Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thrifty Holiday Tip

Okay, I know that I am like, a couple of months late on this but these days I sort of have to roll with the free time I've been given to blog.  These few moments TODAY is the time I have to write this post. =)  Hopefully you can pin it, file it, or print and cram it away somewhere for next holiday season.  Cause you are gonna want to hang on to this one...

I really, really love to have fresh greenery in my home.  Of course, it costs an arm and a leg to have a house continually full of fresh flowers.  The best is when my husband provides them for me.  At Christmas, it is so nice to have live Christmas greenery everywhere.  I love the color and and the smell and the way it just fills the house with something festive looking....

...but have you ever gone to purchase some real live garland - as much as you need to decorate everything in your house - and real wreaths for your door?  It is no wonder most of America settles for the artificial kind they purchase once every 10 years or so, because the real stuff is expensive.  Like, bust your Christmas budget expensive.  So, the past couple of years I have discovered a fantastic way to get real greenery for FREE.  Yep, free!

Here's how:  The past two years I have shown up at my local Lowe's store on the Sunday after Black Friday weekend.  Many people go out that weekend and buy their real tree from the Christmas tree lot.  As you know, when you pick out your tree, they trim it up for you and get it all ready to send home.  Know what they typically do with all those trimmings?  Toss them in the garbage!  Yep, they fill entire grocery carts full and wheel them out to the dumpster.  So, all you have to do is show up and ask if you can have them.  They will most likely give them to you and save themselves the trouble of wheeling them out to the dumpster.  This year, I even got some from my local large grocery store with a garden center that sells trees.  Same story - they were happy for me to have them instead of having to go to the trouble of throwing them away.

So, here are the reasons you should try this strategy:
1.  It is free.  And everyone loves something beautiful that is free.
2.  It is responsible.  Lately, my husband and I have been working on being more responsible consumers and using our money wisely (come to think of it, this is probably why I don't receive fresh flowers as much!!).  So, rescuing something from the garbage is way more responsible than paying for something that will get old, fade, and has to be put in storage after the holidays.
3.  It gives you a chance to be creative!  I purchased grapevine wreaths (large and small) and grapevine floral wire at my local craft store for less than $15.  Then, I got to create my own wreaths and garland using my own hands...for less than the cost of ONE small live wreath at the store. There is something very rewarding about that.

Now, this post would be insanely long if I made it a "how to" post.  Basically, you are probably only still reading this post if you have an interest in this sort of crafty-crafty stuff anyway.  You will need greenery, floral shears, grapevine wreaths, grapevine floral wire, and any embellishments you may want to add to your decor.  I buy the embellishments at my craft store and reuse them every year - those tiny red berry accents don't take up much space in storage. =)

Here are a few pics of what you can create with your salvaged greenery...