Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
I am a cybergrannie and it is difficult to choose gifts for my children and grandchildren. I buy clothes and odds and ends from yard sales, thrift stores and church sales and sort these out in a small room set aside for this purpose. I have a rack for hanging clothes and shelves for folded clothes. I try to sort by size but this is not necessary.
At Christmas and when anyone's birthday arrives, they get to go into this "special" room and pick out whatever they like. They all tell me that they love this idea and I never have to worry about giving something they do not like or have to return. I have been doing this for several years and never had anyone go away empty handed.
As a bonus, I spend about 1/3 (or less) amount of money as in the past.
Hope someone can use this suggestion. I have never heard of anyone doing this before.
By Cybergrannie from Belleview, FL
I'm a kid and take it from a kid, kids hate getting: flashlights, clothes (unless we're in love with clothes of course), or anything involving safety for any holiday. What we want is of course is sweets, video games and and money, NEVER a gift card unless it's for Toys-r-us. We prefer money over gift cards any day.
Grandparents often look to give their grandchildren gifts other than the typical clothes and toys. Think about more personal items that may cause them to think of you for years to come. This is a guide about unique gift ideas for grandkids.
This is a guide about saving money on gifts for grandchildren. Grandparents are often on a fixed income, making it necessary to choose a great gift at an affordable price.
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.
I'm on a tight budget this year for Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Any idea what I can start buying them before Christmas comes.
How about the gifts of experiences! Some of my best memories are baking with my nana and my grandmother playing dolls with me.
Set up a special day with each punkin grandbaby and do something you both can do together...like dolls, baking, etc. They did special things with my brother also...I just wish I remember what it was...probably baking and playing with his toy cars.
Take lots of selfies so the can share with their parents!
If you feel you have to give a tangible item...are there things that have special meanings to you that you could pass on to them NOW and enjoy watching them enjoy them today? Both of my grandmothers gifted me with jewelry of theirs when I was old enough to appreciate it. It was costume, and totally NOT my style, but I appreciated having it.
Memories keepsakes are the best gifts! Have fun creating them for the holiday!
We had a frugal grandfather and we really looked forward to his gifts. They were very similar year after year:
WE LOVED IT!
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I am looking for some creative ideas I can make for my grand kids. I have boys and girls to think about. All are 4 and under. I saw a cute barrette holder that looked like a skirt with a ribbon hanging. I am at a loss. Please help. Christmas is coming soon.
By kim from CO
Years ago when trying to do Santa on nothing, my husband and I went to a construction site where a house was being built and we asked for the small pieces of wood that was being thrown away. We took the pieces home and sanded each one smooth. By the time we were through each kid had a bucket full of blocks of the oddest assortment. They both played with their bucket of blocks for years and the items that we bought were barely touched. (11/16/2009)
Between my mother and my grandmother they both did similar things for us kids. One year it was a decorated shoe box, another year it was a simple homemade bag with handles, but they would place a new coloring book, a small box of crayons, a Fun Pad, a pencil and/or pen (at four and under it may not be such a good idea though) and an assortment of candy. One year they added McDonald's toys from the Happy Meals, etc. (11/16/2009)
I have 2 4-yr-old granddaughters and I'm going to make some clothes for their baby dolls. They love to dress and undress their dolls. Good luck! (11/17/2009)
I took empty cereal boxes and wrapped them with Christmas wrapping paper after cutting the top flaps off where it had been opened. I took a hole punch and punched 2 holes on each side and made handles out of ribbon. Then I began to fill each with toys like coloring books, crayons, stickers, and balls that could fit in. You can find a lot of ideas at the Dollar Tree and stores like that. (11/18/2009)
Something that my husband's grandmother did for the great grandkids was a picnic. She bought each of the kids a small cooler. I would say go to Dollar Tree and buy a lunch bag. She put in a small can of pop, cheese and crackers (or could do mini pack of peanut butter Ritz), fruit snacks, an apple, cheap sunglasses, and a small matchbox car. My boys are 15 and 20 and they still remember the picnic that great grandma gave them. Hope this helps. (12/01/2009)
By Leslie Hess
Any suggestions for gifts for 13 grandchildren of a Nana living on social security? I usually like to make something, like ponchos for girls and tied blankets for the boys, but don't have the stamina for that this year. I'm anticipating a hip replacement after Christmas. Please send any ideas that you might have that would not be labor intensive and a cost of $20 each or less.
