useful gifts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15904/all en-US Useful Gifts for College-Bound Graduates http://www.wisebread.com/useful-gifts-for-college-bound-graduates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/useful-gifts-for-college-bound-graduates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift-2165092-small.jpg" alt="gift" title="gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This year, millions of students across the country will finish their high school careers, and countless family members and friends will attend graduation ceremonies to watch the senior class receive their diplomas. Giving cards and/or gifts to new grads isn't mandatory, though the act of gift-giving is a traditional way of congratulating graduates. For some, a simple card will suffice, but others may want to give the graduate something useful for college. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-give-cash-as-a-gift" target="_blank">5 Ways to Give Cash as a Gift</a>)</p> <h2>Gift Cards</h2> <p>Unless the parents are paying for every college-related expense, most graduates would agree that gift cards or cash are the best gifts. The &quot;broke college student&quot; stereotype definitely exists, and living on ramen diets is not unheard of for students who don't want to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay for college. Restaurant and grocery store gift cards will help ward off the dreaded &quot;freshman 15,&quot; Amazon or bookstore gift cards can help them <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/back-to-school-saving-on-college-textbooks" target="_blank">save money on textbooks</a> and school supplies, and gas cards will lower the cost of transportation if they plan on bringing their cars to college.</p> <h2>Cold, Hard Cash</h2> <p>Gift cards are great for some grads, but others would prefer to receive cash.</p> <p>High school graduate Gavin Rose, who is headed to Occidental College this fall, sums it up: &quot;Grads will always appreciate money. College is an extremely expensive endeavor, and so cash will always be valuable. Gift cards are OK, but money is often preferred because it can be spent anywhere.&quot;</p> <h2>Food and Drink</h2> <p>If gift cards and cash are too generic, then consider gifting the new grad a basket chock full of their favorite goodies. This is especially useful if the graduate is going away for college and wants to bring a little piece of home with them. Candy bars, chips, and energy drinks may not be the healthiest gifts, but a little junk food now and then (particularly during stressful midterms and finals weeks) is a part of college life.</p> <h2>Dorm Essentials</h2> <p>College students need more than food and books to survive, of course. If they're going away for college, they'll likely need some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dorm-room-essentials" target="_blank">dorm room essentials</a>. From electronics (headphones, digital clocks, iPods, etc.) to laundry items to bed decor, college students who plan on living in a dorm would appreciate anything that helps them reduce their dorm expenses.</p> <h2>Spirit Wear</h2> <p>If the graduate is gung-ho about their school and/or mascot, then spirit wear items could also be considered useful gifts. Sweatshirts are comfy for cold winter months and T-shirts are great for warmer weather. Because college students are on tight budgets, nice clothes are hard to come by. And spirit wear is a great way to not only to congratulate them on their graduation from high school, but also celebrate their acceptance to a university.</p> <h2>Toiletries</h2> <p>Now, this may seem on par with gifting someone socks for Christmas, but in reality, toiletries are absolutely essential to any college student. Toothpaste and shaving cream don't last forever, cologne/perfume are out of range for the typical student's budget, a good pair of shower shoes prevents those skin infection nightmares associated with dorm showers, and quality shampoo and conditioner will keep their hair clean and shiny (up until they tear it out during finals week). A toiletry set may not be as cool as a new laptop, but in terms of usefulness, these items are at the top of college students' shopping lists.</p> <p>If you feel obligated to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gifts-for-grads" target="_blank">give something a little more exciting</a> than soap, then perhaps include a little cash or a gift card to the new graduate's favorite store.</p> <p><em>Do you have a useful gift idea for new graduates? Or should we skip gift-giving altogether? Let us know what you think in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/useful-gifts-for-college-bound-graduates">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/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</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/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</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/frugal-gluten-free-living-homemade-gluten-free-noodles">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Homemade Gluten-Free Noodles</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/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Shopping college students graduates useful gifts Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:24:35 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 978035 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Put On (and Leave Off) Your Wedding Registry http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3466194944_eec763f909_z.jpg" alt="gift registry" title="gift registry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a perfect world, everyone would give you cash for your wedding. Depending on the background and traditions of your guests, however, there is a very good chance that there will be at least a few people who prefer to give a gift. In fact, when I go to weddings, I prefer to give a gift so that people can&rsquo;t put a monetary value on my good wishes. Having a lot of good choices on your wedding registry helps to prevent receiving four pairs of hideous salad tongs, and it&rsquo;s a great opportunity to get those big-ticket items that will serve you for years to come. