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Zan&Zav 09-30-2012 03:34 PM

is it time yet to start a frugal gift ideas thread?

mamabear0314 09-30-2012 04:32 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Sure! I made homemade vanilla extract. I'm adding homemade hot chocolate mix, vanilla sugar and homemade thin mints. I want to do something more many for the guys..

alaskanmomma 10-04-2012 12:59 AM

I think so, just under 2 months, it'll sneak up on us quickly!

katelove 10-04-2012 01:48 AM

Last year we gave my parents and brother and SIL "a year of food".

We got a wicker basket and put a jar of spiced nuts in it along with a booklet explaining that each month we would be delivering a homemade food treat to them. Then it listed each month and what the food would be. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. I tried to be a little bit seasonal/relevant, we did homemade soup and bread for the winter solstice and a cake for my brother's birthday month. Others were pretty random, I think October is fudge and August was bagels. They've loved it and it has spread the cost over the year for us.

This year we're going to do a hamper of preserved things with some homemade pot holders for colour.

I'd quite like to do a hamper of Christmasy things too but everyone has so much food at Christmas and we're all conscious of trying not to eat too many treats so things which don't have to be eaten within a few days are more appreciated.

Last year for DH's two close work colleagues we did cranberry & pistachio fudge and we'll do something similar this time.

Basylica 10-04-2012 06:17 AM

I made cute ruffle ended scarves for my nieces and OBV hand dyed pillowcases with print knit cuffs for my nephews. Xmas is stressful for me (thank goodness it's only once every 2 years now!) because the 2 xmases i've had my kids since the divorce we've drove to chicago to hang with family.

Not only did I have to get presents for the kids (I try not to go nuts and only get them a few gifts. It's about family not toys!) but I have 5 siblings, 6 nieces and nephews, and around 5 of my aunts/uncles show up (my mom is one of 12) to hang out as well.


So I end up spending between 300-400 on driving with gas and snacks and the like, plus doing some fun stuff with the kids (last time we went downtown and had unos and rode the train and did a museum)....

I could easily drop a grand if I don't watch it!


I actually got a text from my sister's phone around may saying my nieces (3 of them) really wanted OBV pillowcases too. so sweet!

Since I don't have kids this year I wasn't expecting to do anything (my theory is santa/EB/etc only goes to ONE house. of course my ex doesn't do that so i'm fighting a constant battle on that front) for my kids or family this year. However now I feel I have to buy 60+ dollars of fabric for the OBV since I used every last scrap last xmas, and I need a few more dyes since I don't have the colors I really want to do them (another 40-50)....atleast I have plenty of prints!

100 bucks for a few pillowcases! :/

holidaymama 10-05-2012 04:52 AM

Yay!!! I love this thread every year :)


I tried making homemade vanilla for the first time this is lovely!


We don't really do gifts to neighbors and coworkers, but we do have gifts for my parents and hubby's parents as well as our two children, my grandfather, hubby's grandmother, and my one uncle.


Thinking about ideas already. Usually I make them a book on shutterfly. I have been terrible with pictures though, so I better start ;-)

EmsMom 10-05-2012 06:49 AM

I think I will be baking for Christmas.  Cinnamon bread, banana bread, cookies.  And I have a ton of jams I canned this season and still will be canning applesauce and brandied apple rings.  Will try my hand at some seasoned nuts as well.  Or maybe homemade granola.  Only people I buy for is my kids anymore.  I figure most people really seem to have more than enough "stuff" so I give food.  But most people I know have so much food, especially sweets and white flour stuff, that they are unhealthy and overweight and in many, many cases diabetic or prediabetic.  So that makes food tough as well.  It just really seems that all American holidays have become something really weird and pretty scary, so we keep our holidays very, very simple and very, very peaceful by mostly avoiding the whole thing...

MadelinesMama 10-05-2012 10:01 AM

We are giving food gifts to several family members this year too.  We are including jam, apple butter, apple sauce, homemade bread, a variety of quick breads (banana, pumpkin, chocolate), homemade vanilla extract, homemade granola bars and either pecan pralines or rocky road fudge. 


The kids get very minimal gifts from us.  I am working on providing them with experiences rather than objects.  We are buying a membership to the local kids science museum and a doll for DD.  DS will get a dump truck and probably some clothes.  We do stockings with practical items like tooth brushes and toothpaste, socks, underwear.  I will also include fun stuff like hairbows (DD loves bows!) a bottle of "fancy" pink lemonade and some candy.  The kids get overloaded with gifts from family members, so they don't mind at all that we keep things low key at home.

honeybee80 10-05-2012 04:51 PM

I think I'm just gonna give everyone fancy chocolate ;)

mommariffic 10-05-2012 05:15 PM

Christmas! I'm so excited -- I tend to really splurge on the children but I don't want to do that since we are TRYING to simplify here (trying being the key word..)


My parents + inlaws + family (which is small compared to some) are going to get photobooks of the kids. I'm going to take all the lovely seasonal pictures I've taken and write little stories and blurbs to go with them, and that's going to be the main gift for everyone. No one really *needs* anything so it's perfect and thoughtful (and a little pricey so I'm shopping around to see what prices are better..) I may also do some homemade scrubs and body things that I like to make with my own herbs; last year I did vanilla lavender salt hand scrub that came out so nice and I added handmade soaps and vanilla extract in little baskets for the ladies in the family. 


I tend to do homemade things for friends, and I'm going to be making winter bordem buster kits for all the littles in our lives. Small games, craft sets etc. 


Not sure what the children are getting yet - my DD wants an American Girl doll SO BADLY so I'm thinking that could be her "Santa" gift...she's really much into the mini doll and books so I know it will be loved and played with, it's just so pricey! I had one when I was little, and really do like the dolls so we will see. DS will probably get some pirate stuff. 

Juvysen 10-11-2012 12:29 PM


holidaymama 10-14-2012 05:21 AM

We just found out we are expecting (which we are SUPER excited about). That means that we will be paying medical costs so that it is all paid off by my 7th month (the birth included). This is about 3200 or 460/month which means things are not going to be the same at Christmas this year...did I mention we also pay 820/month for my grad school (done in May before baby arrives in June). Soo, we are thinking of family gifts for our two boys, probably including a trampoline ( I may be that crazy person in line at 3:00 am at Walmart!) and a new backboard for the awesome basketball in ground system that came with our house (the back board is shattered).


We really wanted to get each other a new mattress, but since we have a king this means around $1000. We may ask our parents to help as our gift, we will see.


I need to start now and when we get paid on Friday, I am going to purchase the back board and then a few smaller things through the month.


Any ideas for my parents and husband's parents? We usually do really nice gifts for them (since we have graduated from college) upwards of around $500 total for each set of parents, but that is not happening this year and I hope they understand.

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