Sew Sampler Box Giveaway!

Hi Everyone! I have a giveaway for you today. So here’s the story behind this… I went up to the post office to get the mail on Monday and the post office clerk handed me TWO Sew Sampler Boxes! “TWO!” I said. “Yup,” she said. “Uh-oh,” I said.
So I came back home and emailed Fat Quarter Shop that I somehow had two boxes (both addressed to me) when I had only ordered and paid for one. “What Should I do?” I asked. “Would you like me to host a giveaway on my blog?” They wrote back and said, “Tis the season of giving so yes, please host a giveaway.”
Wasn’t that nice?! So the postage for shipping this to you will be on me but the box is courtesy of Fat Quarter Shop.
What’s in the box? Well, here is what was in the one I opened.
The Sew Sampler Box is currently my only subscription. I find it is the most affordable of all of them and it’s great value! All of this came to me including shipping for about $50 CDN after the exchange. I do highly recommend it if you are looking for a fun monthly gift to yourself. You can sign up here.
Okay, so as usual at this time of year I am feeling stressed out about how to make Christmas happen and still get all the bills paid so please leave me a blog comment telling me your best thrifty tips for saving money during the holidays. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter as it makes it so easy to pick a random winner and there’s no concerns about not having an email address to contact the winner this way. 🙂 This giveaway will close at midnight Mountain Time on December 8th and the winner will be contacted by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm really horrible when it comes to staying under budget at Christmas time, so my advice wouldn't be worth much. I love buying gifts for people! But, I'll be interested in the tips other people post – I can use the help!

  2. I am really bed when it comes to overspending at Christmas! I try to make my gifts go farther by only buying things that are useful – stopped buying cutesy items – I am all for the practical!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Thrifty at Christmas? I tend to think of something "small" the person might really need and can use, instead of something large/more expensive that they might not. Often I will make a covered notebook which is always welcome. I change the kind of notebook inside depending on the person. So hard to shop when things are so expensive.

  4. Well…I've never been great about sticking to a budget when it's Christmas.. so my advice is.. have children prioritize their list
    To Santa, one of the top 5 perhaps he can bring, and then mom and dad and grandparents can handle some of the others! As parents we wanted the appreciation of buying gifts they really wanted!

  5. So far it looks like most of us have trouble staying in "budget" when it comes to Christmas. All I do is try to split my shopping between credit card cut off dates. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. I like the idea of giving an experience rather than, or in addition to, other gifts. Perhaps a massage or day of relaxation for my husband and maybe a picnic or other outing with mom for the kids. Saves money and creates a bonding experience. Definitely a two birds with one stone situation.

  7. Only buy gifts that you are sure people will want! Nothing more wasteful than buying gifts that won't be appreciated just for the sake of buying a gift.

  8. What I do is that I try to sew all my gifts.
    Since sewing is my biggest hobby and surely isn't free I try to use it to make gifts, instead of buying something already ready.
    Also, I usually buy gifts all year round when I see something fit a person I want to make a gift for.
    And since I also love to cook and bake this year for some people I will sew a fabric basket with inside some xmas cookies 🙂 pretty and affordable!

    Thanks for this giveaway 🙂

  9. My tip is… Now is the time to stock up on pantry items. This time of year you won't find consumables any cheaper. Have a great weekend. Thank you for the inspiration and a lovely giveaway!

  10. Move countries so people you normally have to do gifts with get put off by the postage cost and then ask if we can amicably forgo presents this year 😉

  11. Nice way for Fat Quarter Shop to deal with their boo boo! Thanks for hosting this giveaway Anita. I don't really have any tips so I'm interested to see what other suggest.

  12. Making lists and making gifts….I really don't like crowds so shopping for me is get in get out with what I had on my list…and as long as I start soon enough, shopping for and making special things is fun,,, *note* I don't think I started soon enough this year LOL *wink*!!

  13. This is tricky, my family is huge so we had to start buying just for the kids a few years back because after all Christmas is for the kids. I try to stick to a list and a budgeted amount per gift and I take advantage of all the coupons. Good luck and happy holidays.

