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Gifts to Make with Your Children

Doing things with your children is the perfect way to be close to them and get to know them better. A great way to do this is by doing some arts and crafts with them and making gifts for other people. Listed below are some gift ideas that you and your child can make together – either when you’re bored and looking for something to do, or have a special occasion/holiday coming up.

1. Hand and Footprint Apron

For this craft, all you’ll need is non-toxic paint and a white apron.

First, lay the apron flat on a clean surface. Have the variety of paint colors nearby. Then, take turns dipping your child’s feet and hands into the paint. Press them against the apron until the hand- and footprints are clearly shown.

Use the paint to then label each hand and foot with the child’s name if you have multiple children taking part in the project.

Allow the apron to dry completely before giving the apron to someone as a gift.

This gift is very thoughtful and will leave mom, grandma, or auntie feeling very loved. Every time they go to use the apron, they will think of the person who made it!

2. Bracelets out of Beads

For this project, all you’ll need are beads and some string.

Cut the string according to the length of the person’s wrist you’re giving it to. If the person is not around, you can guess or you can measure on someone who has a similar sized wrist.

With the beads, slide them through the newly cut string. Once the beads are how you and your child would like them, simply tie the string together to form a bracelet.

3. Personalized Coffee Mugs

For this craft, you’ll need a white mug, non-washable paints, and paint brushes.

If you are doing this project with a little one, help them to hold the mug to prevent it from breaking. Allow your child to dip the brush into the paint and brush it onto the mug to make whatever design they may please.

This gift will leave the recipient feeling very loved and will give them a smile every time they use go to drink their coffee in the morning.

4. Rustic Twig Picture Frame

For this DIY, you’ll need hot glue, twigs, and a picture frame.

Help your child collect the twigs from outside. Ensure that there aren’t any bugs or moss on the sticks.

Once you’ve collected the twigs, you can start hot gluing them to the picture frame. Depending on how old your child is, determine whether or not they can help you use a hot glue gun.

Once the twigs are surrounding the outer corners of the picture frame, set the picture frame aside to dry. Once you feel the picture frame is dry enough, you can place a picture in. This gift will give an autumnal and rustic feeling in the home.

Spending quality time with your kids making presents for people who deserve it will make you, your kids, and the recipients feel amazing. Giving is better than receiving, which is a great lesson to teach your kids while making these gifts. Another benefit is that making presents is usually a lot cheaper than buying them, so it’s a win-win situation all round.

Fun Ideas for Homemade Piggy Banks

Nowadays, money is usually accessed by way of your bank account and use of a plastic card. But piggy banks are an awesome tool in helping to teach your child about the value and management of money. Instead of going out and buying a generic piggy bank, try making your own. It’s a fun craft that you and your child can take part in together. Listed below are different homemade piggy bank ideas for you to try.

1. Spend, Save, Give Piggy Bank

For this DIY piggy bank, all you’ll need is three Mason jars, some wood, a saw to cut three circles in the wood, and some tags to write on.

First, cut the three holes into the wood. You’ll want the holes to be the same size as the opening of the Mason jar. Ensure that you (the parent) is the one to cut the holes. You can paint the wood to your child’s desired color if preferred.

Then, once the holes are cut, you and your child can slip the three Mason jar openings into the hole.

The third step is to label the three Mason jars with the words Spend, Save, and Give.

This type of a piggy bank will help keep your child organized and aware of how to manage their money.

2. Eco-Friendly Piggy Bank

For this DIY, you’ll need an empty plastic bottle, a knife to cut a slit in the top, and things to decorate the bank with.
First, take the empty plastic bottle and cut a slit on the side big enough to fit all coins and dollar bills through. Be sure that you (the parent) is the one to do this.

Then, let your child decorate it the way they want with the arts and crafts material. They can make the bottle into a pig, or simply do as they please with it.

This super-easy piggy bank is meant for your child to see their money grow with each new “deposit” and learn how valuable money is. The piggy bank also teaches your child how to be eco-friendly and to reuse any materials available.

3. “Feed Daily” Piggy Bank

For this DIY, you’ll need an old piggy bank you may have lying around and some paint.

Take the old piggy bank that you have and paint over it to give it a new appearance. Then, in a different color paint, write on the piggy bank (once dry), “Feed Daily”. This will encourage your child to “feed” the bank and get them to understand the importance of saving as much money as they can.

