Holiday Giveaway

Posted by Madison on December 8, 2008
Sorry, this giveaway is over. However, if you want to buy gift cards for a fraction of their value, check out Plastic Jungle! You can even sell or swap your existing gift cards, too.

Happy Holidays from My Dollar Plan! Scott and I want to share some of our holiday cheer and give gifts to the wonderful readers here at My Dollar Plan. We figured a giveaway would be the easiest way to do so, especially one that centers on sharing frugal tips!


  1. $50 Gift Card to
  2. $25 Gift Card to
  3. Finance books and materials including the following:
    • When Markets Collide by Mohamed El-Erian
    • Killing Sacred Cows by Garrett Gunderson
    • Passion Saving by Rob Bennett
    • NURU Personal Finance deck

I thought Amazon gift cards would be perfect since I’m hoping some of you have won (or will win) 25% off coupons in the American Express Wishlist!

In addition, the package of books and materials are promotional materials that were sent to me for a lucky reader. I’ll ship them directly to anywhere in North America.

How To Enter

Deadline: 11 pm Central time on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Rules: One entry per person.

Entry: Leave a comment with the following information:

Share a frugal holiday gift (under $20) that you plan to give this season. The gift can be homemade or bought. If you can purchase it online, let us know where you found it!

Update: The contest has ended. See the Winners of the Amazon Gift Card Holiday Giveaway.

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Comments to Holiday Giveaway

  1. Cooookieees, of course.

    with lots of ginger and mace and other yummy spices.

    the one I don’t eat, that it.



  2. My roommate loves penguins, so I picked her up a set of penguin salt and pepper shakers that will probably sit on her very highest shelf in her room (we have cats, one really likes to climb stuff). They were 3 or 4 bucks each at Target, so they were the perfect inexpensive presents that I know she’ll really like.


  3. We love Smartwool socks. They are such a lovely indulgence and REI regularly puts them on sale for 20% off ( Magazine subscriptions are a great gift that I have given and received in the past.


  4. Homemade jams and jellies. We always do some home canning in the fall, and it’s amazing how much people love getting a jar of homemade jam or jelly. We may also throw in a jar of homemade salsa.


  5. Personalized calendar. Target has premade calendars in their dollar spot, plus photos printed online and you can have a great grandparents gift for about $2.50. All you do is pick and add the pictures.


  6. Homemade baked good recipes where I provide all the dry ingredients and the recipient just has to add the wet ingredients. I put all the dry ingredients in a nice mason jar, attach the recipe to the jar, add some nice ribbon and you now have a cheap gift (~$10).


  7. “Music is the Weapon” by Fela Kuti from 2 CDs plus a bonus DVD documentary from the hands down best African pop star with an amazing social conscience. At $17 its a steal. Found via


  8. Here’s a couple things I do…. I search the yard sales throughout the summer for good or new items that are perfect for Kris Kringles or family gifts…I usually pay about 20% max of the retail value.

    I was also at a party, and instead of lots of items for the children, I brought a TON of stickers (from a factory outlet) and some blank cards and we made Christmas cards. They loved it!


  9. My wife always makes her own greeting cards and that includes Christmas cards. We shop the clearance bins at Joann Fabrics, etc to stock up on materials at great prices so these cost significantly less than store-bought cards.


  10. A beer basket (great guy gift). The local liquor store sells individual bottles. I can choose an interesting selection of beers they have probably never tried and wrap it up in a basket (from a yard sale of course) for about $10.


  11. I have canvas bags for 5 female family members that I got on the BCO Outlet website for under $15.00 for all of them, that I am filling them with free products I got from doing CVS deals.


  12. T-shirts from You can find unique T-shirts for girls, boys, women and men.

    Becky Sopko

  13. Maybe not a good idea for this year, but I always buy gifts year-round and put them in a guest room closet. Especially toys for my daughter. Walmart has a great clearance aisle all year-round that somehow disappears around the holidays!


  14. A scrapbook for a very close friend. It takes a lot of effort but almost no money at all!


  15. I’m giving my brother a copy of the DVD Hoosiers signed by Gene Hackman. Hackman came to our local bookstore a few months ago to sign copies of his new book and I brought a copy of Hoosiers with me. I will get it framed and send it along. (my brother is a big sports fan and fan of Hoosiers, so he’ll love it!).

