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#198376 - 10/01/09 10:55 AM Frugal Christmas Gifts
ShowMeMO Offline
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I've been trying to think of ways to make it a special Christmas without busting the budget this year (and the budget is slim because of starting a new business). So, here are some ways I've come up with to get started on my buying. I hope you can add to these are you think of other gifts.

These won't fit every age group, but here are some ideas.

1. Child's artwork, framed (Grandparents would love this!)
2. Pretty pen and pretty stationery (Doesn't have to be expensive)
3. Collage of special photos
4. Holiday serving bowl or platter (I have found some very pretty ones at discount stores, and even the dollar stores like Dollar General.)
5. Locally made barbeque or steak sauce with basting brush (I like to do this with the BBQ sauce from Johnny's Smoke Stak in Rolla, MO near where we used to live.)
6. Stained Glass Theather tickets (Christian Plays in this area of MO.)
7. Specialty cookbook (Make your own cookbook with your own favorite recipes. My mother did this for each grandchild as they got married. They loved it.)
8. Christmas ornaments (Make your own. These will be special for your family.)
9. Blank cds for the younger ones
10. Jar of jam, jelly or honey with biscuit mix (I've bought the jams and jellies from the Amish store near us, and given those with a pretty spreader.)
11. Deck of cards (I bought my son a deck of cards in his favorite sports team and he was thrilled! Not expensive, just personal.)
12. Gardening gloves (Dollar Tree for $1!) and a plant or seeds

Hope this helps you to get started. It helped me by reminding me it doesn't have to be expensive, just personal. \:\)

Please add more as you can. Thanks and happy gifting!
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198389 - 10/01/09 11:29 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
dianaro2 Online   content

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I just was at Kohl's had a coupon dollar amount and a 30% discount coupon. Picked up the 6 gifts for the guys for nothing!
OK, maybe for $10! Happy dancing. It is a 12 pc. BBQ set with a thermometer in a case! They can always use those...they all BBQ. Happy dancing on that one. Half priced and right in my price range!
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#198396 - 10/01/09 12:41 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
ShowMeMO Offline
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FANTASTIC! I love those finds! We need to keep our eyes open for the coupons and sales.

I'm seriously thinking of making my two grown children a cookbook of my favorite recipes. They are always calling asking me for one, so this would be something they would get some good out of.

I asked my son today what "frugal" gift he would like, and he said he and my husband were going to make some gifts this year. My husband didn't know it until my son said that. LOL
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ShowMe

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198400 - 10/01/09 02:43 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
simplicity Offline
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Once in a while, you can find things with names on them which aren't expensive, such as key rings. Last year I found mini-sleds, about 1 1/2 inches long, with names. So for people whose names I could find, they got things with names (mainly the little sleds). Some people's names, including mine, just aren't anywhere. For those, I got the same little sleds with "Happy Holidays" or similar on them.

Children in particular like to have their names on things, but adults might find it handy to make sure other folks don't wind up using their items. Years ago when I taught school, I had a few dozen pencils imprinted with my name, so students couldn't walk away with them.

Some places will add a name at no extra cost. A few years back, I got snowman ornaments for some family friends, and having the names put on each one made them special.

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#198415 - 10/01/09 04:21 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
dianaro2 Online   content

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ShowMe
I did that for the girls quite a few years ago, put the receipes in plastic sleeves in a binder. You can add to them as you pick up new receipes.

I also had a cousin who did that, and had them inserted in a spiral booklet by one of the printing places.
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#198425 - 10/01/09 05:13 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
ShowMeMO Offline
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You can also buy the blank cookbooks to write your recipes in. I have one "somewhere" in storage that I used years ago. I would LOVE to find it again someday. \:\)

My mother made her own cookbooks and gave them to the grandchildren when they got married, but my two children didn't get one, because they were "married" by the time she passed away. They were older than some of those who DID get them, but they didn't get one. If you all are doing this, just give them at a certain age or something similar that will work for all. My DD still isn't married, so she would NEVER have had one. \:\(

I'll put some of my mother's recipes in my cookbook I give them so they will have those, too.
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198452 - 10/02/09 07:10 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
Linda S. Offline
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I did a scrap book (8X8) of favorite recipes for my niece. Each two page spread had the recipe and embelishments that tied to the recipe (like apple paper I used for the Apple Crisp recipe).
In some cases I also added a story to go with the recipe. Who likes it best, who first made it, where it came from, etc.

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#198461 - 10/02/09 08:32 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Linda S.]
ShowMeMO Offline
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Linda,
That is such a wonderful gift that will be remembered and used for a long time. The stories make it personal and special.
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198470 - 10/02/09 08:51 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
dianaro2 Online   content

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LindaS:
WELCOME to GON! and what a great idea to add to the receipe books as gifts! Thanks for sharing. I bet she will treasure that forever!
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#198474 - 10/02/09 08:56 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
tinytina Offline
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I love the idea of this thread....I really need to be frugal with my Christmas gifts (not alot of extra money to spend). Its not even just about being frugal but I want to buy gifts people will actually use and won't become clutter in their homes.
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#198534 - 10/02/09 06:56 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: tinytina]
ShowMeMO Offline
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We started thinking this way a few years ago, now we give gift cards (which I don't always enjoy), and other things that are practical. Last year I gave all the "girls" (My DD and DStepDs) some of the Joy Mangano hangers. Those are really nice and practical and even look nice in the closets. \:\)

My step-children often give us photos of them and of us that they have taken through the years. They buy nice collage frames, and some that say "Family", etc. I'm not crazy about a picture of me, but I like them of others. LOL

I have given coupons before. One year I gave my mother a coupon book stating that I would take her to Oklahoma to a festival that she liked, I would clean out her car, I would clean her windows, I would take her to our Little Theater, and other things I knew she would enjoy or could use. She was so upset one day when she told me she misplaced it. I laughed and told her I remembered what it was, and I wouldn't MAKE her come up with the coupons. \:\)
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198553 - 10/02/09 10:43 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
amyp Offline
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ShowMe, I LOVE the coupon book idea. And the recipe book idea as well.

