affordable gifts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15230/all en-US Wise Bread's Guide to Valentine's Day http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-guide-to-valentines-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-breads-guide-to-valentines-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/candy_love.jpg" alt="Candy spelling the word love" title="Candy spelling the word love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ah, February &mdash; when romance is in the air.&nbsp;Sure, that romance may be forecfully pumped into the air by stores and restaurants &mdash; but it's in the air nonetheless. Thankfully, as sure as cupid is a chubby baby with wings, you don't need to cough up lots of cash to make Valentine's Day great.</p> <p>For me, there is one way to ensure that Valentine's Day (or any other day) feels special &mdash; and that's to make it <em>different</em>. It's not about stuff; it's about doing something memorable to celebrate love (or celebrate like...or celebrate being single, which is what I'll be doing this year).</p> <p>With that in mind, here are some Wise Bread selections to help make your Valentine's Day delicious, memorable, and fun. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-things-you-didnt-know-about-valentines-day">Weird Things&nbsp;You&nbsp;Didn't Know About Valentine's Day</a>)</p> <h2>Romantic Food</h2> <p>Food is a wonderful (and oh-so-tasty) way to show how much you care &mdash; plus restaurants are overrun with couples on Valentine's Day.&nbsp;Save your special meal out for another night, and instead, stay in and serve one of these great dishes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-valentine-s-day-desserts-that-hit-the-sweet-spot"><strong>14 Valentine's Day Desserts That Hit the (Sweet) Spot</strong></a></p> <p>From traditional romantic desserts like molten lava cakes and truffles to more exotic selections like chocolate-covered brie, this article gives you 14 great ways to profess your love through sweets.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ultra-quick-homemade-desserts"><strong>15 Ultra-Quick Homemade Desserts</strong></a></p> <p>Don't worry if you're planning your celebration last-minute &mdash; these fast sweets will help you end the meal right.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-mostly-frugal-valentine-s-day-recipes"><strong>14 (Mostly) Frugal Valentine's Day Recipes</strong></a></p> <p>Dessert might seem like the most important part of a Valentine's Day dinner, but these great recipes make sure you have the rest of the meal covered too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-perfect-puff-pastry-recipes"><strong>15 Perfect Puff-Pastry Recipes</strong></a></p> <p>Puff pastry makes everything seem fancy &mdash; and it's oh-so-easy to use. This collection includes sweet and savory eats.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-on-marketplace-a-frugal-valentines-day"><strong>Marketplace Money: A Frugal Valentine's Day</strong></a></p> <p>Check out my appearance on American Public Media's &quot;Marketplace Money,&quot; featuring an easy and wildly delicious chocolate truffle recipe. (My favorite version is the one with maraschino cherries in the middle.)</p> <h2>Fun, Frugal Ways to&nbsp;Celebrate</h2> <p>Remember what I said about making the day special? Here are some ways to do just that.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-budget-friendly-ways-to-get-it-right-this-valentines-day-and-beyond"><strong>10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Get It Right This Valentine's Day</strong></a></p> <p>The suggestions in this article range from the super-romantic, like recreating your first date, to the utilitarian, like cleaning the bathroom. I'm not being sarcastic here &mdash; I like romance, but I'd be super stoked if someone cleaned my bathroom for me.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-clock-with-frugal-and-simple-valentines-day-ideas"><strong>Beat the Clock With&nbsp;Frugal and Simple Valentine's Day Ideas</strong></a></p> <p>You don't need to worry about preparing for Valentine's Day last minute &mdash; this piece has you covered.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year"><strong>Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine's Day</strong></a><strong> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/valentines-day-on-a-budget">Valentine's Day on a Budget</a></strong></p> <p>These articles include lots of free ways to make the day special.</p> <h2>Great Gifts</h2> <p>Whether you're going traditional or atypicial, there are plenty of frugal gifts that show how much you care.