    Total cost = $5 for Hoosiers; $15 for the frame. I guess shipping is a little extra, but all in all a great deal. 😉


  16. We recently went on a cruise vacation (saved for over a year!) and in St. Maarten found a great store that had these amazing magnetic necklaces that could also be bracelets. They have beautiful beading and came in lots of colors. I purchased 4 of them for just $18.00 and will be giving them to my granddaughters and to my hairdresser.


  17. I’m hoping to finish making 2009 calendars to give to some of my friends. (Maybe I’ll just get an early start on 2010 ones?)


  18. This year my family has decided to play bingo for prizes instead of exchange gifts. Each person will bring one of their favorite items that cost between $5-$10. The item has to be something that will be consumed. So people will bring their favorite soap, favorite drink, favorite candy, etc. All the items will be set out on a table and the winner of each round of bingo will get to select their prize from all the items. A very fun experience that is inexpensive and doesn’t add more clutter to our house.

    Jamie G.

  19. Although old fashioned, I love Russell Stovers candies – reminds me of childhood. I bought boxes at CVS when they have buy one for $8.99 get the second one free. Our neighbors are getting that candy. They are doing the sale again this week.


  20. $20 Donation to a worthwhile non-profit! Org’s are struggling these days with the economy so now’s a good time to give. I picked one of my favorites ( but there are plenty out there!


  21. put on some costumes, make a nice picture, retouch it on your computer to black&white or sepia, print it and frame it. I’ve made a picture dressed up as a cowboy, 1920s style with my fiance, put it in a frame with old wood to match the old style of the picture.


  22. I always find people love getting lottery scratch-offs. It’s perfect b/c people usually don’t buy it for themselves but always appreciate a chance to win something.

    If you do something like get 10 $2 tickets they’re likely to win a few bucks along with the excitment of winning much more.

    I usually go this route for work grab-bags/secret santa type deals. It works for both sexes and can be manipulated to fit any $ limit.


  23. Vistaprint was having an 80% off sale a few weeks back and I had a free shipping code. I went through Mr. Rebates (they gave me an additional 12% off) and I bought 4 personalized T shirts for only $15.98 shipped!


  24. A t-shirt for my Father with profile pictures of all his grandchildren on it. I provide the t-shirt and my sisters provide the iron on or shipping.


  25. My wife got a nice family picture of us done for cheap. Our photo package includes enough pictures for everyone in our family. Combine this with inexpensive but elegant looking frames and you have a nice, personal gift that can be a present on its own or combined with other small gifts. All for just a few dollars a picture . . .


  26. For several family friends we purchased 2009 frame calendars where you can insert photos for each month. Then, for the people we were giving them to we inserted pictures of us and them during that particular month or season. A fun and frugal holiday gift!


  27. I bought some Fleur de sel for a family member that I know loves to cook. I think it was $8.00 and came in an attractive container with a cork lid. I know that he will appreciate the thought that I put into selecting this for him.


  28. I plan on combining my intentional giving to good causes with Christmas this year.

    While there are several causes, “Free People Free People” has some trendy T-shirt designs with profits going to prevent child trafficking. Shirts are $17 after shipping, with bracelets and CDs also available.

    You can tell the recipient that the shirt they are wearing is helping to reduce child slavery. Plus they just look cool (


  29. Homemade Christmas ornaments made by the kids.


  30. Knitting a scarf as a handmade gift, which is a perfect money saver as well as treasured gift!



  31. I won a Marblehead Lighthouse – Lake Erie 8 X 10 Reproduction of Original from Leah Reynolds Studio through Love Etsy Feedback. It sells for only $9.00 but will make a perfect gift for my significant other who’s a lighthouse lover.

    Cheryl F.

  32. Board Games! We’ve always been a fan of board games, both learning and just fun type games to share with our kids and adult friends.

    This year, we’ve made lists of board games we own and exchanged them with other families: we’ll make sure every family in the exchange gets a new or new-to-them game this year, be it store bought or sourced elsewhere.

    aunt mommy

  33. Good afternoon:

    Made a 20 page photo book collage for my 3 year old neice/god daughter of all the pictures we have of her. Ordered online at and used a 25% off photo gifts on line code. Total cost $10.68 delivered.


    Matt T.

  34. Earlier this year my Father-in-Law-, Mother-in-Law, my two kids and wife went on a trip to Disney World.

    I plan to take the hundreds of photos and video clips we collected and turn them into a DVD production that we will watch year after year.


  35. I’m planning to buy a simple journal for my grandfather, who is 90 years old. He is still healthy and has definitely seen a lot, so in the journal, I’m writing down questions about his life that I want to be able to remember when he’s gone. I think he’ll love the opportunity to tell his story in such a personal way.

