrap around the bread two times.  On the last time around, I put the “Thank You” that I cut out on the plastic wrap.  That way it is not sticking to the bread, and it is covered by the plastic wrap so that it will stay put.  Then I tie a ribbon around the bread!  This is very affordable, yet it looks nice!  If you don’t have a cricut, print “Thank You”
    out on the computer or have your child write a Thank You note or color a picture.  Again, this idea could also be done at Christmas and could be done to accommodate different food allergies!Thanks with pumpkin bread
  • For Christmas, I do give a gift card to my children’s main teachers.  I know many cannot afford to do this, but we save our Discover cashback bonus all year, and use that money to get Discover gift cards, so it is not an extra cost to us.  We are able to pay off our credit cards every month, so we do not have to worry about fees.  However, I don’t like to just give a gift card and nothing else.  So I have started picking up Christmas coffee cups and little platters at garage sales.  I put some of my coated oreo drops in the cup along with the gift card, wrap it up in plastic wrap  used to wrap baskets, tie off the top with one of the ornaments the children made, and their gift is done!  If you can’t afford a gift card, I know for a fact that some teachers hope that they will get one of my students in their class just for the homemade treats I send them!our teachers gifts

These are mainly ideas we do with our children; however, many of them could be used as an adult gift to another adult.  There are many other crafts that could be done such as doing a post-it pad present for a hostess gift.  If none of these ideas fit, then run over to the most wonderful search engine of diy gifts:  Pinterest!

What are some of the ways that you express gratitude to others without breaking your bank?


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