<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flower-power-a-guide-to-frugal-valentines-flowers"><br /> </a></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-flowers-for-valentines-day-or-any-day">Affordable Flowers for Valentine's Day (or Any Day)</a><br /> </strong></p> <p>Discover why you should steer clear of roses &mdash; and learn how to save money by arranging the bouquet yourself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-still-show-love-on-valentine-s-day"><strong>Save Money and Still Show Love on&nbsp;Valentine's Day</strong></a></p> <p>All of the super-sweet gifts in this article are cheap &mdash; or, even better, free.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today"><strong>25 Gifts You&nbsp;Can Make Today</strong></a></p> <p>Nothing says &quot;from the heart&quot; like something that's homemade.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving"><strong>31 Great Gifts That Keep on&nbsp;Giving </strong></a></p> <p>From magazine subscriptions to cooking classes, these gifts keep giving throughout the year.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts"><strong>25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</strong></a></p> <p>If your Valentine is frugal, there's a good chance that a useful gift is the right way to go.</p> <p><em>How are you celebrating Valentine's&nbsp;Day? Share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-guide-to-valentines-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-valentines-day-picks-your-pocket">8 Ways Valentine&#039;s Day Picks Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-5-cheap-greeting-cards-that-blow-hallmark-away">Make 5 cheap ‘greeting cards’ that blow Hallmark away.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/celebrate-love-not-money-with-these-recycled-valentines-day-gifts">Celebrate Love, Not Money, With These Recycled Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-104-sweet-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day">Flashback Friday: 104 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-valentines-day-gifts-for-10-or-less">20 Valentine&#039;s Day Gifts for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living affordable gifts budget romance Valentine's Day Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:36:33 +0000 Meg Favreau 967566 at http://www.wisebread.com Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-123905333.jpg" alt="gift shopping" title="gift shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holidays are fast approaching. This knowledge tends to stress me out for two reasons:</p> <ol> <li>Every major bill of mine is due between now and February. My property taxes. My insurance. Every ding dang subscription including Skype. I have no money extra money to buy gifts.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Every single one of my part-time jobs have end-of-the-year deadlines. I have no free time to go shopping.</li> </ol> <p>I lucked out for a long time. My immediate family doesn&rsquo;t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, and my extended family that does celebrate Christmas agreed to stop exchanging Christmas gifts a decade ago. I only had to figure out gifts for a few close friends and neighbors. Giving handmade and/or carefully selected holiday gifts was easy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, I married into a stereotypically gigantic Catholic family. My husband is the youngest of six children. Suddenly gift-giving got really complicated. I needed to get organized. Here&rsquo;s a list of gift hacks that save my money and my sanity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-that-save-money?ref=seealso">25 Gifts That Save Money</a>)</p> <h2>Keep a Gift Diary</h2> <p>Yeah, yeah. Keeping all your gift-giving straight sounds like a Rich Person Problem. But you know, gift registries exist for reason. And that reason is avoiding embarrassment. Every year I hear some nightmare regifting story that usually involves a couple bringing a gift bottle of wine to a white elephant party&hellip;hosted by the person who gave them the wine in the first place. And although everyone has found that elusive one-size-fits-most gift that can be purchased in bulk, the awesomeness of many gifts fades with repetition. For example, a gift diary would have prevented my friend from giving me the exact same book two years in a row. Is my house so bad that I needed not one but two copies of the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0517577003/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0517577003&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Martha Stewart Housekeeping</a> book? Sadly, I unwrapped the second copy in front of her, and I&rsquo;m sure the expression on my face, as I stumbled through a thank you, was not one of joy but of confusion. Awkward. At any rate, guess what she&rsquo;s getting for Christmas this year? