Frugal gift ideas for family?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So it is that time of year again, I have to figure out what to get all the relatives for christmas....Let me start by saying not getting them gifts is not an option (I know some families do only gifts for the kids, well DD is the only kid in our immediate circle) and also giving money to charity in their name is not an option (DH is against this suggestion and says it is a gift that makes us feel good).
We have to buy for:
My mom (divorced)
My dad (divorced)
My 2 Grandmas (80 and 85)
My 2 Aunts and Uncles (in their 50s/60s)
My sister (age 26 lives at home with my dad)
DH's mom and stepdad
DH's dad and stepmom
DH's stepsister (22 lives at home)
DH's sister (30 lives in Florida, so it needs to be something cheap to mail)
cousins ages 14 and 9
Baby cousin (age 15 months)
Friend's kids (age 7 and almost 2)

I already do a photo calendar for all of the adults listed which costs around $15 each. I also need to get them "something" else, but it can't be something too expensive since we have so many folks to buy for. The kids will all get something (either toy or gift card) for around $20. The adults are all so hard to buy for - none of them really have hobbies (or cheap ones) and they have just about everything they need....Joint gifts for married couples are fine, just need to come up with something. I have NO idea what to get anyone this year....I can't go out shopping on Black Friday because we are away visiting family that day. The sisters will all probably get gift cards from us, which is fine, but no way to buy them on sale.....The parents spend at least $300 each on our family so I feel like I must get them something in addition to the calendars.....

Ideas??

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#2 of 24 Old 11-07-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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I buy the $3 wicker baskets (small laundry style) at Wmart in the craft section and make gift baskets. I buy a couple of rolls of cellophane and some pretty ribbon and big jingle bells. This year I'm including (all home made) raspberry vinegar, blueberry basil vinegar, rosemary garlic olive oil, vanilla extract, sweet potato cranberry bread, and coffee or tea or hot chocolate, depending on who the basket is for.

Cheap, easy, and meaningful.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#3 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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I'm making food gifts this year

Chocolate covered or dipped: pretzels, large nuts, strawberries, Oreos
and easy truffles (melt a can of frosting and a bag of chocolate chips - any kind...harden in the fridge after melted and mixed together... once hard, scoop out and roll into balls - you can roll it into toppings such as crushed nuts or cocoa) and also cracker toffee (do a quick search on recipezaar- SO easy and good)

I'm going to get some large lidded rectangular tins from the dollar store, fill it up with plain white baking cups/muffin cups - and fill the cups with an assortment of the goodies. SO cheap, SO easy, so personal and fun!
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#4 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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First, shop through your house to see what baskets, gift boxes and bags etc you already have. Then look for little gifts you have received and haven't used or opened.

If you have different dollar type stores nearby check them all now before it gets any closer to the holidays. Yesterday I found adult game books (puzzles) at one dollar store that I know several adults on our list will like. It's not an amazing gift, but it's something (and the man. price on the book is $9.95)

I also found great storage boxes at the same dollar store. They are white on the bottom, red on top, perfect for a holiday gift "basket" and it's reusable as a photo box or storage box.

You have to pass through a lot of junk in the dollar stores, but you can find just enough treasure in there to make it worth the time.

Another dollar store had "Belly Flops", I had never seen these but they are Jelly Belly seconds. The bag has the jelly belly logo and they are perfect and affordable to stick into gift boxes or baskets.

I've also found chocolate covered pretzels at the $1 store (ate them myself so I know they are good enough to give lol)

Thrift stores are hit and miss around here. But they do get some items still in the original wrap. Better still some of the church, school,and organization sales that happen now. Craft sales etc. They have different items, not just aprons and mittens. Worth a check.

It's hard when you see all the ads on tv with families and piles of beautifully wrapped gifts.

Good luck!
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#5 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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I'd say bake 'em all cookies. it'll be cheap on your end, maybe a bit time consuming, but so will shopping, and something nearly everyone enjoys.
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#6 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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I agree to go with consumable items - especially for the folks who don't need anything, they will probably be glad to get something that they can eat, rather than more "stuff" to clutter up their home.
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#7 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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I'd say bake 'em all cookies. it'll be cheap on your end, maybe a bit time consuming, but so will shopping, and something nearly everyone enjoys.
i agree. i was going to suggest getting bulk trail mix and putting in in mason jars with some ribbon.

eh. who needs a signature?
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#8 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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I have done family gift baskets for a "movie night in" with some microwave popcorn, a box or two of movie-theater size candy, and a large bottle of coke (or a six-pack) along with a gift card to Blockbuster or whatever the local video rental place would be.

