Do you have a tight Christmas budget like we do? Instead of blowing your budget and regretting it in January, instead of foregoing gift exchanges between you and your spouse, and instead of skipping the office secret Santa, why not give thoughtful but frugal gifts? Here are some ideas that don’t involve mason jars or candy. (I like mason jars and candy, but they’re what everyone else is doing for their frugal gift ideas!)
17 THOUGHTFUL AND FRUGAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS
I’ve listed USD prices and where I’ve spotted the items unless it’s something that’s at multiple stores. In that case I just listed the price. Here we go:
1. For the nature-loving woman, a natural shampoo in lovely scents by Nature’s Gate, Target, about $5.
2. For anyone, an origami $2 dollar bill. I like the heart shaped bill, but the Christmas tree is more appropriate this time of year. Here’s a link for instructions: http://make-origami.com/money-easy-tree/.
3. For the couple, thrift store mugs labeled Romeo and Juliet with vinyl stickers. Thrift store mugs about $1 each (or free from your own cupboard!), office supply store stickers $3 and up (shop carefully for stickers, BIG variance in price).
4.For the foodie, a beautiful bottle of balsamic vinegar, Kroger, $3 and up.
5. For the tween or teen girl, metallic bobby pins (silver, gold, and rose gold), Sally Beauty $5. Or get three 62-piece sets of KangSong metallic bobby pins for 3 different recipients from Amazon for a total of $12. (I personally wouldn’t buy inexpensive items from Amazon and pay all that shipping. This is when those who use Amazon Prime have an advantage!)
6. For the iPhone user, a monogrammed charger wrap, Etsy, $5. (Wraps are lightweight and small which help keep the shipping cost low.)
7. For the informed consumer, Hello Beautiful Skin paraben-free body lotion, Target, $4.
8. For anyone with a kitchen, thrift store glass storage canisters, about $2 and up.
9. For the vegan, Larabars wrapped like snowmen (check Pinterest for the Hershey’s bar version). Hmm, I may have to repeat this idea on a DIY post. $1 each.
10. For the gardener, a packet of seeds, 36 cents (cabbage) to 75 cents (zinneas), and on up.
11. For folks who are always chilled in the winter, a box of tea in a bold flavor they wouldn’t normally try, about $3 and up.
12. For the eco-conscious, vintage handkerchiefs, search antique stores, $1 each and up.
13. For those who drive in the winter, an aggressive, ice-demolishing, windshield scraper, AutoZone, starting at $3.29.
14. For guys with dry winter hands: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, fragrance-free, 2oz. My late uncle was a mail carrier. He said a full day of handling paper envelopes soaked up the oils from his skin and left his fingers parched. This was his favorite lotion, and he said it didn’t leave him “smelling like a lady.” Target $4, or Walgreens $5.
15. For the business traveler with a cat at home, a washable, travel lint roller, about $5.
16. For the newlyweds for their candlelight Christmas dinner, taper candle holders. I saw 3 of them in the Goodwill store yesterday, but Michael’s usually has them, too, $1 each and up.
17. For your sweetheart, a framed photo of the two of you on some adventure. Write a short, sweet note on the glass with an oil-based paint pen. If you don’t have one of these sorta-expensive pens, ask your pals if you can borrow one. With the pens’ popularity, surely someone you know has one. Thrift store frame about $2 (or check your own storage for frames you may have on hand), and 30-50 cents for a pharmacy photo print.
Make this day even better. Consider:
- My yearly engagement calendar purchase is a big deal. Last year I spent 39 dollars for my understated, elegant calendar. This year I decided not to spend so much. Because I was on the lookout, I found one of those popular, colorful planners on sale for $17. It came with cool stickers and useful storage pockets. Sometimes tightening the budget leads to fun surprises!