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">Alternative Wedding Registry&nbsp;Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Register for&hellip;</h2> <p>These are items most of us can&rsquo;t afford to purchase all at once, such as cutlery and tableware, as well as nice things every household should have, but that are often low on the need-to-buy-list, such as luggage.</p> <p><strong>Classic (White) Dishes</strong></p> <p>A complete set of quality dishes is expensive, and your wedding is your one chance to get a full and complete dinner setting.</p> <p>Register for high-quality white dishes that will stand the test of time and won&rsquo;t look dated in a few years (you can always add colorful accent plates). For the best bang for your guests&rsquo; buck, register for a quality set of everyday dinnerware instead of a fancy set of fine china that you&rsquo;ll only use a few times a year. The wedding gift I use the most is a set of white Villeroy &amp; Boch dinnerware given to me by my mother-in-law. It is sturdy enough for everyday use yet pretty enough for fancy dinners.</p> <p><strong>Sturdy Flatware</strong></p> <p>Sure, you&rsquo;ve done fine using your set of IKEA flatware for the past few years, but your wedding is your chance to get something a bit higher quality for all those fancy dinner parties you&rsquo;ll be hosting. You&rsquo;ll probably never find a reason to splurge on top-quality flatware again, so put some thought into the set you add to your registry. Go for something dishwasher safe and sturdy, in a clean and classic design.</p> <p><strong>Oven-to-Table-to-Freezer Casserole Set</strong></p> <p>In your life as a married person, you&rsquo;ll probably be toting casseroles to a lot of potlucks and game nights, so add a set of casserole dishes to your registry. These handy lidded containers can go from the oven to the table and straight to the fridge or freezer. Whether you choose Pyrex, Corningware, or something a little fancier, this set of casseroles will be useful for years to come.</p> <p><strong>Open Stock Pots and Pans</strong></p> <p>Forget the 10-piece sets of cookware that come in a huge box. Chances are that the quality of each piece won&rsquo;t be the highest, and you&rsquo;ll get far more cookware than you need.</p> <p>Instead, register for a couple frying pans (a 10-inch and a 12-inch), a medium saucepan, and a large pot for soups and stews. Choose them based on functionality instead of how well they match. For example, the most-used pots in my kitchen are my 5.5-quart enameled cast-iron Le Creuset pot, a medium stainless steel saucepan, and a couple of nonstick, anodized aluminum, ceramic coated frying pans. Think about how you like to cook, and register accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Knives</strong></p> <p>Again, forgo the box set and choose a solidly made, quality forged chef&rsquo;s knife. This is your chance to get a Wusthof or a Shun, so be sure to add it to your list. You can always buy cheaper paring knives and steak knives later, but be sure to add the knife of a lifetime to your registry.</p> <p><strong>Sheets</strong></p> <p>My husband and I never splurge on sheets for ourselves &mdash; most of our sheet sets are from TJ Maxx or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ikea-survival-guide">Ikea</a> &mdash; but we still love the quality set of sheets we received for our wedding. They cost $100 for a queen set but four years later, they are still the softest sheets we own. So while you wouldn&rsquo;t necessarily spend a lot on sheets for yourself, you might want to put a good set on the registry.</p> <p><strong>Small Appliances</strong></p> <p>A blender, a hand mixer, a kettle, a slow cooker, and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/better-brewing-12-ways-to-make-coffee-at-home">coffee maker</a> are all mid-priced appliances that guests appreciate seeing on a registry, and they are all kitchen essentials. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mixers">The 5 Best Mixers</a>)</p> <p><strong>Suitcases</strong></p> <p>Quality luggage costs a pretty penny, but will save you so many headaches when rolling them to and fro in airports. Have you ever tried to roll a cheap, 50-pound suitcase with broken wheels on the subway? I have, and I don&rsquo;t care to repeat the experience.</p> <p><strong>Camping Gear</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re the outdoorsy type, consider registering for gear that will help you make family memories. Register for a nice spacious tent and a couple warm sleeping bags so you can camp in style.</p> <p><strong>Basic Tools</strong></p> <p>Even if you aren&rsquo;t the handiest couple, a power drill, a couple of screwdrivers, a set of socket wrenches, and a hammer will come in handy when putting up your new bookshelves and your framed wedding photos.</p> <h2>Think Twice About&hellip;</h2> <p>Think twice about gifts that you may not need, or have the space for, or are really just clutter.</p> <p><strong>Stand Mixer</strong></p> <p>Before registering for a stand mixer, think carefully. Yes, your wedding might be your best chance to get one of these expensive babies, but how essential is it?</p> <p>A heavy stand mixer is most useful when you can leave it out on the counter, but do you have the counter space (when you factor in the blender, the coffee maker, and the microwave)? Do you bake often enough that a stand mixer will be that much more useful than a hand mixer? If so, go for it. Otherwise? Think it over.</p> <p><strong>Crystal Glasses</strong></p> <p>You know the thing about wine glasses? When they see a lot of use, they tend to break. So go ahead and register for them, but don&rsquo;t get something so expensive you&rsquo;ll be heartbroken when it breaks. My husband and I prefer to buy a wine glass at a winery every time we go wine tasting &mdash; it&rsquo;s a fun and inexpensive souvenir, and we can use them later at home.