    This also does double duty as a frugal gift, since I plan to tell him that the completed journal can be his gift to me, next year.


  36. Write thank you letters to people who have been important in your life (family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, etc.) to let them know how much you appreciate them. Is helpful to share a memory/experience with the person, how it affected you, what their presence in your life meant to you, etc. It definitely takes more time and thought than purchasing a gift, but I have been amazed by the responses received. One person summed it up nicely: she has received many thank you notes for gifts given but had never received a thank you note for just being herself!

    Happy holidays to all!


  37. Ya know those really expensive “fruit of the month club” from Harry and David? Well I have the cheap personal knockoff!! This year I have copied that but yet personalized it with “Photo of the month” from our family. I purchased a frame from a craft store and carved on it”PHOTO OF THE MONTH” They are to be given as gifts this year. Every month on the 16th, I will send a favorite photo!! This gift is personalized, thoughtful, and keeps on giving thruout the year.


  38. I bake cookies (all varieties), or frame photos 🙂


  39. How about all three gifts for my DD: 1. a carrying bag from my university bookstore, bought at the annual end of Spring sale for about $8 (and her nearest in age relatives each got one, too, so they can all “match” as they dearly love to do). 2. a matching game, in mint condition, bought used at a consignment shop (she’s 4) for about $3. 3. a snow fort block and sand castle cone shaping set. Perfect for WI and visiting Gran who lives near the NJ beach, bought at a rummage sale for $3 (mint condition, though probably from the 70s).


  40. I grabbed a special at K-mart! Queen size comforters for $12.99, bought 3, 2 for presents one for the house. Thanks for the giveaway/

    Patti S

  41. My frugal gift is a printed photograph that I took myself. I recently got into photography, and plan to print a few out to give as gifts.


  42. I’m making a lot of gifts this year. I love scrapbooking and card making so I’ve used a lot of my left over supplies. I’ve mad a calendar, some advent calendars, some recipe boxes, and some decorated wooden letters. I really hope people enjoy them!


    Great book (The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle), gotta love a book you can read over and over and still decide it’s worth ten times what it cost.

    Jeff S

  44. I make coupon books good for back rubs,a home cooked meal and other stuff that fits the person I give it to.

    mistress meeyee

  45. I like to go to Big Lots and get some of those $2 Christmas tins and fill them with fresh baked cookies and/or scones!


  46. I found instructions for customizable fleece animal hats/roman helmet hats on

    I’m going to make a personalized animal hat for each friend and family member.

    I got Fleece on Sale for $4 a yard this weekend, and from my first hat I made on Sunday (A Squid), it takes about 1/3 to 1/2 yard per hat.

    They are very cute, very frugal, and I can personalize the gift for each family member!

    (My friend had a party on Sunday, and all his friends loved the hat I made – so I think they’ll be a hit!)


  47. I learned to make tsumami kanzashi (hair accessories that resemble flowers, made from folded scraps of silk or other fabric – a Google search will show you examples of both simple and elaborate ones) this summer and as I already owned most of the materials, the cost is negligible. And I can mount them on pin backs instead of barrettes for my female relatives who don’t wear things in their hair.

    A few years ago my aunt had everyone answer several questions about Christmas like “What was your favorite present?” and “What was your most memorable Christmas?” and compiled the answers into a small book at a copy shop that she gave to each family. The genius was that she left off everyone’s name from their answers, so we got to spend a long time all together on Christmas Day guessing whose memory was whose, which turned out to be a whole lot of fun! (My grandparents all started “Back in the Depression..” and my and my mother’s all started “When we were in Africa…”)

    Stephanie F

  48. I make cookies for several members of my family. Both them and my wallet appreciate it.

    Ben Westerman

  49. My sister and I bought a photo album and covered it with Victorian style fabrics left over from our sewing and we’re going to send it to a friend whose husband is stationed in Belgium. She has a baby and expecting another so I’m sure she’ll have lots of pictures to put in it.


  50. I picked up a fairly cheap ($10) wine glass set and some Pebeo glass paint from the craft store ($4.49 for a jar of color, $4.49 for outliner). Once painted on, it looks just like stained glass! Using just the outliner and just a single color, I’ve made some pretty cool abstract designs on the glasses. And the best part is that once you bake the glassware in the oven, the paints become dishwasher and microwave safe! A useful, unique present with a homemade touch!


  51. A $20 Amazon card…that covers anything you could possibly want.

    Writer’s Coin

  52. I bought my daughter one of those LED mini flashlights. She has a tough time fumbling to open the car door when it’s dark so she can carry this around easily in her purse and always have a light.