I've also done meals--a package of hearty soup or chili mix, a bread mix, and a dessert mix (brownies or cookies or something).

For those who have expensive hobbies, could you contribute in a small way? Maybe an inexpensive gift card to a specialty store or something like that?

Do you give gifts from the whole family? Maybe DD can draw/paint/create some sort of art and you could frame one for each person/family?

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
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#9 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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This year I made bath salts for DH's mom and step dad. Epsom salt, some Vit E oil, and some essential oils in a jar. Easy stuff.

For his dad and my parents I'm going to do a photo thing of the baby. I was going to get a couple of multi-photo frames and put some of the cutest shots over the past few months and include a handprint (I bought craft paint) with his name and the year on it.

For his brother we're doing a gag gift of sorts. He loves Hershey's syrup so we're buying him a giant thing of it (like, in bulk kind of) *shrugs* Not healthy, but he'll love it.


I'm also big on gift cards when I can't figure out what to buy. I got my brother a $20 gift card to Best Buy one year and he told me it was the best gift he got because HE chose what he wanted.

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#10 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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We will be making Christmas cookies for aunts and uncles across the country. Cookie cutter shapes, and we frost them with colored frosting and do designs, etc. I do this project with my mother and sister--it's a tradition since we were kids, but also a cheap present for far flung relatives!

For my parents and dh's parents, I'm making vanilla extract, lemon extract, and going to see if I can do peppermint and almond extracts too. Bought pretty little glass bottles to put it in, will put them all in a gift basket (from the thrift store) with probably a baked good (like banana bread) and a CD each that the dads would like because honestly, they don't care about vanilla. So we are spending money on two CDs. But you wouldn't have to!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#11 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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We will be making Christmas cookies for aunts and uncles across the country. Cookie cutter shapes, and we frost them with colored frosting and do designs, etc. I do this project with my mother and sister--it's a tradition since we were kids, but also a cheap present for far flung relatives!

For my parents and dh's parents, I'm making vanilla extract, lemon extract, and going to see if I can do peppermint and almond extracts too. Bought pretty little glass bottles to put it in, will put them all in a gift basket (from the thrift store) with probably a baked good (like banana bread) and a CD each that the dads would like because honestly, they don't care about vanilla. So we are spending money on two CDs. But you wouldn't have to!
Do you mind sharing how you do extracts?

Maggie, wife and mom to three
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#12 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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I am making liquid hansoap in pump dispensers that my kids have painted on, lotion bars, and a bread of the month club for the very lucky

Maggie, wife and mom to three
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#13 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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What about having your daughter help you put stickers on the calendars- balloons and cakes for birthdays, an egg on easter, a tree on Christmas....

Otherwise, what about having your daughter decorate cookies or make a card for them.
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#14 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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Some adult gifts that I think tend to go over well and aren't too pricey:

Coffee (can get paired with chocolate or sugar spoons), you could also do tea with honey sticks.

Stamps (esp. the specialty ones you have to wait in line for - might be especially nice for grandmas/grandpas and could get paired with some nice blank cards or a letter opener)

Handmade ceramics can get picked up at really good prices at some craft fairs around the holidays, esp. if there's any kind of art school/craft guild/etc in your area. A beautiful mug, bowl, trivet is gorgeous and nice to get.

Combo of spices/herbs.

Soaps (particuarly handmade)
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#15 of 24 Old 11-08-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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I was going to suggest gift baskets as well, or clever food gifts.

There are a ton of neat ideas for either.

A couple--

-tea (tea with a tiny honey jar) or coffee basket (either small packets of fancy coffee, or coffee mixes), with a cute mug and maybe one of those tiny "inspirational" gift books, or some other small thing they would like

-a kitchen basket with interesting-looking utensils and a nice kitchen towel

-a "relaxation basket" with a soothing CD, slippers, bath salts...

-a stationary basket, with an assortment of beautiful cards, envelopes, a nice pen, and maybe specialty stamps.