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">A Guide to Regifting</a>)</p> <h2>Keep a Gift Drawer</h2> <p>Throughout the year, I sew and knit small handmade gifts like hats, gloves, and scarves and stick them in my Gift Drawer. (Fancier people commonly refer to a similar space in their home as a Gift Closet). I also collect small vintage items as future presents from garage sales and swap meets. The small drawer size ensures that my house does not become a storage shed for things I'm not personally using.&nbsp;A potential gift has to fit in the drawer, or it doesn&rsquo;t get to come home with me.</p> <h2>Pre-Shop for Next Christmas This Christmas</h2> <p>My friend Ellen is the master of this shopping technique. Ellen lives far from her large family. Rather than pay a week&rsquo;s salary in shipping costs or schlep all her gifts home with her on the plane, Ellen does all her family gift buying <i>for the following year </i>while she&rsquo;s home for the holidays at after-Christmas sales. After buying next year&rsquo;s gifts at a steep post-holiday discount, Ellen sneaks her purchases home and, while everyone else is fast asleep, she wraps and addresses everything in one fell swoop with paper and gift cards she also purchased on sale. She then shoves the wrapped-and-ready gifts under the bed (aka. the Gift Under the Bed Storage Space) in the guestroom, where they wait for her arrival next year.</p> <h2>Arbitrage Your Stuff</h2> <p>Throughout the year I trade in my old books for store credit at my local used bookstore. In November I usually have about $100 in trade saved up that I use to &quot;buy&quot; gifts for my favorite readers. Or sometimes, I just give my trade credit as a gift card to a fellow fan of the bookstore.&nbsp;For people who live in areas that don&rsquo;t have used book, record, or clothing stores, this idea can be easily replicated by selling your stuff online, and keeping your Amazon or PayPal account as your gift slush fund. Your house stays tidy, and you have a painless way of saving money for the holidays. Be sure to keep store credit receipts or gift cards either in your wallet for easy access or in your Gift Drawer or your gift diary. Also, pay attention to the fine print on store credit. Some places impose annoying &ldquo;use it or lose it&rdquo; deadlines. Unintentional book donations due to lost or expired store credit receipts hurt like a paper cut. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spend-almost-nothing-on-gifts-this-year?ref=seealso">10 Gift Ideas That Cost Almost Nothing</a>)</p> <h2>Gifts in a Jar</h2> <p>I'm a beekeeper, and I make award-winning preserves. Honey and jam are both great gifts. Since I'm already storing my surplus jams and pickles in the kitchen pantry, I'm not creating a storage problem in my house.&nbsp;Besides, space can be made at any time in the Gift Pantry by snacking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>The Gift of Time</h2> <p>Instead of buying birthday presents for friends, I generally prefer to either bake them their favorite cake or take them to lunch. Either way, I get to enjoy the present too. For people on a money diet, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-free-gift-ideas">give friends coupons</a> for babysitting, a cleaned bathroom, a ride to the airport, etc...</p> <h2>Buy the Entire Collection, but Gift One Piece at a Time</h2> <p>My maternal grandmother perfected this technique, which works especially well for people with kids. Like a lot of kids, I had a rock collection. Because Grandma did not have the wonder that is the internet, and she didn't have time to go to a gem and rock convention every time she wanted to give me a gift, she bought thirty different &quot;collectible&quot; rocks during one visit to the Natural History Museum gift shop. For the next few years, she doled out the rock samples to me, one at a time, for every gift-giving occasion. The rocks were also individually labeled and packaged in a clear plastic display cases, so she didn't even have hunt around for gift boxes. She had the pleasure of finding the perfect (thirty) gifts, and the pleasure of watching me gleefully add each rock to my collection, with the convenience of one-stop, one-time shopping.</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t Buy Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags</h2> <p>In addition to being an expensive, single-use item, most wrapping paper isn&rsquo;t recyclable. Instead of buying wrapping paper, I reuse brown craft paper, maps, photographs from old magazines or calendars. I also like to use things such as cereal boxes as wrap jewelry, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-holiday-gifts-from-the-thrift-store">cashmere sweaters</a>, or other fancy presents. (It's like a white elephant gift in reverse). Reused wrapping is way cheaper and saves time because I don't have to leave the house to find it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-handmade-and-green-wrapping-ideas?ref=seealso">10 Cheap Gift Wrapping Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Make the Wrapping Part of the Gift</h2> <p>I like using vintage pillowcases and scarves as wrapping for things. For a recent gift, I packed a baby sweater into a Tupperware storage container instead of using a box and wrapping.