When we’re budgeting for Christmas, sometimes we forget to take into account the costs of wrapping. It may seem like a small cost, but like any small cost it can add up quickly.

Welcome back to Frugal Festivities: 25 Days of Christmas Cheer on a Budget.  Today I’m going to share my top six tips for saving money on wrapping.

But first I want to remind you that in January I’m hosting the Frugal Fresh Start Challenge!  Every weekday in January we’ll be tackling a new way to be more frugal so you can reach your financial goals.  When you sign up for the challenge you’ll get the workbook emailed to you for free!

Okay, now let’s talk about saving money on Christmas wrapping. I’m sharing my favorite tips here, but I would love to hear your great ideas in the comments.


What’s black and white and read all over? There are a whole slew of answers for that, but the one I’m looking for is the newspaper! Not everyone gets the newspaper these days, but I bet you can find some newsprint pretty easily. Use some red ribbon or a red tag on a package wrapped in newsprint and it will look classy and festive! This is especially great for those big packages that are wrapping paper hogs!

Make Your Own

A couple of years ago someone gave us big rolls of paper. It’s actually newsprint that’s not printed on. They got quite a few rolls of it for a project and shared the leftovers. Give the kids some festive colors of paint and they will turn huge sheets of paper into lovely wrapping paper. And it’s got a personal touch.


Wrapping paper is one of my favorite things to stock up on after Christmas when it’s 75% off. If you buy your wrapping paper after the season every year, then you’ll never have to pay full price for it! Wrapping paper is super easy to store in an attic, garage, closet, or under a bed. I am always quick to grab the clearance wrapping paper that isn’t overly seasonal so it can double as birthday, wedding, or baby shower wrapping.

Check the Thrift Store

I have found lots of great wrapping paper at thrift stores, even in the Christmas season when you would think it would all be gone. It’s usually priced at $.50- $1 per roll and I’ve found some pretty big rolls!
A sub-tip here would be to check thrift stores and yard sales in the off season too. Like I mentioned earlier, wrapping paper is easy to store.

Make Reusable Fabric Gift Bags

You can find both sewable and no-sew versions online. These are great when you’re giving gifts within your immediate family, you can just collect them up and use them for next year. There’s no waste and no future purchase necessary. My kids do a less fancy version of this for family birthdays sometimes. They’ll sometimes just wrap presents for the siblings in in pillowcases.

Be a Smart Shopper

If you need to buy wrapping paper this year, be sure to BE SMART ABOUT IT. The rolls of paper may look the equal, but there are lots of rolls of paper that have very little actual paper on them, especially in multi-packs with a variety of prints. Look at the number of square feet on the roll and the price so you can figure out the price per square foot.

If math wasn’t your forte, you’ll take the price and divide it by the number of square feet on the roll. The answer will be the price per square foot. Compare the price per square foot of several rolls. It’s likely (but not definite) that the larger rolls will be cheaper.

What about ribbons and tags and bows? If they’re necessary for your wrapping style, you can use many of these same tips for ribbons, tags, and bows. If you’re not overly concerned with aesthetics, the easiest thing to do is just write right on the gift with a sharpie! I don’t think anyone will complain. In fact, in our family at least for the gifts from mom and dad, we use a different wrapping paper for each child, so a tag or writing isn’t even necessary.

With these 6 tips you should be able to reduce what you spend on Christmas wrapping. I would love to hear your best tips in the comments!


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