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Discussion Starter #1
What if you had $100 to spend for Christmas gifts, and it had to cover:
1. spouse
2. 2 adult kids
3. 3 grand kids (ages 12, 9, 5)
4. your parents

How would you spend the money? What would you buy? Would you buy materials with which you could make gifts? Would you shop dollar stores?

It's a challenge, to be sure, but in reality, that's all some families have, and it's all other families shoudl spend (because of their economic condition). We spend slightly more than this for the above number people, but I was wondering how you would handle this challenge.
 
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1. spouse - i would agree with my spouse not to exchange gifts

2. 2 adult kids - $12.50 for each adult kid (probably get something fun and make up a stocking - chocolate bars, candy, magazine, hair stuff, whatever) and then i would raid my stash of yarn and make up a scarf and toque for them.

3. 3 grand kids (ages 12, 9, 5) - spend $25 on each grandkid. as the grandparent i would totally buy them a cool toy that their parents would most likely not get them.

4. your parents - i would work under the assumption that my parents have enough 'stuff' so i would make cookies or salsa or something they enjoy eating. i would only use what i had on hand to do this. perhaps i would make up some vouchers for 'help' around the house (1 free window washing, 1 free gutter cleaning, etc)
 

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Sure sounds like a lotta our budgets these days.
Well I have a lotta crafts just hanging around the house, so I'd take that into account. I'd also inform family that the budget is much tighter this year (so they dont go out & spend a ton either).

So for my spouse, I'd find something special & skip the usual stuff (like socks, calendar, etc) & probably make a collage of photos, event tickets, memories, etc. in a photo album with some scrapbooking finds (hopefully on clearance!) or things I have from around the house (make stuff from felt, kid stickers, old magnets w/o the magnet, etc)

For the 2 adult kids - small gift cards with a homemade card specifically made for them/their family. They are adults after all. OR, say you'll just spend what you would on them on their kids (see for the g-kids below)

3 grand kids (ages 12, 9, 5) is where I'd splurge. They are kids, this is a time to let them think magic happens. So, I'd ask the parents & see what the kids would like. Little ones always enjoy coloring books & stuffed animals (dollar stores!). The 9yo depending on gender is figuring out their identity... so if a girl, why not play clothes (thrift store/sew/knit scarves), dolls (sew clothes for dolls), if a boy then a hobby related "kit" (snowman kit or if he likes fishing, a lure kit... etc. I think you get the point). The oldest I'd say anything music related. Again, depends on gender, but that age usually enjoys music... be it a new cd, a tshirt, a cool poster. Or if you know of a fave movie, buy a dvd and maybe a tshirt that goes w/that movie.

My parents I'd make food. Older folks seem to have everything they need/want. Food/candies/nuts/breads, whatever they like.. it's simple, cheap & thoughtful (assuming you make what they like!)

Those are my ideas... if you want more specific (per age/gender) let us know & we'll provide more ideas. :)
 

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BTDT -

By the time I had grandkids, my parents were pretty debilitated and needing care themselves.

I used freebie material I'd gathered from yard sales (stuff that was stained, ripped, etc. in boxes given for free) to make head rest covers for my dad's wheelchair. One for each month, plus ones for special occasions like : Father's Day, his birthday, National Lefties Day, etc. I had to buy elastic for these - cost me less than $3 total

Mom was always cold, so I used more of the freebie material to make rice bags (the ones that can go in the microwave to heat up, or the freezer to be cold) I had to buy the rice for this, but the cost was less than $1

I also gave them coupons for a home cooked meal by me, one for each month - it spread the cost out over the year, and they got a good meal (usually with leftovers) at least once a month)

For my adult kids:

I watched the sales - I bought them all shake flash lights the year they were the "new gadget" for $2 each. They were really thankful when we later had 3 ice storms that winter.

They also got coupons good for a night of baby sitting.

The kids - this is where I concentrated my gifting. It really is all about the kids, right?

I made puppets (again using the freebie materials), and printed off coloring pages made from our family pictures.

For the ages you give (are they boys or girls?) I'd buy a picture frame at the thrift store, print off a cute background picture of their favorite interest and put it in the frame. . . then buy a whiteboard marker set. . . their own personalized wipe off board.

for the 5 and 9 yo's I'd make the milk jug ball catchers, and buy a soft, sponge type ball. Crafts: Learn To Catch With This Easy Ball Catcher For Kids - Kaboose.com

A few yards of material (use coupons for JoAnn's) and whip up some personalized pillowcases.

Print off pages of pictures of each child - add your handwritten memories of each picture. Place in a 3 ring binder and add to it every year.

There are tons of crafts you can make for kids/teens.
 

