I’m always looking for frugal gifts that don’t sacrifice quality, how about you? Writer Christine Torres shares four ideas. Christine is auditioning for a staff writer position on BargainBabe.com! Missed the audition announcement? Here it is. Each day this week we will publish one audition post.
Did this post help you save money? While I will make the final decision on who to hire, your input is extremely valuable. Here is Christine’s audition post:
So I’m currently trying to think of creative gifts for the holiday season. I just recently completed my first quilt–and first sewing endeavor–in which I recycled a bunch of old college T-shirts. So I’m thinking I could put my new (but limited) sewing skills to use. I recently discovered something called a “mug rug.”
Think of a smaller version of a placemat—but larger than a coaster—and you have a mug rug. You can set your coffee mug and maybe a little cookie or bagel on it in the mornings while reading the latest Bargain Babe blog. If you have a sewing machine and some coupons from your local craft store, you can easily do a few mug rugs for under $20. I’m thinking I’ll be able to make 6-8 out of a $10 fat quarter bundle I bought on sale at Jo-Ann’s a few weeks ago. You can search for free mug rug patterns on the Internet to give you ideas for designs. I even saw a few mug rug patterns for $1.99 on Craftsy.
Another idea is making metal chalkboard trays. My mother did this for Christmas last year at a minimal cost, and it was a big hit. Some people are even paying her to make them so that they can give them as gifts to their friends…little do they know how easy they are to make. This Web site has more information:
Some people like to give home-baked gifts. But for those of us who may not enjoy or have time for crafting up goodies in the kitchen, you can make pre-baked gifts and place them in a jar that your receivers can bake up in their kitchens. You just gather your favorite sweet treat recipe’s ingredients and some Mason jars. Let’s say you wanted to do Brownies in a Mason jar, you would gather the ingredients putting first the sugar (1 ½ c), then the cocoa (1/3 c), then flour (1 c), and then the chocolate chips (1 c) into a Mason jar. Then just put the top on the jar and attach a gift tag with baking instructions. You could even put a cloth cover with ribbon on top if you are feeling crafty. It would probably be nice to include the recipe too in case they want to bake up more brownies.
Here’s one gift idea I doubt I’ll be giving, but it would make a great gag gift. One Christmas, my grandmother gave all of her daughters and granddaughters homemade slippers she had made out of Maxi pads. She was really proud of these gifts too and even told me she made sure to get the long pads for my size 11 feet. She even adorned our slippers with fake flowers to make them more girly.
What kind of clever budget-savvy gifts have you given in the past?
About the writer
Christine is a writer/editor for an educational company in Dallas. She is married and has a two-year-old son. Christine is always looking for ways to save money. Most of her friends and definitely her husband would call Christine a savvy shopper. She gets that from her grandmother and dad who were/are thrifty spenders.