    Tony J

  53. Because we live far away from family and have to ship our gifts, I bought new/used books/CDS/DVD (each less than $15, can be sent by media mail) from Amazon, eBay & for each person. Most of the items was chosen based on the person’s wishlist so I knew the receiver would enjoy the gift. I have them sent to us so we could wrap and put personal touches on them.


  54. I make fruit baskets. They are cheaper than when you buy at the store and they are healthy gift.


  55. Homemade magnets made from fabric and glass beads.


  56. I do my shopping all year long, like many of us. I look for bargains and usually order 4 or 6 of something that I think would be a nice gift. This year, I was on a mission for a toiletry kit for traveling that was generic and could be monogrammed. I stumbled onto Boscov’s website and ordered 4 of the YELLOW $6.97 travel cases (at the bottom of the page). What was shipped was the item directly above it. It looks as if the sku’s are wrong and it caused a mis-pick. Each one has a $6.97 price tag on it, but is REALLY NICE and worth WELL MORE then even the $19.99 that the better one is selling for. Is this cheating?

    I intended to order the cheaper ones, add a couple of pairs of stretch gloves (avg price $0.60) and socks ($0.70) and then stick some Caribou granola bars ($1.25/6) from the Dollar Store in it. I was going to look for cool luggage tags at the Dollar Store also. I’ve always used bright keyrings on my luggage to identify it when it’s coming off the belt. My Coca-Cola ones have been all over the place for the last 20 years.

    This year the 3J’s will get together with our families, however we aren’t doing gifts. We have one out of work, another one’s company is shaky, and I am disabled. So, we will have a nice dinner and swap lies and jokes and just not have gifts.

    So, all of the gloves (37 pairs) and socks (11) and other small items will be donated to the shelter for abused women & children this year.

    I did 50% of my shopping at Amazon, and 100% on-line. My back is too bad to stand in line for long, so I stay away from the stores. My favorite gift that I’m giving this year is an antique cameo pendant I found on eBay for my sister.

    Have a blessed Christmas everyone!


  57. I’m buying ornaments from a charity to give as gifts. It’s under $20.00 and can be used every winter. 🙂


  58. Gifts of concert tickets ($18.00) for Women Rock the Cause. A benefit for Safe Passage, a charity that provides shelter for domestic violence and is dedicated to transforming the lives of abused women.


  59. I am making homemade treats, put into a cute package found on sale at Micheal’s craft store, and tying a pretty ornament (50% off at Jo-Ann’s craft store, $1 each) on top. For teachers and neighbors.


  60. I have been hanging on to my grandmother’s old bedspread that was going to be thrown away after she passed. It has a few rips and tears from so many years of use. Everyone else saw it as trash, but I saw endless possibilities for that old spread. This Christmas, I will be making throw pillows for my mother using the ‘good’ parts of the bedspread. Every time my mother passes by those pillows, she will think of her mother. Tip: Try to look at things not only for what they are, but also what they could become.


  61. I have three frugal tips. First, I watch for clearance or low price toys to give to Toys for Tots. Also, when Bath & Body Works have sales or freebies, I stock up. These make perfect gifts for the receptionists at my office (my office comprises three floors) or for a grab bag gift. Lastly, during the year I watch for great prices on picture frames. Then I take pictures and put them inside for the receiptant. I recently had a picture taken with a friend and I will put that into a beautiful picture frame and give that as a gift. Memories are priceless.

    Andrea Mattes

  62. Homemade cookies and desserts. They are fun to make and they make the house smell wonderful!

    One Frugal Girl

  63. Home made cookies- with different variations of the cookies… happy holidays!


  64. I used to ice skate competitively as a child. My frugal gift plan for this year is to transfer my old competition and practice videos (which are currently on VHS) to DVD. At the very least, my mom will love it! 🙂


  65. My wife likes to give out decorative bottles filled with olive oil infused with fresh herbs….Happy Holidays!


  66. I plan on getting my mother a gift basket filled with assorted teas, cozy socks, and scented lotions. I know she will love it! Hope everyone has a relaxing holiday season!


  67. Homemade always has a wonderful touch. I love to make “baskets”. Even if you can’t find an inexpensive basket, you can make anything into one…a cookie tin or even a old box (or shoebox) that you wrap all but one side in some beautiful holiday paper, fill with tissue and an array of items…Target has a great dollar section where you can pick up bath products or journals, pens and such. Target and Walmart always have DVDs on sale for $5- $10 and you could add a box of popcorn and candies…the options are endless.


