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Wrapping gifts on a budget

How to find affordable, stylish wrapping options for your presents
Saving money on gift wrap
Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 17:33:42-05

Paying for all the gifts to put under the tree is only the start of your holiday expenses. The cost of wrapping paper, gift bags, and tags can add up quickly. Still, there are some great ways to save on wrapping, but still do it in style.

Americans spend an estimated $2.6 million a year on gift wrap, using enough tape to wrap around the world 499 times. That's according to Environment Journal. Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge says those costs can really add up.

"Beautiful gift wrap is pricey."
Trae Bodge

She says it's a good idea to be strategic about your holiday gift wrapping. "If you really love holiday gift wrap with the holiday designs on it, buy that in bulk if you can," says Bodge. That means buying your wrapping paper at a wholesale club like Costco or Sam's Club.

You can also find some savings by thinking outside the box and heading to a craft store. "If you're at all creative and you get white or craft paper you can draw on it," says Bodge. "And then you can jazz it up with a fun gift tag." She recommends the gift tag templates available from HP online.

If you decide to be thrifty and shop at the dollar store for wrapping paper, make sure to check the label. "I have found that at some dollar stores, the yardage can be smaller," Bodge says. "So you think you're getting a great deal, but then you maybe wrap two gifts and you're done."

If you're in a hurry, consider gift bags. They are efficient and will save you time and energy, but most will cost you more than wrapping paper. "If you love gift bags, a dollar store is a great option," says Bodge. Another perk: they are reusable, so make sure you hold onto bags you've been given to wrap your own presents later.