Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Any Suggestions?

I would just like to say - I am open to suggestions! If you have found a really great cheap Christmas present idea - why not share? I'm sure my readers will love to hear from you, just post a comment here or anywhere in this blog.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Gift Cupboard

A really great idea when you are looking to give cheap Christmas presents is a 'gift cupboard'. This can be a drawer, cupboard or box that you fill with gifts. Throughout the year, you can pick up items on special to fill up your gift cupboard so that you have a supply of gifts ready when Christmas time comes. This is easier than trying to save money throughout the year in my opinion.

So what should you buy? Depending on the age of those that you buy for, it could range from colouring books and pencils to hand creams, shower gels, costume jewellery, novels, chocolate etc. You can buy items that would be good to make into your own gift baskets (I have posted a few ideas for that previously). The best things about this idea is that you always have an excuse to shop! and that if you have forgotten somebody's birthday, you might be able to borrow something from your gift cupboard to make a last minute present as well :-) (not that any of us have ever forgotten a birthday!!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vouchers - give the gift of time

We live in a time poor world and sometimes the best gift you can give is a little of your time. I have included a blank printable voucher that you can save and print, then fill in and give. Some examples of what you could write in are: 'one hour of gardening', 'one massage', 'two hours of baby-sitting', 'coffee and a chat', 'a home cooked meal', 'one car wash', 'one hour of dog-walking' you can add anything you like and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Print one or more of these and pop inside a nice Christmas card for a cheap and easy Christmas present.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Photo presents

Photographs can make great cheap Christmas presents. You can take photos of yourself, your kids, your pets or any combination of these (Grandparents seem to love getting photos of their grandkids to keep a record of them growing up). Most department stores offer cheap photo processing and the more photos you get developed at once, the cheaper it is per print. Depending on your budget, you can choose to simply print them and give them to the recipient in a Christmas card, or do something a little more fancy.

You may choose to give your photos in a simple and affordable, yet stylish frame, buying a set or bulk lot is the cheapest way to go with these. 10 black wood frames
 A great practical idea is to print small photos and put them into glass photo coasters - I found some nice ones at Amazon -  Global Decor Photo Frame Glass Coasters in Wood Stand, Set of 4.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rocky Road Recipe

Rocky road is another yummy Christmas treat to make. You can enjoy this any time of year, but sharing it around is a great (and cheap) Christmas idea.


500grams (18 ounces) melted chocolate (you can use milk, dark or white)
200grams (7 ounces) marshmallows, chopped (or use mini marshmallows)
¼ cup desiccated coconut
2x 55 gram (2 ounce) bars Turkish Delight*
½ cup roasted peanuts (other nuts can be used if you prefer)


1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed through.
2. Pour into a shallow slice tin that has been lined with baking paper.
3. Place in refrigerator and leave until set.
4. Use a warm knife to cut into squares of desired size.

*You can use glace cherries instead, if you like.

This looks nice in cellophane with ribbon or you could use a small cardboard noodle box to present it in.

Gift Baskets Part 2

So much inspiration, such a small attention span :-)

More ideas for lovely gift baskets.

For the loveable nerd in your life - blank CDs/ DVDs, printer ink (as long as you know exactly which one to buy), any USB gadets (e.g. memory sticks, USB coffee warmer, USB massager try here for inspiration), a comfy cushion for the computer chair or some computer magazines.

Baby gift basket, for the baby and mother - bibs, bottles, pacifiers/dummies, a bunny rug, soft toys (make sure they are labelled as being suitable for babies), a photo frame for pictures of the baby and some booties.

Movie lover's basket - one or more DVDs to enjoy at home, popcorn, lollies or any movie snack, movie tickets (and maybe the offer of babysitting if they have kids) and the latest movie magazine.

The gardener's basket - ideally, this should all be contained in a nice plant pot, either a plain terracotta pot or a decorated pot. This could contain - packets of seeds, gardening gloves, a book on gardening or a certain type of plant, a hat to wear while gardening or tools such as a small shovel or secateurs.

Your own gift baskets

I find gift baskets and hampers very exciting! Once you unwrap your gift, you find many more surprises awaiting. Pre-made gift baskets are generally quite expensive when you consider the contents, a much better idea, of course, is to make them yourself. This not only saves money, but makes sure that all the contents are useful to or wanted by the receiver. While everyone's tastes are unique, I would like to provide some theme ideas to get you started, you can customise them with your own ideas too.

Firstly, even though I have referred to these as gift 'baskets' you don't necessarily have to use a basket to contain all the gifts. You can use a variety of cardboard or metal boxes, bowls or plastic storage containers to hold all the gifts. It is even better, in my opinion, to use a container that the recipient can reuse, so it forms part of your gift too.

Gift Basket themes:

Stationery - could consist of small notebooks, funky coloured paper-clips, highlighters, a refillable pen or stickers.

Bath & body - could consist of bath bombs, bath salts or crystals, a face mask, aromatherapy candles, massage oil, a pumice stone (for scrubbing feet), talcum powder or a deep conditioner for hair.

Food basket - could consist of canned nuts, pretzels or potato chips, chocolate in a block or box, beef jerky, marshmallows, nuts still in the shell with a nut-cracker, a can of soda or caramel popcorn.

more to come...

How to make rum balls

Rum balls are a Christmas treat that just about everyone loves. They are quick and easy to make, and, of course cheap. Here is a very simple recipe to use:


• 1 packet crushed sweet biscuits
• 1 cup desiccated coconut
• 1 tin condensed milk
• 2 tablespoons sifted cocoa powder
• 4 tablespoons rum (can be omitted if you have children)
• extra coconut for rolling


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2. Take large teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls using your hands
3. Roll balls in coconut and store in an airtight container.

To present as a gift, place 6 in clear cellophane and tie up with a ribbon.
These can also be kept in a container in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.


We all know that Christmas can end up costing a fortune, I have decided to make a blog that will provide ideas on how to cut the cost of Christmas without taking away the fun. You don't have to spend a heap of money on Christmas presents, in fact, a well thought out thrifty gift can mean a lot more than an expensive one that has been picked up off the rack. Making your own gifts can take a little more time, but the end results will be worthwhile. For those of you who struggle with crafting your own gifts, I will provide ideas that can be bought cheaply too.

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