I like to give gifts I know the recipient will use, so things like gift cards for services fit the bill for people who have a lot of stuff already. I remember giving my dad a roll of stamps one year and a gift certificate for a haircut at his favorite barber--he really liked those. I paid to have his car serviced one year for his birthday and he called me OVERSEAS to thank me!

For teacher gifts I like to make ornaments or can koozies or candle wraps/mats. I have an embroidery machine so I embroider a lot of gifts, or make free-standing lace items.

Be careful about putting kids' names on their things. You don't want to make it easy for some pervert to call the kid by name.

I'd think of more ideas but I gotta get to bed.
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#198554 - 10/02/09 11:06 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: tinytina]
Craftyldy Offline

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Linda:
WELCOME! I'm happy to meet you.

I made recipe books for my Daughter and Daughter-in-Law when they got married. I also give one to each of the kids in the family when they move out on their own and no longer have access to their Moms.

I also made a "Helpful Hints" book for each. I had collected the "Helpful Hints" page out of magazines for a long time. I pulled out the file, wrote out the hints under a different categories of each room.

Both of these books I saved to CD. This way I just have to print them out when ever I need a quick shower gift or another family member goes out on their own.

I buy a binder that has the plastic sleeve on the cover. I make a personalized cover page on the computer. I get my sleeves for the pages from the dollar store. I use dividers for the different categories in both books.

If you keep an extra binder, page protectors and dividers in the house you can have a helpful book ready as a gift without having to leave the house, it doesn't take up much room, and everyone loves them.
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#198558 - 10/03/09 12:47 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Craftyldy]
blessmymess Offline

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Frugal gifts:

- holiday wall hangings, placemats, cushion covers, etc. made with scrap fabric on hand
- homemade jams and jellies; fruit breads, etc.
- knitted scarves and hats, etc.

Good sales, especially the ones where holiday items are discounted 75-90% (usually after Jan.1) are wonderful - I buy and store for the following year.
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#198570 - 10/03/09 08:44 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Great ideas!!!!!!!!
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#198591 - 10/03/09 03:15 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
blessmymess Offline

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Stuff from the dollar store - planners, calendars, DVDs, etc.

We just returned from the dollar store! \:\)
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#198676 - 10/04/09 04:54 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
ShowMeMO Offline
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Great ideas! I'm taking notes. \:D
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#198682 - 10/04/09 05:52 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
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I might can some applesauce in jelly jars and give it to a few Elders that I am fond of.

I would like to get my own favorite recipes in a new cookbook. I have one that I wrote in but it is not organized. (started before I was a Goner). I would like to have something that I can keep in a binder.
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#198771 - 10/05/09 11:48 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Frugal4me]
beaglelady Offline
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I made a dozen gift baskets from dollar tree last year and spent less than a hundred dollars on them all.

They have such an assortment of things you can buy, just let your imagination run wild.

Kid basket- for boys and girls-toys, coloring books,crayons, stuffed animals(some even have clothes),game books, mini fm radios that look like mp3 players-complete with earphones.

You could do a wine and cheese basket-get sparkling cider,a couple of glasses, a package of cheese and one of sausage, a pkg of crackers and you have a party!

They also have toiletries you can put together for fragrance gift collections. Do body wash, cologne, powder,lip gloss, etc for gals and something similar for the guys.

What I love is that you can get everything you need to wrap them as well-baskets, shred, cellophane,and ribbons or just wrapping paper too.

And for the colder climates, you can even get heavy duty items. Last year I got my brother, who is notorious for losing gloves- 4 pair of wool ragg gloves ($4 total) and he still has 3 pair left!

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#199079 - 10/09/09 07:28 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: beaglelady]
ShowMeMO Offline
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A few years back, I bought some jams and jellies from a Mennonite store for $2 a pint jar. (These were DELICIOUS!) I bought some inexpensive fruit themed spreaders and put one with each gift. These were well received.
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ShowMe

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#199099 - 10/09/09 10:54 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Great gift for teachers, etc. too ShowMe. I am ordering a gift package for my DAs and DUs for Christmas, save the wrapping and cost of sending my own, Too much work to get 7 or 9 packages to the post office!
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#199143 - 10/09/09 09:39 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
ShowMeMO Offline
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Yes, it would make great gifts for teachers. Other things that teachers need are post-it notes, pencils (pretty ones preferably), thank you cards and envelopes, dry erase markers (You never have enough once the kids get hold of them. LOL), large erasers, different colored pens. (Some principals or districts like teachers to NOT use red pens anymore, so we use purple, green, orange, etc. to show what needs attention.), good hand lotion, hand sanitizer, and even tissues (in pretty boxes!).
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#199222 - 10/10/09 08:37 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
simplicity Offline
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I used to teach years ago, and tended to get tons of the same thing: stationery (at least it was good for writing thank-you's), food (too much), and cologne, etc. Many school districts now don't let teachers receive gifts, which I think is better - there should be more focus on helping really needy people, etc.

