Frugal and Helpful Gift Ideas

Homemade Household Cleaners & Recipes
Make up some homemade cleaners and put them in spray bottles or other types of containers. Print out the recipes to give along with the gift so the recipient can continue to make them throughout the year. If you need recipes I have some on my site: 

Homemade Laundry Soap
Either mix up a batch or give the dry ingredients all ready measured out with instructions. I have the recipe on my site here:  I also carry a Laundry Soap Kit that has everything you need (soap, washing soda/borax and instructions) in one neat little package. You can order those here: 

How about giving the gift to help out the grocery budget?
I have menu planning ebooks available on CD that contain budget menus and recipes as well as a work sheet for helping to plan out menus. This could be a big help to someone needing to get better control over their grocery spending: 

My newest help in curbing the grocery budget is my new eBook, Cooking With Beans! This is an instant download and would make a great gift. Print it out, put the pages in plastic page protectors and then into a pretty notebook and give as a gift.  If you want to add anything else to this gift I have a recipe for making Chili Bean Soup Mix and instructions for gift giving.  and a printable recipe card with the instructions here: 

Gifts to Sew
Sew an apron! If you have basic sewing skills I have found a cute online pattern for making aprons. You can see photos of finished aprons and a link to the pattern here:

Or how about a free pattern online? Here are some links to free patterns:

Gifts from your Kitchen
My favorite gifts to make are gifts from the kitchen. There are so many goodies to make and ways to package. This can be super frugal and look beautiful. If you also give your recipes along with your gifts your family and friends can make their own treats all year long!

Quick breads baked in little loaf pans and wrapped in colored saran wrap, tied with a ribbon and bow is a great gift. Add a recipe card tied to the ribbon!
Banana Bread:
Holiday Pumpkin Bread:
If you would like a recipe card to print out for these recipes click HERE for the Banana Bread or HERE for the Pumpkin Bread

Cookies on a paper plate, wrapped with colored saran wrap, tied with a ribbon and bow!

Some of my favorite cookie recipes:
Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Nadine’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Cookies:
Gingerbread Men:
Cherry Cheesecake Bars: 

How about drink mixes? They are easy to prepare!
Hot Cocoa Mix: 
Chai Tea Mix:
Chocolate Mint Coffee Mix: 

Homemade Bread
If you bake bread then you know there is nothing better then a fresh loaf of homemade bread! It would make an excellent and frugal gift. You can pair this gift with a jar of homemade grape jelly or strawberry honey.

Bread Recipe: 
Grape Jelly:
Strawberry Honey: 

Photo Gifts
With the advent of computers and digital cameras it has never been easier to create gifts from your favorite photos. What grandma would not enjoy pictures of their grandchildren for Christmas or who would not enjoy photos of vacations, loved pets or any number of memorable times? These treasured pictures can be turned into gifts! Here are a few ideas aside from the traditional photos in frames or collages in frames.

Photo Refrigerator Magnets
The simplest way I know to make them is to purchase inkjet magnet paper. It is a flexible magnet backed sheet of paper that you can run through your printer. Select the pictures you want and the size you want them (you could do this on a program such as Word) and then print them out. Or if you buy Avery brand magnetic paper you can get their free templates online to use in placing your photos. Then cut them to size and you are done!

A photo slide show made of grandchildren or of any special event would make a fun gift. If you have the software Windows Movie Maker it is not hard to learn to how make a photo slide show and put it on a DVD. You can include text and music to make it even more fun and enjoyable.

How about a frugal photo calendar gift?
I love those calendars that you can choose your own photos for each month of the year. However they can be rather pricey! I recently found a website where you can upload your own photos and print out a calendar for free! You could inexpensively have your calendar bound by Kinko’s or some other office printing type business and have a gift that would be enjoyed all year long! Here is the website for this:  If you don't want to print them out yourself but have someone else make them try Vista Prints.  I have not personally used them but they have best prices on photo calendars that I have seen.

Do you sew? Then try a project combing your favorite photo and fabric! This website has directions on how to do this: 

I hope this article has helped to give you some unique and frugal ideas of this years gift giving.


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