gift http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4451/all en-US The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Tipping http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-holiday-tipping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-ultimate-guide-to-holiday-tipping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/christmas-stocking-money-Dollarphotoclub_73435275.jpg" alt="christmas stocking money" title="christmas stocking money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season to be jolly, but instead I often find myself stressed when I realize I have no clue how much to tip my hairdresser. Or my housekeeper. Or my garbage collectors. If you're like me, you have a list of people you want to thank for helping to make your life easier throughout the year. If you're also like me, you have no clue about what gratuity levels are considered typical, stingy, or even generous.</p> <p>That's why this year I reached out to a couple of highly regarded experts to get the inside scoop. Diane Gottsman, <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/providers-tip-holidays-050001976.html">national etiquette expert</a> and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas says, &quot;The first rule of thought is to gift and tip within your budget. No one wants to see you struggle to tip through the holidays if you have just lost your job, or you are having trouble paying the rent.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Tips are subjective,&quot; adds Jodi RR Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Marblehead, MA. &quot;Tips are dependent on your relationship with the individual and the norms for your area, as well as your budget.&quot;</p> <p>With that in mind, here are some helpful guidelines from the experts to help you (and me!) navigate gratuity gifts as the year comes to an end.</p> <h2>Home Services</h2> <p>These are the people who help out around the house, so you have more time to earn money to hire people to help out around the house!</p> <ul> <li><strong>Babysitter</strong>: Cash or gift card equivalent to one or two night's pay. I talked to someone who used to sit for my kids and she told me, &quot;It's nice to know you're appreciated. A small gift is a nice token of appreciation and helps keep a sitter loyal to a family.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nanny/Au Pair</strong>: The equivalent of one week's salary and a handmade gift from your child. &quot;A live-in nanny or a nanny that spends most of the day with your children is invaluable,&quot; says Gottsman.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Housekeeper</strong>: A cash gift equal to one week's pay. &quot;If you use a service, and you don't see the same person on a regular basis, or the person is brand new,&quot; says Gottsman, &quot;you may not feel obliged give a tip at all. If you have a relationship with the person(s), or they come weekly, consider a gift card per person or a tip equivalent to one visit.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Pet Sitter</strong>: One day to one week's worth of service. &quot;Our pets are our family and someone that takes care of them while we are on a trip, or walks the dog on a regular basis is worth their weight in gold,&quot; says Gottsman.</li> </ul> <h2>Apartment Living</h2> <p>You'll want to keep happy all those folks who make apartment living nice.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Doorman</strong>: Between $20 and $200. (This range seems huge to me. I've never lived in an apartment with a doorman so I'd love to hear those of you who do ring in on this one.)<br /> <strong><br /> </strong></li> <li><strong>Custodian/Superintendent/Handyman</strong>: $20 &ndash; $100. &quot;If they have saved you in the middle of the night when your toilet was overflowing or jumped your car more than once when you forgot to turn off your headlights,&quot; says Gottsman, a holiday tip would be helpful.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Parking Attendant</strong>: $10 &ndash; $50<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Landlord or Building Manager</strong>: $50 (cash or gift card)</li> </ul> <h2>Homeowners</h2> <p>While homeowners don't typically have doormen to tip, they do have a host of service providers to gift.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Garbage Collector</strong>: Between $10 and $25 per crew person. In many areas, tips left taped to the trashcan lids can be stolen (I've had several friends tell me this happened to them.) If you miss your crew during the day, Gottsman suggests arranging to drop the gift off at their corporate office.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Lawncare</strong>: $10 per crew person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Snow Removal</strong>: $10 per person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Pool Cleaner</strong>: One week's pay.</li> </ul> <h2>Work</h2> <p>These gifts are more personal than those traded during the office Secret Santa.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your Boss</strong>: $0 or a group office gift. &quot;It's not necessary to give your boss a large or expensive gift,&quot; says Gottsman. &quot;Consider an office gift pool or bring a tray or holiday goodies for the office.