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Guest Post: Thrifty Evergreens

Guest Post by Monica from The Homespun Heart

Every year, I enjoy getting a load of
free clippings from our local Lowe's Home Improvement store. We
always buy our tree at Lowe's and I'm happy to give them my business
when the tree is a good value and I get all the free clippings I
want! If you don't have a Lowe's nearby, check with any local place
where Christmas trees are sold to see if you might be able to pick up some of the extra tree clippings for free.

I recommend that you head to Lowes at a busy time so you are sure
there will be lots of clippings! Beginning right after Thanksgiving,
weekends are a perfect time to stop by and pick up some free greens. I've found it's helpful to stop at the tree trimming
spot on our way in and say we'd like a load of clippings and then
go pick out our tree as I've had employees start a pile for me and have
it ready when I come out.

Remember that each customer is entitled to their own tree trimmings so don't take someone else's until you are sure they don't want it. And also, be willing to share; you'd be
amazed how far you can stretch a small pile of clippings! 

The following projects I've made from our free evergreen clippings are extremely versatile
and very inexpensive. I hope you will find one or two that you'll
enjoy using to decorate your home this year.The only other supplies you need are
completely up to you and your taste. You might use fabric scraps or ribbon, twine,
pine cones, interesting antiques in holiday colors, or whatever else suits
your family!

Gather some limbs together and wire to a
coat hanger. Glue on pine cones and wire on an item of visual and color
interest–in this case, a red lantern! Add a fabric bow and you have
a great look on your door for free:

Misc 113

You could decorate your mailbox:

Misc 115

Or, float evergreens in a jar with cranberries:

Dec 2005 025

[A note on the cranberries: you can
get these anytime they are on sale and just pop the entire bag in
your freezer. I usually assemble my jars on Christmas Eve and enjoy
them for a few days. You can either place the jars in your fridge
to extend the life of the berries or dry the berries off and refreeze
them for next year! I have made a bag of berries last for two or
three years by doing this!]

Or, decorate a rocking chair or porch swing:

Misc 112

Here are just a few more ideas:

::Put extra greens in a cute pail or bucket on your porch or hearth.

::Tie greens onto a gift bag.

::Use evergreens inside on a windowsill, on top of a cabinet or over a mirror. I've even hung them in the windows!

::Tie a few greens onto your little one's stroller or wagon and make your winter walks more festive!

::Make place card using the extra greens. See details here.

::Use the extra greens as a filler in mailing a box! Go here for more details.

is just the beginning! There are so many fun ways to use these free and
beautiful branches! Do you decorate with greens? What is your favorite
way to bring this inexpensive decoration into your decorating?

Monica enjoys blogging about the simple pleasures of faith, family, and home over at The Homespun Heart.

Note from Crystal: Be sure to check out Monica's blog for much more fun and frugal Christmas inspiration! Also, one of my other favorite bloggers, Catherine, has shared how she used her free tree trimmings to decorate her home for Chrstmas this year here and here.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Natalie says:

    Great ideas! I had the husband go to a lot last year and get free clippings for us, it was great! I loved having them around the house — we totally save money by reusing our fake tree, but I like the smell of the pine clippings!

  • Very cute! You have inspired me to get over to Lowe’s… Thanks for the ideas!

    Frugal Family Fun Blog
    Good times on a budget!

  • Mary Ann says:

    I find that by the time we trim off the bottom branches of our tree to get it in the tree stand, there is a nice pile of trimmings to use.

    I add holly, ivy and pine cones from our yard and neighborhood to make beautiful bouquets and arrangements. Totally free and naturally beautiful!

  • Trixie says:

    What terrific ideas for using what many people would throw away! I love wall hanging with the little lantern. So old fashioned country Christmas looking.

    Take Care,


  • jan says:

    How do you keep needles from getting all over the house- that would drive me nuts!

  • Tosha says:

    The berries and greens in a jar look so pretty! I think I will have to do that one:)

  • Robyn says:

    I’m a Christmas decorating FREAK (we have 6-8 trees each year, and a 15-ft high walk-through wreath on our front porch), and I have found that clippings PLUS fake stuff is the way to go! We use cheapie fake evergreen garland to wrap around the stair rail (the kind with bendable wire branches), and then weave in the real thing, using the wire branches to wrap around and hold it in. The fake stuff just becomes background filler, and all you see is the real greenery. We mist it daily to keep it nice and fresh, and always have the humidifier running, for us AND the decor. Works great!