</p> <p><strong>Decorations and Knick-Knacks</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s fun to register for home décor items, but don&rsquo;t go overboard. Your style might change in a few years, so hold off on registering for that deer's head wall sculpture, those vases in multiple colors, or that plethora of candle holders. It&rsquo;s easy to scan lots of random home décor items when you&rsquo;re registering, but they won&rsquo;t necessarily form a cohesive whole in your home.</p> <p>The exception? Quality art prints or original art. This is your chance to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts">get some REAL art</a> to replace those college band posters you&rsquo;ve had up on your walls the last few years.</p> <p>One of the best things about a gift registry is that you can often return or exchange items for store credit or cash, so don't worry too much if you change your mind later!</p> <p><em>What were your favorite wedding registry gifts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry">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-2"> <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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</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/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</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/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</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-7-dumbest-big-purchases-people-make">The 7 Dumbest Big Purchases People Make</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping gift registry useful gifts wedding gifts Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:36:37 +0000 Camilla Cheung 967358 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Gifts That Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-106498981.jpg" alt="holiday piggy bank" title="holiday piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It shouldn't be a surprise that here at Wise Bread, we like gifts that <em>do</em> things &mdash; gifts that are useful. Gifts that fill a need. Gifts that might be indulgent, but not wholly unnecessary. And we especially love gifts that can do even more &mdash; that can help people save money. With that in mind, here's our guide to 25 great gifts that keep more cash in your giftee's wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving?ref=seealso">31 Great Gifts That Keep on&nbsp;Giving</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee Maker</h2> <p>The &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-keeping-your-latte-factor-will-help-you-save-money">latte factor</a>&quot; &mdash; the idea that small regular expenses can make a big difference over time &mdash; is one of the most frequently-discussed ideas in personal finance, so it makes sense to start here. I love my little <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YYQCOU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000YYQCOU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Bodum French press</a> (it makes exactly the amount of coffee I want in the morning), but there are so many other options &mdash; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HO1I4G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005HO1I4G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">bigger French presses</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GWSWCQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004GWSWCQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Keurig one-cup coffee makers</a>, classic <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LW60OC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005LW60OC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">drip coffee makers</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036YFTO4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0036YFTO4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Chemex coffee makers</a> &mdash; heck, even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-espresso-makers">espresso machines</a> can save you money over time, depending on how many espresso-based drinks you normally buy at the coffee shop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <h2>2. A Netflix, Hulu+, or AmazonPrime Subscription</h2> <p>These three services all offer streaming movies and TV shows &mdash; or, in the case of Netflix, the option of movies on&nbsp;DVD as well. Depending on the media habits of the person you're giving the gift to, these services can save anywhere from a few dollars a month to over $100 a month, if they decide to cut cable and go out to the movies less. <a href="https://signup.netflix.com">Netflix </a>and <a href="http://www.hulu.com/plus?src=top-nav&amp;driverid1=top-nav-plus&amp;driverpage=homepage&amp;drivertype=nav-element">Hulu+</a> plans start at $7.99 a month, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/prime/?ie=UTF8&amp;*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Amazon Prime </a>is $79 a year (and includes other perks like free two-day shipping for Amazon orders).</p> <p>If you do know someone who is getting rid of cable, another great idea is a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007KEZMX4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007KEZMX4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Roku box</a> &mdash; this little device makes it easy to stream all of the services listed above onto a TV. I have one, and I love it.</p> <h2>3. Knitting or Crocheting Supplies</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holsavegifts-yarn-5272822-small-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I love hobbies that help you make something &mdash; you can save money by making items for yourself or items for others, or even sell the items you make in a side business. This highly-rated <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591743842/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591743842&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">how to knit kit</a> includes everything needed to get started with the hobby, and here's a similar <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1570548706/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1570548706&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">kit for crocheting</a>. If you think your giftee will benefit more from a hands-on approach, consider a gift certificate for supplies and classes at a local shop.