Nevertheless, one thing that didn't exist then that exists now is gift cards. They wouldn't have to be for much. Even a $5 Starbucks card would allow the teacher not only a bit of selection, but would permit him/her to spread out the food over a longer period of time.

Maybe a movie ticket? Teachers can always use more supplies, but something for the life outside the school would be appreciated.

For life inside the school, some non-routine "supplies" for the whole class, maybe a book, appropriate DVD, recorded music (mainly for younger grades), might be good. Teachers often spend their own money on things for their students, but can't get as much as they would like.

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#199278 - 10/11/09 12:36 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
Craftyldy Offline

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At our schools they no longer give teachers personal gifts.
All the teachers get the same thing, non-perishable food.
It is all donated to the food bank to make a better Christmas for those who need it. I think it is a wonderful idea.

As an added bonus I wrote each teacher a personal letter to tell them what they mean to our family and how much they are appreciated.

You could make a small donation to a charity and give the teacher a card with the name of the charity you donated too.
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#199402 - 10/13/09 07:55 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
ShowMeMO Offline
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Originally Posted By: simplicity
Teachers often spend their own money on things for their students, but can't get as much as they would like.


That's the truth! When I would have to change grades, I would end up spending about $1,500 per year for the first two years. The public doesn't hear this kind of news. \:\(

I would have been thrilled with some extra paper for the kids who never had any. I had to buy that, too!
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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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#199424 - 10/13/09 11:08 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
simplicity Offline
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Years ago, when I got my pupils a gift, it was expensive by the standards of the time. One year I bought each child a small change purse (ulterior motive: no lost lunch money). At 25 cents per child, times 32 pupils, that was $8.00, which then would buy me most of a week's worth of groceries.

I wanted to get clay for the students to make things with, but it not only cost a lot, there was no kiln or other way to fire it. If parents of children in all grades wanted to get something special for their school, that is just one thing I can think of. The kids would certainly notice and enjoy it more than yet another book for the library, although teachers appreciate the latter. No gift to a school is ever wasted.

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#199433 - 10/13/09 11:29 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
Kimberly Purcell Offline
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ShowMe, DD's school asked for donations of things at the beginning of the school year. I sent in a ream of printer paper for her technology class and DD said the teacher was crazy excited.

I know even at the private school she went to before, the teachers spent piles of their own money on things.
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#199449 - 10/13/09 06:06 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Kimberly Purcell]
blessmymess Offline

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Well, DD's teachers and school staff (7 teachers + 3 office staff) are getting jars of homemade peach jam, whether they like it or not! LOL.
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#199489 - 10/14/09 10:38 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
simplicity Offline
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ShowMeMO, if you spend that much on your students, and save the receipts, at least some of what you spent should be tax-deductible. I was able to deduct some costs one year, when they were over a certain threshold.

Every year at DS's school, along with their basic school supplies, each family was asked to bring in a box of tissues. That way, at a rate of a box a week, they lasted most of the year. Occasionally I sent in another box, in case they ran low. That wasn't, of course, a gift for the teacher.

Someone above suggested writing a note to the teacher expressing appreciation. I didn't do that at Christmastime, only the midpoint of the school year, but did so at the end of the year, and the teachers were grateful that their efforts were noticed.

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#199508 - 10/14/09 12:08 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
ElizabethClark Offline
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Our gifts are frugal in that we do very few of them, and most are homemade.

For instance, this year I'll be sewing things for the kids and DH, using mostly fabric from my stash. If not stash-fabric, it will be bought on sale, and with coupons.

Gifts to friends in the area are things like home-decorated cookies, or treats to put in the freezer.

One year, I gave a gallon-sized bag of frozen homemade cookie-dough balls to one nephew (who adored cookies) and homemade baked-and-frozen meatballs to his brother (who adored his uncles Italian meatballs.) That can be a way to give an economical gift that doesn't have to be consumed right away.

Our extended family exchanges only photos.

We do scrapbook pages of our family for grandmas. (It's about time to do this!) My album is 12x12, but each grandma has 8x11, so I can usually do three pages with creative use of scraps from the big one.

In the past, I've assembled poetry into a book for family; this year, I'm working on my husband's grandmother's poetry, and will look at printing copies for the surviving members of his family (which adds up to about three books.)

With all the cool binders out now, doing a custom recipe book would be a fun gift for anyone, including "launching adults."

I also tend to search used book stores for pristine hardback editions of classic books to give as gifts.
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#199560 - 10/15/09 12:21 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ElizabethClark]
Hawkeye Offline
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Elizabeth - I'm so glad someone else is giving or gave classic books as gifts - in many classrooms, my kids were the only ones who had read Moby Dick, or Charles Dickens' work, or even Robert Frost poetry. They have also all seen Citizen Kane, Shane (Alan Ladd), North by Northwest (Cary Grant/Alfred Hitchcock), or Casablanca. Those items are relatively inexpensive as they aren't the current trend - one year I gave everyone a new copy of Jimmy Stewart's "Rear Window", and it now the favorite movie of 3 of my kids (and one DDIL!).

I'll make quite a few mixes for DS1 who refuses anything that would constitute clutter; I'll knint for DDIL and DS3's girlfriend, as well as DS1's girlfriend), also sew some clothing for DGD' heavy duty winter hats and gloves (the fingerless kind so you can still do stuff) for the guys; and I'm working on afghans for everyone as Diana did one year. She was quite inspirational and even though I think it will be a tight squeeze time-wise, it will be great to use up all that extra yarn.

