Use What You Have

Oy. Is anybody else feeling financially pinched this fall? It started this summer with months of dry triple-digit heat and electric and water bills to match. Gas prices keep climbing, and it seems like food in the grocery store costs more than it used to, as well. (I’m not the only one noticing this, right?!) Raise your hand if you’re being paid more to compensate for this.

I don’t see any hands. I’m going to continue.

As a parent, the end of the year is one of the worst times to be on a tight budget. There’s Halloween. Thanksgiving. And of course, Christmas. All of those take money to create the experience that I want to give my kids. We get hit with it a few weeks earlier because we have a double birthday in October. (Yeah, do you remember these little babies? They just turned three.)

So, as I sat wondering what on earth I was going to do for budget-friendly presents for two kids, it suddenly hit me.

I am a crafty mom. I make stuff.

I have a gigantic accumulation of craft supplies, in many shapes, sizes, and colors.

It was entirely possible that I could create two sets of birthday presents without buying anything.

Now, I know this may seem obvious to many of you, but in the past I’ve made presents because I wanted to, or because I couldn’t find the right thing to buy, or because I designed a new pattern and it just so happened that someone would like the result as a gift. Generally speaking, supplies for handmade gifts don’t cost very much less than a purchased one (although the result may be far higher quality.) But as they say, anything you already have is cheaper than something you have to buy, no matter how much it cost to begin with.

In the end I did purchase a few things for Tommy and Teddy, but by having the bulk of the gifts use up craft stash I was able to spend far less than I would have otherwise.

It looks like I’m going to be making things for the next couple of months: I’ll share what I make with you and maybe it will give you some ideas of your own. Speaking of ideas, since I know that many of you reading this already have yarn (lots of yarn) I’m running a sale in both my own shop and my Ravelry shop. From now until Christmas day (2012) enter the code USEWHATYOUHAVE for 50% off all pattern purchases. No minimums, no exceptions, no limits. Merry Christmas.

Use What You Have - Save Money on Gifts by Creative Present - Making.

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