Frugal Holiday Gift Ideas

Frugal Holiday Gift Ideas

The Holidays are such a joyful time of year- spending time with family, friends, sharing meals, exchanging gifts… It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Most of us, however, also experience the January blues when we open those credit card bills or see our depleted savings account and wonder if it was all worth it.  Here are a few gift ideas that can help you save some much-needed dollars this Christmas.

  1. Share a memory for $5-$10 It was our son’s first Christmas last year so we had A LOT of pictures of family and friends with our new baby. We simply bought some inexpensive picture frames at Walmart and inserted a picture of each family member holding our son. Everyone loved them and no one was thinking about how much we spent.
  2. Share your favourite recipe for $2– Fill a mason jar with the dry ingredients from your favourite recipe for homemade cookies, brownies, muffins or pancake mix. Include a hand-written or printed card with the wet ingredients as well as mixing/baking directions. Tie with a beautiful piece of ribbon and you’ll have a lovely handmade gift. This year we’ll be giving out jars of tomatoes we canned this year along with my husband’s delicious marinara sauce recipe.  If you decide to give out pancake mix, include a bottle of real maple syrup.
  3. The gift of flavour for $5- Go to your favourite bulk store and pick up a gram or two of either your favourites or a mix of exotic herbs and spices. Put your spices into bags (You can get some great little decorative baggies from a craft store or even a good dollar store) and add a tag or label with the name of your spice along with a few interesting ways to use them. Place everything in a small, decorative box. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even include a recipe or two. The key to this gift is definitely the presentation. Choose a box, labels and baggies that go along with the theme of your seasonings.
  4. Window-sill Herb Garden Kit for $15You can find almost everything for the project at the dollar store, otherwise you can head off to your local hardware or garden center. Buy 4 small terracotta pots, 1 set of gardening gloves, a small watering can, small shovel, 4 different herb seed packets (parsley, rosemary, thyme etc), garden stones and soil. Include instructions for how to set up the garden, labels for each herb and pack it all up in a nice basket.
  5. A Personalized Journal for $5– Find a relatively good quality notebook or journal (try the clearance section at Chapters) and include either a personalized message or find a quote to hand write in the front of the journal.
  6. Fancy Snack Set for $7– Find a medium sized decorative bowl, include a small bag of popcorn kernels and a bottle of flavoured oil like chili oil or garlic oil. A small bag of homemade or store-bought popcorn seasoning (bulk store!) would be a nice touch as well.


Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog,