I'm a practical and thrifty person by nature. Here are my "between the holidays" tips that are both economically and socially responsible and will help you get ready for celebrating the New Year:
- If the garbage hasn't been collected yet, it's not too late to re-use that wrapping paper! Run it through the shredder and save it in a big garbage bag for the next time you need to pad a package for shipping.
- Inexpensive holiday dishes are deeply discounted now in grocery stores. You can actually buy the dishes less expensively than a package of paper plates, and you can reuse them. I've been buying a box or two a year and now have enough for all our holiday parties. I just use them thoughout Christmas and New Years and then pack them in the attic until next year. In these days of dishwashers, there's no reason to use throw-away plates. True - they aren't fine china - but they're nicer than paper!
- Instead of buying those one-use plastic champagne glasses, buy inexpensive glass ones. IKEA and many grocery stores sell them for 50 cents a stem! OR -- ask your guests to bring their own glass. As each guest arrives, tie a unique ribbon around the stem (leftover from Christmas, of course), so they can keep track of their glass.
- Craft stores sell holiday plastic cups for kids as cheaply as single use ones. Buy a couple stacks for the kids then store them after the holidays.
- Instead of buying those silly mylar decorations, consider using what you have on hand. Old champagne bottles and corks make great decorations with a little curly ribbon or star wire. Fill a glass bowl with glass tree ornaments. A vase filled with cranberries or a larger container with oranges or lemons is festive. Baby food jars embellished with glitter or ribbon make pretty tea light holders.
- It takes 10 minutes to fix a fresh vegetable tray and it will taste better, look prettier, and cost half of buying it pre-made. Plus you aren't contributing that giant plastic tray to your local landfill
Have a happy and safe New Year's celebration!