Wondernana from Clovis, CA
If it's not too difficult, you might like to try baking some cookies for your grandchildren. Kids always love cookies. (10/20/2007)
You sound like a great lady! I have a friend who sends the kids money -- $1 for each birthday (ex: the 5 year old gets $5) up to a certain age. It's easier for her to send a card with the check, rather than trying to pick out gifts, etc. I hope this helps! I hope your hip replacement goes well. (10/20/2007)
Why not a gift card to a favorite store or cash? At Wal-Mart you can have a photo of them put on a gift card. All kids like cash, and they could buy something they like or have been wanting. (10/20/2007)
1. $10 gift cards to movie theaters
2. cash ($5-$10 each)
3. magazine subscriptions
4. gift certificates to a restaurant such as McDonald's
Whatever you give them, I'm sure the kids will enjoy. You sound like a terrific grandma. Wishing you a successful hip replacement surgery and a speedy recovery.
What about a basket of cookies or another yummy treat (along with "grandma's secret recipe")? Or a framed photo of yourself? A neat tree ornament? Or a book? That is one thing my grandma buys for all of the great grand kids. And for birthdays she does coloring books/crayons. Good luck with your surgery. (10/20/2007)
My grandmother made us ornaments for our trees, and I cherish those. (10/20/2007)
How about an all-you-can-eat buffet? I went to the Golden Corral lunch buffet the other day. It was $6.19 per person and kids under 13 could eat for free! You don't have to take them all at once or on Christmas day, split it into several trips. Or call some places and ask if they have discounts for groups. Good luck and God Bless you on your hip replacement. (10/20/2007)
By joan pecsek
1. Homemade gift certificates for items such as one day of baking at grandma's, or one overnight stay, or a movie night at grandma's.
2. Dollar store items such as pens, paper, craft items, etc.
3. A picture of all of you together then put it in an inexpensive frame.
4. You could have each child over and have their favorite home cooked dinner, breakfast, or lunch.
5. Take them to Walmart, tell them they have x-amount of money to spend and let them decide, don't forget to include taxes.
I hope these ideas help. May God watch over you during your surgery and recuperation. (10/21/2007)
My mother is on SS as well, so I know how difficult it is financially. I agree with the above posters with their gift ideas and think they are ideas that would be liked by the kids. Just remember though, no gift, no matter how much or how little it costs, is no match for the love and attention of their grandmother. That's the best gift of all. (10/21/2007)
I asked my grandparents for years to use a tape recorder (which I gave them) and just speak into it. Tell stories of when you were little, what your parents were like, what interests you. Including blessings and how much you love your grandchildren and what you remember about when they were born would also be fabulous. Unless the kids are totally materialistic they will love these recordings now, and I guarantee they will love these recordings as they get older. Don't put it off! I never got my recordings. (10/21/2007)
You could create a memory scrapbook for each grandchild using pics of each with Grandma during visits. Use their favorite color and write a special letter in your own handwriting that tells each grandchild what they have meant to you over the years and things you see and love about them and cherish. Also, write about yourself too so each child learns something about you maybe they didn't know and you'd like to share with them.
Perhaps include pictures of the crocheted items you've made and other handiwork you've done, so your grandchildren can see ALL your skills. Include a favorite church hymn or poem, or bible verse that has significant impact on you.
