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The Twelve Days of a Budget Christmas-Day 3 Frugal Gift Baskets

christmas post day 03

Day 3 ideas come from Honey. She is a great frugal friend and when she left a comment that she was putting the free meat thermometer in a gift basket I told her that was a great idea. She offered to write a guest post on how to assemble other frugal gift baskets and I could not say yes fast enough. So enjoy Honey’s great ideas.

Here are some gift ideas. By being creative and practical you can give gifts that will be well received without spending too much. Think about your Christmas list, upcoming weddings, and birthdays. By “shopping” all year you can get many bargains on high quality items that will easily fit into these categories.

“Sewing Kit” (Martha Stewart’s idea)
Items needed:
Ball Jar (or other durable, inexpensive container)
Thread (black, white, red, blue, tan)
Needles
Various sewing notions (seam ripper, thimble, small scissors)
Buttons (variety of colors)

“Instant Date Night
Items needed:
Bowl or Bucket
2 Glasses (Check Dollar Tree for first two items)
Microwave Popcorn
Blockbuster Gift Card ($5 gets you a movie)

“Pasta Bowl”
Items needed:
Pasta Bowl (check the person’s registry or places like Home Goods)
Cloth Napkin(s) to line the bowl
Bag of Pasta (gourmet varieties)
Pasta Sauce
Tongs or Pasta Spoon
Cheese grater
Strainer
Seasonings, the list goes on and on…

“Pantry basket”
Items needed:
Bowl, Bucket, Basket or Tray
Various Gadgets (look at Bed, Bath & Beyond-use their coupons, Big Lots, Dollar Tree)
Spices
Mixes
Cook Books/Booklets (look at Big Lots, Discount book stores, grocery stores or sign up for online freebies. I found two free baking booklets at Kroger yesterday-this is the time of year to find those.)

“Gym Bag”
Items needed
Tote Bag
Towel
Sports Drinks/supplements
(You could also include sport-specific gear like swimming caps, goggles, running socks, golf balls/tees, etc.)

“The Spa Treatment”
Items needed:
Basket
Luxury bath items (like bath oil, soaps, essential oils, bubble bath)
Quality bath towel (look for sales, coupons)
Candles
Lighting tool/matches
Magazine or Paperback
Relaxing Music CD (check for these at Dollar Tree)

“College Survival Kit”
Items needed:
Basket
Change for Laundry
Laundry detergent
Washcloths, Towels
Snacks & Sodas
Non-Perishable Food (trust me they will eat anything!)
McDonald’s gift card
Notebooks, Pencils and other school supplies
Personal Care items (soap, toothpaste/brushes, feminine, deodorant, razors, etc)
Hot Pot (dish liquid and scrubber -to clean the crock pot)
“Write now”
Items needed:
Basket
Stationary
Quality Pen
Postage Stamps
Stickers
Poetry book or book of quotes
Diary (check at Borders using sale/coupon or Dollar Tree, Target, Big Lots-I got some last year which were leather bound and had gilded pages for $5!)
Small dictionary or thesaurus
Art supplies or gift card for them (AC Moore, etc)

Hostess Gift Ideas
With the holidays around the corner, many will be invited to parties. Here are some ideas for small tokens of appreciation:
Baked Goods (from your own kitchen or store bought from Fresh Market)
Jars of jam , honey, or nuts (Dollar Tree, Big Lots has some nice gourmet ones)
Fragrant Candles (dig out the freebies from Walgreens and CVS)
Christmas Ornament
Decorative Napkins
Offer to help clean up or serve food (hey-that’s free!)
Chocolates and other treats
Small Notepad/Pen
Handwritten note thanking them for their hospitality
Plants (if the person likes them-I enjoyed the small Rosemary shrubs Lowe’s carries)
Small serving bowl
Most of these ideas are things the person can use to entertain (since that’s what they like to do). But I have heard (etiquette-wise) that it is not expected that the person would use your item at that event. So don’t be offended if they concentrate on their guests and leave the gift in the bag to open and enjoy later.

Have you ever received or given one of these creative gifts? Do you have any more ideas on frugal creative gifts? Leave a comment and inspire us all.

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