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Thrift Store Dishes for Food GiftsWhen I have homemade baked goods to give away as gifts, I go to a thrift store and find a pretty dish and put my goodies on it to give. I let them know they can keep the dish,too

 

A Christmas tree with no presents underneath.

No Present ChristmasWhen my mom got diagnosed with cancer, we had one last Christmas. We all decided we all are having a no present Christmas. Honestly presents were the last thing on our minds. As sad as it was that Christmas was the best Christmas. Just the three of us together. I learned that the presents isn't what makes Christmas, it's truly just being with the people you love the most.

 

A seasonal tray with a coloring book and a box of chocolates.

Thoughtful Christmas Gift IdeasI am looking to gift others with lasting items this year. I liked how this seasonally decorated tray looked and I paired it with a seasonal adult coloring book. I decided to top it off with a small box of chocolates.

 

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Christmas Gift for your Mail CarrierI think I found the most unusual gift this year for my mail carrier, Pete! While I was at the Post Office the other day, I bought him and his wife a book of stamps and put it in a very cute Christmas card. I think it will be his most unusual gift EVER! What do you think? They need stamps just like you and I.

 

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Gift Idea for Someone on MedicareNeed a Christmas/birthday/anniversary gift idea for someone who is on medicare and often gets prescriptions? Get them a gift card to their pharmacy. If you give them a gift card for their pharmacy or a prepaid visa, they can use that to pay their copay on something they may otherwise go without.

 

A decorated and lighted Christmas tree in a living room.

Affordable Family ChristmasAs newly retired parents to three young adult children, we have decided as a family to reframe our Christmas into something more meaningful than gifts to us. Rather than buying and receiving expensive items that our young adult children can't afford (with college loans and life expenses), we are starting new traditions with our family. Maybe you might want to use one or two yourself!

 

cellophane bag of cookies

Your Kitchen: A Treasure Trove for Small GiftsI like sharing the joy of Christmas with my family, friends, and neighbors. For me, it is not about the size of the gift, but rather it is the thought that counts.

 

Removing a bow after the present has been given.

Reuse Special Christmas BowsReuse special Christmas bows for years to come, as you can see in the photos. After the present is open, you can easily remove the bow and use again.

 

Fill Plastic Gift Bags for Christmas Gifts

Fill Plastic Gift Bags for Christmas GiftsThese plastic gift bags are so nice! I bought this one because it was so colorful. I plan on buying a matching blue fleece throw and adding a little stuffed Olaf character.

 

The finished chicken rice gift bowl.

Chicken-Rice Gift BowlsI am always looking for ways to make Christmas gifts that are actually useful and will be appreciated. I found these darling little bowls at the Dollar General, and decided to make some little gifts out of them and my favorite Knorr Rice Mix packages.

 

Hide Money for Teens Inside Glove Fingers

Hide Money for Teens Inside Glove FingersMy 3 grandchildren are all teenagers now and it is very difficult to know what to buy them for Christmas. Money is always welcome but I didn't want to just give them an envelope with cash.

 

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Give Free Books as PresentsIn the UK, an organisation called Healthy Planet runs free bookshops where customers can choose six books per person per day completely free of charge. I select a parcel of books according to their preferences, and spend the money that I would have spent on a present on getting the parcel delivered to them.

 

Christmas tree with money

Give 'em C-A-S-HDespite claims that the economy has improved somewhat, it has worsened for those on fixed incomes and on social services. Cash gifts go uncounted unless tied to some traceable source.

 

Frugal Christmas Gifts

Frugal Christmas GiftsAs money is tight I have made my own Christmas presents for friends and neighbours. I made bird feeders. Some I shaped myself, others, I got the kids to collect pinecones and put the lard over them and rolled in the seeds.

 

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Give Time For ChristmasInstead of the usual gift of cookies or candy, take about 10 minutes to call or visit a shut in person and it will be the best gift you could possible give. If possible, read them a Bible passage and you will be long remembered.