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite gift hack? Please share your genius in the comments section!&nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom">9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sunscreens">The 5 Best Sunscreens</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle Shopping affordable gifts cheap holidays product reviews relieve stress Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:24:35 +0000 Max Wong 955129 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom http://www.wisebread.com/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4912553396_401d7bd578_z.jpg" alt="mother and daughter" title="mother and daughter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being a mom is the hardest job of all, and it's tough to find a gift that will reflect your appreciation. What it comes down to is how much thought you put into the gift. My mom still talks about the time in middle school when I attempted to make a six-course meal. She still raves about my poorly made pâté to other people, which to me just proves that moms really think the world of their children. So what are you gonna get your best cheerleader? Read on for some suggestions.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Mothers-Day-Activities-22981665">RELATED:&nbsp;6 Fun and Frugal Activities to Do With&nbsp;Mom on&nbsp;Mother's Day</a></p> <h2>Homemade Potpourri</h2> <p>Create a natural air freshener from your mom by making a bowl of potpourri with a carefully picked blend that caters to her preferences. Here are a few tips to make potpourri.</p> <p><strong>What to Dry</strong></p> <p>Dry flowers, roots, plants, fruit peels, and more. Pick something that you think will make the potpourri aesthetically pleasing. <a href="http://tipnut.com/homemade-potpourri-101/">Tipnut has a nice list </a>of potpourri ingredient suggestions.</p> <p><strong> How to Dry</strong></p> <p>Hang the plant upside down and tie it to a piece of string. For things like twigs and roots, place them on top of a screen. Place the items in a dark area. Alternatively, <a href="http://www.proflowers.com/flowerguide/howtodryflowers/">Proflowers explains</a> how to dry your plants in a microwave.</p> <p><strong>Essential Oils</strong></p> <p>If you're disappointed by the faint smell of your final product, buy an essential oil and sprinkle some of it over your potpourri.</p> <p><strong>Container</strong></p> <p>Put the potpourri in a cute jar or bowl that will complement your finished product.</p> <p>The potpourri will take some time to make unless you decide to dry it via microwave. Remember to carefully follow the instructions from Proflowers before proceeding.</p> <h2>DIY Bath Salt</h2> <p>This is such an easy yet practical (and beautiful) present to make. Not to mention, it's budget-friendly and you can get all the ingredients at the supermarket! Here's what you have to do:</p> <p><strong>Buy Salt</strong></p> <p>Go to a supermarket and choose the salt you want to use in your product. You can mix different types to make it look more appealing. Be sure to take note of the grain sizes.</p> <p><strong>Add Fragrances and Color</strong></p> <p>You can choose to mix in essential oils or food extracts to make the salt smell nice. Add in food coloring to make the bath salt look prettier. Test out your fragrances and coloring on small amounts of salt beforehand.</p> <p><strong>Store It</strong></p> <p>Pour your salt into a jar and use decorative labels or ribbons to make it look more professional. You can even reuse jars that have contained food you've eaten, such as jam or pickles &mdash; just remember to clean it and take off the original labels.</p> <h2>Make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries</h2> <p>If your mom has a sweet tooth, this is the perfect gift for her. Melt some chocolate and dip strawberries into the mixture. Place them on a baking tray and cool it in the fridge. If you need more guidance, <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/How-Make-Chocolate-Dipped-Strawberries-7348392">YumSugar details the process</a> with pictures.</p> <h2>Buy Her Groceries</h2> <p>Moms definitely love and appreciate practical gifts. If you know your mom well, buy her groceries before she makes her regular trip to the supermarket. Or, ask her for her grocery list and tell her you'll be making the trip for her as a <a href="http://www.bellasugar.com/Mother%27s-Day" title="Latest photos and news for Mother's Day">mother's day</a> present. If you like, you can slip in a surprise such as a card.