Let’s get this out of the way right now: I am not one of those people who carefully opens a gift so that I can fold and save the Christmas wrapping paper. One of my aunts used to do that, and it was really annoying to watch her open a gift. It took forever because she spent so much time on the paper. I think she would have been happier receiving a roll of gift wrap every Christmas.
There are a few reasons I don’t save gift wrap:
- It probably won’t fit another gift,
- It tears easily, so it’s hard to safely store
- It’s cheap and easy to recycle.
However, I do have a few ways to save money on gift wrap and gift bags without going to the effort of saving paper from opened gifts. I do save gift bags, as does everyone I know. They can be reused for years without ever looking worn out.
Christmas Wrapping Paper Tips
- Buy a wrapping kit at Costco, Target, or another similar store either early in the Christmas season or at the very end of the season to save for the following year. Every few years, I buy a new kit at Costco. It comes with 4-6 large rolls of paper, ribbons, bows, and little doodads to add to the top of the gift. To save money on year-round wrapping paper, I look for a kit with one roll that isn’t overly Christmasy. For example, my kit came with a purple roll that I use for gifts the rest of the year.
- Buy gift bag kits. This year, I needed new gift bags because I gave more than I received back last year, and found a 23-bag package for $15.89. I’ve seen plain gift bag packs at other stores for a similar price, but the bags I chose are super-fancy. If I bought these bags separately, they would cost at least $5 each. I paid 69 cents per bag, plus tax.
- Buy ribbons and bows in bulk. You can use the shiny ribbon that comes on large rolls, or you can use fancy fabric ribbon. Either visit one of the large discount stores early in the season, or watch for a sale on fancy ribbon at a craft store. Buy several rolls that you can use for several years. You’ll usually find bulk boxes of bows at the same place you buy the paper and bags. Like gift bags, they can be used several times before becoming squashed into oblivion. I also reuse fancy fabric ribbons because they’re durable. Metallic and paper ribbon are too flimsy to use again. Any doodads that come on your gifts can also be saved for reuse later.
- Buy both paper and sticky tags. I punch a hole in the paper tags and tie them to the gift bags so I don’t ruin the bags. I use sticky tags on gift wrap because paper tags fall off too easily. I don’t think I’ve bought new tags for at least five years because the packages are so large.
Once all my gift wrap purchases are added up, I probably spend about $6 a year on gift wrap because I buy in bulk. If you want to save more on Christmas wrapping paper, buy plain white or brown butcher block paper and decorate it with rubber stamps, stickers, or pretty ribbon. Personally, I like the brightly colored paper.