Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Leftover Christmas Candy

If you have Christmas candy left over, save it for the next holiday! There are a lot of things you can do with candy canes, for instance. Face them toward each other, tie a pretty ribbon around the hooks and make a heart from them. Give them to your valentine.Or crush them and serve them over ice cream any time.

Chocolate candy can be melted down and reformed to suit the occasion. Got chocolate Santas? Make chocolate something else with it. Melt it down, add some peanuts and let it harden again. Or use candy molds or anything to shape it into something else.

Hard candy will keep indefinitely if kept in a more or less cool place that's dry. Just save it until next Christmas and you will save yourself some money.

Friday, December 26, 2014

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house
Every creature was busy; yes, even that mouse.
The stockings were strung from the tree to the stair
As proof that Saint Nicholas had surely been there.

And Mom in the kitchen, amid pots and pans
Was muttering recipes for leftover ham.
The turkey was still in its foil covered tent
While pots full of turkey soup made hardly a dent.

Turkey sandwiches and soups and casserole, pies,
Turkey salad and quiches and pudding - oh, my!

Mom was getting just a bit carried away
So Dad stole her cookbook and she says to this day
That the day after Christmas was the best day of all
Because we went to eat out and she didn't cook at all!

Here's hoping the day after Christmas is a good one for you. If you like turkey pudding, let me know and I'll give you mine. And remember that beans on New Year's Day means a prosperous New Year, so don't forget that cooking at home is the most frugal and prosperous way. Unless, of course, you get carried away.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Plan Ahead for After Christmas Dinner

  • Plan leftovers ahead of time and have containers ready for the freezer.
  • Save all that delicious ham gravy or pan drippings to flavor bean or other dishes later on. (Freeze enough in different batches for a meal.)
  • Save the turkey gravy to use in rice or vegetable dishes.
  • Leftover black olives can be frozen. It never dawned on me to do this, until I realized frozen pizzas sometimes have black olives on them.
  • Put away the wrapped candy canes and hard candy as soon as everyone gets tired of them. They will keep indefinitely (Until next year, anyway!)
  • Ditto the nuts, shelled or not. They have a long life in the freezer.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Uses for Cardboard Boxes

If you shop online at all, you probably have quite a stash of cardboard boxes. Besides sending gifts to loved ones far away, they can be used to make some frugal and cool things.

Try your hand at a shadow box. You can put in an old fashioned scene, a "Nativity Scene," a mountain covered with snow or let your imagination roam. Use pictures from old Christmas cards, advertisements, catalogs or whatever strikes you as interesting.

You can use small boxes in lieu of Christmas stockings or baskets, filling them for specific individuals, or making more generic, frugal last minute gifts out of them. Cover them inside and out with wrapping paper or foil.

Fill a few with candy, cookies, notepads, etc., wrap and have them ready for those "Oh, no, I need another gift!" times. If you don't use them all, give them away to the postman, a retirement home or charity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Last Year's Christmas Cards

Did you save them? Do you have a use for them?

How about using them for frugal but creative postcard greetings this year by cutting off the front and sizing it properly?
Or cut appropriate pieces from the fronts (and insides!) to use for gift tags.
Cut pictures from them to decorate your Christmas tree.
Or glue small cut outs from them around the bottom of a pillar candle.
Or make a frugal holiday collage from them.
Or glue them onto paper and cover with white glue mixed with water (half and half), and use them for throwaway Christmas table mats.