Piggy banks are a great place for little ones to keep all their money. It provides them with a place to keep their money organized and well managed. Making your very own piggy bank also provides your child with a sense of creativity and eco-friendliness. It’s important to teach children these key lessons. When making your own piggy bank, it’s like you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Don’t Buy What You Can Borrow

So many people decide to buy things when they can simply borrow the same thing for less. If you borrow the item, you are saving yourself so much money and space in your home for things that you actually need to own. Listed below are some things that many people buy, but which would be more beneficial to them if they were to just borrow it.

1. Books – Many people only read a book once, so why would you buy the book if you can borrow it for free or for a small fee? There is likely at least one library located near you. If you’re looking for a specific book, your library is highly likely to have it. And if one library doesn’t have it, another one will.

2. DVDs and movies – Like books, most people only want to watch a movie once, unless it’s their favorite movie. Instead of buying a movie that you will probably only watch once, borrow it from Redbox or from a friend. You can even look into getting Netflix because they have thousands of movies you can watch whenever you please. If you decide to borrow a movie from Redbox, it’ll cost you a small fee. Netflix has a free trial you can try, and chances are, borrowing a movie from a friend won’t cost you anything.

3. Tools – Before you buy a tool, see if you can borrow or rent it. Most tools take up a lot of space and cost a decent amount of money, so borrowing the tool from a friend may be the way to go. Another option includes renting from local tool shops. Tool shops don’t charge much for a renting fee.

4. Suitcases – Traveling costs a lot of money as it is. You don’t need that added cost of buying suitcases. If you travel frequently, you may want to invest in a suitcase. However, most people only travel once a year at most. In these instances, instead of going out and spending hundreds on a bag, check with your friends and relatives to see if they have one they’d be willing to let you borrow.

5. Sporting equipment – If you’re just starting out with a sport, you may not be quite good at it yet or sure you’ll fully enjoy it. Until you find those answers, check with friends and relatives to see if they have any used sports equipment you can borrow.

Simply put, there are other options out there for you rather than buying an item that will only take up space and you may only use once. Be wise with your money and how you spend it. If you feel as though you need to buy an item rather than borrow, do that. But first, think about whether or not you’ll use that item again. Also, think about what exactly you need it for. Most times, you won’t need the thing you’re thinking of buying more than once.

Buying Food on a Budget

Is money a little tight right now? Are you trying to stretch those dollars? In today’s society it’s very common to have difficulty making enough money for the things you need most. But, using a few simple tricks, you can save money on the things you need to buy, like food, and learn some important things along the way.

1. Clip coupons for the things you buy. Try shopping at stores that double or even triple the value of the coupon. Buy one get one free can be a great savings, but only if you’re going to use both items before they expire. The use of coupons helps to save money in big and fast ways.

2. Join a coupon swapping organization. This type of group tends to swap items for coupons. So for example, if you have a coupon for peanut butter but you don’t need peanut butter, you can go to this group and trade someone for milk, or an object you may need.

3. Create a grocery list and stick to it. Many people tend to go over budget because they see things at the store that they think they need when in actuality, it’s not needed. By having a list, it helps you to stay focused and aware of the things you need to buy and the things that you don’t.

4. Don’t buy items you don’t need just because it’s a great deal. Only buy what you know you are going to use.

5. Stick to your budget – Record your monthly spending on food and look for ways to save based on those numbers. This will force you to become more creative with your recipes and eat healthier, more nutritious meals.

6. Compare prices of different brand foods based on their weight. Bring a calculator with you to ensure your calculations are correct in figuring out which brand is the cheapest and most affordable.

7. Buy your food in bulk. Many times, buying things in higher quantities means more money saved. Buy durable things in bulk that you’ll need in the future, like paper towels, toilet paper, canned food, and beans.

8. Shop for baked goods during the daytime. If you’re craving for something from a bakery, go during the day. This is when the bakers will be marking down all of their day-old food.

9. Buy store brand items. In many cases, store brand foods are a lot cheaper than those more well-known brands.

10. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. These foods are usually more expensive, and oftentimes are less nutritious. Buy the inexpensive but healthy items, like oatmeal.

11. If you are looking for a job, look for a job in the restaurant industry. Oftentimes, after a long day, they allow their employees to take home any leftover foods.

12. Plan out your weekly meals before going shopping. This will help you to shop for only the ingredients you need for the dinners you’re serving.

Knowing how to properly shop for food is key in saving money for those other things you need. Ensure that if you are having money issues, you make some attempt to save as much money as you can wherever possible.