Probably knit/crochet some handbags, beach bags, purses, etc. for each of the girls - possibly felted?

Hawkeye

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#199575 - 10/15/09 09:08 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Hawkeye]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Hawkeye:
You are making me tired reading all you have to do. It would be such fun to live near you and meet each day to work on our crafts!
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#199582 - 10/15/09 11:15 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
ElizabethClark Offline
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Book-giving is a big tradition in my family, going back multiple generations. Currently, one of my aunts, my mother, myself, and one sister-in-law all like books as our "staple" giving item, so there are lots of volumes floating about! \:\)
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#199607 - 10/15/09 03:26 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ElizabethClark]
blessmymess Offline

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I have been setting aside $20 per month towards Christmas in general, which gives me a budget of $240 for cards, postage, and gifts for everyone except DD (budget for DD is separate).

I allocate $40 of that for cards & postage (most of my cards go to family and friends overseas and postage tend to cost approx. $1.00 per card).

Which gives me $200 for gifts, for approx. 55 recipients (if a family receives 1 collective gift, that is 1 recipient). They include DD's teachers and school office staff, my office co-workers, neighbors, as well as friends and family.

I have spent $110 on gifts for 40 of them, so far. They were the easy ones - the majority of them will receive jars of my homemade peach and strawberry jam.

I have $90 left in the budget for gifts for the balance 15 people, which averages out to $6.00 per person. They include the hard-to-buy/make-for teenagers I had mentioned in a previous thread.

I will have to do some serious bargain hunting in the next few weeks. \:\)
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#199618 - 10/15/09 05:19 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
simplicity Offline
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Blessmymess, all of your accomplishments leave me gaping in awe. I used to think I was economical with gifts, but compared to you, I'm a big spender, even with fewer people. I am very impressed with how well you have managed your budget.

ElizabethClark, I love the book-giving tradition you mentioned. DH and I met in a bookstore and always knew we could get books for each other. His first gift to me ever was a biography of Chaucer, which I still have.

Hawkeye, you are unfortunately correct that students rarely read classics in school any more. Even in English class, it becomes a smorgasbord of mostly modern novels, not any kind of survey of literature over time. They are not exposed systematically to American or British literature, which is a real shame. I'm pleased that your children know some good books and movies.

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#199654 - 10/16/09 01:07 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
blessmymess Offline

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Simplicity: Some people would say I'm cheap! \:D But it's the amount I feel comfortable spending.
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#199670 - 10/16/09 09:04 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
dianaro2 Online   content

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That is what is important, what you feel Bless.

I am taking a quick way out this year and mailing DAs and DUs (only 3 left of uncles now) a food gift. Still will save me time and energy.

Have already purchased a "opening" gift for the guys. Still looking for something for the girls. Might check the pjs again, things are on sale again, hopefully the ones I wanted are today.
If not I need ideas or lower prices. LOL I generally spend an amount for the opening gift and then give cash. This way they can get something they want or put it toward something. They all plan for the money and usually tell me what they are going to spend it on. LOL

Teenage boys? Any ideas, already purchased wallets, previously.
Desperate for ideas.
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#199678 - 10/16/09 09:45 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
beaglelady Offline
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Bless, I wouldn't call it cheap.....you are economical!! I agree with you wholeheartedly though. The holidays are not about breaking the banking, its about spending quality time with loved ones and honoring the real reason of Christmas.

I have cut way back and will spend only a few dollars on the people I am giving gifts too. DB will get gift cards to places I can take him that no one else likes to go to, like Dave and Busters-he loves the noise and games there and it gives us quality time. Also some movie tickets too. I need to buy something for roomie and her beau and the neighbors kids, but everyone else gets cards, which I already have

My employees will get some small token but nothing extravagant. I will try to do this year as in years past and hit Dollar Tree for Toys for Tots or the Goodfellows. The past few years I have had a blast buying toys and stuff there knowing it will make many kids Christmases a little better. $2 gets a big coloring book with a huge box of crayons and goes a long way. I try to allocate $200 each year for that trip and end up with about 4 to 5 full carts.

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#199680 - 10/16/09 09:53 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
ElizabethClark Offline
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Well... books. \:\)

Do the teen boys do outside winter things that might require funky hats, scarves, or gloves? Musical hobbies?
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#199684 - 10/16/09 12:50 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ElizabethClark]
hartbe Online   content
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My only experience with teenage boys was buying for my nephews. They always enjoyed getting edible gifts. I would do a box with their favorite snacks, drinks & perhaps some homemade cookies. They loved it because it was theirs, & they didn't have to share with anyone else, unless they were so inclined.

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#199685 - 10/16/09 01:02 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ElizabethClark]
blessmymess Offline

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Teen boys: T-shirts/sweat shirts? Gift cards to a video game store? Just about anything with their favorite sports team logo? If they are driving, something auto related? Posters?
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#199693 - 10/16/09 02:09 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: hartbe]
simplicity Offline
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I have a teenage boy, and he and his friends love electronic things, especially video games. I realize they are rather pricey. If not those, gift certificates to the movies, or to an activity (bowling, ice skating, etc.) would probably be appreciated more than clothes or (depending on the boy) books. They will eat food, in enormous quantities, but might want something more permanent as a present.

If you know the boy(s) well enough, you could tell if he/they would enjoy something such as a model kit or art kit. May of them are quite inexpensive.

