28 Gift Ideas That Save Money For The Recipient

gift boxWith the holidays approaching, it’s time to think about Christmas shopping. We always talk about ways to save money on gifts, from hitting the sales to drawing names out of a hat. That’s all well and good, but these strategies only save money for the buyer. How about turning the savings around this year and buying gifts that save money for their recipients?

Particularly in a down economy, gifts that help the recipient save money are much appreciated. You can still save money when buying most of these items if you use the tried and true shopping methods, but the following gift ideas have the added benefit of helping the recipients save money over the long term, as well. Who can a


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23 Responses to 28 Gift Ideas That Save Money For The Recipient

  1. Definitely some good ideas up there!
    Might I add?

    * Membership to a RV group (Good Sam) or Auto group (AAA)

    YES, make those jazz up the ‘unsexy’ things in a reusable container.

    Here’s the thing for the hard to shop for Dad/Guy/Teen —

    Start with:
    Big Plastic/Alum Drink Cup that fits in the car console.

    Stuff with:
    * Car Wash Gift Cert (you do the job, or the neighborhood business)
    * Gas Card (budget permitting)
    * AAA membership (budget permitting)
    * Tire Gage
    * Red Rags for dipstick/long loads
    * Car Air Freshener item

    Easy peasy!

  2. IVSPORT says:

    The gas idea is a great one because there’s nobody who can’t utilize it. Even people that don’t have cars can “re-gift” it when they are being given a ride or are involved in a carpool of sorts. Or, I’m pretty sure the gift cards also work for the convenience stores associated with the station so they can be used for drinks, snacks, etc.

  3. mom-from-missouri says:

    I wrote an article on another site that was very similar. I had a sewing machine on my list, fabric for known seamstrest, school supplies, gift certificate for their pharmacy (some seniors could really use that one)certificate for a free tune up on the auto, and themed gift baskets. One gift basket idea is for a young girl–shampoos, conditioners. For a family with a new baby, a basket with diapers, coupon for a night of babysitting…… One year I received a coupon for a free year of internet service.

  4. Hilary says:

    This will probably gross some people out, but I gave each of my close friends a DivaCup for Christmas a couple of years ago. They totally eliminate the need to buy feminine products. I’ve been using one for 4 years now – it’s a huge money-saver.

  5. My husband got a rechargeable battery set for Christmas last year from a relative. He really did appreciate it!

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  7. Uncommonadvice says:

    Plastic shopping bags will soon be the currency in the UK. They used to be a nuisance but now I’m always on the lookout for them.

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  9. Gail says:

    I got my hubby a good rechargeable flashlight for Christmas last year and that was all (money was tight). He looked at it funny, but really appreciated it when we lost power and the sump pump stopped and then the basement flooded. He had a totally bright light to go down in the mess and fix. He has used it many times since and loves it. Now I’m looking for some size 13 Wellington rubber boots for yet any more basement floods (we live with a low water table).

    Currently I’m sewing him pajama pants for his birthday. The thought about reusable shopping bags reminded me that my DIL wanted one last year for Christmas. I can make her a couple for the price of the one she wanted on line.

    My kids and hubby know I am always happy to receive thread or fabric for presents or at least a JoAnn’s gift card. I’d rather have that than the perfumed this and thats that people give me completely forgetting I have allergies and can’t use them. They get regifted to the local residents of a senior home who like getting that sort of stuff for free.

  10. Donna Freedman says:

    What a wonderful post, Jennifer. I wanted to write something like this at Smart Spending, but I don’t see how I could improve on yours.
    I like everyone’s additions. May I add some of my own:
    ***Utility payments. Find out if your local electric, gas or water utilities sell “gift certificates,” or just make a $25 payment against someone’s account. With utility costs rising, sometimes it really IS a “heat or eat” situation for those on fixed incomes.
    ***Meals. Offer to make and deliver several entrees packaged to freeze. A family-sized lasagna could be left in one big pan, but for singles or retirees it could be cut into one- or two-serving sizes. If you make several different entrees, it’s a way of ensuring that an aging relative is adequately nourished or that a working couple gets an occasional night off from cooking.
    ***Stamps. Yes, some of us DO pay bills by mail; some of us write letters! A few books of stamps could be a great help especially to those on fixed incomes.
    ***Cards. To go with the stamps! Seriously, a selection of greeting cards might be appreciated especially by shut-ins or the elderly who cannot drive. Many dollar stores have cards for 50 cents apiece; I’d also look for “all occasion” boxes of cards at discount and drug stores. (I believe I saw a box of them for about $3 or $4 at Walgreens.)
    ***Homemade gift certificates. Some possibilities: rides to the doctor or to do some shopping; oil change; help getting the storm windows on or off; spring cleaning; putting the snow tires on and taking them off again in the spring.

  11. Amanda says:

    These are awesome suggestions and I use at least two of them. In my family family we don’t wrap gifts, instead we have reusable fabric drawstring bags in holiday fabric. We use the same bags year after year, and some of the tags too. All my friends know we do this and look forward to getting a gift and a bag. Second tip I use, for three years running my girlfriend Claire and I have exchanged magazine subsriptions for X-mas. My grandmother has been getting me National Geographic for my birthday for about 20+ years. It’s great!

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  13. CJ says:

    Why are people so scared to just give cold hard CASH?
    I know it’s nice to put “thought” into a gift, but those creative gifts often go unused because they are harder to use, e.g. gift cards, coupons, etc.

  14. Sara says:

    There are a lot of nice ideas here! I would appreciate a lot of them. I used to dislike gift cards because they are kind of impersonal, but although I still try not to give gift cards, I have to admit I like receiving them so I can buy something I want without having it hit my budget.

    Another idea — something I received as a gift after putting it on my wish list — is a Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitor. It helps me save money by showing how much electricity various items use (and whether they use electricity when turned off but plugged in), but I didn’t want to buy it myself as a money-saver because it would have taken a long time to break even.

  15. jessica says:

    Those are some good ideas! Here are some of mine:

    *Membership to a zoo or museum, this way rather than paying $10 per person, you can go whenever you want, for how long/short time you want for free! Plus, it’s less clutter, you don’t have to clean it, and it won’t break!

    *Art supplies- finger paints and paper and crayons for kids, yarn and sewing things, etc. Or a gift card.

    *pay for a class- knitting, cake decorating, ballet, belly dancing, whatever.

    *an appliance. My parents bought us a chest freezer for christmas one year. i don’t know what I’d do without it!

  16. Yvonne says:

    I thought of a few: Reusable coffee filter, slippers and housecoat, throw rugs, thermal pajamas, and alarm clock (for young ones just starting out).

  17. Yvonne says:

    Thought of a few more: picnic basket or bag, lunch box, and thermos.

  18. What great suggestions with Christmas coming up especially. I have some really hard to buy for people on my list and I’m pretty sure I will be using your ideas for them! Thanks so much!

  19. Yvonne says:

    Thought of one more: a very heavy comforter so that they can turn the heat down at night.

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  23. john says:

    I like the idea to Pay For a Service. There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t pay for, like a house cleaner. But if it was a gift, I could have somebody clean my house without the guilt of wasting money.

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