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My Frugal Life: Frugal Homemade Gifts

I try very hard to be creative when giving gifts to friends and family, giving thought to their likes and dislikes, or what may be age appropriate. Having a limited retirement income means I need to be mindful of my pennies, so I do as many people do. I take advantage of knock down prices in the sales, selecting small gifts throughout the year that strike a note as being appropriate for a special person.

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I have a place to keep them together so I can always be sure that I have a gift ready, especially at those times when money may be short or when a birthday or event creeps up on me. This has worked well over the years but I now have more time and so prefer to make my own gifts.

For Christmas 2011, the majority of the presents I gave were homemade, all costing just a few pounds. They were mainly knitted, and very much appreciated by the recipients.

My daughter-in-law sources many of her presents from charity shops. This year, I received a beautiful silk scarf and a fleecy sweater perfect for keeping out the cold winter winds. I was delighted with them and know she would have looked long and hard throughout the year to find such treasures that she could not have afforded at the full "as-new" price.

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I decided to take this frugal and homemade present giving theme further. We are lucky to live in a country neighborhood where we get together two or three times a year for drinks and nibbles at holiday times. We all like to take a small inexpensive token of our appreciation for neighborliness throughout the year. I thought how much nicer it would be if I could make gifts to take. So I put my thinking cap on and so far I have gifted the following: a hand knitted dishcloth with a heart motif, some home potted bulbs, a bunch of heather from the garden tied with a beautiful ribbon, a gardening book (charity shop find) a jar of cider, a bottle of wine, a jar of chutney, and a jar of jam, all homemade. I look forward to gifting more foodie gifts this year. I have preserved lemons and sauces on my mind.

By Lesley Dersley from Devon, England

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February 10, 20120 found this helpful

My husband and I visited friends in Devon this past summer. The charity shops down there are wonderful and I was able to find several gifts for friends back in Scotland.

Some of the gifts were made from repurposing items found in the charity shops like felted mittens and hats-lol, I think I've started something up here because I've had a couple of people ask 'How did you do that, will you teach me?'

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