Friday, November 25, 2011

10 Gift Genres Under $2.00 - Fill Up That Space Under Your Tree!

For my family, it's not necessarily about Quality under the tree on Christmas morning - it's about Quantity!


I know, I know...it looks excessive, but that's just the way we like it.  We would not be happy if we were finished unwrapping our presents within a half hour.  BUT, while we like to open lots of presents, we don't like to spend lots of money.

Here's a list of things that will likely be under our tree this year that may inspire you to think what you can put "inside the box" this year:

1.  Lottery Tickets - Hey, you never know!  I usually put one ticket per box and wrap it up.  This alone makes for a big pile under the tree!
Lottery
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2.  Cleaning Supplies - Microfiber Dusters, DIY Febreeze, Nice Smelling Dish Detergent, DIY Clorox Cleanup, or even a new mop will definitely be appreciated when the old one runs out and there's an extra one handy!
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3.  Favorite (Exotic) Food - My husband loves Japanese snacks, so every year I take a trip to the Asian Grocery to pick up his favorites to put a bow on.  Perhaps your loved one prefers Cheetos or Hershey's Bars?  How about a few cans of a favorite soup?  You probably have some of those in your pantry right now - why not wrap them up?
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4.  Socks - Everyone's favorite gift, right? But consider that a gift of socks is both practical and it makes the other gifts look all the better!
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5.  Dollar Store Toys - You know, there are some really decent toys at the the Dollar Tree.  I've picked up some Playdough, a Jump Rope & a Slinky to name a few.
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6.  Dollar Store Hardware - Everyone can use an extra flashlight with some batteries or an eyeglass repair kit.  How about a jar opener or a new set of screwdrivers?
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7.  Towels - Every year my family exchanges new dish towels and face cloths.  They're low cost and it's something they'll use every day!
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8.  Toiletries - Does your daughter have a favorite shampoo that you found on sale?  How about a brand new toothbrush and toothpaste kit?  Even a new shade of nail polish will please when paired with a pretty set of emery boards!
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9.  Presents For Pets - Does your Mom have a parakeet?  cat?  dog?  pig?  horse?  Pick up a new toy for them or make a batch of goodies yourself!
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10.  Framed Pictures - Put a Dollar Store frame around that sweet grandchild's smile and wrap it!  Have a great memory caught on film?  No expensive gift can compare to a cherished photo.
Credit - Don't you love Awkward Family Photos?
Leave a comment below and share what other kinds of "cheap" gifts your family exchanges.  The more ideas, the better!

27 comments:

  1. I put together a 'self-care' kit for our teenaged kids every year. I get hair care, skin care and oral care products, along with a hair dye or makeup, etc., and put them together in a basket or shower bag and wrap them up. I usually mix a few more expensive items that we wouldn't usually buy them with some cheaper ones they regularly use. They love them! It's stuff they will use, but it's nice to get them all together in a single gift.

    Another idea I had a couple of years ago was to write to certain celebrities that I know my family members admire. I ask for an autographed photo. When it arrives I stick it in a frame and voila! There's an awesome gift that cost me nothing but a stamp!

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  2. Those are some awesome ideas. We very often do candy or sweets too. My mom used to ask for wooden spoons regularly.:)

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  3. We have a family tradition that everyone gets a box of their favorite cereal. I write their names on them before they are wrapped, and NOBODY is allowed to touch another person's box.
    My SIL's family tradition is sardines!! Everybody gets a can in their stocking.
    My husband likes mustard and pickles, so I often bought a large variety of one or the other, and wrapped them separately, then put them in a box and wrapped that - made for a big, heavy box, and it kept dad busy unwrapping, so he didn't feel left out of the gifts.

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  4. These are some really awesome ideas! I love the autograph idea left by Heather!, also.

    We usually put the Dollar Store toys, socks, and deodorant in the stockings, but wrapping them up would certainly put more under the tree. If I just didn't hate wrapping so much!

