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Fun and Frugal gift ideas

August 8, 2012

At the end of every month. Mr. BigTime and I sit down and have a budget meeting for the following month.  We have a category called “Non-Christmas Gifts.”  In this category we budget for things such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, babies, basically any type of gift outside of Christmas. The most frequent gifts we give are birthday gifts.

Here are some ideas for frugal birthday gifts:

Home baked goods: It’s so fun to find out your friend’s favorite type of dessert and make it for their birthday!  It shows that you put lots of time and thought into making a delicious treat for them to enjoy!  The fastest way to most people’s heart are through their stomachs 😉 The following is a cream cheese coffee cake I recently made. I will be sharing the recipe on Monday.

Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


Framed pictures: Most people don’t have enough time to go out and frequently print and frame their own pictures, so why not do it for them as a gift?  I love it when I receive these as gifts because they are little memory stamps that also help decorate my condo. It usually takes under 12 cents to print the picture and you can easily buy a 4 x 6 frame for under $10.

Picture Frame

Photo albums: I have made several of my friends small 4 x 6 photo albums for less then $20. I sign up to receive multiple e-mails from various online photo album makers. When it’s time to make one, I browse through the different offers and coupons that have recently been sent to me and choose the most thrifty option. It can be a little bit time consuming, but friends LOVE it!!!

Frugal gift idea

Magazine subscriptions: Another gift idea that you can purchase for under $20!  I have recently been purchasing magazine subscriptions from the Frugal Girls website.  Heidi from Frugal Girls will periodically have a great magazine on sale for $5 for a year’s subscription!  I have purchased both Shape Magazine and Rachael Ray’s Magazine for $5!  One of the neat things of giving a magazine subscription is that it’s a year-long gift and your friend will be reminded of you every time it comes in their mail. One of my favorite magazine’s to give is Sunset Magazine

Frugal gift idea


Questions for you:  What is the etiquette for gift giving?  Is it inappropriate to give a meaningful present that doesn’t cost a ton of money? What are your expectations when you receive gifts?  Any frugal ideas for gifts?

I am open to the idea of having guest bloggers.  If you are interested please see my contact page and e-mail me with your ideas!

Have a great day!  Thanks for stopping by!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2012 2:17 am

    Great ideas! I think it’s fine to give presents which mean a lot, I don’t class them as only good if a lot of money was spent on them. That’s not how it should work. I really like your blog! It would be nice if you could stop by my blog sometime too (I’m from England) as I post my outfits and more and I’m currently running a contest to give away a gorgeous mosaic beaded bracelet with the beads of your choice 🙂 🙂

  2. August 8, 2012 9:51 am

    Interesting narration and lovely pics. Best wishes to you both! Cheers.

  3. August 8, 2012 2:42 pm

    I love these ideas! I think I have given all of them, except for the baked goods. I have also painted, written, and drawn gifts. We have been on a student budget for the last 6 years so our gift giving policy has been ‘nobody gets gifts’…kind of sad but we make it to all the parties and usually bring something (wine, a card, 6-pack, etc). We joke that WE are the gift..but seriously, our time together really is more important than anything!! xo, Tobi

  4. August 9, 2012 8:38 am

    Hey NF! I’d love to guest post! What I love about your blog is that it isn’t geared 100% towards personal finance =) I would love to do a non-related PF post for u if u want!

    As for gifts, I think it is actually more meaningful when I get gifts like these…baked goods are my fave. I also love to bake others food such as cupcakes or brownies or a cake.

    • August 9, 2012 9:28 am

      Hey girl! You got it!!!! So excited for you to guest post, on anything you want 😉 The only thing is that I have never had a guest poster on my blog so I’m not quite sure to set it up yet. I wonder if there is an easy way for me to set it up for you to enter it in to the blog.Or do you email me and I cut and paste? Will be investigating that stat!!! So excited!

  5. August 9, 2012 9:03 am

    I am a huge fan of gifting home baked goods. Great ideas.

  6. August 9, 2012 5:03 pm

    I love your tone & posts! Saw a comment of yours on MMM and thought, “Oh! I liked her blog!” and clicked back on over.

    I was really nervous about it, but as an English teacher and novice writer, I gave my family members little poems that I wrote about each of them last Christmas. Almost every person teared up and it cost a few bucks for the fancy paper and simple frames, as opposed to $200+. I LOVE to give gifts, but realized that both they and I felt as satisfied with the time spent writing poetry.

    Can’t do it every holiday, but that’s one tip! Use a talent you have like NurseFrugal to celebrate the person–cook, paint, write, babysit, give a massage, even sing!

    Whatever helps.

    • August 10, 2012 4:02 am

      Joy, that’s such a sweet comment! What a touching gift….I would have been bawling if anyone ever wrote me a personalized poem! So thoughtful! They are always 10,000 times more special when they are personalized as compared with when they are generic, expensive and store bought. So glad you stopped by 😉


  1. Proper gift etiquette: Is there such a thing? « Nurse Frugal

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