Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
This weekend My family and I are traveling 10 hours via SUV to my sister in-laws 50th Birthday. I just paid ALOT in taxes (today) and gas prices are out of this world. I would be grateful for any gift idea that are inexpensive.
Thanks, Michelle from VA
Time is short, but you can still pull this off.
Put together a "Pamper Yourself" basket. Use any old basket you have around the house. If it's dusty, rinse it with warm water and scrub with a toothbrush. Let dry outside or in a well ventilated area!
Now, visit your dollar store and buy a couple of instrumental CDs for $1 each. Something relaxing, according to her taste, if you know it.
Scour your kitchen and pantry for flavored teabags (it doesn't have to be a whole box), a pretty teacup and saucer, a nice cloth napkin, packets of hot chocolate, homemade cookies -- whatever you can find. If needed, put some items in baggies and tie with a piece of ribbon.
Add a nice magazine in her area of interest, a few pieces of gourmet chocolate. Or, go for nail polish, a facial cream or mask, or makeup. Again, browse the dollar store for ideas. You can get a LOT for $10 or so.
Pull it all together with a cellophane bag or clear plastic wrap. Use a 4X6 index card, or a piece of cardstock to make a big tag. Write on the tag,
"It's 5-0 clock. Time to Pamper Yourself!" Cut it out in a taglike or heart shape, punch a hole and tie it to the basket with a pretty ribbon.
Essentially, you're making something out of (almost) nothing. Use anything you have at home and add a few purchased items. Color coordinate if possible.
Have a safe trip, and give the birthday girl a big hug. That will mean even more to her than the gift.
You are right about the gas prices. How about a gift from your printer. Pull out some old family photos that your sister-in-law would enjoy, perhaps of her kids when they were younger, etc. and print on your printer. You can make a really nice family photo album for very little money. Pictures are always fun to share and go over the "Do you rem. whens". I'm sure this will go over!
Years ago I made "special me" cans for my sisters and each 1 of my 5 kids. I decorated a can and wrote 25 things on strips of paper about why they were special. 16 years later, they all still have their cans. As my sister turns 50, I'm making her a new "50" can, with 50 things about why she is so special in it. To this day, my family says the cans are the best gifts they received.
I am 21 years old, but unfortunately something went wrong between my mom and myself. There is a lady who is living in Canada, she doesn't have daughters. So now we are talking everyday and I feel I am not alone anymore because she is my mom. So I wanna send her a surprise gift. Please tell me what is the suitable for her? She is a Srilankan lady.
By Shehara from Colombo, Srilanka
My mother is throwing herself a 50th birthday party and hasn't left much for me, my brother, and my father to do. She hates surprises and it's too late to try and put together a photo album or something. We have a small budget (just being honest). If anyone can please give me some guidance as to what we could do for her that would put a smile on her face, please let me know. Thanks.
By DominiqueP from Atlanta, GA
If she has pierced ears, get her a pair of small earrings (pearls are nice). If she wears necklaces, a small nice necklace would be a special gift. If nothing else works, a small box of candy would be appreciated also. Stores like Walmart, Kmart, Target or Walgreens will have what you need.
Buy her 50 of her favorite candy, i.e. peppermints, or chocolate kisses. Or find a penny from every year that she has been alive. Do other 50s like paper clips, pencils, pens, etc and put it all in a special basket to give to her. 50 flowers!
For a friend of mine who loved sewing, I put together 50 blocks of fabric and rolled it up for her to use whenever she was ready.
Have fun with the number 50!
Send each guest a small cellophane bag,and a piece of curling ribbon, think corsage bag, and ask them to put 50 of something in it and tie with a ribbon. Suggestions of 50 pennies, 50 peppermints, pretzels, bobby pins, little silly toys like small cars, As guests arrive have a large bowl like a punch bowl, large snifter, etc to pile all the bags in!
Don't know if anyone suggested it or not, but have someone (if there are gifts) write down each gift and who gave it to her, get someone else to take a picture of her face when she opens the gift and also have someone take pictures all throughout the party. Put the pictures and such into an album for her. You can also get a notebook and have each guest write something about her: either a fun event, important one or just something nice this is the type of gift that she can go back and relive her "party" anytime she feels like it. It also gives her a way to remember friends who are far away or gone as the years go by.
For big birthdays, 50,60,70, etc. I've always written a list of " 50 (60, 70...) things I love about you. I write about trips we've taken, gifts they've given me, times they've made me feel special as well as individual qualities about them I admire. These lists have always been a hugely treasured gift from anyone I've given one to. It's not often, if at all, that any of us every reads 50 or more nice things about ourselves. Have fun with it! ( And it's free!)
I must tell you about my 50th. My children did give me a surprise party and a lot of people were there. But the special gift I got from my children and grandchildren, was a video of my 50 years of life done in 20 minutes. My family play acted my life on video, which covered part of my childhood right through to 50. It was funny, and emotional all at once. I will never forget that, and still have the video now at my age of 63.
