May 29, 2011

Tightwad Gazette II - Day 28 - May 29th

Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the States and we have planned a cookout with our children and daughter in law.  We are having brats, chicken, deviled eggs, baked beans, watermelon and of course, Smores for dessert. 

I just took homemade cinnamon rolls out of the oven for breakfast tomorrow morning.  A holiday is one of those special times I like to bake cinnamon rolls.

Well, here is today's discussion from the Tightwad Gazette II.  I know it is early to talk about Christmas, but the earlier the better for good planning and money saving plans too.  Today we finish discussing Christmas and end with some great reader tips.


Begin stockpiling yard sale toys in May. One mother went into her sons’ room to look at the toys they received for Christmas. She figured out how long they had played with the toys and found that the puzzles and traditional toys were the ones that had the most play time. Even though she shopped for new toys at a toy store, she didn’t buy near the amount and shopped the sales.

For older kids, shop at used sporting-goods stores.

If you find a toy at a yard sale that is in great shape, why not buy it? It’s ridiculous to pay full price for the box that a new toy comes in since that is what you are really paying for.

Some of the best kid gift concepts are “gathered presents.” These include:

School: Chalkboard, chalk, eraser, pointer, tests, report cards with envelopes, write and wipe calendar, markers, roll book, bell, flag and stand.

Crafts: Feathers, sequins, construction paper, yarn, beads, co9lorful macaroni, mini clothespins, paints, markers, dowels, confetti, glue, scissors, pipe cleaners, doilies, buttons, pom poms, moving eyes, metal brads, idea book, carrying case.


If a child constantly asks when is Christmas, take a small piece of rope or a shoe string, tie knots in it for the remaining days and each night untie one knot to show you are one day closer to the big day.

Ask older children to take part in a service project such as a food drive for those in need.


Luminaries. Fill a tin can with water and freeze it. Then punch holes with a hammer and nail to form a picture or abstract pattern. The frozen water inside keeps the can from bending as you punch it.

Christmas Potpourri

Peels from 2 apples, dried and broken up
1 cup or less orange peel, dried and broken up
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces

Mix and store in a jar or paper bag. Simmer in a pot for a wonderful aroma.

Put several mason jars on a sill, and stuff an equal length of inexpensive twinkle lights in each jar.


PICTURE PERFECT - Here is a perfect gift suggestion when you are the mothers of the bride and groom. Moms get together and swap pictures from birth to match age to age; Cub scout to Brownie, cheerleader to Little League. Put the pictures in a photo album for the couple. With digital cameras it is easier to share photos these days.

A FINE LINE – Don’t use clothespins to hang up shirts on the clothes line, instead hang them on plastic hangers and put the hangers on the line. I do this, but I put two clothes pins on either side of the top of the hanger to keep it from blowing off the clothes line.


A reader wrote in to say that she kept putting off making a price book as she felt she didn’t have the time. So she made a list of her frequently purchased grocery items and handed her friends and family a list. When they were at grocery stores they would record the price of a few items and then she was able to divide and conquer and get the price book put together.


To get free distilled water for your iron or vaporizer, save gallon jugs and use water from the dehumidifier during the summer months.

For May 31st we will look at pages 218 through 227.

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