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<p>What are the cheapest gifts you are giving this season that you are proud of?  I am giving my mom a gorgeous spring season wreath that she saw while I was with her at a garage sale for $2.  She saw it and really liked it.  She told me I should buy it for my house (we don't have many decorations yet).  Well I bought it but its going to go to her for Christmas.</p>
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<p>I also got my kiddos some great toy finds at garage sales this year.  Brand new looking huge lego set $4 and a Barney that can tell when you cover his eyes and says a million different things for $1.</p>
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<p>We will also give out family photos to family and that is always cheap because we take the photos ourselves. </p>
 

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<p>Photo collages or framed photos are always a hit with my family. I shop for discounted frames and usually wind up spending less than $10 for each gift.</p>
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<p>Food is welcomed too. Last year I made gift baskets for each couple in the family with 2 single-pot packets of coffee, 2 mugs and a couple of individually wrapped biscotti. I think I spent around $6 each (everything was from the "dollar bins" at Target) and they were very well received.</p>
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<p>Handmade anything is usually inexpensive, but of course there's a time investment. This year I'm hoping to make slippers for several people, and possibly a bunch of dishcloths.</p>
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<p>I do most of my kid shopping at resale shops. Not quite as cheap as garage sales but I'm happy to support local business and still get a good deal. :)</p>
 

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I'm knitting cowls ("gaiters") to everyone and a scarf to my brother-in-law. All are being made with leftover yarn from other projects. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> I have spent many hours working on them and still have a few hours ahead to make the last of the gifts. It feels a lot more rewarding than handing someone a gift certificate or some knick-nack bought at the last minute.
 

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<p>I found my mom a cool cornucopia marked down after Thanksgiving, 90% off.  She loves hosting Thanksgiving, so it's perfect for her.</p>
 

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<p>Homemade bath salts. They are so easy and if you make a large batch to put into multiple containers, they are very cost effective. I use real essential oils for their aromatic and theraputic qualities. Those can range from $6-up. But they are well worth it and go a very long way. Epsom salts are the base with some baking soda (or not).</p>
<p>You can dress up any jar in many different ways to make it look spectacular. It's a great gift.</p>
 
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<p>I did a lot of baking this year for gift baskets. Instead of buying baskets the goodies are just being transported in boxes from our trips to costco-nobody saves the baskets anyway.  I got most of my daughter's gifts either secondhand or through sign up deals.  I shop mostly secondhand for all my gifts, really.  I am making my dd a play stove/storage container for her play kitchen stuff.  It's a rubbermaid container we already had, and I'm gluing food container lids to the top to make the stove top and knobs.  I made my husband an "I love you" jar-I just filled a jar with scraps of paper telling him all the funny reasons I love him.  I'm also making him some croutons because he LOVES croutons. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<p>you all have some great gifts.  I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who shops second hand for some of my gifts.  When I was little about 1/3 of our gifts came from garage sales and I remember thinking it was great, I knew they cost less which meant I got some bigger nicer toys.</p>
 

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<p><span><img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> </span></p>
 

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<p>I make what people tell me are fantastic gift baskets.  And I make them up all pretty, different every year, too.  Most everyone always asks me if I want the basket back for their basket next year, lol.  I  use the $3 small wicker laundry baskets at Wmart, and I get most of them back.  This year another neighbor moved away and when we were scavenging for stuff after they left, I found one of the baskets so I have another one now.  Last year I put a jar of home made red salsa, a jar of home made green salsa, a jar of vanilla extract (beans off of ebay for CHEAP and a cheap bottle of vodka and old tincture bottles I've had sitting around--the big ones), a bottle of raspberry vinegar (berries from cheap organic co op and reuse the bottle the red wine vinegar came in), a bottle of blueberry basil vinegar (berries from same co op and basil from my garden and reuse bottles), a loaf of sweet potato cranberry bread, some cookies, and a bag of Hershey's kisses.  I made labels for the vinegars and extract out of red wrapping paper w/little white polka dots. I put some red ribbon w/gold dots around the salsa jar lids, I wadded up white tissue paper under all the goodies, wrapped the whole shebang in cellophane and made a pretty bow w/red ribbon w/little gold polka dots.  And always, always, a huge jingle bell.  They are not ultra cheap (about $8/basket usually), but reasonably so!</p>
 

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<p>There's a penguin publishers warehouse in my town and every year near thanksgiving they have a huge sale on all the overstock (or something?  TONS of brand new books) and sell it all at about 10% of retail prices... that is, 90% off.  I got tons of early readers for DD and books for my other kids and my niece and nephew, and also a cookbook for my sister...</p>
 