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Your Office Assistant</strong>: A bonus, gift card, or small gift.</li> </ul> <h2>School</h2> <p>Show teachers and staff you appreciate all their efforts to educate Junior (even if Junior doesn't).</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your Child's Teacher</strong>: Many schools encourage parents to contribute to a class gift. If your child's school doesn't, consider a small gift with a note and/or a handmade gift from your child. A teacher friend of mine told me, &quot;I always love and save handwritten notes. If they come with a gift or gift card &mdash; to anywhere at all &mdash; that is appreciated, too. But, it's the notes that keep me going.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Classroom Aide</strong>: If there is not a group classroom gift, a small gift with a note and/or a handmade gift from your child.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>School Lunch Attendant</strong>: $20 per attendant, if you have a child with special dietary needs, and school policy allows such gifts (check with your child's school office to be sure). Says Gottsman, &quot;A lunch attendant who is vigilant when it comes to your child's food allergy is worth their weight in gold.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>School Secretary</strong>: A small gift or gift certificate.</li> </ul> <h2>Personal Care</h2> <p>The people who keep you and your family looking good should know you appreciate their work, too.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Hairstylist</strong>: The cost of one session or a gift. &quot;Hair stylists become our confidants,&quot; says Gottsman. &quot;It would be uncomfortable to arrive empty handed the last week of the holiday season.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Shampoo Attendant</strong>: A small gift or $5 &ndash; $20.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Manicurist</strong>: The equivalent of one visit or a gift.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Massage Therapist</strong>: The equivalent of one session or a gift.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Personal Trainer</strong>: The equivalent of one session or a gift. According to Gottsman, &quot;Personal trainers often double as counselors. A tip of one service or a gift that has personal significance would say happy holidays.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Pet Groomer</strong>: The equivalent of one service or a basket of treats from your pet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Personal Healthcare Nurse</strong>: The equivalent of one week's pay.</li> </ul> <h2>Gift Wrap Your Gifts, Too</h2> <p>When preparing your holiday gratuities, Smith says, &quot;Tips should be crisp, new bills placed in an envelope with a card or note of appreciation.&quot; For the financially strapped, Smith suggests a heartfelt note of thanks along with a thoughtful and inexpensive gift like homemade cookies. Gottsman agrees and offers further suggestions like a pot of fresh herbs from your garden or a basket of scones with homemade jelly.</p> <h2>When to Skip the Tip</h2> <p>Gottsman also suggests adjusting your tips according to level of relationship and frequency of service. &quot;Everyone has different lifestyle preferences and providers,&quot; says Gottsman. &quot;One person may use a hairstylist once a week while another person may visit the salon every three months. If you don't see them regularly and they can't remember your name, you may opt to skip the tip.&quot;</p> <p>If the relationship is solid, though, Smith says that skipping the tip is akin to telling your service providers they're not valued or to imply they've done something wrong. If a gratuity is not in your budget for this year, consider the alternative suggestions above. However, &quot;when your finances are fluid again,&quot; Smith suggests, &quot;please do tip them.&quot;</p> <p><em>Anyone we forgot? Who else do you tip during the holiday season and how much? Tell us about it in the comments below. And have a happy holiday!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-holiday-tipping">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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/unique-ways-to-save-money-in-december">Unique Ways to Save Money in December</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/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</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/13-holiday-gifts-that-arent-worth-the-money">13 Holiday Gifts That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</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/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living gift gifts holiday bonus Holidays services tipping tips Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1264236 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask Readers: What Gift Do You Want Most This Holiday Season? