8 Frugal Holiday Gifts for Friends and Family


Give meaningful gifts this year without emptying your bank account. These great ideas, from iVillage women, work for friends, coworkers and family.

Simple sachets
''Make a sachet from a small piece of fabric with a simple ribbon tie. Fill it with any of the following: rose petals, cotton balls with vanilla powder, cinnamon sticks with orange peels and cloves, lemon thyme and lemon verbena leaves, or lavender flowers. They are perfect for women's lingerie drawers or to display in the bathroom.''

Bake your gifts
''Some of my favorite gifts from the kitchen are spiced nuts or peanut brittle. Get a favorite family recipe and include a story about when you first had it or who passed it down.''

The gift of time
''Gifts of time are valuable and are more likely to be remembered than another sweater or pair of socks. Give a coupon for a monthly backrub, a gift certificate entitling the bearer to a trip to the zoo, a walk in the woods, a home-cooked meal, an hour of uninterrupted alone time—whatever you think the person would most enjoy. They can be naughty or silly or sincere...whatever you like!''

Gift baskets with a theme
''The only limit to this idea is your imagination. You get an affordable basket from Walmart or similar store, then include items that fit the person's personality. For pasta lovers, you can put in a wooden slotted spoon, a small bottle of olive oil, some herbs, and maybe a recipe card or two. You can even make the ''basket'' part of the gift by putting it all in a colander. For a movie lover, give a movie pass, a package of special popcorn kernels and a favorite candy bar—all in a movie popcorn bag or bucket.''

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