I don't know your budget or your mom, but I know things I'd enjoy: a "spa day," which could be done at home if anyone is good with hair, nails, etc. Your local beauty college or other vocational school may also be an option for a "beauty makeover." Wash, condition and trim Mom's hair, give her a head massage or hand/foot massage and manicure/pedicure.
What I requested from my gals last Christmas was simply a lunch out. The local Chinese buffet was inexpensive, as is a local Mexican place we visited on my son's wedding day.
If you're of a poetic or literary bent, you might write Mom a little poem or essay. It only costs time, and she'll treasure it. If several of your family/friends are like minded, maybe you could collaborate on a collection. I made a little poem booklet years ago using MS Publisher. All the templates are there, it'll just take some thinking to get the right number of pages for a good print. By the way, happy birthday to your mom!
I have been invited to a surprise 50th birthday party for someone I do not know that well. I thought of getting her a gift certificate to a spa or something, but she works at a gym/spa and I think she already gets a discount on that.
I really don't know much about her except for that she owns her own business, is a gym instructor on the side, and is very athletic. She has three little Yorkies that she and her husband treat like their kids. I'm not really sure what would be a good gift for her. Any ideas? (Gag gifts are out since, again, I don't know her that well.)
By Stephanie from LA, CA
A gift card/certificate to a pet store or one to a restaurant.
A gift card for clothes for her, good luck.
Maybe a gift card with a personalized note that says, "Please give this gift card to somebody you do not know well", giving is the greatest gift.
Since she loves her dogs so much, I'd find the best quality, gourmet doggie treats you can find and buy her a bag of those. You can call places that board dogs; those high end pet "daycare" places. They usually carry expensive foods and unusual items for pets. Of if you have time you can look online and order something like that. But, I'd definitely do something for the dogs since you know how much she loves them.
You can not go wrong with either candles or frames. They are the first things I think of when I have to get something for someone I don't know well like you.
Since you don't know her well, you should not have to go broke in finding a gift. Make her something nice--whether it is crafted, hand made or baked. When all else fails, get a box of chocolates or certificate to DQ, etc.
I know gift cards have been mentioned but what about a gift card from a Sports Shop. if she is athletic, she may appreciate it more. if gift cards don't sound appealing, the safest thing to get her is a selection of healthy foods in a hamper. what she doesn't like, she can give away but there's bound to be something there that will be acceptable.
My sisters and I want to give my mom a really nice 50th birthday gift but can't decide what to get her. We originally planned to buy her the new iPhone and record a heartwarming video for her to watch on the phone, but she went and bought herself an iPhone for Christmas! My other idea was to just give her money, but I would like to give it to her in a memorable way. Any ideas?
I am a bit stuck at the moment and need help. My wife's 50th will soon be upon me. I have two sons age 7 and 13. What can I get for my wife from my sons? They are ready and willing to do anything, but money is very tight!
By Gary L
What to get for a 50 year old woman who is very self centered?
Later this year, my lovely wife will be turning 50 and I want to make her day very special and memorable. I adore her to death and I think she is the sexiest and most alluring woman I have ever known. So far, I have a gift ready and I am planning a party for her. The gift is a functional "statement" piece, a Tiffany tote bag, and the party is more of a casual dinner with a few friends and work colleagues.
Over the past few years, my wife has worked very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and has lost and kept off 75 lbs. I have not only taken notice, but have encouraged her to stay at it for her sake as she looks great. Nonetheless, I have the opportunity to give her a gift that I feel really makes a statement about how great she looks which costs about the same as bag I already have for her. It's not at all "trashy" but says, "At 50, I can still rock things out."
My question is, is this too much for this occasion? Part of me says, no, because it's a very special day for her while the other part says, the bag and party will make it memorable. I'm kind of leaning in the direction of making the latter part an "overflow" for next year.
A favorite relative will be celebrating a 50th birthday this spring. She adores hummingbirds and has all sorts of hummingbird "stuff" in her house. I need a suggestion for an inexpensive gift that will be unique and awesome! It doesn't have to be hummingbird theme. I am crafty, but can't draw, paint, etc.
By Linda from San Diego
Hi Linda. Silly, but seriously, one of the sweetest gifts I received on my 50th birthday, only a few short years ago, was something I didn't believe anyone should waste their money on.
Told my husband, year 1 of our now 25 plus years of marriage, that this particular gift was fine for our anniversary (supply is high on that date and demand and cost is low at that time of year) but never on my winter birthday or Valentine's day when the prices are jacked sky high. Made sure all my family and friends understood the same. Yes, I'm that thrifty and that practical, although some call it "bossy"!
My husband politely "obeys" but my younger sister and brother-in-law (guess it's worth noting here that they live two states away which may account for their bravery) said "Deal with it 'cuz it's a milestone birthday" and on my 50th birthday they sent two dozen, long stemmed, fresh roses to my front door.