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-readers-what-gift-do-you-want-most-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-readers-what-gift-do-you-want-most-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5943801697_88be2fbd2a_z.jpg" alt="What Gift Do You Want Most This Holiday Season?" title="What Gift Do You Want Most This Holiday Season?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editors Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-readers-what-gift-do-you-want-most-this-holiday-season#comment-574549"><em>Lani C</em></a><em>, Kelli, and Kris for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>The holiday season is upon us! Chances are you've thought about what gifts you'd love to receive during the holidays. Whether your wish list is made up of fun splurges or more practical items, there is probably one item on your list that you want more than all the others!</p> <p><b>What gift do you want the most this holiday season? </b>The new iPad Mini? A gift certificate to your favorite restaurant? A day at the spa? A membership to a wholesale warehouse? Or something more practical like a gift card to your favorite supermarket?</p> <p>Tell us what gift you want the most this holiday season and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <a id="rc-79857d9" class="rafl" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d9/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 17th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 17th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p>Also, don't miss our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">Best Deals</a> giveaway! Every Sunday for the next five weeks, we will be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, two copies of our book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160239704X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=160239704X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=dealswb-20">10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget</a>, and a Wise Bread tote! We will also be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner who fills out our Best Deals survey. For details, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/win-over-350-in-prizes-in-our-best-deals-holiday-giveaway">click here</a>!</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what gift you want the most this holiday season and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-readers-what-gift-do-you-want-most-this-holiday-season">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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/many-happy-returns-5-tips-for-getting-what-you-really-want-this-holiday">Many Happy Returns: 5 Tips for Getting What You Really Want This Holiday</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/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing">10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Holiday Gifts Look Amazing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Announcements Ask the Readers Christmas gift Holidays Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:36:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 959731 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Frugal Christmas Gifting Strategies http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-christmas-gifting-strategies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-frugal-christmas-gifting-strategies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4115122416_ed1c706daa_z.jpg" alt="Frugal Christmas Gifting Strategies" title="Frugal Christmas Gifting Strategies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on frugal Christmas gifting strategies, designing a lucky life, and gifts for job hunters.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/how-to-create-a-fantastic-yet-frugal-christmas-gifting-strategy/">How to Create a Fantastic Yet Frugal Christmas Gifting Strategy</a> &mdash; The first step in creating a fantastic but frugal Christmas gifting strategy is to set a budget. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2012/12/04/designing-a-lucky-life/">Designing a Lucky Life</a> &mdash; Increase the luckiness in your life by having the confidence of knowing you can do something that is challenging. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Gifts-Job-Hunters-12442549">8 Gifts Job Hunters Would Love</a> &mdash; Get the job hunter in your life a LinkedIn upgrade. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/life-is-short/">Life is Short: Toxic Financial Attitudes</a> &mdash; Did you know it's possible to save too much money? [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.greenpandatreehouse.com/2012/11/how-to-avoid-student-loans-altogether/">How-to Avoid Student Loans Altogether!</a> &mdash; If you want to avoid student loans completely, enroll in a program with work terms. [Green Panda Treehouse]</p> <h2>Other Esssential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://beingfrugal.net/tips-to-pay-less-money-when-making-big-purchases/">4 Tips to Pay Less Money When Making Big Purchases</a> &mdash; To pay less money when making big purchases, save up for a sizable down payment. [BeingFrugal.net]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/12/how-do-you-stack-up-compared-to-millionaires.html">How Do you Stack Up Compared to Millionaires?