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Your Take: Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

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Lego SantaWith the economy as rough a shape as it’s been, a lot of folks are turning towards frugal gift ideas this year. These are gifts that a frugal in the sense they don’t cost a lot of money but what they do replace with dollars and cents is oftentimes worth so much more. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to have a lot of thought, care, and creativity in order to be a great gift. As we hunker down and try to end another tough economic year, things like homemade gifts will probably make many an appearance on Christmas day.

What is the best frugal Christmas gift that you’ve given or received? Or even just saw or heard about?

(Photo: Joriel “Joz” Jimenez)

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12 Responses to “Your Take: Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas”

  1. classof89 says:

    My siblings and I decided to try “themed” Christmas giving to reduce costs. One year the theme was “anything from a yard sale or thrift store”. This was really fun, but you have to start keeping an eye out for gifts very early in the year. For two years the theme was “free” – so we gave something we already had or something we’d managed to get somehow for free (my sis-in-law does couponing, and we all got a box of toiletries, which was great!). This year we’re all getting together the day after Christmas to paint my mom’s house instead of giving her a traditional gift. She’s thrilled! Spending less during the holidays isn’t hard; you just have to be willing to give more of yourself.

  2. freeby50 says:

    I’ve always liked getting home baked cookies as a gift.

    To be honest I generally really don’t care to receive someones homemade craft / hobby products as a gift. Few people have hobbies that make stuff I want to own.

  3. Husker Avid says:

    This isn’t really free…but…I shop the post Christmas sales and end up with a lot of stuff.
    I am gifting that stuff this year. E.g. candles grandkids sold at school, adult gifts (think umbrellas), Christmas gee-gaws. They will work for White elephant and hostess gifts. My exercise teachers all get a candle–I show my appreciation and clean out my closet.

  4. Husker Avid says:

    Also I organized my friends and we brought a plate of Christmas cookies each to the bagel shop at which we meet three times a week. Wow! Do we ever get good service!

  5. SLS says:

    My favorite gifts have always been books – since I was a little girl. Now that I am older and poorer, my partner and I shop used book sales all year long – including one that happens at our local library’s “cast off” book shop when they have 55% off – so you can get a gently used hardcover book that originally cost $35-45 for $1 or less! I think I am most looking forward to the books I know she’s gotten me over the past few months – and I have several books, dvds, and books on cd for her as well.

  6. EXS says:

    I used frequent flier miles to upgrade my parents’ 10-hour vacation flight and gave an elderly relative greeting cards + stamps for her to send on various occasions throughout the year (so more frugal for her.)

  7. sheri says:

    This is my favorite year because I’m doing a $5 and/or freebie gift exchange with a friend. We are very competitive and the challenge has led to a lot of laughs. I may end up with a chia pet. LOL!
    I have (Free) starbucks coffee samples, book marks, lip balm, notebooks, disposable razors. (Under $5) night shirt (.78 after Target coupon from clearance rack), large bottle of organic foot lotion (3.50 after coupon) and a bottle of wine (5 cents from Bev Mo’s buy 1 get 1 for 5 cents sale). I think I’m gonna win the challenge :)

    Everyone else with the exception of a few young nieces/nephews) are getting baked goods.

  8. Sheila says:

    EXS, I wish I was your mother. :-) We give our son two hours each of yard work in the spring. He has allergies so he’s always grateful when we work in his yard during high allergy season.

  9. Shirley says:

    One of the most used gifts I’ve ever received is a homemade note-holder from an elderly uncle. It’s a simple wooden cut-out of a heart for a base and a small 6″ dowel with a wooden clothespin attached to its center. It sits in the entryway and everyone knows that this is where you leave a note that you definitely want to be seen.

  10. spooky says:

    My mother will be getting a car membership as she hates changing tires and what not.

  11. The Frugalist says:

    Get together and do what the old timers did. Sing, eat special but sensibly, everybody can contrigute. And maybe one special gift from the whole family for each person. Better yet, enjoy Christmas with the idea that you will shop for what you want when there are sales and share that right up until Valentines day. Where you will have a candelight dinner and a movie at home. Then wait till the chocolate and stuffed stuff is all %75 off and buy some for your honey then.


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