Saturday, 29 November 2008

FREE CHRISTMAS STOCKING FILLERS - frugal gifts to make 8

Just print out these great little toys and parcel them up with some double-sided tape and you’ve got your stocking filler! All you need is some thickish matt paper to print them on. Choose from pirates, monsters, cute animals and people – or download them all! These are all PDF documents so you will need Acrobat reader (free here) if you don’t already have it.


These little gifts are not only frugally free, they may just buy you some peace and quiet as you snooze after your Christmas lunch!

Friday, 28 November 2008

CHEAP QUICK MEALS FOR OVER CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR

Once the big day is over and everyone is thoroughly sick of cold turkey, hot turkey, turkey curry, turkey stew, turkey sandwiches, and you’re tired of cooking, what you need is meals in minutes from the freezer and this is how you do it.
Start in November by picking up reduced garlic bread and garlic flatbreads from the cold cabinet in your supermarket. They are cheap, (I paid 37p recently for a tasty garlic flatbread to serve 2 people) they freeze well and cook from frozen in around 10-15 minutes. While you’re looking at the reduced counter, pick up small tubs of pasta sauce, fresh pasta and tubs of fresh soup. All these will freeze well and will cook from frozen or defrost in your microwave.
If you really want to make the effort, you can serve the pasta in sauce with any salad that you may have – or fry an onion and throw into the sauce with any left over chopped veg or cold, sliced sausage, heat through thoroughly, then serve with garlic bread.
Soup is, well, soup, but look out for flavours that can be put together in case you have to serve more people e.g. mix a carrot soup with a vegetable soup, or a tomato soup with a minestrone. To soften up any stale, left over rolls or bread to accompany the soup (if you’re sick of garlic bread) just buzz it through the microwave for 10-15 seconds (depending on the power of your microwave).
Garlic flat breads and naan breads also make a good stand in for pizzas and can be taken straight from the freezer to use – just lay on a tray, spread with some of your pasta sauce (or plain old ketchup if that’s all you have) sprinkle on a pinch of dried thyme and slice on tomatoes, any olives left over from your Christmas buffet and slices of all those different bits of leftover cheeses from your Christmas cheeseboard! Cook at 200ยบ for around 10- 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Serve with salad.
Enjoy!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

FREE CHRISTMAS CROSS STITCH PATTERNS for Frugal Christmas Gifts 6

For those of you who are great with a needle these free cross stitch patterns can be used for all sorts of projects like pictures, pin cushions, Christmas cards, bookmarks, hanging decorations, Christmas stockings etc.
Choose from the many pretty designs in the links below.

Christmas Bells, Holly leaves, Christmas ornament, Merry Christmas greeting, Noel design and Christmas Angels.

Two Santas

Computer Santa, penguin, angels, candy canes, Christmas Sampler.

Angels, wreaths, gingerbread men, snow scenes, stockings, bells, tree and a Victorian Noel sampler

Cross stitch Santa Bookmark

Just loads of angels!

40 Christmas designs, too many to name!

Cute Angels, Merry Christmas, Joy, Noel

Snowman with slogan

Candles, robin, carol singer, candy sticks, Rudolph, Holly

Poinsettia

Lanterns, hedgehogs, snowmen, shortbread, trees, florals, holly & ivy and so much more!

Happy Frugal Stitching!

For more Christmas gifts to make click HERE!

Monday, 17 November 2008

MAKE YOUR OWN 3D SNOWFLAKE DECORATION

Make this lovely, professional looking snowflake decoration from 6 A4 sheets of plain old white printer paper. It measures about 54 cm across the widest part and costs very little. All you need is paper, scissors, stapler, sticky tape and a length of thread or parcel ribbon to hang it up with. Of course you can make it out of any sort of paper you like, for example, paper backed foil sheets in gold or silver, but – it is a snowflake – so plain white is just fine! It looks complicated but that's the great thing about it - it's really not!

Click HERE for simple clear instructions, photos and a how-to video and get frugal crafting!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

FRUGAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO MAKE 5

Whoops! I think I’ve gone knitty mad! I really, really want some wrist warmers, so I can drive and be warm – I’ve found so many, I don’t know which to knit (that’s if I ever get any time to actually do any knitting!) At the moment I’m like those people with flashy kitchens who get their cooking rocks off by watching Jamie on TV but never do any cooking! I just drool over knitting patterns and gorgeous yarns!

