8 Creative Ways to Reuse Wrapping Paper

by Stacy Tharp 11. December 2012

Wrapping Paper The 8 crazy nights of Hanukkah have begun, and with it comes 8 nights of presents! Unfortunately, that can also mean 8 nights of wrapping paper going in the garbage. According to Earth911.com, wrapping paper and shopping bags account for about 4 million tons of trash per year in the United States. Since local authorities do not always allow you to throw your used wrapping paper in your recycling bin, you may need to think creatively in order to avoid waste.

To help you out, we’ve come up with 8 creative ways to reuse wrapping paper – one for each night of Hanukkah! (Of course, these tips can also be used after Christmas, birthdays, or any other gift-giving holiday or event.)

1) Used wrapping paper is often too messy and wrinkled to wrap another gift, but you can shred it up and use it as "fluff" in gift bags.

2) Cut up the paper into notepad-sized pieces and use the back for grocery lists and scratch paper.

3) Use it to wrap your fragile holiday decorations as you are putting them away for next year.

4) Decorate your box of holiday supplies with it so you can pick out the box easily next year.

5) Cover your textbooks with it.

6) Create colorful wrapping paper bows. Click here for an easy tutorial.

7) Give it to your kids to make collages, snowflakes or bookmarks.

8) Make a wrapping paper wreath.

Happy holidays and good luck in your wrapping paper endeavors!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

5 Unique Holiday Discounts

How I'm Staying on Top of My Finances (and Not Becomming a Grinch) This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving from 1st Mariner Bank!


New Flacco Fridays Contest: Trivia!

by Stacy Tharp 7. December 2012


***This Contest is Now Closed***


The football season is getting intense, and so are 1st Mariner Bank and Team Flacco's weekly Flacco Fridays Facebook contests! We've had a lot of fun with these contests so far, and we decided to once again keep things interesting by introducing a brand new contest - trivia!

What's the Deal?
  • On each Monday that the contest runs, five multiple choice Joe Flacco trivia questions will be posted to 1st Mariner Bank's Facebook page.
  • Participants must guess the answers to the questions and send 1st Mariner Bank a private direct message on Facebook with their guesses to the five questions.
  • The first person to guess the correct answers to all five questions wins!
When can I enter?
  • The questions will be posted on 1st Mariner Bank's Facebook page on Monday at 10:00 a.m. You may begin submitting your entries then.
  • To qualify, all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on the Thursday of that week. (But remember, the FIRST person with the five correct answers wins, so don't wait too long!)
  • The winner will be announced on 1st Mariner Bank's Facebook page before 5:00 p.m. on Friday of that week.
What can I win?

The first person to correctly answer all five Joe Flacco trivia questions via a direct message to 1st Mariner Bank on Facebook will win a piece of autographed Joe Flacco merchandise!

Click here to read the full terms and conditions.

Tip: If you "like" Joe Flacco's and 1st Mariner Bank's Facebook pages, you will get news feed alerts detailing information about each week's contest over the course of the football season.

Good luck!

5 Unique Holiday Discounts

by Matt Ong 6. December 2012

Holiday Gift

The holidays can put a strain on even the most careful budget. But with good food, good company and good times to be had, you’ll want to push the money worries to the back of your mind. One simple way to do this is to find great savings on one of the largest spending pitfalls of the holidays – gift buying. To help you manage the costs of the toys, clothes and jewelry you need to buy, we’ve compiled a “quick hits” list of sneaky ways to save on gifts this holiday season.

1) Card-Linked Offers

If you forgot your coupons at home, don’t double back to pick them up. Card-linked offers are coupons tacked right onto your credit, debit or store rewards card. Simply activate your offer and shop as you always do. Your rewards for your purchase will be loaded back onto your card statement.

Because you don’t have to print or clip any coupons, there will be no holdup at checkout and no confusion about coupon restrictions. These annoyances are particularly aggravating during the holidays when you’re tight on time and retailers are holding holiday sales that often can’t be combined with coupons.


2) Social Media Promotions

As we get deeper into the holiday season, retailers will be ramping up their efforts to get their customers engaged. One way they love to connect? On Facebook and Twitter. Follow your favorite merchant on social media platforms to receive exclusive coupon codes, get wind of special sales, be entered for giveaways, and more. If you’re not a fan of being blasted with e-commerce solicitations, create a separate social media account just for shopping.

3) Independent Retailer Coupons

It's no longer difficult for small sellers to get into the discounts game by offering their own individualized sales, deals and coupons. Use these discounts to get good prices at handmade sellers, such as those featured at online marketplaces like Etsy or Big Cartel. Etsy coupon codes will make finding a unique gift for the hard-to-please a breeze, and you can even buy an Etsy gift card if you can’t find a piece to match your gift recipient’s style.

4) Rewards Malls

Reward malls are online shopping portals that pay you in bonuses for shopping with them. Start your shopping trip at a rewards mall’s website, browse the discounts you’ll receive at hundreds of popular online merchants, and click through to the merchant’s site to begin shopping.

Your browsing path will be recorded with cookies, and you will receive your rewards after you purchase an item. Rewards can amount to 40% back on your buys.

Choose your rewards mall based off which type of reward you’d like the most. Looking for free airline flights? Shop through an airline’s mileage mall, such as Delta SkyMiles, to earn frequent flyer miles. Just looking for cash back, with no strings attached? Try FatWallet.com or eBates.com.

5) Free Shipping

December 17th will be a holiday from the holidays. This Monday is known as Free Shipping Day – a whole day dedicated to making your retailer pay for your seasonal shipping costs. Order online on Free Shipping Day and get guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve with no shipping charges attached to your purchases.

If you'd rather not wait for your gifts but love the convenience of online ordering, try in-store pickup. Many retailers are now offering this as a way for customers to get the best of both the online and offline retail environments. You can order from the comfort of your couch but visit the store within minutes or hours of your purchase to pick it up. You can shop in your pajamas and pick up your purchase without having to enter the crazy and crowded aisles of the store.

Matt Ong is a retail analyst for NerdWallet, a consumer finance website that builds tools to help people save money. His present project is creating a database of online coupon codes to get shoppers discounts and keep retailers honest.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

How I'm Staying on Top of My Finances (and Not Becoming a Grinch) This Holiday Season

2nd Annual 5 Things We're Thankful for This Holiday Season

Traveling Tips: Keep the Costs Low and the Fun Level High

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