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Post by Sonshine Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:48 pm

Frugal Gift Ideas For Frugal Housewifes

Posted By The Hillbilly Housewife On November 3, 2009 @ 8:38 pm In Frugal Living | No Comments

It’s getting closer to Christmas and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to seriously look for gifts for loved ones. Most of the women in my family, as well as my close girl friends are frugal (just like me) and I like to give them gifts they will appreciate. When I came across the article below, I knew I had to share it with ya’ll. I love the gift ideas she has come up with. And I feels sure we can come up with quite a few of our own.

Frugal Gifts for Frugal Gals
By Cheryl Johnson

A frugal gift is measured first by it’s usefulness. Speaking from my own experience, I would say that my most appreciated gifts are those that I not only find useful, but that I would have had to purchase myself at some point. With that in mind, the frugal mind that is, the gift actually serves two practical purposes; It is useful and saves me money.

If you are a frugal gal, this task will be much easier for you. If great minds think alike, the same is true of frugal minds. Simply look within yourself. The frugal gal can get excited about the most ordinary of items. For the rest of you, here’s a little help.

Although you may question some items on the list, remember, the frugal gal enjoys frugal things! She looks to get the best value for her money and this IS what makes her happy! It just makes sense that providing a practical frugal gift that may also save money, will make her happy. Isn’t that what great gifts should do? So here’s to happiness and the pursuit of the frugal lifestyle! Happy holidays, happy birthdays, happy Mother’s day, etc. etc. etc….


Some of these unique gift baskets might seem odd or unusual to the average person. If you’re a frugal gal, you’ll completely understand. The rest of you will just have to trust me.

•THE LAUNDRY GIFT BASKETFor the frugal gal who holds onto things until they fall apart (or even after they fall apart).
This is the gal who has a laundry basket held together with duct tape, tied together with string or rope, or repaired several times with other various ingenious methods.
Probability is, she may not even have a laundry basket. I have several produce boxes (they are extremely strong, especially banana boxes) that make wonderful laundry carriers! And, they are free.

Fill a sturdy laundry basket with one or two boxes each:

•Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
•20 Mule Team Borax
•A few bars of Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap
I say “sturdy” basket because it will inevitably be put to the test by a frugal gal! If your frugal gal doesn’t need a new laundry basket, you can give these gifts in an appropriate size traditional gift basket or just gift bag ‘em.

This is a great gift for anyone who doesn’t mind saving money. And, I don’t know anyone who minds! I would mix up one batch and put in a tightly sealed container. (You can make a decorative container yourself i.e. - a quart mason jar and some decorative fabric banded over the top. Tie with pretty ribbon.) Place with the laundry detergent ingredients to get them to try it and started down the right path. Include the following Laundry Detergent Recipe with the Laundry Basket Gift.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap

1/2 Cup Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.


1. If budget allows, throw in some cloth napkins, utility towels, bath towels, hand towels, or washcloths.

2. Make a little book with a variety of laundry tips, tricks, and homemade recipes. This is great for a new bride.

•THE CLEANING GIFT BASKETThe frugal gal makes her own cleaning solutions and is always looking for cleaning and organizing tips. The cleaning basket might include such items as, a couple of spray bottles, steel wool, a pumice stone, cream of tartar, vinegar, baking soda, gloves, scrub brushes, utility towels or cleaning rags, dusters, cloth diapers (make great cleaning rags), household cleaning and organizing tips book or recycling tips.
Top with a personalized cleaning shirt or apron or any other little cleaning gadgets you think your frugal gal might find handy. Throw in a coupon for a coffee break date, with you, at your home, her home, or a local coffee shop! Your treat of course.

•THE KITCHEN GIFT BASKETThe kitchen basket contents is limited only to your imagination! This is a great gift for anyone who loves to cook. Frugal gals know the importance of saving through cooking. If you’re a frugal gal you can reflect on your own needs and frequent uses to spark some ideas. By the way, the “basket” doesn’t have to be a basket. Did that make sense? You’ll see what I mean. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Baker’s Basket: Fill a large mixing bowl or basket [she'll probably get more use out of the bowl ;-)] with baking tools and/or supplies as much as will suit your budget. i.e. - Wire whisks of various sizes, wooden spoons, measuring spoons and cups, a sifter, cookie cutters, rubber spatulas (you know, those things you use to scrape every last bit of batter out of the bowl. My husband and I still argue about what these are called), a bag of bulk yeast, can of baking powder, various spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, etc.), vanilla extract, or anything else you know your frugal gal or cook will use or needs.

Top it all off with a personalized apron. Make or buy an apron and write the person’s name or a personal message, poem, or saying on it, using a fabric paint pen or paints. Other contents might include a cookbook, some of your own favorite recipes printed neatly on a recipe card or made into a mini cookbook, a recipe file, cookbook stand, well I could go on and on.

