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Savings Challenge

Recycle and Reuse Easter Decorations

5 tips to help you save money and get the most out of your holiday decorations again and again

Light up any holiday: We never pack away the lights with the rest of the decorations after Christmas. Instead, we keep our multicolored strands of LED lights handy to use in decorating for other holidays throughout the year. White lights and solid colors are particularly versatile, whether adorning a holiday wreath, centerpiece or just adding some flare around the front door to welcome guests. And try using twinkle lights to make simple designs on walls — such as Easter eggs, Valentine's hearts or four-leaf clovers for St. Patrick's Day.

Use plastic eggs for more than Easter: Plastic eggs that can be opened make cool containers for small gifts for any holiday. I surprised my wife one year with a dozen plastic eggs in a real egg carton for the 12 Days of Christmas. She was allowed to open one egg each day leading up to Christmas Day, and each egg contained a tiny gift — such as a piece of candy, a homemade coupon for a back rub or other trinket. By the way, you can also put some uncooked rice in a plastic egg, mount it on a stick and — voilà! — you have a ready-made maraca for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Also of interest: Take the Savings Challenge Quiz.

Jeff Yeager is the author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches and The Cheapskate Next Door. His website is www.UltimateCheapskate.com and you can friend him on Facebook at JeffYeagerUltimateCheapskate or follow him on Twitter.

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