    We also like to exchange those checkbook size pocket calendars, a favorite magazine, and lots of candy. When I was younger, I always had an orange in my stocking lol. Not sure why, but that's one tradition I didn't carry on!

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    Replies
    1. The tradition on the orange in the stocking started a gazillion years ago, when fresh fruit was considered a major treat because it was scarce and costly in winter.

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  5. My Mom always put oranges in my stocking too. She said when she was growing up in the 1920-1930's her family couldn't afford fruit so it was a treat to get it in your stocking. Times were hard back then for lots of people.

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  6. My family loves tea, so everyone gets a box of their favorite from me. Some teas that are inexpensive actually come in pretty boxes.

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  7. best present ever... crap I dont wanna buy in a laundry basket. I got toilet paper, dish soap, dryer sheets, windex, garbage bags, pledge, air freshener, tampons, paper towels, 2 cheap candles, etc all in a laundry basket. It was great!

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  8. I'm currently writing a post for my blog about cheap last minute gifts. Check it out about the time you start singing the twelve days of christmas!!! thethriftybutterfly.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Do you have a link to your article?

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  9. In my family, Santa always brings toothpaste, a toothbrush, socks, and underwear. Last year, "Santa" brought me a good 12 pairs because I was going to college. I looked at "Santa" and said, "You know, this would be a great present if I didn't already have 15 pairs." Santa should know; she washed my laundry.

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  10. this is great. I'm actually using Dollar Store finds to put gifts in, so I don't have to wrap them. I also bought a few gifts there as well.

    -lauren
    lauren51990 at aol dot com

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  11. Spices or spice packets. My husband loves Indian food and I found some Thai spice at a discount store that I gave him one year. It reminds me to cook up an Indian/Thai flavored meal for him more often and he loved it (especially since we don't live anywhere near those type restaurants anymore).A similar more expensive idea would be to do a gift pack of several of the ingredients (each one probably less than $2) from the Asian section of the grocery for a meal with coupon promising the meal (a bit more pricey than just the spice mix; but may be necessary to really do it up right).

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  12. A couple of ideas here: I like to save cute little containers - especially if they have something useful in them like an eyedropper or something, or if they have a nice shape, like the octagonal jelly jars. These can come out at the end of the year to be filled with DIY skin care/cleaning goodies. I ALWAYS buy my spices at Whole Foods but from the bulk supplies. It's amazing how much cheaper spices are that way. Tiny containers can be filled with them - not more than a tablespoon or two. At any point that someone tries really fresh cinnamon or grates their own nutmeg, they'll never go back! Finally, sometimes you can find fabulous deals on wonderful, high quality and great smelling bath or skin products. Say you found a $15 bottle of bubble bath for $5 - pour it up into several 3oz containers and put a beautiful vintage label on it. If it's a brand that you want them to know (say, you want them to know that it's Crabtree and Evelyn bubble bath) and you're good with the computer, you could scan the original label, re-size, and print onto regular sticky labels.

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  13. Sorry - I should have added that I find deals on the bath items at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, and Ross.

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  14. Nail polish and framed photo (and every few years some socks) are the only gifts anyone should every give!! I was very poor growing up, and my stocking was usually filled with mandarin oranges... but even my broke family never gave eachother canned food, cleaning supplies, or tea towels!! The lotto tickets are obviously a stocking stuffer.
    What a disappointment if you had a giant pile of gifts and they turned out to be cheap garbage!

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  15. My mother having had raised 5 kids on her own, would have loved canned foods, cleaning supplies, tea towels, and even light bulbs for gifts. Anything that would have freed up a bit of money so that she could have bought a few pairs of socks for the kids, or even a fancy pair of panties for the girls. Any gift that is given from the heart is a great gift for me.
    Sandy from BC

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  16. this is such a fun list! love it. i'll put in my order for a pile next year... towels, canned german potato salad, cleaning wipes (man, never can have enough of those.) and fleecy socks.
    this year, i let the boys go to town at the dollar store for the family, and it was such a fun blessing to see them giving gifts they had picked out themselves. pop corn, cds, decorative note paper, puzzles. so fun to wrap all that stuff.

