BOSTON (CBS) – If you are beginning to think that Christmas is not going to happen at your house, you are not alone!

Despite the reports that more money than ever was spent this Thanksgiving weekend a recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling revealed that 40% of the respondents do not intend to spend any money on holiday purchases. None. They don’t have it and the future doesn’t look so good either. And many others responded that they would cut spending.

We do want Christmas to happen, but it can be expensive. And you really don’t want to be Scrooge. So what can you do?

There are resources out there that will provide toys and presents for your kids. But you do have to ask. Our local food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, makes sure the kids and the parents have something to put under the tree.

Where can you find some extra cash this week? I went to my husband’s loose coin crock. This year I found just under $60. We counted it up ourselves for the stores want almost 9% to count your money for you. We saved $5.40.

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 as a Christmas treat.

So what have you got to sell? Try Craig’s list. You can shop there for Christmas gifts but you can sell your stuff there also. What have you got that you have wanted to get rid of?

Outgrown toys, clothes, furniture. There is a buyer for most everything. My son once sold all of his slightly used light bulbs after he replaced them with new florescent bulbs. Stuff that you no longer need or use someone else will want. I would suggest pricing the stuff to sell quickly.

Old jewelry can also produce some cash for you. What about those books that you read over the summer? Find a used book store and take them in.

Cash in your frequent flyer miles or your credit card points. What can you get with them? 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 credit card.

What about some homemade fudge? I found a no fail recipe on 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.

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

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 Ocean State Job Lot. Paid about a buck a piece.


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