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I forgot my spouse! Mine loves "The Wizard of Oz" and we live in an old , drafty farmhouse. . . so I bought some material and made a draft dodger that looked like the door fell on the wicked witch. . . just the legs/shoes, skirt ruffle.

He also got his favorite pie.
 

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What about going with a theme gift? Will they all be around each other when they open the gifts?

Theme: trip down memory lane

Everyone's gift: A had painted wooden frame with a solid flat paint (maybe with a light sparkle?). You can embellish the frames however appropriate if you're crafty enough. Inside, put a pic of your fave memory or experience with that person. If possible bake a treat or make a food item to go with the pic/memory. You can do this with one 8x19 or a few 4x6 frames.

This will mean you'll have to dig through all your photos to find a significant moment. Be sure to start with a cup of tea and get comfy for your trip down memory lane :)
 

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my answer will probably be a little different than others but i know i could do this because i have done it this year and none of what i am using is related to a credit card reward or shopping online etc - ie no money spent to use the things i used. and just doing a points programs searches or belonging to a stores email ads got me these things .


dh and adult child ( will say one adult child is male one is female just for the heck of it ) 1 polo shirt for dh and a polo and a nice tee on deep clearance in september -for male adult child 2.94 after 10$ off 10$ JCP coupon

female adult child - 3 prs ultra soft slipper socks 99c each ( or 2.97) and a necklace 2.97 ( RV 30$ ) on boscovs clearance rack.

my parents - mom - 1 pr clip on earrings and a jeweled bookmark cost 1.94 after 10 off 10 jcp coupon from BTS sales.( doesnt have to be used on BTS items )

Dad - favorite sports team jersey NWT found at thrift 8.00
grandkids
12 yo videogame bought with amazon GC i earned doing searches ( no buying) to earn points on swagbucks . free

9 yo telescope i bought 75% off at cvs after summer sales 4.97

5 yo - weather channel tornado maker from cvs 75% off 4.97

total under 30$

if the grandkids are girls
12 yo and 9 yo craft kids i got on clearance at joanns fabric for 5.00 each and a for 5 yo a blanket with matching stuffed animal for 5$ at store near me on sale .

so total closer to 35$ if girls

my holiday shopping strategy it so get as much bang for my buck while making sure its something the person can really use .

I am not much of a crafter and i enjoy bargain hunting year round . when i try to craft i end up not having the time or it not turning out how i want it too and i waste money .

the above isnt all i have purchased for my family this year but things i have bought at great discount and how that could be used for the above scenario
 

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My 'trip down memory lane' involves baking some of my late grandmother's specialties. You'd have enough leftover to make a couple batches of apple butter or jam.
 
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Hmm, yes a challenge indeed....

1. spouse I would make him a favorite meal :)
2. 2 adult kids I am going to assume the 2 adults and 3 kids are a family. I would buy them a movie gift basket. $30 in movie rental gift card (redbox) in a basket with assorted movie snacks $10
3. 3 grand kids (ages 12, 9, 5) I would get them some gift cetificates to a place as a treat (ice cream, etc) $10 each
4. your parents a nice comfy throw for tv watching (Costco $20) and an edible treat that they enjoy $10
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I KNEW Frugal Villagers would come up with some awesome ideas!!!
 

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spouse homemade candies and cookies and certificates for naughty things wink 15
adult children movie 2 from wally on the $ 5 and home made caramel corn. 15
grand kids a 20 something a piece
parents pics in frame from old days some home made goodies. make sure everyone laughs a lot. It will a good holiday....
 

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I would shop clearance sales for bargains. Some stores still have late summer and fall items they are trying to get rid of. For example at Michael's this weekend I picked up a pillar candle marked down from 7.99 to .39, and a set of very fancy boxed note cards down from about $12.99 to .49c. But these kinds of things are getting snatched up fast by early holiday shoppers.

DH is getting books off his Amazon wish list, many of which were under $2 (but you have to factor in the $3 shipping) and end up being relatively cheap.

I got some nice things for tween girls (ages 9-12) last year at Claire's 10 for $10 sale -- earrings, hair clips, coin purses-- and filled out the gift bag with some age appropriate cosmetics like lip gloss and hand lotion, and a little candy.

For the other adults I would give a gift card (about $20) to a favorite restaurant or maybe a movie theatre. And maybe a homemade food gift, if you're able to make something special.
 
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I would take that $100 and plan something really fun for everyone to enjoy together (trip to the zoo and picnic lunch, play everyone would like, day trip out of town, etc.). But then, I greatly prefer experience gifts to "stuff" gifts anyway.

Kara
 

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Challenge? I see friends pull wonderful Christmas for their families for way less than $100 (and no one feels deprived or cheated or anything like that)

I use a combo of sales, free stuff, second hand, and homemade.