Anyway here they are, some free patterns for whatever you may call them – wristwarmers, gauntlets, fingerless gloves, armbands - whatever!

Get knitting!

Small wristwarmers with a tiny twisted cable.

Really long gauntlets with a large cable.

Longer, lacy rib wristwarmers

Short fluffy,leaf patterned hand/wrist warmers

Frilly, beaded wristwarmers

Slither- long, long, buttoned up arm warmers!

Leopard print wristwarmers!

Fairisle pattern wristwarmers- worked from a chart.

Wristwarmer pattern generator- enter your wrist size, gauge and needle size and generate your own pattern!

Easy, ribbed wristwarmers beginners’ project

Braid cable wristwarmers


For more frugal gifts to make click HERE!


Tuesday, 11 November 2008

FRUGAL GIFTS TO MAKE 4

Beer mug gift for the men

Buy a pint beer mug from the supermarket and fill with wrapped chocolates – something like Roses, Celebrations or Quality Street, then wrap in cellophane and trim with ribbon. For example, Argos are selling a pack of 4 Guinness glasses for £7.49 – useful if you need to make four gifts, then buy your sweets in bulk in a huge tin (they’re often on offer this time of the year as well) and you can save even more. Cellophane wrap can be expensive, so try to plan and use it for as many gifts as you can.

Gift in a mug – for anyone!

This can be a very personalised gift, or a sweetie gift. Buy a largish mug, suitable for your recipient and fill with wrapped chocolate truffles – if you can make chocolates, so much the better. Or you can go retro and fill the mug with old-fashioned sweets from an on-line shop such as www.aquarterof.co.uk.

If sweets are not appropriate, fill the mug with small gifts like lip balm, nail polish, eye shadows etc for ladies, tiny notepads, rubbers and pens for kids or travel size shower gels, shampoos etc for the men. It can be a bit of a challenge to find small enough stuff, but it can stick up out of the mug and still be wrapped in the cellophane.

For more frugal gifts to make click HERE!


Friday, 7 November 2008

FRUGAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO MAKE 3

I think the idea of a "Gift in a Jar" may have originated in America, but it certainly seems to have gained in popularity now. These gifts can be tailored to suit the recipient exactly - your only difficulty may be getting the right size jars! Remember to start saving them for next Christmas! They are great for kids to help with and could make a lovely teacher gift.
I think the secret is, as always, in the presentation, you need clean, shiny jars, beautiful ribbons, or fabric scraps and good, professional looking labels. Some of the free ideas in a jar I've found in the links below, even provide you with printable recipe labels! Go for it!

M & M Cookies in a jar.
Almost every kind of jar gift you can think of (mostly food).
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies in a jar.
Chocolate Brownies in a jar

Some non-food ideas! These are for the crafty people in your life and as the component pieces are all small, you only need tiny jars!
Easy to make flower bead and ribbon necklace - just put the components in a small jar with a copy of the instructions!
Funky chunky bead bracelet.
Crochet wire bead necklace.

You can make endless variations to the crafty jars and once you get started - your own ideas will probably come thick and fast.
Happy Frugal Christmas!
For more Christmas gifts to make click HERE!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

FRUGAL CROCHET GIFTS TO MAKE 2

For those of you who can crochet I've found a few free patterns for frugal Christmas gifts.! I can only manage a granny square or two and as for following a pattern, well - I've never managed it! But still, if you can, these gifts mainly only take a small amount of yarn, so shouldn't be too expensive - or take too much time!
Take a look at the links below and get crocheting!
Gorgeous love knot lacey scarf takes just a 40g ball of double knitting yarn.
Prettty mohair handwarmers with flower trim.
Cute sock slippers
Pointy slippers
Sleepy Sarah Amigurumi doll
Filet crochet scarf
A fabulous collection of all kinds of vintage crochet patterns
For more Christmas gifts to make click HERE!

Check out my growing collection of patterns for crochet and  knitted gifts!