  14. All year long I keep an eye out for possible gifts on sale, that way I spread the costs and I'm just left with the last-minute gifts for the people it's hard to find a present for

  15. my husband and I use the envelope system. So each paycheck a certain amount goes into the "Christmas" envelope. So when the beginning of Dec. comes along, most of the time, I am able to stay on budget. I still use coupons and look at sales.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  16. So, when things were really tight, I would make out gift certificates…for the kids, good for one free lunch with Mom at a location to be determined; for hubby, free access to the TV for the weekend with no complaints; for Mom and Day, my time to help with anything or to go somewhere with them. For coworkers, I would bake something or make jelly.

  17. I find Christmas very stressful because of the expense so I try to take advantage of sales, and I also make quilted gifts, which I personally think are more heartfelt and thoughtful.

  18. I try and make as much as possible (for those that I know will appreciate it) and try to only use things from my stash where possible. This year I've managed 6 drawstring bags for kids, 3 totes, a cushion, a project bag and a quilt so far! X

  19. I try to make as many gifts as possible. If I can't make something I try to give a gift that I'm sure will be used and loved. Thanks for the opportunity to win the box. I've always wanted to try one.

    Alice G.

    PS: Have a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year

  20. I buy all my wrapping paper and cards in the January sales as they are really cheap then. I also start present buying early to spread out the cost and have time tools for bargains. Thank you for an amazing giveaway. x

  21. I've tried something new this year to help budget for Christmas – each paycheck since January I bought a $25 or $50 Gift Card to tuck away for December. I purchased cards for the grocery store, liquor store, fabric and craft stores (to buy extra supplies for handmade gifts) as well as the chain stores that we inevitably end up in. I also tucked away cash if I didn't see a card that month that I wanted to buy. I starting December relaxed because my stores have now been limited that I will shop in, so fewer impulse buys!

  22. I do a lot of Christmas shopping in the new year for next Christmas, especially gift wrap, ribbon and cards. I make a lot of my gifts and I never shop for supplies unless they are on sale.
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  23. I have been known to make my own wrapping paper with a roll of brown paper and stamps. Once when the children were younger, we even tried making stamps with potatoes by cutting simple tree shapes and round bauble shapes. It was a lot of fun actually and quite a successful craft with the kids too!

  24. I'm sorta a grinch, I guess, but my best budget tip is that I keep things simple. Of course, my oldest is only 7… But, my strategy is that Santa brings them a moderate sized gift that appeals to their interests ($50 and under), and then he brings clothes, everyone gets a book, and maybe up to 2 smaller gifts ($15 and under). It keeps each person about $150 and under, sometimes close to just $100, and it also keeps Christmas from getting out of hand! I also do most of my shopping on Amazon, and I try to get my decisions made early enough that I can shop deals when I see them. Merry Christmas!

  25. I make a lot of my holiday gifts and buy my fabric when it's on sale. I make potholders and pair with mugs and my spice tea mixture. I make fleece blankets for gifts and buy my fleece when it goes on sale (like 70% off at JoAnn's). I make a mountain of pillowcases for gifts and buy all of my fabric on sale.

    Also I shop after Christmas sales for great buys (non-perishable) for the next year. You get great stuff up to 80% off. There are so many ways to save money during holiday shopping but not so much if you start shopping at the last minute.

    I start my holiday sewing in June/July so I am not rushed nor stressed during holiday time. Buying movies on sale at like Best Buy paired with some microwave popcorn bags and perhaps a nice bottle of wine from World Market or Sparkling Grape juice (for non-drinkers) all put in a nice container makes great gifts for males. Be sure to set a budget for your holiday spending in advance and stick to it.

    Have a stress-less holiday season.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  26. Make a list a stick to it and wrap the person's gift as soon as you're done making or purchasing it so you're not as tempted to just add one more little thing to it!

  27. We stopped giving gifts to the adults. It was hard at first but it helps the budget and cuts down on all the STUFF we get. I have 4 kids. A huge time saver is that the gifts Santa brought were not gift wrapped. All the stories showed toys, etc in Santa's unwrapped. I made a nice display of gifts for each child. No frantic unwrapping and jumble of paper. The kids are adults now and I wrap the gifts but the still talk nostalgically about their wonder if seeing their stack of stuff without paper. It worked for us!

