From Jennifer ~ We buy 5 gifts for each stocking and spend no more than $2 on any gift. Most come from Dollar Tree for only $1 each.
From Sylvia ~ Plan a Christmas Carol party. Start now printing up lyrics and have a rehearsal or two. Call around to nursing homes or retirement homes and ask if you can come. Make Basic Cookie dough, shape into rolls and freeze. When you’re ready to make cookies, take it out, defrost it and slice off cookies, bake and you’re done!
Basic Cookie Dough: 1 cup butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Ribbon Cookie Additions You’ll divide half the dough recipe into 3 equal parts and add some of the additions to each part. 1 ounce chocolate, melted 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or pecans green food coloring 1 teaspoon rum flavoring red food coloring Blend butter, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour and mix well. Divide dough in half if you will be using any of the Additions above.
To make Basic Cookies: Shape dough into 2 rolls, then wrap with plastic wrap, label and chill for 2 hours. Freeze.
To use immediately without additions:Slice the rolls into 1-1/8 inch slices, bake at 375*F til done, 5-7 minutes. Touch the cookies with your finger lightly and if there is no imprint left, they’re done. To Use Frozen Dough Without Additions: Defrost dough slightly or completely in the refrigerator. Slice dough into 1/8-inch slices. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the cookie with your finger, if no imprint remains, they’re done.
To make Ribbon Cookies With The Additions Divide half of the dough recipe into 3 parts. To first part, mix in 1 ounce of melted chocolate. To second part, mix in 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or nuts, along with a little green food coloring. To third part, mix in 1 teaspoon rum flavoring and few drops red food color. Roll each part out on a lightly floured surface and shape into rectangles, 8×3 inches. Layer rectangles, placing green dough in center. Gently press the layers all together. Wrap well and then chill at least 2 hours. You can freeze the layered dough on a cookie sheet, then store it in a ziptop bag in the freezer til you’re ready to use it. To use the layered dough immediately, Pre-heat oven to 375°. Cut dough crosswise into 1/8 inch slices. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes or use the finger imprint method to determine if they are done. To use the frozen layered dough, defrost the dough in the refrigerator, and then slice and bake as above. Makes about 4 dozen ribbon cookies.
From Amber ~
I took this from a friend with 6 kids. Each child gets 3 gifts each. No exceptions. We have 2 kids so I can stretch it a bit. We get 3 gifts each and I usually buy a few board games for them to share.
Find all the 2013 Frugal Christmas Blessings HERE