Bless, you aren't "cheap." True, you may not have spent a lot of money on the gifts. But after reading your posts, I'm convinced you have put a lot of thought and effort into what you give, surely more than many people.

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#199694 - 10/16/09 02:10 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
dianaro2 Online   content

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thanks ladies it is a start. I give them cash, so this is a little gift just to open, as I call them.
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#199710 - 10/16/09 03:00 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
blessmymess Offline

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Diana: How about a book of coupons from a fast food/burger place? If you ask them, they might give you a clean, unused food container and you can place the coupon for the burger or pizza or whatever in the food container and wrap it up, perhaps in one of the fast food place's own bags?

Simplicity: I try. \:\)

Today, I went shopping and bought 2 gifts that I believe are suitable for 2 of the teen girls on my list.

One is a purse, in a reddish brown faux leather, with a shoulder strap, a main zippered section with an inner zippered pocket and 2 smaller zippered pockets at each end on the outside and 2 velcro fastened outside pockets; $5.00.

The other is a "travel organizer": black nylon/vinyl (but reinforced with cardboard or something, so the sides are fairly rigid), in a tri-fold design, with a mirror that flips up and two removable zippered pouches (with soft sides) on either side. One of the pouches contains a plastic "travel" bottle for lotion or shampoo, a plastic soap dish and a nylon scrubbie/pouf. The other pouch could hold makeup. The area in front of the flip up mirror has what's identified on the package as a "cosmetic brush organizer" - although I suppose one could also insert eye liner pencils, etc. into the sewn channels. $8.00

I also bought a sketch pad ($3.00) - DD loves to draw and I always give her art supplies as part of her stocking stuffer gifts.

Today, while out shopping, I saw a scarf, selling for $12.99, knitted in 4 different colors of a fairly thick yarn (a rectangle of pink, followed by a rectangle of blue, etc.) I know I can buy a skein of similar yarn for approx. $1.25 each; 4 skeins (one of each color) will cost me $5.00 - plus an hour or two of my time and I'll have a comparable gift for less than half the price. \:\)


Edited by blessmymess (10/16/09 03:07 PM)
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#199760 - 10/17/09 11:34 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Thanks Bless, I will check with the mom's to see what kind of food they like to eat out.

Good deals on the shopping. Like the scarf idea. Can use the left over yarn and make stripes!
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#199774 - 10/17/09 04:44 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
simplicity Offline
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Blessmymess, you are so good at managing money,as with the 4 skeins of yarn to make a scarf much cheaper than a store-bought one, and no doubt appreciated more, too.

Yes, compartments! The purse you bought sounds like the kind I prefer to use, to keep everything in order, to save rummaging for what I need. It should be helpful to the young lady who receives it.

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#199857 - 10/18/09 11:26 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
blessmymess Offline

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Yesterday, one of my friends admired the patchwork place mats I had made for myself, so, I am thinking of making a set for her for Christmas. I have plenty of fabric in my stash plus the batting and thread, so, it will be another frugal gift that won't cost anything new. \:\)
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#199950 - 10/19/09 10:47 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: blessmymess]
beaglelady Offline
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Diana, if you are looking at food gifts to give, look at some of the fast food places. I went to BK today for a cheap $1 burger for lunch and they are advertising gift books of value sized french fries- 8 orders to give to trick or treaters-for just $1!!! A lot of fast food places do that kind of stuff right now since they know more than one person will come in with the recipient and buy other stuff....so even if they are selling at 1/8th the regular price, they will get it back in spades.

As far as non gift ideas, I agree with the others.....electronic games, cds, dvds, music gift cards like I-tunes, If they have a cell phone, how about accessories for it, or buy a gift card for downloads that they can use for songs/ringtones/etc.

Talking with roomie this weekend and she informed me that if I was getting her anything for Christmas or her birthday(which is Dec 24), the only thing on her wish list is gift cards to Home Depot. She wants to wall off part of the basement and make a separate bedroom/closet, asking me if I minded her improving the basement, since she had no plans on moving for at least several years. Win win so why not! Her boyfriend is a contractor who has done work for me and is a perfectionist so I agreed.


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#199951 - 10/20/09 12:12 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: beaglelady]
Hawkeye Offline
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Beaglelady - I could use that perfectionist boyfriend to work on the office for me - probably will need to hire someone to do "magic" with the walls which have two layers of wallpaper that DD1 and I are finally taking down. One of her b/day gifts to me was 10 hours of her time.

Diana - I second the I-Tunes or fast-food gift cards, or one for gas if they are already driving. If younger than 16, movie certificates were always a big hit, or the latest CD of some group, or a gift certificate to a local game arcade, or for pizza they could order in and have delivered when they have friends over?

Bless - Sounds like you were able to cover the teenage girls - good job! I'm working on a scarf right now that is more lacy rather than warm - it's for DS1's girlfriend who lives in Portland - because the weather there rarely changss, I chose to do one that is an all-season scarf - more like an accessory rather than to keep warm. Just chose a very lightweight yarn in a neutral color and hoping she likes the lace pattern I chose. DS2 abd DDIL don't need warm clothes, either, although they will be here to visit in December. Louisiana's weather, at least that far south, rarely gets down under 50 - I'll probably do another accessory scarf for DDIL, too.