</a> &mdash; Did you know the typical millionaire is 57 years old? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financialwoman.com/3-simple-steps-for-wealth-building-you-may-be-overlooking?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FinancialWoman+%28Financial+Woman%29">3 Simple Steps for Wealth Building You May Be Overlooking</a> &mdash; If you are having trouble with wealth building, you may be overlooking the need to get higher returns from your money. [Financial Woman]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/12/03/20-good-habits-to-start-in-your-20s/">20 Good Habits to Start in Your 20s</a> &mdash; In your 20s, start the habit of seeking less approval from others. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/parenting-squad-holiday-guide-2012-jolly-party-foods-children-can-help-make-and-will-love-to-eat">Parenting Squad Holiday Guide 2012: Jolly Party Foods Children Can Help Make (and Will Love to Eat)</a> &mdash; This holiday season, have your children help you make mini sandwiches. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-frugal-christmas-gifting-strategies">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/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. .</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/holiday-gift-ideas-straight-out-of-your-pantry">Holiday Gift Ideas Straight Out of Your Pantry</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/unique-ways-to-save-money-in-december">Unique Ways to Save Money in December</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/10-affordable-ways-to-make-your-holiday-gifts-look-amazing">10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Holiday Gifts Look Amazing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips Christmas gift Wed, 05 Dec 2012 11:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 959633 at http://www.wisebread.com Holiday Gift Ideas Straight Out of Your Pantry http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-ideas-straight-out-of-your-pantry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/holiday-gift-ideas-straight-out-of-your-pantry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/xmascookie.jpg" alt="Christmas cookies" title="Christmas cookies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="230" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to thinking up creative holiday gifts, it's worth taking a look in your pantry. If you're looking for a way to make your own holiday gift from scratch, consumables &mdash; better known as food &mdash; can be the way to go. After all, you're giving something that shows that you're willing to spend time on a gift, something that tastes great and something the recipient doesn't have to find a way to store.</p> <h2>The Traditional Baked Goods</h2> <p>When it comes to holiday gifts, it's hard to go wrong with cookies. I've long made a habit of handing out plates of cookies to people I want to acknowledge during the holiday season &mdash; but who I might not know well enough for a personalized gift, such as co-workers or professors. I've found that if I start baking cookies a little early and freeze them, I can make a surprising variety. Then I defrost just in time to put together plates and drop them off with my friends. Be absolutely certain of what ingredients you use, though &mdash; setting off someone's allergies doesn't quite share holiday cheer the way you might hope.</p> <p>Don't limit yourself to cookies, though: cakes, pies and other baked goods can definitely make great gifts. If you're worried about giving gifts on a budget, baked goods can be an easy way to stretch your money. Even chocolate chips are fairly inexpensive &mdash; and it's been my experience that people feel good when a friend shows that they're willing to take time to make a gift.</p> <h2>Savory Treats</h2> <p>It's pretty easy to get tired of sweets during the holidays. Not as many people offer up savory treats, making them a nice change. One of my favorite savory treats that I've received at the holidays was a bag of beef jerky seasoned with a super-secret combination of spices. It was homemade and absolutely wonderful. There are plenty of other possibilities (some of which will work a little better for vegetarian friends and family members).</p> <h2>Make Up A Mix</h2> <p>Have a friend or relative who isn't the handiest in the kitchen? Grab a couple of jars and put together some baking mixes for them. When I was first learning to cook, I got several mixes of my grandmother's cookie recipes. There was a card with them, instructing me on what wet ingredients to add and how to bake my cookies. Even better, these mixes were for cookies not found at my local grocery store. I've also seen pancake, bread and other mixes &mdash; matched to the recipients' favorite treats when they come for a visit.</p> <h2>Rain Checks</h2> <p>With certain family members, a rain check for a few home-cooked meals can come in handy. I know my cousin was actually grateful not to get a present one year: instead, the family kept her freezer filled with meals she could pop into the oven &mdash; especially useful because she was pregnant and not always up to cooking herself.