</p> <h2>4. Specialty Cooking Supplies</h2> <p>We all know that cooking at home saves money, but sometimes you want a certain cuisine that you feel like you &quot;can't&quot; cook.&nbsp;Help bridge the gap by getting specialized equipment, such as a wok (I love my <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007KQZ34/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0007KQZ34&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">Calaphon wok</a> &mdash; it's a pricier investment, but great quality), <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005IYR3QW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005IYR3QW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">sushi-making kit</a>, or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009U5OSO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009U5OSO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">pasta maker</a>.</p> <h2>5. Specialty Cooking Ingredients</h2> <p>Similar to specialty cooking supplies, some special ingredients can be all a home cook needs to change a normal meal into that sort of special dinner that easily replaces a night on the town. Some of my favorite items include <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ZE9NM2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000ZE9NM2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">finishing salts</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D7OUE0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007D7OUE0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">truffle oil</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007P4X380/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007P4X380&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">saffron</a>. Or if you want to support your community, look for locally produced items like honey and jams. Locally-produced honey with a piece of honeycomb in it is one of my favorite gifts.</p> <h2>6. Classes</h2> <p>You'll see a theme on this list &mdash; one of the best ways to save money is to learn skills so you can do things for yourself. Whether it's cooking, car care, woodworking, or something else, gift certificates for classes are a great way give the gift of money-saving skills (along with an opportunity for fun and meeting new people).</p> <h2>7. Herb Plants</h2> <p>If you're looking for a gift that keeps on giving, how about one that literally keeps growing? Fresh herbs can be expensive at the grocerystore, but they're oh-so-cheap when you grow them at home. Plus, they help perk up your stoop or kitchen sill. Buy fresh herbs at your local florist or garden center, or buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001WYN6O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0001WYN6O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">seedling starter kit</a>.</p> <h2>8. Fitness Supplies</h2> <p>Fitness supplies &mdash; whether a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W8LG1S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004W8LG1S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">bike</a>, <a href="http://ttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002WM9HM6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WM9HM6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">soccer ball</a>, or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032HONJW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0032HONJW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">free weights</a> for a home gym &mdash; can save money in multiple ways. First of all, they can help save on gym fees. Secondly, improving physical health has all sorts of money-saving benefits, like making you less likely to need medical care. And if you give someone a bike, depending on where they live, they can also save money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-becoming-a-part-time-bicycle-commuter">biking to work</a>.</p> <h2>9. Tools</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holsavegifts-home-repair-4354677-small-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Having <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/screwdrivers-to-saws-stocking-your-first-toolbox">basic tools</a> around means having the ability to fix things instead of calling in expensive service-people. Of course, there are certain things &mdash; like electrical work &mdash; that should never be attempted by non-professionals (you might want to include that note in the card if you have any accident-prone friends). Know someone who's starting from scratch? Give them <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HDHGWU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HDHGWU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">a basic kit</a>, or put one together by shopping at estate sales, which can be great places to find quality old tools.</p> <h2>10. A Car Wash and Oil Change</h2> <p>Proactive car care helps extend the life of a car, which means that gift certificates for a car wash and oil change can help save money on repairs down the road.</p> <h2>11. Reusable Bags</h2> <p>Yes, they're good for the environment. But many grocery stores will also knock a few cents off your order if you bring your own bags. Check out these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00384ABOA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00384ABOA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">cute reusable bags</a> that fold up super-small. Or take the reusable bag thing even further with these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00701ROB0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00701ROB0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">resuable sandwich and snack bags</a>.