Archive for the ‘Frugal Gifts’ Category

Inexpensive and super easy Christmas centerpiece

Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:30 Comments Off on Inexpensive and super easy Christmas centerpiece

Trying to figure out what to do for a centerpiece for Christmas, without spending an arm and a leg, and without having to rush out Christmas Eve to buy a bouquet of holiday flowers that will still look fresh on Christmas Day?  Here is a super easy and inexpensive idea to dress up the holiday table.  And it is a fantastic way to use cranberries for something other than cranberry sauce :)

First, you need a clear glass vase.  Then, head out to your garden or go for a walk in a park, and pick up small fir branches, holly sprigs, and any other festive-looking greenery.  Trim them at home, ready to be placed in the vase.

Fill the vase with fresh water, about half way full.  Then add a generous helping of fresh cranberries to the water for decor (about 1 cup or so, you may need more or less depending on the size of the vase).  Then add the various holiday greenery to the vase, and you have a great looking centerpiece.

The arrangement will last for days, as long as you change the water daily, and give the cranberries a quick rinse as you do it.  This also makes a wonderfully inexpensive hostess gift if you are visiting someone’s house over the holiday season.

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This was posted under category: Frugal Gifts, Holidays

How to make yogurt covered pretzels

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 2:48 1 Comment

3-ounce regular cream cheese, softened;
5 cups sifted confectioner sugar;
3 tablespoons plain yogurt (you could also use flavored, if you wish)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate circles or chips (type for candymaking will have the best results)
Bag pretzels (smaller ones shaped as above will work best).

Use a double boiler.  Once water is boiling, place cream cheese, sugar, yogurt and vanilla into saucepan on double boiler, stirring until it is melted (but not hot!).  Add chocolate and stir until melted, it will take a few minutes).  Remove from heat.  Drop pretzels and stif in yogurt chocolate mix.  Use tongs and pull out each pretzel, and place on baking sheets lined with wax or parchment paper.  Allow to harden.

Note: These won’t be the shiny perfect ones you buy in the store, but they aren’t bad!  You will notice the coating will crack on some of them a bit, like teeny tiny lines (they wouldn’t even show up in the photo).  They aren’t that noticeable, though.

These make a perfect gift for kids at Christmas.


This was posted under category: Frugal Gifts

Make your own herbal and fancy salt mixes or gifts

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 16:47 Comments Off on Make your own herbal and fancy salt mixes or gifts

This is a super frugal craft to make – this set of 4 cost me about $3 to make, and the same mixes will retail for $10-15 at the store!

What you need is four clean spice jars, or you can buy them at the dollar store for about $0.50 – $1 each.  These ones have two top openings, one for sprinkling and one for inserting a measuring spoon.  The lids screw off, and yes, these are real glass!

There are four mixes that I made:

I made them now and sealed them so the salt and herbs will have a chance to mingle well.  I am going to put them in a gift bag to give as a set of 4 for Christmas presents.  I thought about maybe baking a loaf of French bread to go with each too, depending on how much time I have right before Christmas!

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This was posted under category: Frugal Gifts

Make your own Appletini Bath Salts

Monday, November 17, 2008 2:22 Comments Off on Make your own Appletini Bath Salts

Make your own Appletini Bath Salts for Frugal Gift Giving!

The first in our Frugal Gift Giving Series!  Bath salts are a great gift giving idea, especially since they are really inexpensive to make.  This bottle above cost about $1.15 to make, including the cost of the bottle!  We bought the screw-top bottle for $1 at a dollar store (it is much bigger than it appears, it actually holds well over 1 cup of bath salts).  We bought a huge bag of epsom salts for a few dollars, and this barely made a dent in it.  And since I had both the green coloring (it is actually quite  a bit more green than it appears, it was hard to get a good picture without the glare) and the green apple fragrance oil from soap making for gifts last Christmas, it makes a really nice gift for one I guess is about $1.15, including the price of the bottle.

Here is the recipe for Appletini Bath Salts, and if you want another scent, there are a ton more recipes and ideas.

We are doing a series on frugal gifts you can make at home, be sure to subscribe to our RSS!

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This was posted under category: Bath & Body recipes, Frugal Gifts