Hawkeye

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#200020 - 10/20/09 05:00 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Hawkeye]
ElizabethClark Offline
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I've mentioned them before, but frozen balls of cookie dough in a gallon-size bag make wonderful gifts for teen boys, so long as you don't leave them sitting under the tree. \:\) (But you could wrap a tiny box with a note inside, telling them to look in the freezer!) Just about any cookie recipe can be formed and frozen, then bagged. MUCH more cost-effective than store-bought dough, and more variety, too. Just include a recipe card with baking instructions in the large bag; I find a 4x6 card slips neatly into a sandwich-sized baggie.

If you have a person who loves to eat raw cookie dough, just omit the eggs from the recipe, and on the "instructions" card, indicate that these are "Frozen for Immediate Eating--No Baking!".


(Girls like frozen cookie-dough balls, too.)


Edited by ElizabethClark (10/20/09 05:00 PM)
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#200028 - 10/20/09 06:29 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ElizabethClark]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Thank you ladies, being technically challenged, I will ask my DSs on what they suggest for the boys. Then they can lead me to the place to get them. The thing is I am already giving them money, wanted something to have them "open".

Anyhow, all great ideas and suggestions. Thank you!
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#200198 - 10/23/09 06:27 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
Kittysoo Offline
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Registered: 07/19/07
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Loc: Northamptonshire, England, UK
Trying to be frugal with my present giving but also really trying to get what people really like.
I have done amazingly well compared to last year - mainly due to a certain on line site that has sounds like a rain forest beginning with A - don't know how l coped without it.
All kneed to get now is some clothing and chocolates for my Dad as he has dementia - so if you give him a book or anything he will put it away.

Also have to get Grandaughter Anya a tryclycle (her parents are picking it out and we are buying it. Finally pressies for the pets and more for my DD.

Back soon musdt go to work now x Mo
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Happy thoughts to you all xxx Kittysoo


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#200203 - 10/23/09 07:52 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Kittysoo]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Good for you Mo!
Doesn't it feel wonderful knowing you are giving items that people will use and love.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I got the boys and single guys Henley shirts and will get something else to go along with them. Just finished up the shopping part, the rest is to order food gifts for the elderly relatives.
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#200248 - 10/24/09 06:32 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
Kittysoo Offline
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Registered: 07/19/07
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I know Dinaro - l am actually quite excited tht l have started to get bit more organized for Christmas. I am so amazed that everyone here plans so far ahead but it does seem to work, so l thought l would do the same.

I managed to get my daughter's presents sorted out this morning and some bits for the Grandchildren.

I will be glad when my DS + DDIL choose Anyas bike, I am going to have it sent straight to them if l can to save having it hanging around here. I am sure that the dogs would love to have a box to gnaw on :o)

Dropping heavy hints to my husband and have showed him my wish list on A - UK. Mainly Cesar Milan books - l love that man and Schmoo does watch him on tv too.

I have some left over Christmas paper and cards from last year, so have the wrapping to do to see how much paper l will need to buy in. Then l am going to put all the presents in big Christmas bags and put them away.

Over here we in Uk we are having a few postal strikes, and it looks like it's getting worse, so l am going to start on the cards - l can post them on the last day of November to give plenty of time to get to people.

Anyway for now , must get all the presents together as they are spread out of all over the house.

Then later this afternoon - l will attemp to sort out bits in the office/gym - have my treadnill in there covered in stuff. I also haven't used it in over a year! So wish me luck.

PS - Today l was actually the first one up. Everyone was shocked and wondered what was wrong with me lol

ttfn x Mo
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#200328 - 10/25/09 11:12 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Kittysoo]
Craftyldy Offline

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Loc: Ontario, Canada
WOW! Everyone is doing so great.
I havenít had much time for anything lately.
I have been working long hours.
I have managed to get several gifts bought but they aren't wrapped yet. That is on my list.

I love the idea of fast food coupons in the fast food containers. What a great idea.
Another idea for co-workers is a card with a gift card for 1 or 2 dollars from a local coffee house (we have several kiosks in our mall) with the comment "Have a tea (or coffee) on me."

My Mom always plugged the kettle in for tea when ever anyone walked through the front door. When she went to the nursing home, that was what she missed most, not being able to make her guests a cup of tea. When she passed my brother bought Tim Horton (our local coffee house) coupons for all the nurses that looked after her and put a not on them "Have a tea on me" from my Mom. They all cried and said she was still looking out for them even after she as gone.

Mo: You are doing a fantastic job of getting ready for Christmas early. You will enjoy your Christmas so much more when your not worn out from preparing for it and working too.

Bless:
You are not cheap. With all the thought and love that goes into all those gifts they are the most valuable gifts those recipients will ever receive.

Beaglelady:
What a wonderful gift for both of you. Talk about a win win. Can you send them to my house? LOL

Hawkeye:
You scarves sound beautiful. Had made scarves are much warmer then store bought and they are made with love that is so warming too.

Elizabeth:
Love the cookie dough idea. Thank you for the information. Iíll definitely be using it.

Diana:
You are so generous and loving. You family is so lucky to have you.
I love the idea of the food gifts for the aunts and uncles.
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Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest
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#200332 - 10/25/09 11:38 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Craftyldy]
dianaro2 Online   content

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kittysoo:
When the holidays are over, pick up some gifts or cards and wrapping paper then when they are on sale. That is why I have a drawer full of it, and haven't bought any for a few years. I have gone to one color rolls so this way, I can wrap and just tag and then put the ribbons on at the last minute so they don't get crushed.