</p> <h2>Clean Up</h2> <p>Tell your mom to take the day off and clean her residence until it looks like it's spanking new! Mop, scrub, and polish until you can see your reflection on the surfaces.</p> <p>Organize her items if necessary, and if you're ambitious, you can attempt to color code her closet!</p> <h2>Draw a Bath</h2> <p>Draw a bath for mom and fill it with bubbles or throw in some bath salt. Pick a book or magazine for her and leave it beside the bath with a towel for her to wipe her hands on. I recommend checking out <a target="_blank" href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/Complete-List-of-Oprahs-Book-Club-Books">Oprah's book club </a>for suggestions! Or, set out an old favorite of hers if you know she likes to reread novels.</p> <p>You can also set up your ipod and speakers (if you have them) in the bathroom and play relaxing music or an audio book for her bath.</p> <h2>Tulip Bulbs</h2> <p>Go out to Home Depot, Walmart, or any other superstore to buy tulip bulbs for your mom. Call before going to see if they have it in store. You can also choose to buy potted plants for her to brighten up her apartment if she doesn't live in a house. Plant the bulbs together with Mom, and watch them grow!</p> <h2>Mix Laundry Detergent for Her</h2> <p>If your mom is a cleaning fiend, she'll love this homemade laundry detergent. There are plenty of recipes online, but I favor <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Powder-Laundry-Detergent-22835913">this simple recipe</a>, which requires two cups of grated soap, a cup of borax, and a cup of washing soda. Here are a couple more detergent <a target="_blank" href="http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/">recipes from Tipnut</a> if you want to experiment around. Put your finished product in a nice container or jar and you're set to go!</p> <p>If that seems like too much work, you can get <a target="_blank" href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/58253832/laundry-detergent-fabric-softener-all-in?ref=tre-4dc02ada3ac46d91d96daf48-3">homemade laundry detergent from Etsy</a> ($20) if you want to splurge a little.</p> <h2>Pretty Lockets</h2> <p>Buy some intricate lockets from Etsy such as this <a target="_blank" href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/77890588/the-journal-silver-finish-locket-with?ref=sr_gallery_24&amp;ga_search_query=lockets+rose&amp;ga_order=most_relevant&amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;ga_ship_to=ZZ&amp;ga_min=0&amp;ga_max=0&amp;ga_search_type=all">rose journal locket necklace </a>($8) and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/68180899/10off-personalized-jewelry-gold-necklace?ref=sr_gallery_6&amp;ga_search_query=lockets&amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;ga_ship_to=ZZ&amp;ga_min=0&amp;ga_max=0&amp;ga_search_type=all">Bird and Patina</a> ($30). You can find even cheaper lockets in stores like <a title="Shop for Forever 21" auto_link_filter="" href="http://www.shopstyle.com/browse/Forever-21?utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_source=sugar-brand&amp;utm_campaign=22851492">Forever 21</a>.</p> <p>Once you have your locket, insert a picture in there. You can pick photos of your children or ones with you and your mom in them. She'll be wearing a memory on her neck!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You can&#039;t put a monetary value on how much you love your mom, so this Mother&#039;s Day, show her how much you care with these inexpensive-but-meaningful gifts. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Jobs-Moms-22948495">8&nbsp;Flexible Careers That Suit Moms Best</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Can-You-Afford-Parenthood-3122649">How to Determine If You&nbsp;Can&nbsp;Afford a Baby</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Creative-Cash-Gift-Ideas-12019165">8 Cute Ways to Dress Up Your Gift of Cash<br /> </a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too">31 Reasons Why I&#039;m in Love With Thrift Shopping (and You Should Be Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business">Who Cares if there&#039;s a Recession? I just started a business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle Shopping affordable gifts gifts for women Mother's day Thu, 10 May 2012 10:36:08 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 929132 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Awesome, Useful Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-awesome-useful-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-94097581_0.jpg" alt="gift" title="gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like me, you want to give something <em>useful</em> to the people on your list. Here are my ideas for 25 useful yet awesome gifts for almost anyone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving?ref=seealso">31 Gifts That Keep On Giving</a>)</p> <h2>1. Classes</h2> <p>Research says that we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-money-really-can-buy-happiness">value experiences more than stuff</a> &mdash; why not give an experience that also teaches a lasting skill? From cooking to comedy, knitting to karate, the gift of a class can have long-lasting benefits.