My mom loved the pillows I made out of my father's wool coat. that brought tears to everyone's eyes. He had worn it for almost all of my life so it was the icon of him. nothing or near nothing spent

Hubby loved the memory tied quit I made him from his memory t shirts. Only cost was for batting as I still had tie yarn from when I made Buddies baby blanket. Both Buddy and Little Miss want a memory quit of their own. They will have to wait a bit;0

I have made purses and doll clothing out of out grown favorite clothing so just So just time there.

Little Miss I am making the grown ups in our family t shirt grocery bags from outgrown shirts and hand me down that didn't ever fit
right. Free

My grandmother use to make us sink scrubbers out of the netting that fruit comes in. I plan on making me one out the the stiff netting that is around our turkey this thanksgiving.

Made bath salts that were a bit hit. But it in empty food jars so only the cost of the Epsom salts

Oh so many things to make for low cost or free.

I use the $10 of $10 coupons at Jc penny to buy low cost gifts Little Miss is getting near free slippers this year. I could have gotten her a near free sterling Silver necklace.

I bought candles still in their packaging before for 90% off or more.

Little Miss is getting free body spray full size from bath and body works. used a coupon from them.

Both Little Miss and my mom are getting books from the library book sale. Little Miss's books were 25 cents.

I pick up some things at the goodwill if they look new or are vintage and will be loved by the person receiving them.
 
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I like seeing responses to these types of threads!

I am also a person who shops deals throughout the year, mainly because we would have $100 Christmas! The sad truth about this thread is that there are many that don't even have $30 for Christmas!

Dollar Store:
I would buy a big jar of applesauce and big container of cinnamon and make those lovely smelling ornaments for everyone (I know that would not be that great for the teens though!). That's a little over $2.00.

I would also get some treats for everyone: $8
probably 2 small gifts each for the kids:$6
Wrapping paper: $1
Small extra gift for everyone else: $5
Total at Dollar store: $22 (tax not included- so probably $25)

There is a neat store in our area called 5 below (Has items for $5 or less, has some really cute things for everyone!). There I would get gifts for the following:

My mom: a Steeler gnome $5
StepDad: a book about weird things $3.50
Adult Kids (both): a coffee set or hot chocolate set $10.00 together
Grandkid (12): either a movie or makeupset $5
Grandkid (9): either a movie or craft/toy $5
Grandkid (5): a toy/craft or a movie $5
Spouse: a movie and snacks for a movie night $8.00
Total: $51.50 (with tax around $56)

I would still have some money left over so maybe I would get some baking supplies and make everyone some Christmas cookies.
 

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I would invite the kids over to decorate cupcakes for the pot luck meal you would be serving. A 5/10$ gift per each child. Then I would buy bingo gifts with the rest of the money & play BINGO!/ What a fun afternoon! You would have 60 or 70$ left for nice prizes!
 

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Well, when I was a student and had no $ this is what I did.

For my folks, I wrote them each a coupon book:
including several coupons for the following:
This coupon is good for:
One meal cooked for you and dishes done afterwards too!
One car wash and vaccuum
One room cleaning from top to bottom (including windows!)
One day as your chauffeur

This was before I had a computer, so I hand wrote and colored them. They redeemed them as they wanted. My mom used the room cleaning one for the kitchen whenever she was expecting guests.

For my sister, I sent a donation to her favorite charity and they would send a lovely card mentioning the gift. (they never indicate the amount if you tell said charity not to)

I hope this helps.

My hub and I do not exchange gifts, it's been an unwritten rule. We are adults afterall, and well, the whole gift scheme (to me) is just rife with failed expectations on both the give and reciever's end.
 

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books from goodwill or second hand book store
Crossword or Suduko books
DVD's Big lots have lots of dvd's for $3-5/even Walmart
Magazines

I was just at Books a Million and they had a great clearance section of books/toys.

Also there is still plenty of time to make gifts!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
So far, I have shopped the 25c shelf at the library and came up with some awesome books. Found cookbooks to give to my sibs and parents and spouse. Thought I might include ingredients for one of the recipes. Also have picked up some arts/crafts materials at dollar store for grandkids. Found some shirts at Goodwill for them, also. I'm giving gift cards to kids that I earned with MyPoints. Hubby and I decided that instead of giving each other gifts that we would make some anonymous donations to some needy families in our church. They won't be large donations, but these families are out of work, and every little bit will help.
 

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I would make denim quilts for the kids, I've gotten old jeans from freecycle and friends. Also some homemade cookies or candy.

I would give my spouse homemade coupons for certain favours, baked goodies, and a nice handwritten note.

Adult children and parents would get a combination of baked goods, homemade candy, bath salts, knit dishcloths, small sewing projects and coupons for cleaning/organizing/whatever services - depending on their personal tastes and what I have available.

And I'd leave the $100 in the bank.
 
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