Oodles of Anti-consumer, Frugal Gift Ideas

– Written by Steph

‘Tis the season for overconsumption, fa la la la laaa…..

Full disclosure: Me and Cel don’t exchange gifts. But if you do, here are some ideas from things we’ve done before or would have done but never got around to that don’t destroy the environment or clutter up people’s homes with garbage they don’t want:

Baking is always a great way to go. You can pick up cute little Christmassy tin containers at the dollar store, fill them up with someone’s favourite cookies, stick a ribbon on it if you’re feeling fancy, and you’re good to go! This is definitely not limited to cookies either – we’ve done this with mini blueberry scones and cinnamon rolls as well, and it’s always popular.

Continuing on the baking theme, consider making jars of baking mixes! Just pick a recipe you know they really like, measure out all the dry ingredients, put them in a jar in layers to look pretty, and use lace or a ribbon to attach a little card with instructions. A lot of people enjoy baking but don’t keep things like flour around on a regular basis, so this can be a fun way for them to do a little holiday baking without having to buy tons of ingredients.

Whole you’re at the dollar store getting tins and jars, you can pick up a couple of cute mugs, tissue, paper, and a little basket. Stop by the grocery store and grab a canister of nice hot chocolate, fancy coffee, apple cider mix, or any other sort of hot drink. Assemble it in a pretty way and you’ve got a nice little gift basket for a few bucks!

But what if you don’t even want to leave your house? Well, if you’ve got a printer or some paper and art skills, you have another option – gift certificates for your services! You could offer babysitting services to parents with young kids, or housecleaning, odd jobs, or any number if things.

Speaking of gift certificates, you can get some really good deals on any of those discount sites (Groupon, Loving Social, etc) for things like spa days, restaurants, or various date-night-ish things. This is probably one of the easiest things you can do as well – no leaving the house required, just a few clicks and you’re done.

Finally, what about kids? Another full disclosure – we hate kids. However, I’ve given gifts to kids sometimes, and one thing that always seemed to be REALLY popular was arts and craft kits I made up with a combination of dollar store and office supply store purchases. This is good because you can tailor it so much to the age and interest of the kids. For a really little kid it could be more along the lines of colouring books and crayons or markers, right up to different types of pencils and sketchbooks or pastels for older kids. Note: this only works for creative kids. Otherwise stick with Idea One on the list, the mountain of chocolate chip cookies.

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