  68. I picked up a magazine from Borders, wrapped it in a flat gift bag and purchased the subscription (which was only $10)for my dad who is terribly hard to buy for. A gift for each month!


  69. I watch for online photo sites to offer specials and take advantage of them for gifts for grandparents especially. This year I got free 8x10s and that great photo book for cheap.


  70. I bought my Dad 5 pounds of gummi bears!


  71. My frugal gift ideas for this year that are under $20 are.

    1. Hat and scarf
    2. pj set
    3. candles
    4. frame and photo album

    Kelly W

  72. My favorite frugal gift is a magazine subscription. Its under $20, or there about, and its the gift that gives all year round.

    Starving Student Dave

  73. I plan on giving a 1 ounce silver eagle to a friend’s daughter.

    will probably buy it off my own site:
    american silver coins which is an ebay affiliate store

    American Silver Coins

  74. Nice giveaway. I am not that handy, but I just went to Century 21 this past weekend and there are a lot of goods under $20.


  75. Journals that will be decorated in the essence of a friend and myself. I’ll tell them to write anything that reminds me of them and I’ll do the same. In a year, around christmas time, we’ll exchange and it’ll be a present to ourselves.


  76. Well I know this sounds too simple, I give everyone a $20 bill. Gift cards, too many restrictions. Cards, too much, I hand write notes and slip a $20 bill for them. People appreciate hand written notes more.

    Bobby Huang

  77. For 3 of my childhood friends that I still give gifts to, I bought a $10 magazine subscription for them from a co-worker’s kid’s fundraiser. Check your friend’s kid’s fundraiser catalog and see if they have the same thing!


  78. I plan to give my wife a new pair of slippers so her feet will be warm all of the time.


  79. I will be getting my daughters these USB Drives I found on Amazon. A cheap but useful tool for gettin gheir homework to and from school in a technological age :


  80. I bought my friend a hollow book to hide things in and filled it with candy!


  81. Each year my mom and I make photo calendars for the family. Costco is the cheapest place I have found for printing them. It’s quick and easy. This year I am trying a new site….$6.99 per calendar and no shipping charge.

    Merry Christmas


  82. Every year, I like to give the girls at working a living gift. For instance, last year, I happened upon evergreen shrubs clearance priced right before our Christmas gift exchange. This year, I’ve already found the nicest pontsettia’s, and they are even grown locally!


  83. My 4 daughters have small children and coming up with fun, inexpensive ideas for projects with them is a challenge. I am giving them a subscription to Family Fun magazine. I used to work with 1st grade children, and I found a lot of wonderful inexpensive ideas for class projects in this magazine. Earlier they had a promotion for buy one get one free. With the promotion, each yearly subscription cost 7.50. They will enjoy it all year long!


  84. This year has been all about NOT spending money for gifts, if possible.

    So, first I dug out all my Christmas decorations and looked over the variety of “stuff” that I’ve collected over the years. In past times, I bought a number of holiday items in after-season sales. So this year, I’m recycling as many of those items as possible as gifts for my housekeeper, hair stylist, etc.

    Next, I broke into my bank of American Express miles and other credit card points and ordered gift cards for my family, instead of buying clothes and other gifts. There are many advantages here – 1) using my points didn’t require cash, 2) I’m saving on shipping costs since the gift cards fit neatly into a Christmas card envelop whereas last year I had to ship all the wrapped packages to my distant relatives at considerable cost, and 3) I saved a bunch of time (and gas!) by not running all over town looking for the perfect gift!


  85. My apartment building is doing a toy drive for Children’s Aid Society, and most people are just putting scary cheap plastic stuff under the lobby tree. I’m making little bundles of craft supplies – markers, glitter, scissors, clay, crayons, glue, craftsticks, etc – that work out to be $3.50 per kit. I think it’s more fun than an “educational toy”, and more enduring than a flimsy plastic fake barbie doll.


  86. I purchased a $20 entertainment coupon book for my frugal MIL!! Hundreds of dollars in savings in this ONE book and it supports my children’s elementary school as a fundraiser!!


  87. I’ll be putting a picture montage of the kids together for my wife with the help of my daughter. The cost be only the materials for the photo paper (purchased a while ago) and any other items we use which we already have.


  88. I gave my 14-year-old sister a magazine subscription to Lucky Magazine this year. It costs $15. I also gave her that last year. I know it’s a good gift because every time the magazine comes she immediately pores through it and marks the things she likes. She’s incredibly frugal, so I know the magazine doesn’t encourage her to spend… it actually inspires her to find similar items for cheaper. It’s a win-win!