 

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Divide Plants for Frugal Holiday GiftsI have too many people on my Christmas list and not enough money. This year I've planted my spider plant babies into decorative coffee mugs and some into old glass pedestal candle holders and adorned them with homemade bows and candy canes.

 

Frugal Funny Gift Ideas

Frugal Funny Gift IdeasHere are some frugal and funny gift ideas. You can do this with a box of microwave popcorn, write, "May your Christmas be poppin".

 

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Homemade Christmas Gifts for MenTry a box of pretzel rods dipped in melted caramel and rolled in nuts, Skor bar bits, sprinkles, etc. This looks more substantial than a caramel apple and will be enjoyed a bit longer.

 

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Food Gift Packages for MenLast year I did gift packages for my dad, stepdad, and all four brothers, consisting of a gallon size Ziploc bag of homemade caramel corn, three dozen cookies and a 1 pound bag of pistachios.

 

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Inexpensive But Thoughtful GiftsHere are a few of my ideas for inexpensive but thoughtful gifts.

  • A box of chocolates with a homemade card that says you're just too sweet for words.


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Pot holder folded up one third to make a note pad and pen holder.

Cute Pot Holder GiftsI purchased a set of pot holders from the Dollar Tree. You simply get out the hot glue gun. Fold one up 1/3 the way and glue the sides. Some of my glue oozed out, so I just stuck a purple rose on each end.

 

Homemade cinnamon sugar shaker jar with tag.

Cinnamon Sugar Shaker As GiftPurchase a glass shaker jar. I found one at the dollar store. In a bowl, mix one tablespoon of cinnamon with a half cup of sugar. This will give you enough to fill about two or three jars.

 

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Christmas Gifts For SeniorsWe all have someone on our gift list who is hard to shop for because they already have it all, or have limited space, such as someone in a nursing home or assisted living home.

 

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Hyacinths for GiftsAt this time of year, we get ready to plant some hyacinth bulbs for Christmas. All year, I pick up pretty bowls from thrift shops and jumble sales as I see them. In October, I'll fill them with bulb fibre and plant two or three bulbs in each one, covering the bulb.

 

Frame Calendar Pictures

Frame Calendar PicturesWant some inexpensive picture frames for your decor, but don't want the expense? Save your calendars and select florals, scenes, etc. to accommodate your living decor. You may have to crop and cut them to fit behind the 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 inch opening mattes.

 

A young boy opening presents with his family on Christmas morning.

Youngest Child Opens Presents FirstOne tradition my husband introduced to my family when we married 42 years ago has become a custom of all of my sibling's families also. I would like to share it with you.

 

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Inexpensive Christmas Gift IdeasFor those of us who have children and need low-cost or free gift ideas.

 

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Restaurant Gift CertificatesFor those of you with hard to buy for parents, here's a last minute tip that can be used for any occasion. My parents love to go out to eat, especially after Mass on Saturday. Each year, I get them restaurant gift certificates.

 

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Christmas PillowcasesThis year, I am giving each of my grand-nieces and nephews a personalized pillowcase made of Christmas-print cotton fabric. My daughter is putting the names on the opening edge, so everyone will know whose is whose.

 

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Homemade Crafts As GiftsOnce every 5 years, I give only gifts that are home made. Since I crochet and knit and do plastic canvas, that's what it usually is. This year, I crocheted lapghans for everyone in the family.

 

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Barter For Christmas GiftsThis is really not a new concept, but it really does work. Bartering! Especially for the holidays. My early Christmas present was an antique cedar chest. My husband helped move a china cabinet and for his time, he was able to choose a piece of furniture as payment.

 

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Buy Thrift Store Gifts For ChristmasOur family usually draws names and we have a limit to spend on each person. Next year we decided to do something out of the ordinary and have a 'thrift store gift Christmas'. It will be fun to see how many more gifts you can buy for a person on your list.

 

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Secret Santa Gift IdeasHoliday secret Santa gift giving is easy for me. I go to Walmart, Marshalls, and Target.