You could also do a pretty cookie or candy wreath, if some on the list would enjoy that.


This year for my sister I found a scrapbook and a set of materials for about half their original price at an overstock store. You have to sort through things and make sure you're getting something that isn't damaged, but there are some treasures there. It had her name written all over it and she is going to *love* it. And I love the price.
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#16 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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Another food idea:

I have been putting up preserves over the past months to give as presents. I did berry jams in Sept, apple and pumpkin butter in Oct, going to do marmalade soon... I ordered round adhesive labels, typed up some cute names and ingredients, and stickered the tops of the canning lids. Final touch will be a tag w/a ribbon around the neck of the jar telling the recipient that if the jar finds its way back to me, I'll fill it back up and give them another gift!

Apples are dirt cheap a lot of places. Applesauces and apple butter are homey, delicious, and inexpensive to do. Even jams from frozen berries on sale are good and simple to do.

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

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#17 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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I have done family gift baskets for a "movie night in" with some microwave popcorn, a box or two of movie-theater size candy, and a large bottle of coke (or a six-pack) along with a gift card to Blockbuster or whatever the local video rental place would be.

This is what we are doing this year. You can get those big popcorn tubs at the craft store cheap and then fill it with whatever! I will be buying everyone a xmas movie this year.

We are also buying beads and having DS who is 2.9 string them for the grandmas! super duper cheapo!
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#18 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 06:45 AM
 
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You can make some scarves for everybody. Buy some yards of good fleece (maybe different patterns for ladies and men), cut them into appropriate size, cut some fringes on both ends, no need to hem or anything. I just love working with fleece. If you have the time you can also get some cheap acrylic yarn to make some hats to match. Takes me a couple hours to make a crochet hat.

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#19 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Do you mind sharing how you do extracts?
I've never done them before, but they do seem to be working. I just googled how to make them. There are tons of directions for vanilla extract. I got the beans on amazon.com Here's one:
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how...nilla_extract/

Lemon extract:
http://tipnut.com/homemade-lemon-extract-recipes/

I plan to make tangerine extract the same way I did the lemon, when our tangerines get ripe in December. And I haven't pinpointed exactly how to do almond or peppermint yet (there's a lot less out there about these), so we'll have to see.

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#20 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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I am baking biscotti this year and giving it with small packages of coffee for the coffee drinkers and teas for the tea drinkers. Looking at dollar stores and thrift stores to find two matching mugs for each gift. May put this all in small baskets that I find around the house.
We have a couple of people that we buy a nice bottle of wine for, and by nice I mean yummy but $10 or less per bottle. I wrap them up nice and may include a box of nice crackers or something. Whatever is on sale and looks a little fancy at the grocery store.
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#21 of 24 Old 11-09-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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I am making liquid hansoap in pump dispensers
Ooohhh, this sounds interesting. Could you share how you do that?
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#22 of 24 Old 11-10-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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Some of my favorite gifts to make and receive have been family photo albums, quilts, custom-made place mats, crocheted blankets, custom-made CDs, hand-painted pottery, and cookies. There are many outlets providing value Christmas gifts for children for around £10 or less, from games, novelties and toys to gadgets and puzzles. And for teens I may get inexpensive gadget accessories like iPod cases or iPod docking stations, and computer monitor frames.

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#23 of 24 Old 11-10-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I buy the $3 wicker baskets (small laundry style) at Wmart in the craft section and make gift baskets. I buy a couple of rolls of cellophane and some pretty ribbon and big jingle bells. This year I'm including (all home made) raspberry vinegar, blueberry basil vinegar, rosemary garlic olive oil, vanilla extract, sweet potato cranberry bread, and coffee or tea or hot chocolate, depending on who the basket is for.

Cheap, easy, and meaningful.
Please tell me how you are making the vinegars and the olive oil. Please, please!
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#24 of 24 Old 11-10-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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Please tell me how you are making the vinegars and the olive oil. Please, please!
I have a book. The Backyard Homestead is it and it is a great book!

Anyway, here's a link that is pretty much the same as in my book. Except that my book doesn't mention warming the vinegar.

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/7-19-2006-102862.asp

Oh, and for the oil, just stick garlic and rosemary (or whatever) in the oil and let sit in a dark cool place for awhile. I like 6 wks.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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