</p> <h2>12. Rechargeable Batteries</h2> <p>For all the gadgets that come with their own rechargeable batteries these days, there are many that still don't (I'm looking at you, Wii remote). If you know someone who burns through batteries, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VLAEPQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VLAEPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">rechargable battery set</a> can save some serious scratch. They even make <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003D7LHK4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003D7LHK4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">rechargeable batteries that can be powered by a USB port</a>.</p> <h2>13. Beverage Carbonator</h2> <p>Got a friend who drinks sparkling water or even soda obsessively? A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KYT6CS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001KYT6CS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">SodaStream</a> could be the perfect way to give in to their craving and help 'em save.</p> <h2>14. Computer Backup Service</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holsavegifts-laptop-kid-4831631-small-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>It's far from the sexiest of gifts, but getting a subscription to a service like <a href="http://mozy.com/">Mozy</a> or <a href="http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/">SOS</a> now means not having to pay for expensive file-retrieval later, should the worst happen to a hard drive.</p> <h2>15. A Sewing Machine</h2> <p>Like with the knitting supplies, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQM1DE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JQM1DE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">sewing machine</a> can save money in so many ways, allowing the giftee to make clothes and items for the home, gifts, and things to sell.</p> <h2>16. Woodworking Supplies</h2> <p>Woodworking supplies are another great hobby tool that, like a sewing machine and knitting supplies, can help save money in a variety of ways.</p> <h2>17. Wine</h2> <p>Giving wine can save money? Yup, if your giftee drinks it instead of going out, that's definitely a money saver (and hey, maybe he'll even invite you to a wine-and-cheese gathering).</p> <h2>18. Programmable Thermostat</h2> <p>Giving the user the ability to automatically lower and raise the heat depending on the time of day, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GDHYPQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009GDHYPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">programmable thermostats</a> are a great way to reduce heating costs in the winter.</p> <h2>19. Long Underwear</h2> <p>This gift was a favorite of mine when&nbsp;I still lived in colder climates. Wearing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;h=3f6437a32a1c23cb9d5046d7127c706f354ae776&amp;keywords=long%20underwear&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1354930771&amp;rh=n%3A1036592%2Ck%3Along%20underwear&amp;scn=1036592&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">long underwear</a> allows the giftee to keep the heat a little bit lower when at home, and it makes going outside in winter so much more pleasant.</p> <h2>20. Coupons for Services You Can Offer</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas">Coupons for services</a> you can offer are one my favorite things to give. You save yourself money, because you're generally giving your time, not stuff. And you save the giftee money, not having to pay someone else for something like babysitting, yard work, or cooking.</p> <h2>21. Books&nbsp;That Teach Skills &mdash; Especially&nbsp;Personal Finance Skills</h2> <p><img style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holsavegifts-books-751435-small-ggnoads.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Remember where I said that there's a theme here, and that theme is learning skills? Any book that can teach a skill is a great holiday gift. But the ones that might have the biggest money-saving impact are books that can teach financial skills, like&quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761147489/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0761147489&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">I WIll&nbsp;Teach You to Be Rich</a>,&quot; &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/159555078X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=159555078X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">The Total Money&nbsp;Makeover</a>,&quot; or our book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NSVERS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004NSVERS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small&nbsp;Budget</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>22. CFL Light Bulbs</h2> <p>Like computer backup service, this isn't the sexiest of gifts. But according to Energy Star, a single <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AZOV9K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001AZOV9K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">compact fluorescent bulb</a> can also save &quot;about $6 a year in electricity costs and can save more than $40 over its lifetime.&quot; Too boring? Give an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000C6ECF/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000C6ECF&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">awesome lamp</a> too.</p> <h2>23. A Travel-Friendly Reusable Coffee Mug</h2> <p>If you know someone who makes coffee at home, a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043M5LRS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0043M5LRS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">resuable mug</a> will help them carry their caffeine in style. And for those who refuse to stop buying their brew at coffee shops, most coffee shops will at least take a few cents off if you bring your own mug.</p> <h2>24. Personal Pampering Items</h2> <p>Know someone who loves spa treatments? Get them the goods to replicate their favorite pampering at home, such as a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I6KRIG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000I6KRIG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">pedicure kit</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003GC4GH2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003GC4GH2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">bath salts</a>&nbsp;(no, not the scary kind), or a general <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EDWMBO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004EDWMBO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">awesome pampering kit</a>.