 

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Use Card Fronts as Recipe CardsRe-use Christmas and Hanukkah cards for recipe cards to include with a holiday food gift.

 

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Newspaper Bags as Gift WrappingKeep the plastic sleeves that protect your newspapers from inclement weather. They come in handy as upcycled gift bags for small items. Cut a bit of the open end off so the bag is not too long, slip in a layer of colorful tissue, and finish with a pretty bow. Voila!

 

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Common Sense Holiday Gift GivingIn the current time of having to be thrifty with your money and make it stretch way beyond what you think you should, something handmade or a box of favorite candies will suffice as a warm message to someone to just show them you care.

 

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Give Gifts of TimeOffer a free Christmas gift this year, such as a night of free babysitting, a day of house cleaning, an afternoon tutoring a child or adult, or even just spending time with a shut-in person who is unable to get out.

 

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Left-Right Christmas Gift ExchangeThe soon-to-be here Christmas holiday often has people wondering how to do a gift exchange. Here's a fun way that's good for parties, group gatherings, teens and adults: Have everyone bring a gift ($10 or less) and sit in a big circle holding their gift.

 

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No Toys As Gifts For The HolidaysDespite the fact that one of her sons thinks she is the meanest mom in the world, a good friend has informed the grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. that if they want to buy her children gifts they must be books, clothing, gift cards, etc.

 

A girl holding two paper dolls.

Christmas In a BoxMy grandchildren have plenty of toys, and sometimes, like other children, would rather play with the box the toy comes in than the actual toy itself. As a result, for their Christmas and birthday presents, I have put together craft projects.

 

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Get Yarn From Thrift StoresDo you like to knit or crochet? Yarn can be quite expensive and you can't always hit the sales.

 

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Gift Idea: Fill a Tote With Useful ItemsFor Christmas this year, I decided to do something different than the usual gift cards. I bought laundry baskets or clothes hampers or storage totes for each person I was going to buy for. In the case of the kids, I bought inexpensive toy boxes.

 

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Christmas Gift: Family Photos And History BookThis year my sister and I gathered old photos, family tree info and family stories and combined them into a book. That we had printed by online publisher LuLu. The book ran about $10 a book and is now an heirloom in our family.

 

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Beloved Pet RemembranceThe presents are all unwrapped and it was a successful Christmas. the most loved present this year was to my daughter. This year we have lost three beloved pets to accidents, so I got to thinking about how to make their memories special.

 

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Used Books Make Great GiftsBirthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, etc. All of our charity thrift shops sell used books, for children and adults, usually priced at $.50 for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardcovers. Our library does, too

 

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Happy Gift Packages for ChristmasI am going to put together some activities for the kids this year. I want it to be special. A gift they will have a permanent record of and a little memory photo album with it and also a one use camera to record it.

 

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ThriftyFun Link as Free Christmas PresentI'm sending this website's URL as a Christmas present to all my friends who send me e-mail.

 

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Scavenger Hunt for a Large GiftUp until last year when my sons turned 25 and 26, I would have a scavenger hunt for the last (biggest) gift. I would make 5 clues (rhyming, of course). One would lead to the next and so on until they finally had to figure out the hiding place.

 

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Make a Christmas Card for Your ParentsWhen you think about Christmas and you're a kid, you should make your mom or dad (or both) a card that you made.

 

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Gift Baskets for the HolidaysMake up gift baskets with things they like. For instance, make a basket with music related items, say a movie and a CD, a couple of packs of popcorn, some chips, Movie tickets to the latest movie; that sort of thing.

 

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Start Christmas Cactus for Next Year's GiftsIt is a little too late for this holiday season but you can get started for next year. I was in a store the other day and glanced at the price of their Christmas Cactus. To pay $134.00 for a gift that will cost me max $2.00 is crazy. If you start now, you can save.

 

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Give Your Time as a PresentMany of us frugal folks know that when we don't have money to spend on gifts, we sometimes choose to give people "coupons" for things like babysitting, cooking, mowing the lawn and other useful chores or activities.