  • Those are all such awesome ideas!! I can’t wait until we go tree shopping so I can gather up some trimmings!

  • Lisa says:

    When my children were in elementary school I remember getting free greens and stuffing them into the car. I could see my children’s faces peeking out between the branches. They still laugh about that day.

  • Jolie says:

    Thanks! Those were very attractive and good ideas!

  • Daina says:

    Thank for posting this! I just got some free greenery from a neighbor’s brush pile the other day and was really excited by all that I could do with it. Now I see this post and there are so many great ideas for next year! I really like the jar with cranberries!

  • Kari says:

    Last night when were making a trip to target to get some free batteries and a few other things i had free coupons for at Target I told my husband about this post. He ran into Lowes and they employee in the garden dept. said to just drive around the side of the store and look in their silver yard debris bin and to take whatever trimmings we wanted. It was a slow weekday night, but we still happened to get lucky and found some great clippings.

  • Kari says:

    Last night when were making a trip to target to get some free batteries and a few other things i had free coupons for at Target I told my husband about this post. He ran into Lowes and they employee in the garden dept. said to just drive around the side of the store and look in their silver yard debris bin and to take whatever trimmings we wanted. It was a slow weekday night, but we still happened to get lucky and found some great clippings.

  • Love the mailbox idea!!

    I have done this for years. I spread the greenery down the center of my dining room table and decorate with fresh apples and oranges. It looks just gorgeous.

  • Tracy says:

    I love your ideas, just wish I knew them before we threw away our scrap pieces of tree…. Now I know for next year – thanks!!!!! and Merry Christmas!

  • Brande Issler says:

    I love this website. I check it several times a day just to see new info. Thank You

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  • Sandra G. says:

    Great reading, I’m glad I found you. Thanks for all the info!

  • Kim says:

    Merry Christmas

  • chicagomom says:

    Really enjoy your blog. I am a big Walgreens shopper now and it is super fun. Would love to win a gift card for my dad! Take care and get some sleep!

  • I would give this to my husband. He’s bust his butt off fixing our “now” home and getting us a new home where we feel we belong. Its been a long hard road and its not gonna get any easier. Our new home is original 1967 with no updates. Yikes! This card would help out in more ways that I can list. Did I mention he did all this with our 4 daughters running around asking a billion questions? Yep! I just love this man.

  • linnea Henderson says:

    Thank you for all the time and effort you out into making the rest of our lives easier. Time is as valuable as money! I have been showing my daugher how fun and easy saving money can be and we are having fun!

  • Patti Bevan says:

    You’re an inspiration to me!

  • Diana says:

    Thank you for your post. I enjoy reading it and learning new things.

  • Amy says:

    Love this site.

  • Holly says:

    Love finding good deals and staying ahead. Thanks for all the information. We use the tree trimmings to decorated our railing on the patio and going up the stairs. Just lay it on the railing and tie down with fishing line then wrap with red ribbon around the boughs. It’s beautiful and no one can see the fishing line.

  • Luisa says:

    I only discovered blogs recently, and yours was the first and continues to be the best. What a blessing to find others who think as I do. Keep up the good work!

  • Michelle says:

    Love the site – just found it recently and I love reading the coupon deals and am going to try my hand at the CVS thing soon!

  • Leslie Goins says:

    really enjoy all the information about big savings. What great deals at walgreens and CVS(although they know what they are doing to get you to come back)

  • maryburns says:

    THank you for your time and effort!!! I am learning how to use walgreen deals, we don’t have CVS where I live. You are a blessing!!!!

  • Alfredo T. Palmer says:

    Yay! Home Depot! Thanks for giving us the chance to win $500 at your stores! I could use that up in 5 miuntes or less!

    A Homeschool Dad!

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  • dave says:

    luv your site

  • Michelle Graber says:

    I’m excited to be one of the 17 to soon be chosen for the Home Depot gift card!:) Just wondering if my husband will share with his teen age boys!

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