    Margaret @ love God, not money

  89. Homemade hot chocolate mix. All the ingredients came to $10 and can be used for other things. Bought saran wrap, ribbon, and xmas tins at a dollar store. Took me an hour to make the entire mix. Will take about the same to package everything. With a total 30 minutes of shopping.


  90. A pencil tray for my wife made of clay so that she can organize her writing utensils better.


  91. I am making cookies for lots of neighbors and people who live in our area… I also made photo books for my family of the boys on the computer and scrapbooked with supplies I already had… so no need to buy more. I also made hot coco and put it in jars for co-workers… that was so nice and easy!!! My son made homemade ornaments to give his classmates.


  92. I bought holiday cookie tins from the craft store for less than $3 each, and I’m going to make a batch of the persons’ favorite cookie. Chocolate chip bars go over really well, too, and are easier to make than regular drop cookies (cuts way down on the baking time!).

    I’m also making a pillow case (one of those 18″ square couch pillows) with a printed fabric photo of family, that cost me $5, plus scrap fabrics that I already have, and two purchased fabric pieces which came in at $5. I already had the pillow (in the closet, not getting any use) so I figured that’d be the perfect gift for a family member.


  93. This year the grandchildren (were all in our 20 -30’s) are giving our grandparents a Memory Tree. Allow me explain: We purchased a small decorative Christmas tree (about 1 foot tall). From there each grandchild is requested to hand make a miniature ornament with one of our favorite memory of our grandparents either tucked inside or on the ornament itself. Whether it is the smell of fresh baked homemade cookies, the high energy game nights or our favorite holiday memories, the sky is the limit.

    The great part is that each grandchild takes a heart felt part in creating the gift. All the ornaments are collected and placed on the Memory Tree and presented to our grandparents on Christmas morning. It will be exciting to watch their reactions as they look at each ornament and read out loud the favorite memory. My hope is that the Memory Tree will be a gift that will stay with them for many years to come.


  94. Can’t beat the pair of movie tickets at Costco. Add their favorite candy to get to $20. Or many restaurants offer buy $100 in gift cards and get $25 gift card. If you are buying for several couples… this could be worth it.


  95. I like to make a whole bunch of different cadnies like fudge, caramels, peanut butter balls and chocolates and package them in fancy little boxes and give them out. It is cheap, but can look very fancy and depending on the ingredients you use, you can make them as gourmet or exotic as you think the recepient will like. Best of all you are putting your time, energy, thought and love into the gift and that is what is most important to me.


  96. I make oreo truffles. They are so easy and taste so good. The only ingredients needed are crushed oreos, cream cheese and chocolate chips to melt!


  97. I am organizing my parents’ photos that are just thrown in a rubbermaid tub right now. I purchased nice Hallmark photo albums from Big Lots for $4 each. It’s very time consuming but will be a great gift in the long run.


  98. You can never go wrong with a nice bottle of Wine. Wonderful wines are available for under $10.00..

    Combine that with some homemade treats, and you’ll be on the top of someones list for sure.


  99. Thought of cultivating some healthy habits for ourselves and teach our children. So we researched and got a sprout maker. We liked it and our children love it. We make sprouts and children are creative. They add dry fruits, nuts, etc. Also we sprout different seeds to have a balanced nutrition.

    Found one on amazon for $10.95.;sr=8-1

    Also you could sign up for a month of free shipping by signing up for PRIME account.

    We have ordered several as gifts.


  100. Throughout the year I have been collecting interesting fabrics at thrift stores. I plan on using them in my holiday gifts to create unique yet simple gifts, mainly pillows and purses. I would say that I won’t spend more than $50 plus my time.


  101. I am thinking to gift a single stock of $15 from


  102. I like making brownies!


  103. I made clocks this year that I will be giving to family members. The total cost of each clock is around $5-6.

    Penny G

  104. I save COKE REWARD points from work and home. I will gift some items to friends for the holidays. Magazine subscriptions mostly.


  105. matted and framed family photos


  106. I am making greeting cards on my computer and giving them as gifts. My cost for materials is 50 cents for a 8.5×11 sheet of paper and ink. An envelope is only about 15 cents. It makes a nice gift when store bought cards are 1 to 6 dollars each. I really enjoy your web site Madison. Always looking for a deal and thank you for making your knowledge available for many. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.