  28. My family is pretty small – no kids, no partner, so I just shop for my two sisters, a brother in law, and my parents – but I typically start shopping around August. I suspect I spend more in the long run because a little here and a little there means you don't always add up totals like you would if you did it all at once. Maybe the solution is to start putting away money in August and then only spend exactly what I've got in the gift fund by the time November/December rolls around. Because I live with one of my sisters, the two of us have started pooling money for gifts for our parents, which means we usually can get something bigger that they'll like or need more without either of us having to lay out as much money.

  29. I have to ship all my gifts internationally, so keeping the size and weight down is of the utmost priority. I make or select small, lightweight items while making sure it is something the recipient will treasure. It's easier than you think!

  30. I like to make little gift baskets for each person of things they are interested in. For example a basket with a favorite movie, popcorn, and a cute popcorn holder.

  31. I like to buy from artisans but lately I make donations in the name of family for Christmas. Easy to stick to a budget, community organizations benefit and a tax receipt.

  32. I made a pact with my siblings that we would start to only get the kids gifts. We were too old and bought ourselves what we wanted anyway. No need to exchange gift cards. It helps with the costs this time of year too.

  33. It is always a bit tricky. My 3 always wanted to get each other gifts. That was just too hard so we would draw names. Then they still got the excitement of a gift but was way easier. Sometimes we did handmade only but when they were really young we limited it to a "dollar store" treasure. They are all grown and still draw names.

  34. I come from a large family of 11 kids. I'm the eighth. We made a decision as a family not to exchange gifts with each other and to only buy gifts for our own children. We all get a gift for our parents. We have a big get together at Christmas including a meal we all share in preparing. We sing together, play games and eat way too much food. I usually try to make a gift for my parents. They live handmade gifts. The focus is then taken away from gifts and brought back to the real meaning of Christmas and the importance of family. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  35. For extended family gifts, rather than buying gifts, we do a white elephant exchange. Everybody finds something in their closet or cupboards (the tackier, the better)and wraps it up. People take turns either picking a gift from the pile, or opting to take away a gift that someone else has already picked. We have lots of fun and laughs.

  36. I buy or make gifts all year and stash them away for Christmas or birthdays. I sometimes find that special something in a thrift store or an antique shop.

  37. If you have a large family and get everyone on board, go with drawing names to exchange gifts with only one person rather than with everyone! Also, handmade gifts made from your fabric stash are always wonderful.

  38. If your family is large draw names and set a price limit. Otherwise it's too expensive. If it's small you can do things like a basket with muffins and honey-butter. A movie basket with popcorn. A game basket with chips for one family gift. A girlfriend can get a mug with cocoa or tea. I love little baskets with small favorites.

  39. Anyone local gets cheesecake from me at Xmas. I give them to neighbours and coworkers and when I'm invited to someone's house. Cheesecake is my specialty and I can make anywhere from 25 to 50 cheesecakes in December. My friends even give me "suggestions" on flavours. I always buy the ingredients on sale to make them more affordable. My sibling live in a different province so I send gift cards to save on postage and stick to a budget, I Ike GC to restaurants and movies so that I'm giving an experience instead of things. We all have enough things.

  40. Just last week I signed up to cashrewards (I'm in Australia, but I know there are similar websites in the U.K.), you get cash back and vouchers for online shopping. We had a great deal for signing up as new customers and getting groceries delivered, we saved $40! I loved it! I would recommend googling any vouchers or cash back websites before buying online!!! I'd love to win this giveaway:) emilyste7ens at gmail dot com

  41. One way is to pick up gifts at sales as you go through the year and hold onto them until Christmas. You can make presents from your stash. With my current budget, I buy friends and family something nice for their birthday and give out handmade ornaments for Christmas.

  42. My favorite way to save during the holidays is to 1. Buy things during the year that are on sale, and 2. Price match with more than one store!

  43. Oh Boy! The only way I found to save and be thrifty is to have the kids grown up! The toy factor is way down when that happens! Then there is always the buy on sale! I've never been able to buy throughout the year, but I'm sure that would save money and bring the stress level down!