</p> <h2>Other Ideas</h2> <p>The ideas above are just a few examples. Over the years, I've received and given big blocks of fudge, jams and jellies, candies and &mdash; on one memorable occasion &mdash; a huge box of fruit. These gifts are appreciated just as much as less consumable presents, and they often work better with your budget. So, before you finish up your Christmas shopping, crack open a cookbook.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-ideas-straight-out-of-your-pantry">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/optical-illusions-that-make-you-fatter-and-your-wallet-lighter">Optical Illusions That Make You Fatter and Your Wallet Lighter</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-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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/6-savvy-strategies-to-ward-away-college-hunger-and-avoid-overspending">6 Savvy Strategies to Ward Away College Hunger and Avoid Overspending</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/restaurant-menus-translating-cost-and-taste">Restaurant Menus: Translating Cost and Taste</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/can-i-eat-this-a-quick-guide-to-expiration-dates-and-food-safety">Can I Eat This? A Quick Guide to Expiration Dates and Food Safety</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Christmas Food gift hanukkah present Tue, 02 Dec 2008 19:26:48 +0000 Thursday Bram 2617 at http://www.wisebread.com Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday-86538649.jpg" alt="regift" title="regift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&rsquo;ve all been there. You open a present with giddy anticipation, ripping the gift wrap away like a 10 year old on a sugar high. And then, as you open the box and peek inside, your brain searches for a way to act really happy&hellip;because the gift you have received is just, well, awful. And when the dust settles and the event is over, it&rsquo;s time to start thinking about regifting. But be careful&hellip;there are rules to follow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-deal-with-unwanted-gifts?ref=seealso">How to Deal With Unwanted Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Some people see a big stigma attached to regifting. Personally, I think it&rsquo;s fine if you follow a few simple guidelines. You don&rsquo;t want to hurt the feelings of the person who gave you the gift, or the person who gets the regifted item. But look at the alternatives; you can just let the offending item rot in your basement or garage; you can give it to charity; or you can put it out with the trash. So if you know someone who would really like the gift that just didn&rsquo;t do it for you, where&rsquo;s the harm?</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve combined my own rules with some research I did online and at my local library (yes, there are books and news stories on this&hellip;I kid you not). Generally, there seem to be some major guidelines that regifters follow to ensure everyone is happy. Here&rsquo;s what I have uncovered.&nbsp;(See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties?ref=seealso">How to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a>)</p> <h2>1. Mum&#39;s the Word</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s amazing how often people have made it quite clear that I was receiving a gift that was from their reject pile. Sure, they dressed it up nice enough, with language like &ldquo;I just would never have used this cool gadget but I know how much you need one.&rdquo; It still makes you feel like you&rsquo;re getting crappy old hand-me-downs. Of course, if someone&rsquo;s giving me a brand new, state-of-the-art laptop or cool pair of sunglasses, my hurt feelings fly out of the window. But if it&rsquo;s a nasty crystal picture frame or a hideous painting, I&rsquo;d rather not know you hated it as well. Ignorance is bliss.</p> <h2>2. Beware&nbsp;the Previously Regifted Gift</h2> <p>Sometimes you&rsquo;ll receive a gift that doesn&rsquo;t quite feel right. Your Spidey Sense will tingle and you&rsquo;ll realize, perhaps after some investigation, that this gift has already been through the regifting process. Now you&rsquo;ve got problems. The last thing you want is for the gift to end up back in the hands of the person who originally gave it; not only will you look embarrassed, so will the person who gave it to you. And we don&rsquo;t want friendships strained. My best advice&hellip;if in doubt, regifting is out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">Why Making Friends Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>3. Keep Records</h2> <p>When you receive a gift that is destined to be a gift once again, label it as soon as you can with the name of the person who gave it to you, and when they gave it to you. This is a simple habit to get into, but an essential one for regifting. Log items in the same way you would to make thank you cards for wedding presents and baby shower gifts.</p> <h2>4. Keep Original Packaging</h2> <p>A dead giveaway for a regift are opened packaging or missing pieces. Even if you&rsquo;ve never used it, a coffee machine or spanky new DVD player is less impressive when something&#39;s rattling around inside the box (because you couldn&#39;t put stuff back in just right). Generally, if the packaging has gone bye-bye, so has your chance of regifting the item.