20 Christmas Gifts for Your Frugal Friends
Is someone you know newly frugal? When you’ve turned a new leaf on your finances and become frugal, it’s amazing in both good and bad ways. You’re excited about all the money you’re saving, but you might be disappointed at all the things you can’t buy in order to save that money. That’s why Christmas is a great time to support a newly frugal friend. You can give practical gifts that a newly frugal person can actually use. Don’t you love when the recipient actually uses your gift? I do!
To help the newly frugalista in your life, here are 20 gift ideas. Your friend will thank you for the practical gifts that she doesn’t have to buy for herself!
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A newly frugal person will be chomping at the bit to read books on how to save and manage money smartly. As a frugal living blogger, I love reading as many financial books as I can, but I like them written in plain English with advice I can use in my everyday life. These are some of the best books for achieving financial wellness.
Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
One of the best ways to save money is to cook at home. I save hundreds of dollars each month by bringing my lunch to work nearly every day and skipping brunches out on the weekends. A major hurdle to cooking at home is the lack of time and not knowing how to cook. Cooking takes practice, but you can get there by following great cookbooks. These are some of my favorite cookbooks that I have in my kitchen:
How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman
The New Best Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated
You’ll need kitchenware to cook at that good food and to store the leftovers. A cook needs at least a kitchen knife and a cookware set. My cabinets are packed with storage containers. I have Rubbermaid ones, which are great for stacking to fit well in the fridge. My favorite containers are these Pyrex glass ones. They cost more and are heavier than plastic containers, but they don’t stain like when storing tomato sauce, stay odor-free, and are easy to clean. They also have sealable lids rather than snap ones. I find the snaps tend to break off over time.
The Instant Pot is the easiest way to cook a delicious meal in the kitchen. My husband and I use ours regularly. My friends and family with young children swear by the Instant Pot too because they can get a delicious dinner on the table quickly and easily. You don’t even need to know how to cook to have dishes turn out well. Most of the time it’s throwing ingredients in and then setting the timer to let it cook. Instant Pot meals can be very economical too depending on the ingredients you use.
While it’s not the most inexpensive gift, it’s certainly one of the most helpful in the kitchen. If your frugal friend doesn’t already have an Instant Pot, she will thank you for this winner.
Am I the only one who likes receiving food as a gift? I have to eat anyways, so why not be thankful for a tasty and practical treat? You can vary foods from simple snacks to a full gift basket of specialty foods.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is budgeting software that really works. I used it for several years when it was a one-time-purchase product before it became a monthly subscription-based service. It helped me manage my money better so that I knew where every dollar was going. I was able to save money and pay off my student loans using YNAB. This is a great gift for someone with serious difficulty budgeting.
When you’re frugal, you may be tempted to keep the thermostat low and put on an extra sweater or blanket. If you know your recipient’s style preferences and home décor, then a set of flannel sheets or a soft blanket would be a nice addition to the home and keep her warm. We have a sherpa fleece blanket like this and can’t get over how soft it is! Even the dog wants first to be the first to use it.
Towels can liven up a room without your having to spend a lot of money or hang things on the wall. They also go through a lot of wear and tear with use and washing. That’s why I like replacing my towels once they’ve faded or started unraveling. Try some welcoming colors for the bathroom and fun holiday ones for the kitchen.
Cash envelope organizer
One budgeting method is the cash envelope system, in which the user keeps a certain amount of cash divided into different envelopes each with a specific task such as groceries, utilities, and fun. A pack of envelopes dedicated to this system is a fun gift that will help keep your friend both organized and motivated. These envelopes are tear-resistant and water-resistant.
Frugal means getting every last drop of toothpaste and lotion out of the tube. You can do it better with these squeezers. These make great stocking stuffers because of their size and cost.
Reusable water bottle
When I go out, I fill up a reusable water bottle with filtered water and drink that rather than stopping somewhere to buy drinks. My favorite are glass bottles because they are PVC free and don’t transfer the taste of a plastic container to the water, even if it’s been in sunlight.
Travel coffee mug
No need to buy coffee while out. Brew a pot at home and take your coffee to go with a handy travel coffee mug.
Dry mop & wet mop
When I moved out on my own, I was given some Swiffer products. I was surprised at how much waste they created and that I would have to keep buying the disposable parts over and over again. Instead, I got myself a sponge mop and a dry mop and swore to make them last. Not everyone wants a gift that helps them clean the house but these are sure to be used. I use these wet and dry mops all the time at home.
Hobbies can be expensive. A frugal friend will appreciate you covering some of the cost of her hobby. Some hobbies and gift ideas:
Crochet – crochet hooks or yarn
Scrapbooking – paper and cutting items
Video gaming – a new game
Playing the guitar – offering or paying for guitar lessons
Dance – a gift certificate to a dancewear store or performance
Is your friend giving up driving for biking? He or she might need clothes and equipment appropriate for biking.
An easy way to save money is to cut back on paying for entertainment. No one wants to be bored, however. You can give a membership to an art or science museum or even a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix to keep a frugal person entertained and busy.
Cash or gift card
What’s your recipient’s favorite shop or grocery store? Does she always visit Trader Joe’s or Target? A gift card to a store goes go a long way towards helping your friend save money.
If you’re a frugalista yourself, what gifts have you received that you love? What are some gifts that you would give to a friend who’s newly frugal?
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