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<p>Homemade bread.  Yum!  <span><img alt="drool.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/drool.gif" width="15"></span></p>
 

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Yum!<br><br>
Great idea on the bath salts... I might have to steal that. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<p>This year I'm really not doing presents for anyone but DS.  I'm honestly giving myself the present of 'mental health'.  Don't know if that counts or not but... honestly after 10 yrs w. DS and 30 some years with my family this is the best choice.  <span><img alt="wild.gif" height="24" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wild.gif" width="25"></span></p>
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<p>I may steal that bathsalt recipie for ME!</p>
 

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<p>I found several books my cousin has been wanting at thrift stores for super cheap.  She is like a sister to me so I try to get a gift for her family each year. </p>
<p>I found some really pretty tins at a thrift store the other day for .20-.50 each that I will fill with cookies and/or fudge for my mother in law, sister in law, mom etc.  Some years I do gifts and others I don't due to budget but I LOVE giving gifts so I am happy to be able to this year.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, I love this thread! So many great ideas.</p>
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<p>My cheapest gift this year is for my DP. For Christmas when I was around 10, my parents gave me a beautiful oak roll top desk. When I left for college, I didn't take it with me because I didn't have room for it and my computer desk, too. I never did get around to getting it, so its been in storage all these years. My DP mentioned the other day that he would love to have a desk. I asked what kind, and he said a roll top! So, I'm bringing it out of storage, wiping it down with a great wood cleaner, and putting a bow on it. =)</p>
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<p>My ds is getting a lot of "new" books from the thrift store - they are always between $0.15 and $0.39 there. He loves to read, and he is always clamoring for more books, and he doesn't have a clue if they are new or not. He isn't old enough to ever consider it.</p>
 

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<p>I have been scouring the freebies on facebook and via email. I have four photo collages that were completely free (pick up at store) and two photo books that were $1.99 each (shipping only; no store pick-up available). I am the Picture Day Coordinator at my DD's school and I receive her portrait package free for my time and effort. It is a large package and the grandparents and aunts/uncles LOVE this gift! I usually turn these into some sort of craft with my existing supplies.</p>
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<p>DH & I videotape our DD year-round. She is the only grandchild on one side and the youngest on the other. We live far from all but one family member. DH turns this raw footage into very nicely edited DVDs. I create a photo slide show of all of us and set it to music, which gets added to the end of the DVD. DH also creates custom cover inserts for the physical DVD cases and prints a nice pic and menu on the DVD itself. These go to the grandparents and great-grandparents and the rest of the family (in each area) gathers around to watch on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. BIG HITS! Since we know in advance, we can take advantage of sales to get the few items we need (specific DVDs, cases, photo paper) and they last several years because we aren't making a dozen every year.</p>
 

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<p>I'm making a lot of bags... mostly fabric I have, or cut from thrift store items.  Simple over the shoulder bags but then I'm personalizing them.  For example my SIL is going to be visiting local wineries when she visits for the holidays so I'm hand stitching the wine trail image to the bag (a scrap of blue felt becomes the lake, a simple stitch makes the trail) with beads to mark the wineries.  Then I'll add the free winery info brochures to the pocket along with a note pad/pen (from the craft store dollar bin) so she can take notes about the wines she samples.  I'd love to give her gift certs for the wineries, but we have a near-zero budget so the bag will have to do!</p>
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<p>Same thing for other folk, bags are adaptable... a SIL who just discovered veg*n living gets a bag with a "new" used cookbook, and gentle living slogons stitched on.  My 5yo dd1 is obsessed with dinosaurs gets a bag with a felt dino on the outside and homemade dino beanbags on the inside (two different dinos for tictactoe).  My very steampunk dh is getting a bag embroidered with cogs, gears, and bits of schematic.  My aunt who basically lives at the used bookshop is getting a bag with quotes stitched on it.  My youngest is getting a bag with lots of pockets made from different colors/textures.  All really simple designs that can be done with a straight stitch, but they look nice.  And everyone can use bags these days when some stores are charging bag fees and most people carrying their own bags anyway.</p>
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<p>A neat low cost/big look gift we made a few years ago were custom clocks... clock kits are just a few dollars at craft stores and then you can put them in anything that you can poke a hole through!  Old records, hard covered books, tiles or stones (assuming you have a masonry drill bit), plates/cups/saucers, cutting boards, whatever you have.  I think it ended up being about 5 dollars each for the kit and the "face item" (neat decorative tiles from the repurpose shop, and vinyl records from the thrift store).</p>
 

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<p>Can someone post or message me the bath salt/scrub recipes and a good homemade bread/rolls recipe</p>
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<p>Yall rock!</p>
 
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