</p> <h2>5. Some Gifts Cannot Be Regifted</h2> <p>Beware of the following gifts you&#39;re considering regifting: books that have no tie to the person you&rsquo;re giving it to; CDs or DVDs that are equally random, obscure or awful; clothing without the tags; shoes or sneakers (unless they&rsquo;re spot on for both size AND style); useless appliances (come on, who really wants a &ldquo;Clapper?&rdquo;) If you feel a little uncomfortable or guilty about regifting any item, probably best not to do it. Of course, if you really don&rsquo;t like the person you&rsquo;re giving it to, but have to give a gift (like those Secret Santa deals) I&rsquo;ll look the other way as you pass on a crappy DVD movie with a random autobiography taped to it.</p> <h2>6. Used Items Are Out</h2> <p>Sorry, but a sweater you&rsquo;ve only worn a few times is not a regifter, even if you do have all the tags and the original gift box. Same goes for all other clothing, most appliances, anything in fact that you can get actual &quot;mileage&quot; out of. Gift cards are also included here. It doesn&rsquo;t matter if you only used $5 of a $30 card, that&rsquo;s just tacky.</p> <h2>7. Don&#39;t Wait Too Long</h2> <p>Time may be a great healer, but it doesn&rsquo;t really do the regifter any favors. The older the brand new item becomes, the more obvious it becomes that this is a regift. If you can no longer find the product in the stores, if the packaging has been updated or if the company that made it went out of business ages ago, you&rsquo;re stuck with that item. By all means try to sell it or give it to charity, but as a regift it stinks of &ldquo;here&rsquo;s an old thing I found in my basement, but hey, it&rsquo;s never been used!&rdquo;</p> <h2>8. There&rsquo;s Always Craigslist or eBay.</h2> <p>The web has opened up a world of choices to regifters. Now, if an item does go beyond its &lsquo;&rdquo;regift date&rdquo; or has been gently used, there&rsquo;s the option of the free classified ads on Craigslist, or the wider reach of eBay. In some instances the item you have for sale could now be a collectors item and you could get back more money for it than it was originally worth. This is also a great way to attack the idea of regifting if you&rsquo;re just against it in principle. Simply sell an unwanted gift to raise money for a brand new gift for that special someone in your life. You&rsquo;re happy, they&rsquo;re happy, and the person who originally gave you that gift&hellip;well, what they don&rsquo;t know won&rsquo;t hurt them, right? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers?ref=seealso">Secrets of Successful Craigslist Sellers</a>)</p> <p>To sum up, regifting is a great way to pass on a gift if you&rsquo;re watching your budget or want to see an unwanted gift go to someone who could genuinely use it. And as my mum and dad always told me, it&rsquo;s the thought that counts anyway. As long as it&rsquo;s done with someone else in mind, I don&rsquo;t see the harm. Better to do that than throw it away or mindlessly chuck it in the spring-cleaning bag for Goodwill.</p> <p><em>What other regifting rules would you add to this list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Budgeting Consumer Affairs General Tips Shopping birthdays budget gift Holidays present regift regifting Fri, 29 Aug 2008 15:07:25 +0000 Paul Michael 2380 at http://www.wisebread.com DIY - Silk Flower Brooch http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diy-silk-flower-brooch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6832113742_bd7429cfbb_z.jpg" alt="silk flower brooch" title="silk flower brooch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="209" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a company in my area that makes silk flower brooches that are sold at Nordstrom for $60 a pop. I occasionally see these silk flower brooches at Nordstrom and feel like, well, screaming.</p> <p>Why? Because I know that each brooch costs less than $5 to make.</p> <p>The silk &quot;poppies&quot; that are used cost $4. They ship from India, and so that adds about $0.10 to the cost of each poppy. A pin backing and a fake leaf are glued to the back. That's about $0.07 worth of materials right there. The women who make the pins are paid roughly $9 an hour, and can make as many as 30 pins per hour. So that's another $0.30 right there. How do I know this? I nearly worked for the company that makes them. I've seen the cost break-down, and it ain't pretty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <p><img width="448" height="300" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/fakeflowers.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>Yet some <em>upscale women will pay $60 for these things</em>. Well, live and let live.</p> <p>Or, in true Wise Bread fashion, do it yourself and save big.</p> <p>Flower brooches are frighteningly easy to make. The basic instructions:</p> <ol> <li>Get a silk flower of some kind.</li> <li>Remove it from the stem.</li> <li>Glue a pin to the back, either in the center or just above the center of the back.