 

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Family Coupon Gifts for PreschoolersAbout 10 years ago, I wanted to help my then 4 year old granddaughter make something for her to give to everyone for Christmas.

 

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Start With Youngest Child For Christmas GiftsWhen it comes to opening gifts it can get a little hectic. When I married my husband, he introduced my family to his way of opening the gifts. His family started with the youngest opening one gift and worked their way up the line to the oldest then started over again.

 

Christmas Gifts For Teachers

Christmas Gifts For TeachersOur teacher was very beloved. Parents brought her many sweet gifts, including lots of chocolates and coffee cups. With the economy what it has been, there were so many other things she could have used. Here is a list of some of the things that we discussed.

 

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Almost Free Spa in a Bag GiftEveryone is on a tight budget these days and now more than ever, people are more understanding with regards to receiving more frugal and thoughtful gifts. Here is something you can do for a friend or family member that may not cost you a dime.

 

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Start Buying Christmas Gifts in JanuaryAfter Christmas, I start a Christmas Gift Tote for the next year. I place a tote, in my craft room and each month buy a gift to add to the tote or if I find bargains while shopping on particular gifts I purchase 2 or 3 of them and add them to the tote as well.

 

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Make a Trivia Christmas JarAround Christmas I make my sisters something like a memory jar. Instead of memories with them, I put in inside jokes, movie lines, pictures, random facts, and drawings on little pieces of paper with colorful backgrounds. Then I decorate the jar.

 

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Ask For Christmas Gift Ideas In OctoberDuring the first week of October, I send a "gift ideas" list to every person for whom I'll be buying a gift all year long (not just at Christmas). They have a month to get the completed list back to me.

 

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Mark Christmas Presents With Numbers Instead Of NamesIf you have little impatient gift-peepers at your house who can't stay away from their gift under the tree, here's what I do.

 

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Homemade Jelly as Christmas GiftsGive Christmas presents that come from the heart. I buy stemmed glasses at the lowest price possible, figuring one set of 4 for each present. Next, I get 4 boxes of SureJell, a package of wax, and 4 bottles of 100% juice without sugar.

 

Matching Doll Gift

Give a Girl a Matching DollGive joy to a little girl. Get her a doll that looks just like her! My granddaughter was thrilled!

 

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Thomas the Tank Engine Santa ShirtThis is so simple and involves no sewing! I first bought a green plain t-shirt at a craft store for $2.50 and then cut up a big Thomas from a pillow panel. Next I ironed on wonder under to the Thomas cut out and then peeled back the paper on the wonder under and ironed on the green shirt.

 

reate Food Tags

Craft: Create Your Personal Food TagsI just baked 2 lbs. of Classic Sugar Cookies, made a product tag and will attach it to the cookie tin. I took a picture of the cookies and created a tag using a Microsoft Document.

 

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Flower Pot Christmas GiftI just came back from my weekly thrift store run and found small ceramic flower pots, already painted for 40 cents each. I am adding a envelope (downloaded from Alenka's printables) of seeds from my garden and a candy cane. I will give these as a small gift for office co-workers, since I am known as mother nature--this fits perfect with everyone's thoughts of me.

 

An apron from fabric scraps

Make an Apron from Fabric ScrapsMake quick Christmas gifts with scraps from your stash that they will love. I needed quick gifts that would not hurt our budget so I took a look at my fabric stash and I was able to find unusual combinations to create this totally divalicious apron!

 

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Crape Paper Wrapping for TeenagersLast year I struggled on how to make my 3 nephews, who are teenagers something just for them. I bought crepe paper (streamer type) and started wrapping. I layered candy, gift cards, cards, fishing lures, etc...

 

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Dollar Store Treasure Chest for ChristmasSince one of the best parts of Christmas for little kids is to open presents, I decided this year to make it a real treasure chest for my grandchildren. I went to our local Dollar Store and bought each one of them a plastic bin...

