Gift Wrapping, Cheapskate Style

Did you know that we spend about $2.9 billion every year on gift wrapping paper and supplies according to Hallmark? And of course most of it ends up being throw way after the holidays, which is one reason why between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we generate an extra one million tons of garbage every week. Consider these creative gift wrapping alternatives to save some cash and tread a little lighter on the environment this holiday season: Wrapping gifts in the colorful …

Cheapskate’s Smoked Salmon

When I made it for the holidays the first year after we were married, Denise emerged from the kitchen with a look on her face that shouted “Who the heck did I marry?” “Honey,” she said, “why are there bricks in our refrigerator?” “What?” I said, trying to hide a grin.  “I thought those were yours.  I mean, don’t you know that masonry products should always be refrigerated?”

Not Another Fruitcake Story

The article I wrote earlier this week about holiday tipping left me with a craving for fruitcake.  Even though it’s become sport to make fun of fruitcake, I love the stuff.  But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, my passion for fruitcake is a direct result of a holiday tipping story of my own. As I recall, winter came extra early to northwest Ohio in 1967. It was the week before Christmas, and we already had a solid foot …

Holiday Tipping: Show Your Gratitude Without Breaking the Bank

I’ve written before about “cheapskate etiquette,” how to pinch pennies and still be polite and respectful of others at the same time. Since it’s tradition this time of year to remember and thank the people who make our lives a little easier and better – from newspaper and mail carriers to the kid’s teacher and babysitter – I was glad to find this definitive article from the The Emily Post Institute about the subject of holiday tipping. Having interviewed representatives of …

Soda Can to Star? Yes! Fun and Frugal Holiday Decorations

As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, I spend a lot of time in the evenings hunkered down next to the wood stove, reading or tinkering with various craft projects. Of course, I particularly love any craft that lets me recycle something that would otherwise end up in the trash. I call it “creative repurposing.” Here are three simple, fun holiday craft projects that make good use of would-be throw away items and let you deck the halls …

Let your Expectations of this Upcoming Season Be the Unexpected

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope it was memorable. Ours was one of the best ever. We all loaded up and headed to Baltimore because the NFL decided the Ravens would play on Thanksgiving night. Now, I was perfectly happy about this scheduling as not only did I not have to cook, I didn’t even have to drive around and pick up food. It was just perfect. I told SJ, “You can either have a game dog or chicken tenders, and …