</li> <li>Cover the spine of the pin backing by gluing something pretty, like a fake leaf or a piece of felt or velvet.</li> <li>Pin to coat or give as gift.</li> <li>Feel good.</li> </ol> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/foam.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>Flower brooches are also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-last-minute-gifts-for-mothers-day">great Mother's Day gifts</a>. I don't even like having to &quot;celebrate&quot; holidays like Mother's Day, because I don't think they are much more than a Hallmark ploy to get you to spend spend spend. My mother, in fact, never gave a rip about Mother's Day. But as I get older, I want to be sure to make small gestures (besides foot rubs) so that my mum knows how much I love her. One way to do this that is sincere, and frugal, is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">make stuff</a>. Yes, buying an expensive bouquet of flowers is nice, but sometimes, a gift from the heart is more precious.</p> <p>Plus, my mum has this weird theory that I have artistic talent, all evidence to the contrary.</p> <p><strong>Here are some tips for making flower brooches:</strong></p> <p>Get your hands on a hot glue gun, if you don't already have one. Using these things is kind of an art, and you will get burned a few times. Practice makes perfect and all that. The glue guns at my craft store cost between $2-15 dollars. Mine is a $9 model that's pretty bad-ass.</p> <p>Don't buy ridiculously expensive pin backings. Sterling silver really doesn't do much for the backing, and costs too much and won't be seen anyway.</p> <p><img width="314" height="235" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/backings.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>When making brooches, you want the back of the flower to be almost completely flat. Because of the way these fake flowers are put together, sometimes you have to cut off the plastic that holds it all together in order to get a good, flat back. In this case, you'll have to reconstruct the flower using hot glue. It's not too hard, though.</p> <p><img width="314" height="235" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cutpink.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>If you have some silk flowers that are less-than exciting, you can always take apart two flowers and combine them. Use the same kind of flower for additional petals, or two or three different kinds of flowers for a sort of hybrid flower.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/pinkwhiteb4.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p><img width="301" height="304" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/hybridpinkwhite.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The little leaves that you glue over the pin's spine can usually be found in the bridal supply section of a craft or fabric store, because they are often used in veils.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerleaves.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p><img width="297" height="298" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerback.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The center of the flower is a good place to glue something really cool. On the flower pictured below, I glued an antique button that I bought at a thrift store. It has rhinestones, and complements the subtle colors of the flower perfectly.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/antiquebutton.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>You don't have to put anything in the center because a lot of fake flowers look better with their fake centers. But other ideas include regular buttons, smiley faces, crystals, beads, pearls, or even those polished glass pebbles that you put into fish tanks. Below is a small white lapel pin that I made with a cheap mother-of-pearl button for a center.</p> <p><img width="290" height="269" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerfront.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The brooches that I made for upcoming Mother's Day cost me under $10, and that's for both Mum and Gram. Now, I just <a href="http://consumerist.com/consumer/frucall/can-i-get-this-cheaper-online-call-frucall-215463.php">need to make a couple of cool cards</a>, and I'll be all set.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch">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/diy-berlin-style">DIY Berlin Style</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/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</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/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art">12 DIY Ideas for Creating Inexpensive Art</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/double-hack-make-a-cheap-metal-detector-find-a-fortune">Double hack – make a cheap metal detector, find a fortune.</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/like-diy-avoid-these-ten-costly-mistakes">Like DIY? Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts and crafts Do It Yourself fashion gift Mothers Day silk flowers Mon, 23 Apr 2007 20:47:40 +0000 Andrea Karim 548 at http://www.wisebread.com