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Easy Inexpensive Holiday Decorations

How to Save on Seasonal Items

Nine tips to keep your wallet (and your holidays) happy. 

By Liz Welch and Ingela Ratledge

Mail flat rate for heavier items. Choose this two- to three-day shipping option (for domestic destinations) from the U.S. Postal Service and pay the same amount regardless of box weight. For example, sending an 11-by-8½-by-5½-inch box from New York to California costs $11.35, whether it weighs 20 pounds or 70.


Send out holiday postcards. If you choose the standard 4¼-by-6-inch size, you’ll save 13 cents a card (using a 32-cent stamp instead of a 45-cent one).


Say so long to expensive wrapping paper. Cover your gifts with butcher paper (about $16 for 500 feet) instead of “designer” paper (about $30 for 30 feet).


 Stock up on wine by the case to present as hostess gifts. Most retailers offer a 10 percent discount on larger orders; just ask the next time you’re at a wine shop. Some will even let you mix different brands in one box.


Top gifts with yarn. Pass on the $10-a-yard ribbon options and score a huge bundle of yarn―more than 70 yards―for just $2 to $6.


Stick with serving a signature punch or cocktail. Stocking a full bar can be quite costly―around $265 for wine, beer, liquors, and mixers to serve 25 guests.


Ditch disposable stemware. It may seem cheap (about $10 for 10 Champagne flutes), but the price of plastic can really add up, since you’ll have to buy it for each party. Instead, visit a restaurant-supply store (visit to locate the nearest one). You’ll find reusable glass stemware for around $1 a glass.


Search People who have just moved often give away large boxes (perfect for a dollhouse or a tricycle) through the site.

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