I love my family genealogy and I hope this idea helps you to build upon it. It can be as inexpensive/expensive as you want it to be. Personalize is the key word here. Good luck if you choose this option. (10/21/2007)
How about buying plain t-shirts for each and fabric paints, then have a craft party where they can design their own. You can pick up foam stamps (real cheap) in different shapes, and foam brushes can be picked up for 10 for $1. I would bet you would not spend the $20 each and the money you saved you could use for snacks or a treat for them. (Ice cream with different toppings - they can make their own sundaes while they are waiting for the paints to dry on the shirts.) (10/22/2007)
Start a new tradition. Give proof mint coins for this year. You can order on line at catalog.usmint.gov. Or give the proof silver dollar for this year. Bye have been giving our sons coins every Christmas for 20 years. Also, give a subscription to magazines like National Geographic Kids or Highlights for Children. For special birthdays or graduation give girls a special piece of your personal jewelry. I have also given their parents family antiques so I can enjoy seeing them enjoy those items I know they like. It also prevents arguments when it comes to dividing your estate. (10/22/2007)
My MIL sends each grandchild a subscription to an age appropriate magazine. She calls each year around this time to see if they want the same one and what their current interests are. Many great magazines can be found for $10/yr and is a year-long gift! Amazon runs pretty good deals, some even offer added incentive. You can get a $5-$10 Amazon gift certificate with certain subscriptions. I'm am in no way affiliated with Amazon, I have lots of avid readers in my family and I like to save money! LOL. (10/22/2007)
My grandmother always made butter cookies using a cookie press for a family gift. I still remember them and it's been a long, long time. Inexpensive enough? (10/22/2007)
Wondernana, I would suggest making up goody bags or sort of like stocking stuffers but have it all be food/goody items. Maybe you know the likes and dislikes of your grandchildren so you can make them up according to what goodies and snacks they favor. You could do cookies, packets of hot chocolate mix, candy, or maybe even McDonald's gift certificates.
I am very happy if someone gives our kids food gifts because they like it and it goes away so no need for me to find a place for it! They already have too many toys and clothes!! (10/22/2007)
Lots of great ideas for gifts. The best gift will be your new hip. My mom just had one at age 79 and she has a new lease on life! Your lucky grandchildren will get a happy healthy grandma! (10/22/2007)
Let them get into the crafting mode. Go to the dollar store and look for small crafts that they can make. Today I bought a small plastic canvas project for each of my nieces. It is easier than cross stitch and is a stepping stone to learning cross stitch later. There are foam projects, lots to choose from. Kids love to learn and crafting is a great way to start. They will be proud of their completed projects. (10/22/2007)
By LEONA LABINE
Last year I gave the families several games: Clue, Mousetrap, Jenga, Battleship, etc. I bought 12 games for under $100 dollars when they were on sale at target, and then received rebates of $2-$3 on each game! Milton Bradley has had rebate forms to mail in the last couple of years during the holidays. (MB also has easy games for the little ones.) You could also add popcorn, hot chocolate, and other treats. The kids loved it! They now have family game nights (10/22/2007)
By Grandma Jan
Any way you can give special time, write your history, special letters to tuck away--maybe for 5-10-15, etc. years down the road. This would be in addition for anything else you come up with. I am one who tucked away notes from my grandmother (died 26 years ago), the old next door neighbor who gave only the birthday card with a message in it, etc. The one I cherish the most is the one my father wrote me several years ago when he was in alcohol treatment. These are in personal handwriting that I will never get again. (10/22/2007)
Check the website www.budget101.com. They have neat gift ideas, especially the gag gifts. A grandma's cookbook of family recipes would be a great gift for teens. You could write the recipes out or type on the computer and have copies made. One time I sat down with my mom and wrote down all her recipes, which wasn't easy because she never measured anything! Now that she's gone I cherish those recipes. (11/15/2007)
My grandparents, when they had various ailments, would give us the amount of cash they could afford, whether it was $5 or $20 that particular year. My cousins and I always looked forward to having our own spending money. Such a luxury to have when you are young. I also think the gift of yourself, your history, is priceless. Even when I was ten or twelve I used to just soak up everything my grandma said about the old days. I'm now 34 and I still can think of nothing better to receive. (11/26/2007)