Did not get to the wrapping. Too busy making cards, and there is still time, the hard part was getting them purchased. LOL

I loved your story that DB did with the nurses. It was very touching, and I think your mom smiled down from heaven on that wonderful idea.
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#200612 - 10/28/09 10:15 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
amyp Offline
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Another "tea or coffee" idea is a mug with a sample-size pack of coffee or tea in it. The mug doesn't have to be expensive, just cute or pretty...You don't even really have to wrap it. A pretty bow and tag on it will do the trick. These are great for less-personal gifts.

And I think any gift card for a service (manicure, pedicure, etc.) works well and doesn't cost much. One year I gave my dad a gift certificate for a haircut at his barber and he was thrilled...paid for his car to be serviced and he called OVERSEAS to thank me...
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#200630 - 10/29/09 09:23 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: amyp]
dianaro2 Online   content

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amyp:
Love your thoughtfulness and ideas. You are right, gift cards are fun to spend!

My SIL just gave my DB a gift card to have his car detailed for his birthday! He was thrilled!

~~~~~~~~~~~
I usually try and find something on sale, it kills me to pay full price for anything! Got some nice gloves for gifts. Think they could be either sex ones. Lined and nice for $13! Isotoner brand, normally $25~ Infusers (like perfume bottles) for under $5, normally $10!
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#201345 - 11/07/09 11:23 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
Carolyn from NC Offline
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There are some GREAT ideas in this list! My DD#2 is very worried about Christmas expenses as her husband's family is large and insist on exchanging gifts across the board. I am going to turn her onto this website so she can see all the creative ideas.

I had an idea myself today, we were at the Autobell car wash and they have calendars on sale for $6.95 which offer coupons every month for either free services or money off some services. If you used every coupon (2/month), you'd save tons of money, probably over $50. So seems to me like a great gift idea - I wouldn't mind getting one myself. Even if you only used the absolutely free services, you'd come out way ahead.
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#201346 - 11/07/09 11:26 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Carolyn from NC]
Carolyn from NC Offline
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Also, I suggest doing some shopping at antiques consignment shops, if any of the people on your guest list enjoy that kind of thing. There are some really beautiful items at the one near me - drinkware, jewelry, decorative items (I bought a pair of Mikasa candle holders for TWO DOLLARS!), all kinds of things.
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#201350 - 11/07/09 01:14 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Carolyn from NC]
blessmymess Offline

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Today, I went to the Salvation Army store - I go there and Goodwill, every now and then, in search of 3 items: dinner plates to replace the ones from my blue & white set that got broken over time; paperback books from a couple of DD's and my favorite authors, and, Christmas design tea cups (not coffee mugs, but rather, tea cups with saucers).

Today, they didn't have any of the items I was looking for. However, in a box near the books, there were some old vinyl records - LPs. And right on top of the stack was: Michael Jackson's "Bad" album. The price list posted nearby said records = $1.00 each. But everything in the store was 40% off, today, so, I paid a grand total of $0.60 for the record! \:\) It's probably all scratched up and might not play well, but the album cover can become wall art. Now, all I have to do is find a Michael Jackson fan... ;\)
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#201382 - 11/07/09 05:43 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: tinytina]
BonnieS Offline
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Loc: Idaho
I have my mother's recipes, written in her handwriting that I'm going to scan on the printer. Then I can print them out on fun paper, and make up cookbooks for my siblings. Then we'll all have Mom's recipes, in her handwriting. She's still with us, but I'm thinking this will be a special gift for all of them.

With our move, and me with no job yet, our Christmas needs to be very frugal this year....this is a great thread ShowMe! Thanks to everyone for the great ideas!

Tina, think consumable gifts! Those won't become clutter and will get used. I've done cookie mixes in jars, did movie night baskets with popcorn, an inexpensive family video, and some movie candy....those were big hits!


Edited by BonnieS (11/07/09 05:54 PM)
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Bonnie
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#201419 - 11/08/09 08:23 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: BonnieS]
Craftyldy Offline

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Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 5636
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Carolyn:
Love the calendar and Antiquing ideas.

Amp:
Along with your mug idea, we have our Tim Hortonís coffee shops here (like your Starbucks). They have Gift Cards. A gift card in a mug would make a great gift for co-workers.

Bless:
I love to shop in the thrift stores too. I get great ideas there and I love to shop for books for DD and I there too.

Bonnie:
Your gift will become priceless, especially in the years to come.
You might want to make one for the next generation too. Maybe as a shower gift when they get married or as a gift when they start out on their own.
If you save it to CD or DVD as you go you will have it at your finger tips whenever you need it.

Diana:
Great deal on the gloves and infusers. They are good ho have on hand even for a Thank you for friends and neighbors who give you a hand through out the year.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Another idea:
I put a packet of hot chocolate, peppermint candy cane, 3 hershieís kisses, and a hand full of miniature marshmallows in a mug. I wrap it in basket wrap cellophane from the dollar story and attach the following note.

Snowman Soup
Was told that youíve been good this year,
Always glad to hear it.
With freezing weather drawing near,
Youíll need to warm the spirit
So hereís a little Snowman Soup,
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow,
Itís sure to do the trick.

If you follow the directions on a cold snowy night it is sooooo good. \:\)


_________________________
Craftyldy
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest
to God.

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#201428 - 11/08/09 08:55 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Craftyldy]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Thanks ladies, love all the ideas. Might add some popcorn to the pjs I am giving the gals this year. Get it out, so I don't eat it, and they can use the calories! LOL
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#201469 - 11/08/09 05:55 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
Canadagirl Offline
