Christmas Gift Ideas
Still shopping? Me, too. And who wants to gift junk people don’t need? Forget about jelly of the month club. Give gifts that will keep your frugal friends and family members saving all year long.
- How about an electric throw blanket or a space heater for the frugal freeze baby on your list?
- Rechargeable batteries. Keep powering toys, flashlights, and other gadgets with less cost to you and the environment.
- Glass storage containers. Packing lunch and storing home-cooked leftovers is so much easier with the proper containers, and glass ones are healthier and easier for re-heating food.
- College fund contributions. This is the gift that keeps growing with the child, and adds value throughout his or her life. While toys and clothes begin depreciates as soon as a kid touches them, compounding interest will grow your gift over the next decade or more. And it’s tax deductible if you contribute directly to the fund.
- Wool. Barring wool allergies, wool sweaters, socks, or scarves are a great way to help a frugal gift recipient stay warm throughout the winter, ‘cause you know they’re too cheap to turn up the heat.
- Camping gear. Open the Door to a Lifetime of Vacation Savings by lowering the entry cost of camping. We save over $1000 a year on vacations by camping, but wouldn’t want to without our tent, camp stove, air mattress, and sleeping bags.
- DIY reference materials, such as books on gardening, DIY home repair, cookbooks, backyard chickens, honey bees or any other book supporting a money-saving hobby or endeavor. Here’s my favorite Indian cookbook. And my favorite bread-baking book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book.
- A bike. Biking for frugal transportation seems to have made a comeback. Helmets are also a good gift for anyone whose brains or beauty you wish to preserve.
For the new parent:
- temporal lobe thermometer: This thermometer is so quick & to use, my kids like getting their temperature taken. It also seems more sensitive than traditional ones.
- Miracle swaddler: This blanket gently helps keep those arms swaddled much longer than other styles.
- white noise: A small, portable white noise machine is ideal for travel, even if it’s just to put your baby down to sleep at a friend or grandparent’s house. It’s also great for hotels and camping.
- rechargeable batteries: Battery-operated toys are bound to enter your house. This set will save you loads in the long run.
- Caffeine paraphernalia: How about a French press, K-cups, or a hot pot and Yorkshire English breakfast tea.
- Free babysitting and a restaurant gift card. Need I say more?
For the handy man: (suggestions from Neil)
- drive socket set: I’ve been preaching this to anyone who will listen lately, once you go 1/2″ for automotive work, you won’t go back. If you or a loved one will be doing any work on their car in the near future, I cannot recommend highly enough to get 1/2″ drive sockets. Most people use 3/8″ drive, and it’s nothing but frustration and busted knuckles.
- wire strippers: These auto-stippers are a tool you didn’t know you needed until you use one. They perfectly strip wire of any common size without breaking the conductor. Much better and faster than using scissors or traditional strippers.
- loupe – LED illuminated: These loupes are really fun. Easy to use and show the kids stuff close up. Bugs, carpet, newspaper, wood, all fun when viewed through a loupe.
- wood-splitting ax: This Fiskars Axe is the only way I am able to split my own firewood. I am not a giant lumberjack; I cannot wield a 8-10# maul for a few hours at a time. This thing is light, swift, and well designed. It makes splitting wood fun.
- drill bit set: Get these if you own a 1/4″ drive impact driver. Makes it into a small electric impact gun. Very useful and fast for backing out bolts/ nuts.
13. For the home chef:
- These amazing pots and pans. The best, affordable pans with no weird coatings, that still come clean. I’ve had mine for 10 years and still going strong.
- pressure cooker: I never knew how amazing pressure cookers are until I received an electric one as a gift. It has saved dinner on more than one occasion when I forgot to thaw meat, or got home later than expected. It can cook bone-in frozen chicken pieces in less than half an hour. It also makes meat way more tender than other cooking methods.
- instant pot: I don’t have one of these, but I’ve heard it’s the pot to end all pots. It’s a programmable pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker…you name it, it can do it. It’s priced very reasonably compared to purchasing one or two of these other devices. If I didn’t already own a pressure cooker and slow cooker, this would be on my wish list.
- good knife: A good knife makes cooking sooo much more enjoyable–and safer.
14. For the kids:
Zoo or children’s museum membership, sports class, Highlights magazine subscription: keep them entertained throughout the year with fun activities or subscriptions.
16. For the whole family:
Whirlypop: We make all our popcorn in this stovepop popper. It makes excellent kettle corn as well.
Museum or zoo memberships.
Happy shopping! I hope you find something for everyone on your list.
What other gifts keep on saving? What is the most useful gift you’ve ever received?
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