Frugal Gift Ideas

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to show people you care. This guide contains frugal gift ideas.
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October 9, 2008 Flag

This 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:

Cut out the crossword puzzle, and find the page that has the solution on it. Staple, glue, tape, or otherwise fasten the puzzle and the solution back-to-back so each puzzle has its answers right with it. Collect as many puzzles as you'd like to give. You could one from every newspaper for a year and give it for Christmas or a birthday.

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Add a pen, a cheap clipboard or other hard surface, and whatever else you think would go with a bunch of crossword puzzles. Put it in a box and wrap it with (what else?) the Sunday comics.

If your friend gets the same paper you do, ask a neighbor who gets a different paper, or gather old crossword books and cut out the used ones and their solutions.

If they really like a challenge, don't attach the solutions. Either put them in, loose (and they have to sort them out) or don't include them at all.

And when they're done with the puzzles, they can be thrown in the recycling bin (minus the staple or tape.)

Source: I got this idea because I usually keep the section of our newspaper that has the comics, but I kept the whole section. I have slowly been going through them and cutting out the comics I wanted to keep, and any undone crossword puzzles, and of course, I want the solutions, so I attach those, too. So I have this folder of thirty or so crossword puzzles.

By Saber from Omaha, NE

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October 24, 20080 found this helpful

Great idea! Same can be done w/sudoku.

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December 16, 20140 found this helpful

This is a fun idea! When I was younger, I made a "Garfield" book for my mom. I had my grandma save her paper each week (dailies used to be black&white) & put it together when she was @ work. She was so surprised! :)

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December 20, 2011 Flag

Here are some frugal and funny gift ideas:

Source: Simply Frugal

By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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December 20, 20110 found this helpful

What cute ideas! I love them - thanks for sharing!

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October 25, 2007 Flag
1 found this helpful

Ideas for frugal gardening or yard gift ideas as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. I am thinking something you can attach to a stake for a garden ornament. Check out the dollar stores and see if they have something you can improve.

tiny succulent

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December 6, 2006 Flag
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh1 found this helpful

We've all heard that it's the thought that counts, but what could have more thought than a handmade gift. The craft-impaired need not worry. These gifts are easy, cheap, and perfect for the holidays (any of them!)

Handprint Magnets

These magnets make easy gifts that kids love to make. Pair each set with a hand drawn picture, and it's ready for the fridge! All you need to do is stamp your child's hand on a flat piece of magnet available at any craft store. (StazOn brand stamp pads are ideal.) Then, cut around the hand. Seal it with two or three coats of a spray acrylic sealer and it's ready to go. Very young children can create footprints rather than handprints.

Hands Down Best T-Shirts

Create a unique t-shirt by having children (or even adults) stamp their hands on a t-shirt using a permanent fabric stamp pad or fabric paint. Then, using fabric paint or a fabric marker, write "Best [Dad, Grandpa, Teacher, etc.] Hands Down!" on the front and label the child's name below his/her handprints. Make one for Grandma with all of her grandchildren's hands or make a special shirt for a babysitter.

Photo Coasters

Insert a photo into small square picture frames. Then, seal the edge where the glass meets the frame with clear caulking or a thick bead of hot glue; this will protect the picture from sweaty glasses or spills. Give a set to a grandmother and put a picture of each grandchild in each coaster, or have each child draw a special picture for each coaster and give the set to Mom.

Family Recipe Book

Plan ahead for this project. Start by collecting family recipes for loved dishes. This is a great family reunion project or even a pre-meal Thanksgiving activity. Type each recipe on a page with the name of the contributing family member. Add a special note about the meal if possible such as: "Grandma makes this dish every New Year's Day" or "This was Great-Grandfather Brown's favorite meal." A visit to the local office supply store will offer many options to bind the book together.

Make a Videotape

A good videotape avoids the phrase "Say something to the camera." Instead, invite those who will be in it to decide what they want to contribute. Teens may opt to show off their newest basketball lay-ups while another may read a personal message, create a skit, or tell a joke. Try videotaping everyday activities such as dinner, playtime, the morning rush, or evening downtime. These are the moments that show what people are really like. Many stores that offer photo developing also offer to transfer mini video tapes onto VHS or even DVD.