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Loc: midwest
Thanks Craftylady for the snowman soup recipe. I was thinking about it the other day for DD's K class and trying to remember all that was in it. Now, I don't have to remember where I put it! I have a template for a cardstock box (no lid) that can be put into cellophane bag and tied with a ribbon. I have some fun snow stamps that I can attach. \:\)
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#201495 - 11/08/09 11:42 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: Canadagirl]
simplicity Offline
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Registered: 01/24/02
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Loc: University Park, MD
Sometimes when we want to give someone "a little something," a little something crops up. Last year it was tiny sleds with names. Sleds not more than 2 inches long, but otherwise like real sleds with runners, etc., with various names on them. I bought a bunch. For a few people, they were the "little something." For others, they were tied to another package. Everyone liked them.

Lo and behold, this year I found miniature snow globes, about 1 1/4 inch in diameter - also with names. They are really cute. So I bought several, and may get a few more. They can be hung on a tree, attached to something else, or just sit without taking up any space on a desk or other surface.

Most kids like things with their names on them, and of course, the name makes it obvious to whom the gift belongs.

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#201529 - 11/09/09 08:09 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: simplicity]
dianaro2 Online   content

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I like your ideas Simplicity! Great things for kids with names, and a collection of private ornaments to take when they are grown.

Bonnie:
I LOVE that idea of scanning receipes and giving them to family, especially in mom's own handwriting! How special a gift!
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#201611 - 11/09/09 11:16 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
mapster Offline
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Loc: SoCal
Oh, that "Snowman Soup" idea is cute.
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#201661 - 11/10/09 11:10 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: mapster]
STRIVING Offline
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Registered: 11/18/02
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My DS, age 10, is making his eldest cousin, 4, an ABC book. I contacted her mom and she sent pictures of everyone on both sides of the family. So he'll do an ABC book of relatives that she can read at bedtime. For the letter Q, he can write Quietly, sit at night and read your book of people you love. X will be XOXO: Hugs and kisses are sent from me to you. Z will be ZZZZ should be the sound we hear after you read your special book.

If he enjoys it he can make a book for his sister, age 2.

I'm making some kindergarten file folder games for my niece and foster daughter. They take a lot of work, but I think that they will be fun for winter.

Our foster daughter is making picture frames for my brother's families who have pets. I have some older dog biscuits that she can glue to a frame and then put a coat of laquer on them. We'll include cute pictures of their pet.

DD, 2, is making ornaments for her preschool friends. I bought several items for teachers, sitters, etc for the three kids, at last year's 90% sale.

I have a gift idea for our niece and her new husband. They're the picture coasters that are available. I have several 40% coupons that I can use for part of that gift. In addition, I have a gift card for some returns so that will be perfect.

Dianaro: One thing that my brothers enjoyed was a deck of cards and instructions for different card games. It was something to open and a g/c or money could be added.

Also, several young men liked a book of simple magic tricks. I had a very shy brother, and it was good for him to open up to start a conversation with others.

I don't sew. However, I'm thinking of making a portable tea party set which can be used by my DD, 2, at home and away. I'm just not sure if my limited sewing skills can do this.

So there are some of my ideas for making this holiday season a little commercial and more meaningful and staying within a budget.
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#201705 - 11/10/09 06:49 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: STRIVING]
dianaro2 Online   content

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Registered: 04/04/06
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Wonderful ideas they are STRIVING. LOVE the book idea your DS is making! What a sweet idea.

They boys do like cards, can put those in too.

Wonderful ideas ladies, keep them coming.
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#202578 - 11/22/09 09:26 AM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: dianaro2]
beaglelady Offline
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Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 3234
Loc: Waterford, MI
For my employees this year, I am giving really pretty decorative candles, and a decorative jar filled with holiday candies. I have about $5 invested in each one and had some cute baskets picked up at yard sales that I spray painted white and have filled with green and red shred and lots of curling ribbon so it looks good too.

I found a lot of cute ideas at the Dollar store too. For about $5 you could put together a small basket with lotion, bath gels, and sponges. You could also do the coffee mugs with teas, cocoas, coffees and indiv packs of cookies.

How about a scarf and gloves or hat(Dollar tree has some cute things to put together too)

One of my employees is a college student. For her last year I made a "bouquet" of all kinds of highliters, white out pens, pencils, etc with silk flowers/geenery in it.....and she loved it.

Costco currently has sets of Pierre Cardin pen and pencil sets in assorted styles and a set of 3 different sets is just $15, and they are really nice ones too.

for all you crafty types....When I was still with my ex and the nieces and nephews were still small, I would go to places like Michaels and buy the do it yourself ornaments-plaster ones, wood ones, etc and paint/decorate them for each child. Their name and the year would be written on the bottom and this started their collection of their own ornaments. The SIL's loved them as neither was crafty, and a dozen years later they still have them.

Absolutely love the snowman soup idea! Heard of it before but never had the poem....thanks!

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#202592 - 11/22/09 03:31 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: beaglelady]
blessmymess Offline

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Registered: 06/29/05
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Loc: So. Cal.
BL: I love the bouquet of highlighters, etc. idea! \:\)
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#239816 - 12/18/11 11:19 PM Re: Frugal Christmas Gifts [Re: ShowMeMO]
Jerry Macguire Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Manchester,U.K
It is a good post and very useful for me as my wife want mobile accessories for my daughter. I think it is a best gift for her.


Edited by Jerry Macguire (12/18/11 11:23 PM)
Edit Reason: better reply

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