</p> <h2>25. Lawn Games or Other Outdoor Fun Items</h2> <p>Not only are games like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005MN1Q9E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005MN1Q9E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">croquet</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00015QTMM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00015QTMM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=holidaygiftg-20">badminton</a> fun ways to spend time outside in the summer (that can save some serious money if the other plan was to pay for the entire family to go play mini golf), but just before the holidays, you might be able to find some of these out-of-season items on serious clearance.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite money-saving gifts? 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-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">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-3"> <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/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</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/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</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/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</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/holiday-gifts-for-your-co-workers">20 Gift Ideas for Your Co-Workers</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping gift guide gifts holiday shopping product reviews useful gifts Mon, 10 Dec 2012 11:24:31 +0000 Meg Favreau 959635 at http://www.wisebread.com Alternative Wedding Registry Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3986349713_5acc987522_z.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't want to buy my friends a $80+ stainless steel trashcan. And I certainly do not expect them to buy one for me.&nbsp;Or a soap dispenser, or ice tongs, or many of the other trappings that traditionally make up a wedding registry.</p> <p>Sure, getting new stuff is nice, and I love the idea of helping a new couple out. But so many registries for weddings I've been to have felt impersonal, and they're often filled with lots of wants and very few needs.</p> <p>As a guest, you're at the mercy of the happy couple. But if you're planning to get married soon, here are some alternative ideas for your registry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>1. Home Improvement Stores</h2> <p>If you want to make sure you'll get gifts from your wedding that you'll actually use, register somewhere that provides useful gifts. Check out tool-heavy stores like Sears, or create a registry using the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/">Amazon Wish&nbsp;List</a> feature or a tool like <a href="http://www.registrystop.com/?v=2">Registry Shop</a>, which allow you to include items from sites across the internet in your list.</p> <h2>2. Honeymoon Fund</h2> <p>Want an awesome honeymoon? Have other people pay for it! There are lots of registries, such as <a href="http://www.honeyfund.com/">Honey&nbsp;Fund</a>, that allow guests to not only fund your trip, but choose to pay for certain experiences, such as meals out or snorkling trips.</p> <h2>3.&nbsp;Home Down-Payment Fund</h2> <p>Similar to the honeymoon idea, you can ask for donations for a goal such as buying a house. And yup &mdash; there are sites just for that too, such as <a href="http://www.hatchmyhouse.com/">Hatch My House</a>.</p> <h2>4. Charitable Donations</h2> <p>If you really don't want or need anything from your wedding guests, say so. But there will almost always be the person who insists on giving <em>something</em>. Designate a favorite charity that your guests can donate to in your name. Using a site like <a href="https://www.justgive.org/">Just Give</a> makes it easy.</p> <h2>5. Items You Already Use</h2> <p>Register at a store like Target for things you already use and buy regularly, such as shampoo or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">cleaning products</a>.</p> <h2>6. Things for the Actual Wedding</h2> <p>Instead of asking for post-wedding gifts, ask friends and family to donate funds, items, or services for the actual ceremony and reception.&nbsp;Your wedding gets paid for, and everybody gets to enjoy your presents.</p> <h2>7. Cash</h2> <p>It may not be personal, but it's always useful. Plus it allows you to think about one less thing during the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">busy time leading up to your wedding</a>. When you're already under stress, do you really want to get in an argument over which plates you want to use for the next 20 years?</p> <p><em>What are your favorite alternative wedding gifts or registries?</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/alternative-wedding-registry-ideas">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-4"> <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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</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/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</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/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs">Budget Bride: 131 Savvy Ways to Cut Wedding Costs</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/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry">What to Put On (and Leave Off) Your Wedding Registry</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/should-a-second-marriage-be-celebrated-and-paid-for-like-the-first">Should a Second Marriage Be Celebrated (and Paid for) Like the First?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle affordable weddings useful gifts wedding registry Fri, 11 May 2012 10:24:16 +0000 Meg Favreau 929135 at http://www.wisebread.com