Frugal Christmas Gifts for Your Husband – Avoid Giving Another Tie!

Let’s face it.  He’s the one person in your life you know better than anyone else. So why are you stumped at Christmas time?  You should instinctively know what to get him, right?

Well, it’s not always the case in my house.  While there are some things that scream “perfect gift” for my husband, they usually scream at someone else rather than at me.  Like the electric nose hair trimmers.  Or the audio books gift certificate.  I usually scratch my head and ask “Why didn’t I think of that?”

And that’s because I am trying to find the not so practical on a budget.  Would he like the 52″ flat panel TV, so he could see Peter Griffith’s nose hairs?  Sure he would.  I’d like to look like Heidi Klum, too.  We can see how that worked out.

So, for the man in your life who doesn’t want another tie, another pair of Simpsons boxer shorts, or anything that you find in the $10 Christmas gift display at Target, here are some thoughts.

The Homemade Coupon Book – Go ahead and laugh.  I think this may have been the most popular gift I ever gave my husband.  You can fill it with practical things if you have a practical guy – like a coupon for you to take the trash out one week, or you’ll take the car in for an oil change.  Or you can fill it with things that benefit you – like a date night that you do all the planning for, including lining up a sitter.  My husband prefers the coupons that offer back rubs and foot massages, which usually works out well for me as well, as he often reciprocates!

Something from the Kids – There are some adorable things your kids can make for dad!  How about a t-shirt with your kids painted footprints on it, with the words “My Kids Walk All Over Me” written on it?  Or a t-shirt with their hand prints and their names that says “Daddy’s Little Helpers” or “Best Dad – Hands Down”.

Never under estimate the power of baked goods.  The dad in our house would be thrilled with some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  They are by far his favorite, and the bonus here is that he’ll share them with the kids.  It’s a win/win!

Other options are plans for an inexpensive day out.  Take dad to mini-golf and for an ice cream, or take the football to the park and treat him to a hot dog after a game of catch.

Dad will be thrilled to have a gift that won’t take up space in his closet or collect dust on his desk, but he’ll be even happier that you’ve kept the budget in mind!

Frugal Christmas – What to Get Grandmom?

You know Grandmom.  She’s the one person on your Christmas list you have no idea what to get.  She has everything, if she doesn’t have it, she doesn’t want it, and she’d probably rather see you spend the money on the grandkids than on her.  But you have to get her something – it’s Christmas!

Gone are the days of the Grandmoms who sat home, watching her stories, crocheting slippers.  Grandmoms now come from a generation of working women, and many of them work still.  They are more likely to be out and about, active in more organizations or hobbies, and not the type of sit at home, wait until family comes kind of grandmom.

I love the jar gifts for Grandmoms.  I know, you’re thinking they’re played out, no one uses them, and you don’t want to give an old idea new life.  But guess what?  On the days Grandmom heads out in the morning to play tennis, stops to have a coffee with her friends at Starbucks, puts an hour or two of time in with some volunteer work, and stops at the grocery store to pick stuff up for a weekend sleepover with the grandkids, she doesn’t feel like making a big dinner from scratch.  But as active and healthy as she is, you want to keep in mind that she is a senior citizen, and frozen foods loaded with fats and sodium aren’t good for her.

How awesome would it be for her to come home, dump out the jar of ingredients into a big pot, throw in some cubed meat or diced chicken she picked up at the grocery store, and let it simmer on the stove while she checks her email and catches up on Facebook?  Dinner in an hour, and she’s beaten your score on Bejeweled Blitz and harvested 800 crops on her Farmville farm while it cooked!

And when she has the kids over this weekend, it will be fun for Grandmom and the grandkids to whip up a batch of muffins or cookies, using the jar gift you gave her.  She doesn’t have to scramble to find the ingredients in the pantry, and she doesn’t have to buy a whole bag of brown sugar, which she won’t need again until it is petrified way beyond viability.  She and the kids just dump the ingredients into a mixing bowl, add some eggs or oil, and in a matter of minutes, Grandmom is the superstar of the weekend with fresh, hot, homemade cookies.  We’ll let Grandpop put the dishes in the dishwasher!

Food is always a great gift for an active senior – the easier, the better.  And if you can make it healthy by assembling it yourself, you’ve got an inexpensive winner of a holiday gift!