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  17. I'm sorry, but what happened to "it's the thought that counts?" My husband and I are practical people and have carried that to our gift giving as well, especially stocking stuffers. We have three kids ages 18-25 plus two of them each has a spouse and we have a four year old granddaughter. Needless to say, we have a lot of socks to fill. We purchase body wash, deodorant, lotion, chap stick, nail polish, tooth brushes, etc. to fill their stockings. They have never complained and look forward to receiving these necessities. Even our granddaughter loves the kids shampoo, bubble bath, her favorite color washcloth, socks, crayons, and such. We feel we taught them to be frugal at a young age and they appreciate our generosity. By the way, all our stocking stuffers are always purchased at the dollar store. They sell named brand products as well as generic, in case you're afraid of receiving "cheap garbage."
    My family is thankful for each gift we receive, no matter the cost. Unlike some people who believe they deserve the best of everything.

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    1. I am thankful for ANY gift that a person thinks enough of me to give. NOTHING is ever considered to be 'cheap garbage' at our house.

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  18. I now "wrap" all gifts in my home made gift bags. Empty cerial/food boxes wrapped in the funny pages from the news paper. I cut strips from the top of the paper and place in "bag". Everyone I have given these homemade bags love them.

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  19. In my family, we have my mom and dad, the four of us kids, our four significant others, and now the 5 grandkids. That's a lot of stockings on the mantle! I usually free up some money by making things instead of buying them... last year I gave my sister a clock that had the numbers cut out and free floating in the bottom of it, since she is always late to everything so time doesn't matter. It also helps that I buy gifts WAY in advance so I can catch good sales; the kids won't care if How To Train Your Dragon stuff is no longer on the shelves at Walmart if they loved the movie! I think I'm going to have to try the autograph thing this year though, great idea! (also, take rubber bands and wrap them around dollar store vases, spray paint them, remove the rubber bands, and put a candle inside :))

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  20. One lady at my office has numerous grown siblings. As the kids reach driving age, they receive a "family" stocking that gets hung on Christmas day. Everyone buys "something" for each stocking.... something SMALL... and it is kinda like Valentine's day in primary school. They take their gifts and go down dropping one in each stocking. Typically they end up buying more than one thing to drop ... but there is no dollar limit so they can spend as much or as little as able to. She might get socks/polish/earrings/cookies/etc and some are wrapped, some aren't. I think it is a fun idea. My family, we draw names on Thanksgiving and have a $20 limit. My mom is on a fixed income but feels obligated to buy for everyone so she shops all year long, filling containers for kids/grandkids/great grandkids.... dollar stores, yard sales/ thrift stores/ salvation army ... the kids LOVE their boxes full of treasures !

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  21. One lady at my office has numerous grown siblings. As the kids reach driving age, they receive a "family" stocking that gets hung on Christmas day. Everyone buys "something" for each stocking.... something SMALL... and it is kinda like Valentine's day in primary school. They take their gifts and go down dropping one in each stocking. Typically they end up buying more than one thing to drop ... but there is no dollar limit so they can spend as much or as little as able to. She might get socks/polish/earrings/cookies/etc and some are wrapped, some aren't. I think it is a fun idea. My family, we draw names on Thanksgiving and have a $20 limit. My mom is on a fixed income but feels obligated to buy for everyone so she shops all year long, filling containers for kids/grandkids/great grandkids.... dollar stores, yard sales/ thrift stores/ salvation army ... the kids LOVE their boxes full of treasures !

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  22. On Christmas Eve, our kids would BEG us to let them open "just one" present. Finally, we told them that they could open one present, but mom & dad had to pick which one. They eagerly agreed. Strangely, mom & dad always seem to pick the presents that contain new pajamas for each kid.

    Now, it has become a tradition, on Christmas Eve the kids get to open a present and even though they know they're getting pajamas, they're still totally excited. Then, they all change into their new pajamas before bed. On Christmas morning, the whole family looks snazzy in their new jammies for pictures!

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