  107. Flannel sheets, so we can turn the thermostat down a little bit!


  108. I have been donating money to the Arbor Day Foundation for years now. With your donation ($10 minimum), they send you cards that you can send to two people letting them know that a tree has been planted in their name. They make great (and frugal) gifts for the environmentalists on your list, or the people who don’t really want anything or who would rather you give the money to charities. It’s a great gift for individuals and the planet.


  109. I got roped into a secret santa at work. The girl I drew loves starbucks coffee, so I’m thinking about a gift card (lame). But she just confided in me that she’s getting a divorce from a financially irresponsible loser, so I may also get her a book on personal finance to help her start over.


  110. This season I made no-sew fleece throws for everyone to enjoy snuggling up in. Definitely way under 20 bucks!!

    Sara Amos

  111. I bought my dad a pair of shoes from kohls on clearance for $15, originally $50. So that should be nice.


  112. You can get magazine subscriptions for less than $5. The recipient can enjoy receiving the magazines all through the year. My favorite website for this is


  113. I make a lot of my gifts. This year I am making glass bowls with hand-painted kittens and flowers on them. These are guaranteed a “oh how cute.” I get the bowls at the local thrift store for less then $1.00.

    Marni Parker

  114. My favorite frugal gift to give, whether this year or any other, is a subscription to a magazine. Not only is it extremely cheap (between $5 and $25 usually), but it is the gift that keeps on giving. Also, there is a magazine that exists that suits everyone’s tastes.
    Alicia Webster

    Alicia Webster

  115. I will get my son a pair of tickets at He loves going to the movies.

    Linda Pinto

  116. A “Word a Day” Calendar! I have an ongoing joke with a friend, so she will bust out laughing when she gets that!

    Kolby Kramer

  117. I’m making my banana-almond bread and some kind of cookies for friends and relatives!


  118. I am making bath bombs! I can make 30 or 40 for 20 bucks!!

    Mae Behling

  119. I like to bake gifts. I can make carrot cakes for just a few bucks and the same with cookies.

    ellen cunningham

  120. homemade mulling spices 🙂

    Valerie Mitchell

  121. I’m planning on giving photos. We’ve agreed to cut back this year, and I have a bunch of prints that I’d like to share. I’ll send some of them with inexpensive (under 5.00) frames, but most will just go out as the print in a card.


  122. Boxes of chocolates from walmart.

    Donald H.

  123. lots of blankets to save on the heat

    tiffany pettey

  124. Witty tee-shirts from Threadless.

    Morgante Pell

  125. Buy a certificate from and dine out with a friend.

    Wealthy Immigrant

  126. homemade cookie mixes in a glass jar with a woodenspoon 🙂


    Claudia M

  127. Go to small specialty grocery stores (the ethnic kind, not the “yuppie” kind) and pick up interesting tinned and packaged foods to add to stockings. Many items are less than $1 and make cool unusual gifts! You can also pick up a collection of items for gift baskets for under $20 (the stranger the better).

    Annie G

  128. I love Target’s clearance treasures. I found a 1gb mini- memory card, with SD converter, for under 10$! Not a bad stocking-stuffer 😉


  129. For my hard to buy for grandparents we always give them a “Dinner at our house” coupon. We invite both sets of grandparents and my parents and usually plan the dinner sometime after the holiday craziness. I have fun planning the meal and my grandparents seem to really enjoy the time spent with family.


  130. They say the best gift is a handmade gift. I love to read romance novels, run a blog on them in fact, and I have many friends that read them too. The plain fact is that several of the covers are a bit – embarrassing to be caught reading – whether it is the title of the book or the models groping on the cover. So I decided to make crochet book covers.

    The yarn cost $5 a skein, and for that price I can make 1.5-2 covers per skein depending on if I make a trade paperback or mass paperback size cover. Until I undertook this project, I had no idea how to crochet – I could knit a little, sew a little, but truly my talents lie elsewhere.

    Over the past month I have made these during down-time. I’m very excited to give these away this year and have really enjoyed using one or two myself.


  131. I’m giving my mom and friends a box of handmade cards (using stamps and paper crafting supplies) they can use. Cards at the store are so expensive now, and a lot of people enjoy receiving and giving handmade cards because its more personal.

    My favorite frugal gift received was from my mom, stepdad, and daughter. It was personalized coupons for babysitting (from mom), handyman work (I’m a single mom), and extra chores and hugs without whining (from daughter). I love these because I cannot buy them.