 

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Making Personalized Homemade GiftsGifts and gift making. The last few years I've been making gifts for the adults and kids we exchange with. The gift is typically the same for those that I'm making for to save on time, planning, and materials.

 

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Give a Little Getaway Instead of a Gift for ChristmasWanting to make every dollar count this year at Christmastime and with 6 grown kids, 3 with spouses I decided to approach gift giving a little differently.

 

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Pot Of Gold Christmas GiftA nice Christmas gift is to make a pot of gold usually found at the end of rainbows! This is a good present for people who are difficult to buy for.

 

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Be a Good Sport When Buying for Yankee SwapsJust a reminder about Yankee Swaps, Dirty Santas, Chinese Christmases, etc., those gift exchanges where someone opens a present, the next person opens another gift and can trade gifts with the first person, a third contestant opens a gift and can trade with either of the first two players, on and on.

 

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Buy Gifts At Local Craft FairsStretch that holiday gift giving budget at local Church and Fraternal organization craft fairs. Lovely things, priced reasonably, and always unique. It won't take long to complete your list under budget.

 

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A Gift for People Who Have It AllI've always had a hard time giving to people who have the money to buy anything they want or for people who just have it all. Last year, apart from giving my mom the usual homemade stuff, I gave her a $10 gift card so she can give to any organization she wants!

 

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Paperwhite Narcissus Bulbs Gift Idea (Under $10)A thrifty hostess gift for the holiday season can be started at Thanksgiving to be ready for the December holidays.

 

My Frugal Holiday: Homemade Gift IdeasOur family on my side has decided to have a completely "homemade Christmas", due to the economy. Since not all people like "crafty items", my daughters and I try and make items I already know they like (or requested) and will be used.

 

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Christmas Shopping TipsI never understood people who waited until the day after Thanksgiving to start their Christmas Shopping. I usually start in July or August and know some people who start in January. I know it's already October, so start now if you can. It will still help you during the holidays. Make your list of "giftees" and keep it in your purse.

 

Cat Quilt

Making Christmas Presents From Fabric...We all know how expensive Christmas giving can be. My husband and I live on a disability check. He fell and broke his back 3 years ago, and I stay home and take care of him. We had to change the way we live, only necessities now. But I have grandchildren that need Christmas gifts.

 

a person doing a crossword in pencil

Frugal Crossword Puzzle Gift IdeaThis is a frugal holiday or birthday gift idea for people who like crossword puzzles. If you get the daily newspaper, or have a neighbor who does (and doesn't do the crosswords), do this:

 

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Yankee Swap Gift ExchangeIf you get together with extended family over the holidays, gift giving can get really expensive (especially if you get everyone an individual gift). To cut down on costs we have instituted a "Dirty Santa" or "Yankee Swap" gift exchange for the adults.

 

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Holiday Gift EtiquetteMany people, myself included, have hobbies such as sewing, painting or general crafting. I wanted to post a reality check for these people before the holidays.

 

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Thrift Shops, Yard Sales, etc. for Christmas GiftsWith everyday life getting more expensive my family had decided to have a little more fun with Christmas other than just drawing names, spending a set amount on a gift and getting that person what they had asked for.

 

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Memory Gifts For ChristmasEvery year the adults in my family draw names and buy a gift for just one person instead of a gift for everyone. Sometimes we have themes for the gifts. One year we did memory gifts (I saw this one on TV)...

 

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Gift Ideas for Pet LoversFor the pet lovers in the family I've come up with a unique way to show them I care at Christmas time. I found $1 "Pet Sitter Information" pads for the refrigerator for when they need to leave their pets in the care of others, with contact numbers.

 

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Buy Gift Cards For Christmas With Every PaycheckEvery payday throughout the year I buy gift cards. I mix them between cards for stores that I know people I buy for buy from and Visa or AmEx gift cards. Some folks get the gift cards for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas/Related Holidays and for the ones that "have to have a gift", I use Visa/AmEx cards to purchase them.

