Christmas Gifts That Keep on Saving
Forget about jelly of the month club. Give gifts that will keep your frugal friends and family members saving all year long.
- 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.
- Cloth napkins. All I want for Christmas is new cloth napkins. I love cloth napkins, not only for their cost effectiveness, but because they work so much better than cheap paper napkins.
- 3. 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. Wearing wool saves us hundreds of dollars a year in heating costs, and of course we buy it at thrift or outlet stores. (But you might not want to give thrift store socks for Christmas. Just sayin’.)
- 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.
- Kitchen tools, such as a good chef’s knife, meat thermometer, or cast iron pan. For those scratch-cooking every day, having the right implements can make saving money so much more enjoyable.
- I don’t know much about tools, but I know you need them to DIY home and car repairs, maintain a yard and garden, or split wood for free fuel. Neil’s received everything from a soldering iron to potting soil to a long-handled ax as gifts, and these are the presents he doesn’t return. He also received a ton of free wood as a gift from a friend, which I forgot to mention in our firewood post.
- DIY reference materials, such as books on gardening, DIY home repair, cookbooks, backyard chickens, honey bees (our next venture) or any other book supporting a money-saving hobby or endeavor. Here’s my favorite Indian cookbook. These are the types of books that I’d rather own than get from the library since we consult them so often.
- A bike. Biking for frugal transportation seems to have made a comeback via the illustrious Mr. Money Mustache. At least, this is what sold Neil, and since then he saw fit to gift me a bike (purchased on Craigslist). You can read about my embarrassingly ungrateful initial response on my personal blog. I’ve repented, and this year my other wish (besides cloth napkins) is a bike hitch so I can haul the kids around in our (also from Craigslist) bike trailer. Helmets are also a good gift for anyone whose brains or beauty you wish to preserve.
What other gifts keep on saving? What is the most useful gift you’ve ever received?
This post may contain affiliate links. Just kidding–it’s chock full of them our first time trying it. All links are for things we own & love, or a similar item.