Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers

by Angie Zalewski

Courtesy of Frugal Family Network

You may have heard TV commercials touting everything from expensive collectibles to high priced electronic toys for "stocking stuffers". As parents, we stand firm that stockings should be filled with fun trinkets and small blessings rather than $100+ worth of merchandise.

Here's what we do for our kids' stockings. Throughout the year we accumulate fun little toys and small gifts. We hide them in a sack in our closet. Last night my (Angie) husband Tom and I got out the Stocking Stuffer sack and perused the vast selection we had accumulated. Here are some of the items:

  • wild pens and neat gadget toys my husband got as freebies from a computer convention

  • new toothbrush and toothpaste the dentist gave us at our last visit

  • specialty candy I got on clearance

  • little bottles of hotel soaps, shampoos, and lotion

  • homemade Gak and playdough (I added coconut scent, blue food coloring and glitter!)

  • travel size battle ship game bought at a garage sale for 50

  • and I'll also add a giant cookie Tom baked several weeks ago and have hidden in the freezer

The boys stockings will be spilling over with fun things they will enjoy! And it costs us next to nothing.

So keep a sound perspective on stocking stuffing this year. Look for creative ways to fill your children's stockings.

Deana Ricks and Angie Zalewski are co-founders of the Frugal Family Network. The present a variety workshops on creative ways to stretch the family dollar (also available on cassette) and publish a popular thrift newsletter.

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