</p> <h2>2. Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Even if the person you're shopping for already has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers">coffee maker</a>, this can still be a great gift. Upgrade their coffee by downgrading their maker from a traditional drip machine to a method that's known for great-tasting coffee, such as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/french-press-coffee">French press</a> or <a href="http://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/">Chemex</a>.</p> <h2>3. Food</h2> <p>Food is delicious and, well, necessary to live. I'd say that makes it useful. Give a gift of something your friend likes but rarely buys for herself, such as a nice jar of olives or mustard.</p> <h2>4. Socks and Underwear</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holusegift-160888132-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I know they're often considered synonyms for &quot;boring gift,&quot; but the older I get, the more I appreciate new socks and underwear. I tend to wait a little longer than I should to throw out old socks and underwear, and an influx of new always makes me sort through my drawers and toss the old stuff.</p> <h2>5. Books</h2> <p>This should be pretty self-explanatory. And don't think that books just means new books &mdash; used books can make great gifts too. Look for an old edition of someone's favorite book, or put a few used cookbooks in a gift basket with some...</p> <h2>6. Kitchen Tools</h2> <p>There are tons of useless kitchen devices out there &mdash; you already have a darn quesadilla maker; it's called a pan and spatula. But there are also plenty of useful items that are fun to give and super useful. A few of my favorites include silicone muffin/cupcake wrappers (no more paper to throw away!), bowls with measurements written on them, and the one tool I always have to mention in an article about cooking &mdash; a really <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-chefs-knives">good chef's knife</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-holiday-gifts-for-home-cooks?ref=seealso">20 Great Gifts for Home Cooks</a>)</p> <h2>7. Bath and Body&nbsp;Products</h2> <p>My mom is great with this one. I buy myself soap, obviously&nbsp;(I hope that's obvious &mdash; I swear, I keep clean). But come Christmas, my mom almost always gives me some lovely, organic soaps in my favorite scents like mint.</p> <h2>8. A Magazine Subscription</h2> <p>&quot;A gift that keeps on giving&quot; is a tired cliche, but it's true when it comes to magazines. Which, incidentally, can be found for crazy cheap rates. Check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals">daily deals</a>, which frequently feature magazine subscriptions as low as $4 for a full year.</p> <h2>9. A Haircut</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holusegift-hair-4277210-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I really appreciate a decent haircut, especially as a curly haired lady. But I don't go to salons frequently because they can be darn expensive. A gift certificate to a salon &mdash; or even an actual haircut if you're deft with scissors &mdash; is an indulgent, useful gift that can boost self-esteem.</p> <h2>10. Paying Regular Bills</h2> <p>There are many regular services that we have to go out of our way to deal with &mdash; it's annoying that we have to pay for them too. If you're a parent feeling generous with your cash-strapped college kid, this could take the form of paying for your child's phone bill for a month. Or go the extra step and not only pay for an oil change, but actually take your friend's car to the lube joint.</p> <h2>11. Music</h2> <p>Whether it's &quot;old-fashioned&quot; CDs, an iTunes gift card, a <a href="http://www.spotify.com">Spotify</a> Premium account, or something else, music is a gift people can enjoy over and over.</p> <h2>12. Plants</h2> <p>They look nice, they <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">keep the air fresh</a>, and depending on what you get, they can even provide food. Hearty herbs like chives or an aloe plant are always good bets.