Whatever you create, keep in mind that it is truly the thought that counts. Even if your end product doesn't look like it came off the department store shelf, it won't matter. What does matter the most is that your gift will be a one of a kind gift packed full of love.

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December 7, 20060 found this helpful

I've made my mother a variety of seasonal sweatshirts from her grandchildren. I used handprints and footprints (works best with SMALL children) to make reindeer and labeled it "Grandma's little deers." Each child places a footprint, heel down, and each handprint at the toes, fingers out and spread wide. The footprint is the deer's face and the handprints are its antlers. I decorated the antlers with a string of tiny bells. Another gift included a handprint Christmas tree (the largest child's handprints at the bottom, heel to heel, up to the smallest's topping the tree) and multi-colored fingerprints all over the tree, reading "Grammy's De-lights." I made "Grandma's little angels" with two handprints. one open and facing down for the body and robes, the other halfway down the palm, closed and at a 45 degree angle for the wing. Then I painted on a head and face, sleeves and hands and feet. Don't forget the halo!

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December 7, 20060 found this helpful

My favorite: find something bland/ugly but useful (at the dollar store)and decorate it with paint, sequins, paper(seal it with mod podge), fabric .....anything will do with the right adhesive. I found lovely white plastic bins/trashbasket that I will decorate and give. There are hundreds of possibilities, I saw some laundry baskets that would look great with some sequins!

Thanks for all the other ideas!

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October 26, 2006 Flag

Holiday Gift Idea. For an inexpensive holiday gift, for a teacher or neighbor. Get a whisk and fill the inside with kisses. Cover the outside with plastic wrap and and decorate with a ribbon.

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April 11, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am needing ideas for nice, inexpensive gifts for my sister, sister-in-law, and brothers-in-law.

By Maria from Canada

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April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I like gift cards. I'm in 7th heaven whenever I get one to Barnes and Noble. But gift cards to a favorite restaurant or store would also be nice. Tickets to a move or event that they would be interested in would also be nice. Or you could give them a household type gift, like a set of sheets or towels or something.

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April 11, 20100 found this helpful

Gift cards, good luck.

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April 11, 20100 found this helpful

You should really consider what they like, what their interests are. For example, my sisiter likes to feed hummingbirds in the summer time. She has a feeder but always has trouble cleaning it. I found a hummingbird feeder cleaning set. My brother is very earth friendly/conscious so I got him a subscription to Mother Earth News.

These gifts didn't cost much and showed them I was really thinking about them and what thier interests were. Even making a card with markers means more than buying one. I do that for my kids.

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April 14, 20100 found this helpful

Magazine subscriptions?

A cake and/or dinner delivered on their birthdays?

Pictures in frames?

Hobby tools & equipment?

A pampering basket?

Homemade Cd of favorite songs?

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April 15, 20100 found this helpful

If they live far away or otherwise don't get to see you much, perhaps a small photo album full of pics of your family and theirs? Last Christmas I found lots of silly song lyrics I thought my friend would enjoy and put them in an inexpensive binder. I hadn't thought about the format, but recently learned it was perfect. She has very little function in her hands and must have all print material like this.

Hubby and are also in the "when in doubt, buy gift cards" ranks. And with today's gas prices, gas gift cards should be very popular.

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August 24, 2007 Flag
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For cute holiday gifts that don't cost a lot use the cake decorating bags used for frosting cakes and fill with ingredients for your favorite recipes. Just tie the recipes to the bag and add cooking directions.

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December 12, 2005 Flag
1 found this helpful

For a frugal and fast gift bag, use a brown paper lunch sack. Take a bag and fold it down about 1 - 2 inches from the top. Take a hole punch and put 2 holes in the center of the flap you just made...

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August 2, 2005 Flag
1 found this helpful

When it comes to birthdays and holidays, sometimes people are strapped for cash. In those instances, my family gives "services" for gifts.

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February 11, 2005 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here is an idea that helps when you accidently have forgotten a special occasion and need a gift. These can be kept in a pantry or closet area or where ever you can find some space. . .

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