Just as you think you’ve maxed out your Christmas budget and finished all your spending, this one item will make you think twice: wrapping paper. Every year I’m shocked by how expensive it can be to buy wrapping paper – each roll can go for $3 to $5 and multiply that by 3 or 4 rolls and it could be upwards of 10% of your Christmas budget (if your budget is $100 to $200). That’s not even including the tape, bows, ribbons, sticky-name-tags and that special wrapping paper cutter that you buy every year. I like talking percentages, so use these tips to cut back your Christmas budget by 10%!
5 Alternatives to Wrapping Paper
You’re paying for the newspaper already, might as well give it a second go-around! Get creative and use their favorite section for each gift. Save the sports section for dad’s gifts and use the health and wellness or lifestyle section for mom.
2. Magazine Covers
I have a few old Money magazines laying around that could be used as wrapping paper. Be a little stealthy and casually ask if you can toss the magazines – if they say yes, then use the covers to wrap their gift in a memorable way this year!
3. Comic Books
Your brother probably wouldn’t like it if you snatched his favorite or valuable comic books, so stick with the funny papers or pick up a comic book for a few bucks. I’m sure you can get a lot of pages out of one comic book, but if you don’t want to spend a few dollars, you can always use the comic section of the newspaper.
4. Sheet Music
Do you have a musician in the family? Make a few copies of their sheet music and use it for wrapping their gifts. To give it a unique touch, crinkle up the copied sheet music, let it soak in iced tea for a minute or two and set it out to air dry. This gives the paper a vintage look and a classical feel.
5. Construction Paper
If you have kids, pick up a stack of construction paper for a few dollars and have them design their own wrapping paper. Not only will it keep them busy for an afternoon or two, it’ll make each gift a little more special this year.
Have you ever used any of these ideas? How about any other alternatives to wrapping paper?