 

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Have a Recycled ChristmasWhile reading my ThriftyFun newsletter and leaving an answer for someone regarding less expensive Christmas shopping, an idea popped into my head.

 

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Using a Gift Box for a Frugal ChristmasOnce again, I have succeeded in being bountiful this Christmas without breaking the bank or getting into debt! I am recycling gift bags (and tissue paper) from the presents my husband and I gave each other to use for my brother and family.

 

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Give Older Kids Christmas Money Instead of PresentsIf your children are older, give them money for Christmas. Then, take them shopping the day after Christmas. They can get twice as much for the money and get anything they want for themselves. I once knew a family who had six children, and this is how they handled the holiday.

 

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Donation Instead of Greeting CardsFor the last few years I have made a $100 donation to the National Arbor Day Foundation to help restore the rain forest in Central America, instead of sending out Christmas cards to my selected 100 people.

 

Plant Clippings As GiftsI have a second generation spider plant that has more babies on it than I know what to do with. So this year, I clipped a few and put them in water about a month or two ago. I kept some aluminum vegetable cans (easiest to clean out) to use as pots.

 

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Happy New Year GiftsI give Christmas Gifts a few days after Christmas and call them Happy New Years Gifts. The reason why: I don't want people to feel obligated to give me something in return yet I want to say Thank You.

 

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Give Consumables To Older Friends or RelativesIf you are wondering what to give older friends/relatives for the holidays, here is an idea: Consumable gifts are always welcome since seniors do not want to get things that will end up collecting dust or ending up in a yard sale!

 

A photo of formula cans used to store gifts.

Empty Formula Cans For Holding GiftsFor thrifty gifts this Christmas, I decided to make cocoa for several people on my list. Instead of buying glass containers, I saved my baby's formula cans and peeled off the labels.

 

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Homemade Gift Bath ScrubbyI buy dollar store soaps in holiday scents, like peppermint or even gingerbread scent. From thrift stores or again the dollar store or any outlet, buy cheap children mittens.

 

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Five $5 GiftsI find it challenging to give all the gifts I'd like to without exploding my budget. For many friends and their children, I have a $5 budget. I feel like this can work when 1: the gift is thoughtful and original and 2: the gift is well wrapped and comes off looking more expensive.

 

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Measuring Cup Gift for ChristmasA wonderful, inexpensive, lovely idea for Christmas gift giving. Purchase a measuring cup, preferably glass. Tie a ribbon to handle with a card stating this or something like this: "The measure of a person should be...

 

Cookie Tin

Cookie Tin With Homemade CookiesYou can save a lot of money this holiday season by making your own gifts then give them away to family and friends. A home made gift is much more appreciated than something that you purchase from any store.

 

Cocoa Jars for ChristmasBuy a nice jar with a lid, the dollar store is a great place to look. In the clean jar, fill three quarters of the way with cocoa mix. Add a layer of chocolate chips, then another layer of mini-marshmallows. Place lid on. Tie jar with a pretty ribbon with a candy cane tied into it. Very easy and inexpensive to make.

 

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Thrifty Gifts For The FamilyI have been trying to think of "thrifty" presents for my immediate family. I am also planning to buy them modestly priced "new" items but I thought a thrifty gift would also be special, because they know I am into that kind of thing. Here is what I have come up with. I hope other people will also contribute their ideas.

 

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Purchase Gift Cards Throughout The YearFor Christmas shopping, start purchasing gift cards every paycheck or month in January. By the time you get to Christmas, you won't have to dip into your regular budget to purchase Christmas gifts.

 

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Family Trip Instead of Toys for ChristmasA couple of years ago my daughter asked her kids what they wanted for Christmas: toys or going to the Wisconsin Dells for Christmas with the family? Would you believe they picked going to the Dells? They said they had enough toys and that they get toys for their birthdays.

 

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Frugal Family Name Drawing For ChristmasSince my family has grown to (so far) a total of 23, we decided in January to draw names and choose to buy at garage sales or thrift shops.The highest one can go is $10.00, the lowest $5.00.

 

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