Have yourself a merry thrifty holiday!

November 5, 2011

50 Days & 50 Ways to have a Merry Recycled Holiday from HowToConsign.comHere at 50 Days & 50 Ways to have a merry recycled holiday, we believe that you can have a festive, generous, loving and memorable holiday season without compromising your budget and your beliefs.

50 Days & 50 Ways isn’t about skimping; it’s about being thoughtful and considerate of not creating waste and of creating an atmosphere of respect for the occasion and your loved ones. Read more about who we are.

Follow us every day until December 25 ( sign up on the left for posts delivered into your email) and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

After all, it’s the thought that counts… not the waste.


The day after Christmas

December 26, 2011

So you got a new phone or camera or other electronic goodie from Santa, and you need to

pass the old one on.

Do it now.

Pass it on: recycle, resell, rejoice!Don’t put your old gadget away until it’s outmoded and obsolete. Let someone else get the joy of using it. (Same applies to wardrobe items, you fashionista you! It only gets less desirable in your closet. Even kids’ stuff and home decor items become dated faster than you think. Pass it on now!)

Here’s some ideas:

Pass it on. A friend, neighbor, neighbor’s kid? Relative or co-worker? Try posting a note at work or your community center, or visit freecycle.org if no one comes to mind. My old kayak is now part of the Girl Scouts’ fleet.

Donate it. Of course, the obvious choice is your favorite non-profit charity’s thrift store, where they turn donated goods into support for their cause. But don’t overlook other charities. Would a senior living center or elementary school be able to use your old computer? Verizon offers used phones to domestic violence victims. Got a new recliner? The old one can be turned into cash for your church’s food pantry, turned into job training via Goodwill’s stores, or a bed and warm meals when the Salvation Army sells it.

Resell it. If there’s not a specialty-electronic resale shop in your area, try an online buyer like Gazelle , NextWorth or My Bone Yard. Sell the jeans that have been supplanted by new ones to a buy-outright shop, or consign last year’s favorite toys to make room for the new favorites.

Recycle it. Dispose of items thoughtfully. If you’re unsure how to trash something, call your local government. More than likely, they have a web site or brochure telling you how to do your part to keep the world green and safe.

Would you like to see how your neighborhood professional resaler decides where to donate unsaleable goods? Take a peek behind the scenes at TGtbT.com’s Pass it On page.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011

May your day be merry and bright…

and may all your Christmases be green.

Keep the light in Christmas from HowToConsign.com

With best wishes for this season and a wonderful New Year from Kate Holmes

web host of HowToConsign.com / Turn your Cluttered Closets into Cash
TGtbT.com / Too Good to be Threw, The Premiere Site for Professional Resalers
and AuntieKate.wordpress.com / The Resale Shopkeeper’s Blog

Stop. DO NOT go to the mall today.

December 24, 2011

If you’re seeing RED over Holiday Overindulgence and the damage it’s doing to your budget, do not, I repeat do NOT venture anywhere near a mall or a Big Box today.

Okay, you need a few more little gifts. Well, go GREEN.

Do it the eco-way… which is also the loving-friend/parent/child/aunt way.

Figure out what the recipient of your present-giving truly wants. An afternoon at the museum with you? Your undivided attention on a walk in the woods? Your famous BeansNWeenies on demand some gloomy day in January?


Now write a nice note promising same, and buzz on over to a consignment, resale, or thrift shop to pick up an appropriate container for your note (an Oriental jar? teapot? candy dish? wallet? basket? casserole dish?), and you’ve gone green and given that person just what he or she wants… something only you can give!




Wrapping it up in style

December 23, 2011

Need some gift-wrap ideas fast?

These suggestions from Penny’s Day Book are perfect. And earth-friendly. And they probably do not require you to make a trip to the Big-Box drug store at 11pm in your slippers.

The photo is from earth911.com.

Show them some love… quick as Santa sliding down the chimney!

December 22, 2011

Family feeling neglected, ’cause you’re busy with holiday tasks? Here’s a warm cuddly dessert that they’ll think you spent hours on! This recipe practically makes itself using a mixture of fresh and dried fruits (no peeling, less chopping) and Continue reading

Pretty paper & tags that don’t cost the earth.

December 21, 2011

091002wrapOkay, so you’re not like my husband who wraps gifts in the comics section of the paper.

