BOSTON (CBS) – There are 11 shopping days left and you are thinking that Christmas just won’t happen. There is no extra money and you are feeling the pressure. You really don’t want to wear a big “S” on your shirt for Scrooge. So what can you do?


Where can you find cash this week? I went my husband’s loose coin crock. There was over $95 in loose change. More than the last time I raided it. We counted it up ourselves for the stores want almost 9% to count your money for you. If you have kids get them to do it and give them the 9%. This would have been close to $8 ($7.60).

What gift cards do you have that have not been used? You can sell the gift cards or use them to buy gifts. If you have a restaurant card, use it to take a friend out to lunch.

So what have you got to sell? Craig’s List. You can shop there but you can sell there too. What have you got that you have wanted to get rid of?

We sold a toddler bed, a mattress, linens, books and toys that our granddaughter had outgrown, an adult touring bicycle, saddle bags and tools for the bike and a bike stand. $520. We were paid in cash and we priced the items to sell and everything was gone in a few days.

I also took some gold chains to the jeweler’s and sold those for $150. What about those books that you read over the summer. They are still sitting on the coffee table collecting dust. Find a used book store and take them in. They like newer books with little wear.

Cash in your points. Check your frequent flyer miles or your credit card points. What can you get with them? Many of the airlines offer subscriptions to national newspapers and magazines. You can convert your points into gift cards to such places like Panera Bread or Chili’s as well as the Gap or Macy’s or get a prepaid Visa card.

If you have lots of points give a travel gift. Help someone get home for Christmas or offer them a ticket some where in the future.

I know you tell me you don’t cook but baking today is not very hard. You can make brownies. Anyone can make brownies from a mix.

What about some homemade fudge? I found a no-fail recipe from the Marshmallow Fluff jar. It is so easy. It does require a bit of cooking but it truly is a no brainer and is so good.

Buy some Christmas paper plates and cover the brownies or fudge with plastic wrap, add a bow and you have a lovely looking gift. It’s something everyone will love! If you want to get a bit fancier, look for a Christmas dish to put the brownies on. I found some at Home Goods, the Dollar store, Building 19 and Job Lot. Paid about a buck a piece.

You can have a wonderful holiday without spending a lot of money. It’s about the people in our lives and spending time with them.


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