</p> <h2>13. Babysitting</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holusegift-kid-brother-4312325-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Help out parents by offering yourself for babysitting, or ask your favorite babysitter if she'd be willing to provide a voucher for childcare.</p> <h2>14. Organization Tools</h2> <p>It's true &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuff-will-never-make-you-organized">stuff won't make you organized</a>.&nbsp;But it can help. Thrifted baskets, vintage Tupperware, and similar items can make cute, useful gifts...as long as you aren't trying to passive-aggressively suggest that your friend is too messy.</p> <h2>15.&nbsp;Placemats and Other Kitchen Linens</h2> <p>Like with bath and body supplies, this is another area where I find that frugal people often don't want to spend money on themselves. Pretty, colorful floursack towels, a tablecloth, or placemats are useful and can help brighten up a kitchen.</p> <h2>16. Athletic Supplies</h2> <p>Foster a love of fitness with a bicycle, skates, a baseball glove, a pedometer, or even something as simple as a Frisbee.</p> <h2>17. A Camera</h2> <p>I know many of us have cameras on our phones. But for those who don't &mdash; or who value photography beyond what a phone can do &mdash; a camera is a great gift. It provides a hobby and a way to remember great experiences. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dslr-cameras?ref=seealso">The 5 Best DSLR Cameras</a>)</p> <h2>18. Photos and Frames</h2> <p>Every time I want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">display a photo</a>,&nbsp;I'm shocked by how expensive frames are. Photos of loved ones set in a nice frame is a great gift.</p> <h2>19. Hobby Supplies</h2> <p>These can be for an existing hobby or a hobby a person might want to start. If you have a skill like knitting or cooking, you can bundle together a couple of supplies with an expert lesson from you. It's a great gift and an excuse to hang out.</p> <h2>20. Cleaning</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holusegift-cleaning-3735519-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I know about two people who really <em>like</em> to clean. For everyone else, having someone else clean their house &mdash; or even just one room &mdash; is a great gift.</p> <h2>21. Clothes</h2> <p>Hopefully I don't need to tell you that clothes are useful &mdash; even if you don't like them, you have to go out in public <em>sometimes</em>. If you know your giftee well enough to buy something they'd actually wear, this can be a great route.</p> <h2>22. A Nice&nbsp;Glass</h2> <p>If you know someone who enjoys a particular drink, your first thought might be to get them a bottle. But giving them one or two nice glasses appropriate to the beverage is another way to support their interest. This gift isn't just for people who like wine or spirits, either &mdash; Beer Advocate has a nice breakdown of <a href="http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/glassware">glassware for beer</a>.</p> <h2>23. Coasters</h2> <p>Speaking of those glasses...keep someone's furniture safe from that glassware with fun, functional coasters. There are tons of coasters you can make, including <a href="http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/2012/03/tumbled-marble-coasters-tutorial.html">tumbled marble coasters</a> and these <a href="http://www.bethanyreynolds.com/coasters.html">coasters that fit on wine glasses</a>.</p> <h2>24. Tools</h2> <p>Fuel a (metaphorical) DIY&nbsp;fire with tools. If your child has just moved into his first apartment, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/screwdrivers-to-saws-stocking-your-first-toolbox">starter toolbox</a> is great (and you might be able to get everything you need for one by hitting a few estate sales). For homeowners who like to take remodeling into their own hands, look to tools that they'd use often enough to justify owning them instead of just renting or borrowing.</p> <h2>25. Money Towards Something</h2> <p>Money is always useful. It can be fun if you attach it a specific purpose &mdash; a fun goal that your giftee is trying to reach, whether it's a trip, a down payment on a house, or even just dinner at a nice restaurant.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite useful gifts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-household-tools-every-frugal-homeowner-should-own">10 Household Tools Every Frugal Homeowner Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom">9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-50-unique-housewarming-gifts-for-less-than-20">Almost 50 Unique Housewarming Gifts for Less Than $20</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Shopping affordable gifts hobbies simplicity tools Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Meg Favreau 911560 at http://www.wisebread.com