You want pretty. You want “real” gift tags.

But they cost the earth. Sure, okay, you can get them at the dollar store. But how much Continue reading

Happy Hanukkah!

December 20, 2011

Soft candlelight, donuts, potato pancakes and chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Not to mention the Western custom of 8, yes EIGHT, days of presents. Pretty fun holiday. So, Happy Hanukkah to all…

Hanukkah is the most widely celebrated American Jewish holiday, possibly because it is a fun, child-centered occasion. It is celebrated with excellent food, an exchange of gifts, and the lighting of beautiful menorahs (special Hanukkah candelabras) filled with brightly colored candles. Unlike some of the other Jewish holidays, which require intense spiritual reflection or elaborate preparation, it is easy to celebrate.

Many Jewish holidays commemorate events invested with historical and religious meaning, and Hanukkah is no exception. Hanukkah means “rededication,” and it commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by foreign forces. The celebration also reaffirms the continuing struggle to live by God’s commandments and to lead Jewish lives.

When all is said and done, perhaps the most important message of Hanukkah may be found in the name of the holiday itself: Dedication. When Jews have dedicated themselves, through faith and action, to the pursuit of high religious and human ideals, Judaism has been strong. That imperative, to strengthen our religion and our people, remains an important challenge at this season, in every generation. —Jewish Outreach Institute

The Wikipedia entry on Hanukkah.  Other holidays around this time include Kwanzaa. Then there’s Festivus, birthed by a defunct TV show. And our Brit-descendent friends get to have Boxing Day as well.  Then there’s Three Kings Day, St. Lucia Day, Winter Solstice, getting your toenails done for New Year’s Eve… well, seems like December is the time to celebrate!

So maybe saying “Happy Holidays” is appropriate…




What to get for Dad or Grandpa?

December 19, 2011

Fathers are the hardest people to find gifts for, aren’t they? They either have everything already, or what they want is so specialized that you dare not pick it out yourself. And it seems downright weird to give your father a gift card, doesn’t it?

Here’s my go-to solution. My Continue reading

Give a holiday gift to your town.

December 18, 2011

Your holidays can be special and frugal… and help your community be stronger.

Celebrate your town: shop local!Did you realize that you can help your town recover from challenging economic times? Preserve and protect your town by shopping for the holidays locally. What better gift to give the community where you and your family live, than by supporting it with your shopping dollars?

What does this involve? Buying from your neighbors. The locally-owned pet-supply store you rely upon for the unusual things or the special order you need: shop his store, too, for the standard stuff that you might otherwise pick up at a Big Box store. After all, Gertie the Gerbil would miss her little maple-flavored treats if your neighbor’s store couldn’t survive.

The greengrocer, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your area, or the farmer’s market. The little dance-studio shop for your daughter’s tutus. Your peer-owned consignment shop. The local charity’s thrift store. The oil-change joint run by your friend’s uncle. All economics are local. In other words:

Shop Locally to Keep your Wallet Local.

Yes, sometimes (but not as often as you think) you may pay a little extra because Amy Flo’s Floral Shop pays more for its holly wreaths than MallMart does. That’s a fact of life. But think of it this way: the extra 3 or 7% you spend at Amy Flo’s will keep your town viable economically. Consider it an investment in Main Street.

And what of us who don’t live in the postcard-perfect little town…or whose little town died a shopping death long ago, thanks to huge retailers who call your town Store #3482? Take the time to search out locally-owned enterprises. Shop the Christmas-tree farm out on the national road, or do your gift-buying in the museum shop or the Friends of the Library sale or a church’s holiday bazaar. And while you’re shopping locally, you’re also saving time and gas, meeting your neighbors, making contacts, and supporting your neighbors. And imagine the memories you’re making for your children (and yourself): That’s where we always buy our tree, from Mr. Overalls… the lady at the meat market always gave us a candy cane…  As we say over at HowToConsign.com, a Merry Thrifty Christmas to all!

It’s kinda “save the earth” as your Christmas gift to all…one neighborhood at a time.

A version of this post, addressed to resale shopkeepers, originally appeared in Auntie Kate the Blog.

The perfect gift for someone who thinks used is icky.

December 17, 2011

Got a person on your gift list who would be HORRIFIED at the thought of a present from a consignment, resale, or thrift shop? Well, we have the perfect Continue reading