    Laura DenHaan

  132. This I love!

    Torrie G

  133. I am giving mousepads with photos imprinted on them. I found them at Shutterfly for about 10 bucks each. They are very nice quality-real thick! I searched for coupon codes and got a great discount!
    smchester at gmail dot com

    Susan C

  134. I’m planning to write my loved ones a poem that is unique to that person. It just goes to show that sometimes the best things in life really are free.

    At the same time, I do hope that I have a shot of winning an Amazon gift from My Dollar Plan.

    Happy Holidays and good luck everyone!

    Shaun A

  135. I plan on giving some home made cheese cutting boards that I will make out of oak. Inexpensive, thoughtful, and fun to make.


  136. I’ll be making batches of cookies to give to friends that otherwise I might buy something for.

    Trisha R.

  137. We always have a $5.00 gift exchange in our club and I often use lottery tickets as the gift – they are fun at least!

    Kathy Conley

  138. I make gifts. This year I am making hot choco kits. I buy the ingrediants in bulk and then make individual servings with a poem.


  139. This year for Christmas, everyone is getting homemade cookies and breads from us. It’s inexpensive yet from the heart. Thanks.

    Miss Heidi

  140. As of right now, I am not sure what some of my family members will be getting from me for Christmas. But I am looking into giving them DVDs or CDs. They like watching DVDs and listening to CDs. And I know they will enjoy receiving them especially if they don’t already have the particular DVD or CD that I buy them.

    Kristen Hendricks

  141. My family makes caramel corn. It costs a bit to do, but only because we make a TON!! We deliver it to family and friends.


  142. On Amazon I found great movies for under $10. I got kids movies, and some for my hubby. Amazon is a great site for cheap things. LOVE IT!

    Ashley Domes

  143. I’m going to and browse through the used Indiana Jones dvds so I can replace the old vhs tapes.

    David Gresh

  144. My frugal gifts are similar to others’: I always give homemade baked goods like brownies or cookies, and unique vintage greeting cards I find throughout the year at thrift stores. The occasional new book or music CD if that’s what I know the recipient likes. (This is where the Amazon gift cert. comes in handy!) Thanks for the entry!

    cathleen n.

  145. I plan to give cookie mixes and brownie mixes in a mason jar. I have done this for several years. Now my friends have started returning the jars to me when they are done so I can use them again the next year. Hmm I think they want more cookie mixes! There are lots of great recipes on the internet. Thanks!


  146. We brought a PB&J “cookbook” that we found for a few dollars plus a jar of actual peanut butter and a jar of jelly bundled together as a grab item at a party last weekend.

    MITBeta @ Don’t Feed the Alligators

  147. I love to make “jar” gifts. This year it is jars of dried bean soup mix with a jalapeno cornbread mix in a big soup bowl. I have made 12 jars so far. Everyone seems to like this and it hasn’t broken the bank yet.


  148. Take pictures all year long of various and interesting things you see. Think of your friends and family when you seek out shots. Come holiday season, you can print photos you think they’ll enjoy, then pop them into $20 frames for a great, personalized gift. I’m doing this for my sister.

    Heather C

  149. I love to get cookies,candy,a couple of lottery tickets,and wrap and place in a grab bag so I am taking care of 5 people for about 20.00.They also love the grab bag

    Peggy Gorman

  150. i usually make gift baskets with cupckes,brownies,cookies and cream puffs 🙂

    kathy pease

  151. Homemade peanut brittle is always a huge hit, so I make a few batches and give it to everyone. It doesn’t cost anywhere near $20 per person! Thanks!


    Teresa Hoyt

  152. I’m a transplant from a very German area of Ohio, and plan to make a few huge batches of homemade Goetta, freeze ’em, and give them out as Christmas gifts.

    (For those of you who don’t know Goetta, it’s exceptionally easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and tastes GREAT)

    Laura Cutshall



  154. an awesome antique picture frame from a thrift store fro $8! I know they’re going to love it.

    Samantha Pruitt

  155. Handmade note cards


  156. Handmade note cards


  157. With some regifting I will be putting together theme baskets (candles, homemade cookies, books) for gifts.

    Vikki Parman

  158. I make homemade jams and ice cream toppings and give them for gifts. I also give gently used books.

    Pamela White

  159. The contest has now ended. Find out the Winners of the Amazon Gift Card Holiday Giveaway!


  160. DIY! I always make huge batches of homemade Kahlua and make a coffee gift basket with coffee beans, mugs, chocolate covered spoons, coffee filters and individual creamers from gas stations, very inexpensive to make and everyone is a little tipsy when your done. I also made purses from old shirts and ties that turned out great! happy holidays!


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