  44. I've tried other monthly subscription boxes, but not a sewing one. But my favorite way to save…I have a wish book and I put things in it I want…then when I have the extra money I go back and look and half the time I no longer want it!

  45. Recycle/upcycle denim, it makes great totes,bags, project planner covers,book covers, rollups. Add your fabric stash as trim, drawstrings if needed. One's fabric stash is quite personalized and I always find something unique to that person.
    Thank you for sharing your Sew Sampler box w/us. Merry Christmas to you and thank you for Blogging. I always find inspiration on your blog.


  46. Most of the adults in my family and my husband's have everything we need and most of what we want so we have decided to skip most of the gifts and instead focus on spending time together, perhaps over a nice meal. There are some great deals on groceries this time of year!

  47. With the competetion among stores this year I'm finding great sales along with free shipping deals. Both Target and Best Buy have free shipping till Christmas. I've heard Dec 16 is free shipping day.

  48. I review a lot of the savings blogs and check Amazon for sales and good prices before I purchase anything. It's amazing what bargains are out there if you take the time to research.

  49. I don't have a great tip, except that I shop all year. I tend to go overboard though. My husband showed me a list to try with my kids (next year!(: 1 thing they need, 1 thing they want, 1 thing they wear, 1 thing they read. I also try to remember that I don't have to get something for everyone right now. There are people that help us a lot like teachers, postal workers etc that I want to thank but they tend to get so much this time of year anyway that it's ok if I put off that gift until January or February….or some other time of year.

  50. I am with a lot of the commenters. Most of us have enough "stuff". As for the kids, most of them have lots of stuff too! Limiting each child to $100-150 seems plenty to me — when I hear people talking about spending a thousand dollars on each child, I cringe! Talk about overkill.

  51. My parents don't give Mum's mum and dad presents anymore, they always ended up just swapping money, so it was kind of pointless. I'd also say, start with a list of presents you want to get for people, and then spend a little time hunting down the best price, it's surprising how much difference there can be on exactly the same thing.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

  52. I try to make handmade gifts, or put a limit on our spending per person! Or doing a gift exchange for family (eg, drawing one person's name to buy for, rather than buying for everyone) helps too!

  53. I think the best tip is to find a good hiding spot and shop all year. Usually by the time November rolls around I am just about done and usually find I have more than I though I did!

  54. To help our Holiday finances. We set up a Christmas envelope and save money all year long. A little goes a long way. Then by December we have more than enough to enjoy the holidays without causing stress or debt. This is our 4th year following this plan and it works wonderfully.

  55. My tip is one I don't follow but vow to do better at next year — work the Black Friday sales! I'm never organized enough to know what I want, but next year! I look forward to reading all these comments 🙂

  56. Christmas this year is REALLY tight so I'm making all my gifts to everyone. Out of fabric mostly (of course!). Table toppers, quilts for immediate family, cookies and candies packaged in a cute way for snyone i know with a sweet tooth, etc. As for my kids, i know theyll be disappointed without toys under the tree so i mostly got stuff from the dollar store (which they seem to like better than expensive toys anyways most of the time) and lots of craft supplies are cheap there as well. They will also each get a "coupon" to go buy toys on boxing day. BEST TIP EVER – Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada marks down all their toys by upwards of 75% on Christmas day so i save up all my Shoppers Optimum points throughout the year and use them to get tons of stuff there once its marked down. Last year i had $120 worth of points and managed to buy almost $400 worth of toys there on sale with just my $120 worth of points. Them i snuck them home and said "oh look kids – Santa dropped a big bag of toys on the roof by accident!

    You need to be creative when you are living in this economy!!

  57. I bake cookies and can apple butter to give as gifts to friends, teachers, etc. I also stopped buying candy and little treats for the Advent calendar, and now it's just an idea for something nice to do for someone each day. We rarely travel this time of year, so Christmas dinner is a potluck with friends. Some years when things are really tight we only buy a really tiny tree and put it on a tabletop, and put decorations and ornaments all over the house. I have never gotten the kids more than one or two gifts–we mostly do stocking stuffers and they are used to it because it's all I ever did so they don't come into the holiday expecting a ton.

  58. Since I'm on a budget of Social Security I have found it if I start my little things starting in September and then making things that I can make Christmas good for all of them

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