Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Frugal Christmas - Inspiration Day

A lot of people are trying to do Christmas this year on less, so I thought I would help out with a list of possible gifts less than $10 which could work either as a stocking stuffer or a main gift for someone.

1. Candles. I love candles and love getting them as a gift. If unsure if someone can handle scents go for an unscented one. As a bonus unscented ones generally cost less and you can find good candles at most box stores cheaper than you can a gift shop. Add an inexpensive holder and some ribbon. Craft fairs often have handmade candles for less than $10. Better yet, if you are talented make some.

2. Food. Bake some cookies or cake, canned specialty food (my mother gives hubby canned smoked oysters as a treat every year), chocolates or candies, or special teas or coffee. Buy a re-us able container or basket and fill it full for a lovely gift. I have seen dried soups given away in pretty jars or baskets full of ingredients to make cookies with a cutter or two thrown in. Give away your homemade jam...be imaginative.

3. Socks. No one wants socks for Christmas? Wrong. Special woolly socks for that man in your life, colorful toe socks for the teen in your life.

4. Slippers. For those that would not like socks slippers might do the trick. Not all slippers fall into the under $10 category but if you shop well there are some that do.

5. Hand lotion or soaps. Many stores stock these items around Christmas at very reasonable prices. I happen to be a lover of Bath and Body Works (especially their scented candles) and you can usually buy two or three items in their store for less than $10.

6. Scarf or mittens. I actually bought my 15 year old Stepdaughter a fashion scarf this Christmas as part of her gift as she wears one almost every day. I paid $7.99 and it was purchased at a fair trade store. Infinity scarfs are popular this year - although not every scarf fall under the $10 mark many do. If you are talented and can knit or crochet the materials would cost less than $10 to make.

7. Vintage gift. For those vintage lovers in your family find out what they collect and add a piece to the collection. Vintage cookbooks, kitchen items, pyrex, most can be found for less than $10 even at an antique store.

8. A book. For the kindle lover, an Amazon gift card. You can buy these electronically and present them the code in an envelope to buy whatever they want. Or if the person on your list is an old fashioned book lover like me visit a used bookstore to get a couple of their favorite titles. My stepdaughter will be receiving $10 in free amazon.ca GCs that I got using Swagbucks for part of her gift but you can also purchase them online. $10 goes further in digital books than physical ones unless you buy used.

9. Fishing Flies. I throw this one in as my Mother is a professional fly tier (yes, really, my Stepfather taught her before he passed away) and you can buy beautiful hand tied flies and get several for less than $10. She often packages several different ones up and sells them at Christmas in $10 boxes at her flea market. Or if your fisher is not a fly fisherman, buy some lures.

10. Movie night package. 2 packages of microwave popcorn and an inexpensive DVD and you have movie night.

11. Kitchen gadget. Any specialty kitchen store has tons of small items for less than $10. Buy something unique!

12. Stationary and stamps. For the old fashioned letter writer, stationary and stamps. A very practical and appreciated gift, especially popular with seniors.

I have also come across some inspirational links to share:

1. TEN FREE AND ALMOST FREE CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS from one of my favorite bloggers, The Nonconsumer Advocate

2. Need wrapping ideas? Try out another favorite wrapping blogger OLDER AND WISOR (ps she can spell, Wisor is her last name). She has many many blog posts devoted to inexpensive wrapping so I have linked to her blog versus a specific post.

3. Pinterest. I am not a Pinterest groupie but do have a Pinterest account for those times when I need inspiration. Check out their ideas for CHEAP CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS and RECYCLED CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.

4. From Budget 101.com FRUGAL GAG GIFTS. My favorite is a Poor Woman's Boob Job (two balloons with instructions).

Feel free to add you own ideas! Cheers (or should I say HO HO HO!)


  1. All very nice and thoughtful ideas! We had our first measurable snowfall today. A pair of nice warm socks and a cup of chai tea are perfect on a day like this.

    1. Absolutely! Still no flakes seen at our house on Vancouver Island, although the ski hill 1/2 hr away on Mt Washington opened today with lots of snow (they are much higher elevation than our town)

  2. Thanks for the link! And I *ADORE* a good gag gift (and wrap job)and will be pinning that link for a go-to guide - LOVE!!

  3. Well I hate candles as a gift but can crochet an infinity scarf for under $10. Look at the yardage on the label and get the longest ones. My sons have said they don't want anything for Xmas so they will just get the stocking stuffers and pjs. I also got three tshirts very cheap at a tshirt shop and will draw designs on them with fabric markers.

    1. I really need to learn how to knit, or crochet. I am so not crafty so rely on shopping skills to keep the budget down.

  4. Great ideas! This year I am getting a book from my daughter and money (for new perfume, almost out of it!) from hubby and son. Very easy for all concerned! Have almost finished my shopping too, yay! Cheers Judy xx

    1. Christmas is so much easier when you tell people what you want. I am practical and always ask for practical things.

  5. Thanks for the recommendation in Mazatlan, duly noted!!