Frugal Christmas Gifts for Your Husband – Avoid Giving Another Tie!

Let’s face it.  He’s the one person in your life you know better than anyone else. So why are you stumped at Christmas time?  You should instinctively know what to get him, right?

Well, it’s not always the case in my house.  While there are some things that scream “perfect gift” for my husband, they usually scream at someone else rather than at me.  Like the electric nose hair trimmers.  Or the audio books gift certificate.  I usually scratch my head and ask “Why didn’t I think of that?”

And that’s because I am trying to find the not so practical on a budget.  Would he like the 52″ flat panel TV, so he could see Peter Griffith’s nose hairs?  Sure he would.  I’d like to look like Heidi Klum, too.  We can see how that worked out.

So, for the man in your life who doesn’t want another tie, another pair of Simpsons boxer shorts, or anything that you find in the $10 Christmas gift display at Target, here are some thoughts.

The Homemade Coupon Book – Go ahead and laugh.  I think this may have been the most popular gift I ever gave my husband.  You can fill it with practical things if you have a practical guy – like a coupon for you to take the trash out one week, or you’ll take the car in for an oil change.  Or you can fill it with things that benefit you – like a date night that you do all the planning for, including lining up a sitter.  My husband prefers the coupons that offer back rubs and foot massages, which usually works out well for me as well, as he often reciprocates!

Something from the Kids – There are some adorable things your kids can make for dad!  How about a t-shirt with your kids painted footprints on it, with the words “My Kids Walk All Over Me” written on it?  Or a t-shirt with their hand prints and their names that says “Daddy’s Little Helpers” or “Best Dad – Hands Down”.

Never under estimate the power of baked goods.  The dad in our house would be thrilled with some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  They are by far his favorite, and the bonus here is that he’ll share them with the kids.  It’s a win/win!

Other options are plans for an inexpensive day out.  Take dad to mini-golf and for an ice cream, or take the football to the park and treat him to a hot dog after a game of catch.

Dad will be thrilled to have a gift that won’t take up space in his closet or collect dust on his desk, but he’ll be even happier that you’ve kept the budget in mind!

Frugal Christmas Gifts – Perfect for Grandparents!

With how scattered we tend to be, it isn’t the easiest thing to get everyone together for a family photo.  But there is probably nothing more your grandparents would like than a photo of all of their grandkids together.

But holy cow!  Have you seen how pricey those photo packages at the mall can be?  And then you have to get everyone dressed up, hair combed, shoes tied, dresses fluffed – it’s a pain in the butt, and the smiles you get aren’t going to be happy ones.

Thank goodness for your digital camera!  Pretty much everyone has one these days, and it doesn’t have to be a fancy one to get a good photo.  And dressing up?  Forget about it!  While I’m sure Grandmom loves to see the kids in their holiday finery, she loves seeing them on a day to day basis even more.  Put them all in jeans and a t-shirt from Grandpop’s favorite sports team.  Le tthem be comfortable and happy, and save the money on the fancy holiday clothes they are only going to wear once.If you want, include Grandmom or Grandpop in the photo.  That way, they can always look at the picture and see how happy their Grandchildren are to be around them, surrounded by the happiness that will make the fond memories of Grandmom they’ll have all of their lives.

You can find reasonably priced frames in virtually any store, from a mall department store to WalMart, so your whole gift can cost less than $25 when it’s finished.  It’s a great way to capture the happy faces the grandparents look forward to seeing, except there’s no clean up after they leave!

Frugal Christmas – A Gift For Your Favorite Traveler

We’ve got rules now, people!  No longer can I pack up half of my bathroom – the soap, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, moisturizer and makeup – and pack it all into my carry on luggage to head off on vacation.  Everything has to be small – under three ounces – and it all has to fit in ONE zip top baggie.

If you’ve ever traveled – even just going away for a weekend once a year – you know that the smaller sizes of toiletries don’t last very long.  So if you have a traveler on your holiday gift list, this is the perfect gift for them!

You may collect the soaps and lotions that they give you for free at your hotel when you travel.  We did for a long time to send to my brother-in-law when he was in Iraq.  At one point, I ended up with some spares that weren’t really enough to send.  Wondering what I could do with the few extras I had, I decided to make a small gift for some friends I knew that would be headed to Disney World!  It was an almost entirely free gift, except for the Dollar Store makeup pouch I used as my “basket”, but you can recreate it very inexpensively even if you don’t have access to hotel freebies.

Head to your drug store, Target, or WalMart, and you are likely to find a small section where they sell small size toiletry items.  You’ll find toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, shaving cream – pretty much anything you would need to take with you on vacation.  Many of these items are under $1.00 in price.  Theme your colors or your packaging to your traveler’s destination.  If you know they are going to Disney World, for example, pick up a red or black makeup pouch or a black Chinese take away container with some red tissue paper.  Is a tropical destination in the offing?  How about snagging some Garnier Fructis products, which are in lime green bottles, and nesting them in a small plastic basket in bright orange.

You can easily assemble a gift that is under $10 – even cheaper if you use your hotel freebies!  It’s useful, looks beautiful, and you can easily adapt it to an adult, a teenager, a child, or even a baby!