Made me smile and cry and take in the lovely sight and scent for over two weeks. My husband was as thrilled as I was, and he was touched and grateful that I was touched and that all these touching moments happened without him "breaking my rule" of no birthday long stemmed roses. I know this kinda sounds weird, but it works for us, like I said, 25 plus years and counting! :-)
Long story short: Buy your relative something she loves, but could never ask for and pretends to snub, that you know will make her smile. Then promise never to do it again until her 100th birthday. Then do it again for her 100th birthday!
Happy birthday to your relative and friend!
I think anything handmade shows time and effort and pre-planning. If you needlepoint, find a canvas with hummingbirds and give it to her...finished as a pillow, for her birthday. If you sew, make her a quilt with hummingbirds. Whatever craft you do, make a hummingbird for her. You could also write a little story and give the hummingbird a name, talk about what he loves and why he's so excited to be part of her collection, etc...... that would make it very cute! Good luck!
We are taking a girl's trip to Jamaica to celebrate 50th birthdays. There will be 8 of us going. The problem is 6 of them are turning 50 this year, and I want to do something special to surprise them while we are there. I also have to worry about packing whatever I'm taking. Help!
By Kathy H. from Louisville, KY
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My mom is turning 50 this year and I want to get her something big and something really special (doesn't have to be both). I was thinking a new TV, but it doesn't seem to be something she's too excited about. I think she might like something more like an experience gift.
Unfortunately most "experience gift websites" mainly have thrill seeking things and she's not really into that. She might be more into a pottery or cooking class. Any suggestions for something like this would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!
Things I have thought of so far:
We live in MD by the way.
By Katrina from Baltimore, MD
Maybe she would like a gift card to a ceramic shop where she could make an item. Or maybe classes for scrapbooking that way she could make a scrapbook of memories. (06/17/2010)
As she grew older, I always found it harder and harder to pick out gifts for my mother. It always seemed what she liked and what I thought she would like were two different things. Last year I think I struck gold with her birthday gift. Something that I personally have had for a while without even thinking it was special. I bought her a GPS system for her car. It was a great gift for a few reasons, but my favorite is because of the fact that she and my father have just recently moved closer to me and she isn't as familiar with the area as she was back home so her new GPS is now allowing her to get out of the house more often. She'll drive around the city for hours finding new stores and restaurants she's never been to and when she's done she hits the "go home" button and has no trouble getting back home! Great idea for someone looking to get out of the house and experience life a little. You can't get lost if you always know where you're at! (06/17/2010)
About the wine tasting, search for places near you on the internet. I live in Texas, and my local winery charges under $20/person for a tour and wine tasting. It's really a great experience for all ages.
Otherwise (and I know you said she is not a thrill seeker), take her to get a tattoo! I am waiting for my 50th birthday for my first one, that way I can't say it was a stupid mistake I made when I was younger. And don't discount it, your mother might just surprise you and say yes! (06/18/2010)
You are a thoughtful daughter. As a middle aged mom, I would enjoy an "experience" with my daughter. Anything you know she would enjoy would be even better if the two of you do it together. It doesn't have to be expensive to be meaningful. (06/18/2010)
Other classes to consider: quilting, knitting or crochet, stained glass, watercolor/oil painting. (06/19/2010)
I'm in my fifties. I tell my children to give me gift certificates to places that give facials, massages, manicures and pedicures, etc. I love these. Very relaxing. If you want to do the wine tasting and she lives near a university, check with them. I know some of the ones down here offer classes and they aren't that expensive. (06/19/2010)
As a mom (of sons) I agree with the mom who said that an experience gift would be great, especially one which you could do together. Off the top of my head, I would suggest going to a play or a concert, wine tasting, going to a game if you both enjoy a sport, learning something together like skiing or rollerblading or line dancing, doing something rather offbeat like whitewater rafting, or maybe going on a "girls weekend" together to a spa or a special craft festival or to visit a historical sight or to the beach. (06/19/2010)
Check with your local Michael's craft store. They are always having classes in everything you can imagine; scrapbooking, cake decorating, jewelry making, floral design, oil painting, like I said, any craft you could imagine! Buy her a gift certificate to cover the cost of the class and the supplies, and maybe even attend with her. You could make matching necklaces, for instance, to remember this very special time in your lives. And congratulations on still having your mother. Bless you both! (06/19/2010)
An experience I have done, my kids have done, go work at a homeless shelter food prep area. Those that have done this find it a wonderful and thankful experience that they are not in that position. Donate your gift money.
Another similar one is find a site doing kids against hunger/feeding children international. What you feel in the fellowship of doing for someone else cannot be compared to a big TV, etc. These are lifetime experiences. I take my granddaughters, my sons did this when young too. The last feeding children event was 4 hours long, 1 hr commitment. I wanted to stay for the whole 4 hours. You are doing your part to help world wide. (06/21/2010)
By T&T Grandma