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Feelin’ Frugal: Gift Bags & Tissue Paper

Welcome to my new regular segment I call “Feelin’ Frugal.”  Whenever a post contains “Feelin’ Frugal” you can expect to read about simple (and sometimes silly) ways that I strive to be frugal.  I am certainly a tight-wad, but I’m also environmentally conscious.  I frequently find that those two mindsets over lap quite a bit.  So whether going green or saving green flips your switch, I hope you’ll find a little inspiration in my “Feelin’ Frugal” posts.  (If not, then you can at least laugh at me a little!)  Now on with the gift bags & tissue paper…

My sister made my day the other week!  I was walking through her garage when I noticed a pile of gift bags mixed in with some garbage bags.  When I asked her about them she said that they were going in the trash, but I could have them if I wanted them.  Ummm…. YES!!!!

I have a love for free gift bags.  It started right after I got married.  I saved all the gift bags from my wedding presents to reuse someday.  I had so many!  I remember thinking to myself, “I’m never going to have to buy a wedding themed gift bag again!”  So far, I was right.  I’ll be married 5 years this September and I haven’t bought a single gift bag!  With every gift I receive, I inspect the bag to see if it is in good condition and then I put it in my gift bag bin.  I have all the bags organized by theme: wedding, baby, Christmas and generic/birthday.

I think it might be pretty common for people to save gift bags that are in good shape, but this is where I might lose you…  I also save the tissue paper.  Again, this started after my wedding.  My mom actually IRONED the tissue paper from my wedding gifts!  It works!  It really does!  I don’t iron all my tissue paper.  I’ve actually only had one big ironing session since then and that was after my baby shower.  I remember my dad thinking it was such a waste of time for my mom to be saving all my tissue paper for me.  Perhaps it isn’t worth your time, but I think it is worth mine!

Tissue paper does not cost much at all, but the convenience of having it on hand is worth something to me.  I never have to run out to the store before a birthday party to get the right bag and tissue paper.  I have it all ready and I didn’t have to pay anything for it!

I also keep bows and ribbon.  Honestly, that makes so much sense to me that it just makes me cringe when I see people toss them along with the wrapping paper.

So, if we are on gift giving terms someday you just might get back the same bag that you gave me!  Ironically, in the bunch of bags that my sister gave me, there was one little white bag that she told me I had given her.  That little white bag was given to me at my wedding.  I passed it on to her and now it is back in my gift bag bin ready to be passed on to someone else!

So why was my sister tossing out these perfectly good gift bags?  She is a gift wrapper.  She loves wrapping up presents in a box for people to open.  She collects all the gift bags that she receives and then sells them at garage sales for about $0.50 each.  I guess these were the rejects that no one wanted, but I’ll sure take them!

Do you reuse gift bags or tissue paper?


  1. I SURE DO!! I have a little chest of drawers—one drawer for ribbon and bows (I make my own) and one drawer for gift bags and tissue paper. I love to wrap gifts as well and I love putting the extra effort into making the package look special. So, I too cringe when someone just tosses aside bows and tissue when I worked so hard to make a great presentation. At Christmas, when all the gifts are open I go around collecting all the ribbon I used on gifts and bring it back home to use again. I think the only person in my extended family that appreciates my wrapping is my 14 year old niece.

  2. I also save them!! I have bags from the wedding, baby shower, and Christmas. I have the tissue paper from the shower but I don’t do bows. I don’t get a lot of those. It is WAY easier to have it all here.

    1. I had to shake my head when I read that you don’t save your bows. But… then I got to thinking… If your family only gives gifts in bags and you only give gifts in bags then it really isn’t something you would get a lot of or need.

  3. I remember ironing all that tissue for you……..It was endless!!
    And I also remember being happy when I found a piece that had a little tear in it because then you “allowed” me to throw it away!! Did I volunteer to do all that ironing??

    I do not iron tissue paper on a regular basis but when you are in a pinch, it works!!

  4. I have to shake my head and grin. You are such a Mennonite. This from a gal who just organized her gift bag stash the other day.

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