2. Cook’s Basket: Fill a large stock pot or basket with a variety of cooking utensils or supplies. i.e. - Most of the above items could be considered as well as, ladles, cutlery, small strainer/s, tongs, special seasonings, cooking spices (Italian seasoning, cumin, onion powder, garlic, oregano, thyme, etc) and again, top it off with a pretty apron! Throw in a cookbook if your budget allows and/or toss in some homemade recipes for taco seasoning, chicken bake coating, stuffing, whatever you can find to replace higher priced store bought mixes.

A good idea might be to actually make the mixes and give them already mixed in a tightly sealed container or jar along with the recipe. How to save money on groceries tips or book.

•THE FOOD GIFT BASKET1. Frugal Food Basket: Mix up some master baking mix, pancake mix, cookie mix, or muffin mix. Pick and choose or give them all in tightly sealed containers or jars and attach recipes for using and the mix recipe. Decorate accordingly of course. Specialty rice and rice mixes, bean mixes, bean and rice mixes, oatmeal, and couscous. A pack of herb seeds or starter plants for indoor herb gardening. Top it off with an apron, or a gift card from your local grocery store.
2. Treat Gift Basket: Now this one is great to give the frugal gal food items that her budget, or frugal mind, just won’t allow. Even frugal gals have favorite gourmet items that they love but rarely treat themselves to. For instance, I love Macadamia nuts. But they are very expensive, making them cost prohibitive for my financial goals right now.

If you don’t already know, ask a spouse or close relative what items the recipient enjoys. Fill a basket or other creative container with those foods and other various specialty foods, snacks, nuts, and/or cheeses. Remember to take into consideration any diet restrictions and select your contents accordingly.

3. Coffee or Tea Gift Basket: I’m a true coffee lover. But, as a frugal gal, I know that a common brand will get me through the day just as well as a gourmet brand. That doesn’t change the fact that I enjoy a good cup of gourmet or specialty coffee once in a while. But, with my current financial goals, the treat comes few and far between.

The coffee basket will definitely be appreciated by the frugal gal who loves a good cup of joe! Pack that basket with several different brands of gourmet or specialty coffee or a lot of the one brand you know she loves. Include a permanent coffee filter to fit the brand of coffeemaker she uses to show you haven’t forgotten her practical side! You can easily adapt the contents to fit the tea lover instead. Top it off with a nice coffee cup.

•THE GARDENER’S GIFT BASKETThe gardener’s basket is simply a collection of any supplies a home gardener might need; A garden knee pad, gardening tools, seeds, (starter plants if it’s the right time of year) Gardening books and tips. Starter pots. Containers for the container gardener. Gloves and a hat.
•SEWING GIFT BASKETFill a basket or sewing box with a variety of sewing notions. Include some decorative fabric or a collection of scrap fabrics; Sewing patterns or instructions for home decorating sewing tasks or sewing level appropriate apparel patterns. In other words, keep it real. Not everyone is a seamstress but, most frugal gals can make a curtain or pillow cover given simple instructions. Your frugal gal might be a mender or a seamstress. Choose your gift basket contents accordingly. Include such novelties as velcro, snaps, hemming tape (or fusion tape), iron on patches, as these will be handy for most frugal gals.
Now don’t worry frugal gals, I’ve got your back! I wouldn’t want your friends and family to think you will be offended if they give you a non-frugal gift. So here’s my last thought……

Although the frugal gal will love and appreciate the practical, useful, gift like no one else can, she is indeed a woman. So, if the notion strikes, you may certainly reward her with a luxury gift. The frugal gal will enjoy a luxurious treat that she would not normally consider for herself. For example, a trip to the salon for a professional manicure, pedicure, or hair style.

If you know your frugal gal has had her eye on an outfit, or other item, that she’s convinced she doesn’t need but secretly admires and wants, of course (if your budget allows) Get It For Her! Odds are she won’t buy it for herself and she will surely be happy to receive it as a gift. She’ll get to have something she wants but doesn’t actually need, and still remain faithful to her lifestyle or financial commitments.

I hope these ideas help you create beautiful gifts for anyone in your life. Choosing a basket theme to suit the recipients interests or needs is always a winning gift. Personalized gifts are more appreciated and keep on giving. Each time the recipient uses the item/s they are reminded of the thoughtfulness of the giver.

Cheryl Johnson is a mother of four helping herself and others become and remain debt free. Publisher of Simple Debt Free Living at [1] - a self-help plan, ideas, and resources for a simple proven debt elimination strategy, household budget planning, frugal living, and practical home business ideas [2]. Money saving tips for monthly bills, home decorating, gifts, weddings, groceries, clothing and much more save money every day.

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Post by AbigailScott Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:18 pm

Oh, thanks for sharing that useful article Miss Sonshine.
Christmas is approaching and gift giving is in the air.
It is really important that the gift you give or received is useful and saves money, by this we can also save energy as well as nature.
It is also important to be practical nowadays because of economic crisis.

The pebble in the brook secretly thinks itself a precious natural stone| natural limestone.


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Post by Sonshine Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:40 pm

I agree, we all need to learn to be frugal. Smile

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