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The holiday season is upon us. This year, Wanderstead Husband and I have made a vow to truly limit the number of items purchased and really focus on homemade and quality or unique items.

In an effort to both lower our financial footprint, but also simplify and focus more on the spirit of the season, we have both begun working on projects and gifts for loved ones.

However, I know I will be purchasing some things. Our daughter is 4 and doesn’t fully understand the homemade gift thing (though she will be getting some!), but I am in serious discussions with Santa about just how many gifts he brings for her this year.

That said, I have been blowing up my Cheap and Meaningful Gifts board on Pinterest and I thought I’d share with you some of the best ideas I have found so far. Some are basic. Some are more complex. All are pretty cool, if you ask me. Oh, and don’t be surprised if any of these show up under the tree from Wanderstead Family 🙂

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    • Homemade ExtractsOver at spoonforkbacon.com, they have come up with a tremendous idea for foodies {like me!!} to share with loved ones. How amazing to give some high quality, personalized homemade extracts? I’m especially excited about the vanilla extract. You can make a large batch, then break them down using these cute bottles for individual gifts and these bulk vanilla beans!
    • Homemade Spice Mixes. I love the idea of these because they can be so personalized. For example, my father in law has an aversion to onions and garlic, but I could still make him a taco seasoning mix that would please him! And Wanderstead Husband likes things on the spicy side, so I can add extra kick to his blends. Best of all, you can keep the extras and stock your own pantry. That’s what I call smart gifting. These little containers are great for packaging up the spices. 
  • DIY Beard Oil. You may have noticed that Wanderstead Husband has quite the beard. Seeing as I have never had one, I didn’t realize the requirements to keep it up. It’s almost as bad as my hair! While I have yet to try this concoction yet, it is something that is on my list of things for him this winter. I love the idea of being able to personalize the scent a little bit as well. A great carrier oil (or base oil) is grapeseed oil. You can personalize with different scents such as organic rosemary essential oil (for hair growth),  organic frankincense essential oil, organic cedarwood essential oil, or white fir essential oil. 
  • Photo Book . This is one of my most favorite gifts to give. They are not homemade, per se, but they are personalized and meaningful. There are so many different occasions in which to make one. Baby’s first year, a holiday, wedding, honeymoon, even a trip. I make a point to create a photo book for each of our trips. I usually have one or two ready to print, then I wait for coupons to come around for me to purchase them. I’m pretty excited about the few I have up my sleeve for this year – especially after an epic Alaska trip this past summer.
  • A T-Shirt Quilt. I love this idea. This also kills two birds with one stone – meaning, you can clean out your closet a little bit too. If you have someone who has a collection of t-shirts (sports teams, races, annual events, etc), this is a great way to allow for them to have their prized shirts displayed and shared without them {eh-hem} necessarily wearing them. Let’s be honest. Sometimes those shirts are a bit past their prime. A word of caution: Make sure the recipient will be ok with you cutting up the shirts in this manner before doing it. People get attached to items and you don’t want to be the reason they are upset.
  • Personalized t-shirts or clothing. Etsy has really introduced the idea of personalized and funny shirts and other clothing. Now, you can login and find just about anything you want. That’s awesome, and I have purchased some myself, but in the past year, I realized that I was spending a lot of money on these items that I could make myself. I went out and purchased my own vinyl cutter which now allows me to create my own t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc at home with anything I want written on it. There is a huge debate between Silhouette or Cricuit (the two most common brands), and I’m not here to take a stand. I personally have a Silhouette Cameo 3 and I have been very happy with it, however I hear great things about Cricuit as well. They come at a hefty price initially, but they are absolutely amazing for making those personalized gifts down the road. There are also several places to get vinyl for your projects such as Expressions Vinyl
  • Hand knit scarves, hats, and other cozy items. I’m a sucker for all things homemade, chunky, and warm. Pick up a pair of knitting needles or find that crochet hook and see what you can put together. I know I learned to knit and purl when I was quite young, and it usually takes a few rounds before I get into the groove again, but once I start, I sure love it! 
  • Etsy.com is a great marketplace for those who have amazing talent to share their wares with the public. You can pick up some amazing products here and what I love about Etsy is that you are supporting a person, not a huge corporation. Most people on there are those who have something to share and this is their outlet. You can find so many different things from hand knit scarves & hats to personalized baby onesies. 
  • Photos or prints for family members. Sometimes you can’t afford an entire photo book, and that’s ok. Some of my favorite gifts to give a images from trips or experiences shared with my loved ones. Getting an enlarged photograph is very affordable these days, and you can even get a poster sized print if you want! I use Sam’s Club generally because they are fast and affordable. I have ordered many enlargements as well as just prints. What makes this gift so wonderful is that you can include a letter or a quick note on the back of the frame for the recipient detailing your memory with them. How special is that? 

If you look on my Cheap & Meaningful Gifts board, you will find all sorts of ideas to make or get for your family. Plus, I’m hoping you can all give me ideas so I can start planning for next year! I know one plan I have is to put aside some of the summer bounty and make some small jams and jellies to share during the cold winter months. 

What are you doing for your family? 

Author: Erin

I'm doing what I can to provide the best life I can for my family. I love cooking & baking, homestead arts, DIY, and gardening {as well as coming up with projects for Mr. Wanderstead Husband!!}...but I love to explore the world around us too! We will figure out how to do it, and eat well while trying.

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One thought on “Budget Friendly Cheap & Meaningful Gifts For the Holiday Season

  1. Some great ideas there…thanks!

    Posted on December 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm