Tuesday, December 7, 2010

20 under 20. Frugal finds

20 Under 20 frugal finds for the Holidays!

Blog by: kim

If you’re like everyone else in this economy, you budget what you spend. Brought back from last year, it’s my 20 under 20 list with all new items and ideas. I tried to throw in  a couple ideas for men, women and kids, even one for pets. Many of these also work well as a hostess gift for the holiday parties you get roped into. Hopefully this will save you some time and money. Most of these items can be ordered online. It’s nice not to fight crowds in stores or try to find a parking spot. Some gifts can even be shipped for free or gift wrapped at no extra charge, it just depends who your buying from.

1) Dry chili or soup mix, in a generous mug or soup crock with a wooden spoon.  Artisan foods intrigue me to no end.  Perfect for the colder weather! Buy some soup mix and hunt for a nice big mug, better yet, order a handmade mug off Etsy. Do a search on handmade mugs and see what comes up: www.etsy.com

Marshalls is also a great place for these artisan food gifts at a great price.

2)  A bottle  of wine with an attractive  wine bottle stopper. Ask at your local wine shop for a decent bottle of wine in the $15 dollar range and give it as a gift with either a bottle stopper or 2 wine glasses. red or white.

3) A nice, warm scarf and gloves set...sure it's old school, but when it's cold we NEED this sort of thing! Just choose nice looking ones, not the kind Aunt Mable used to give you as a kid.

4) I found this really cool Brownie S’mores Kit or Beer Bread Kit on Etsy, the seller is Cedar Tree Farm Soap Etc. Search “brownie smores kit” without the apostrophe . Or look at her beer bread in a bag kit! Here’s her description:  “This is a really fun gift to give to co-workers, friends, or your favorite cook or beer drinker. The kit includes bread mix to make one large loaf, wooden spoon, & oven hot pad. The directions are on the front of the bag which includes a rustic snowflake ornament tied to the handle. All you need to add is one 12 ounce can or bottle of beer. That's it!”

Beer Bread Kit

Brownie Smores Kit

5)  Contemporary Saki Set off amazon.com Red and black. Very cool if I do say so myself. Yes, under $20

6) Disposable  camera. Ask the recipient to take holiday photos of themselves, friends and family and  share them with you. A nice way to keep in touch. Wrap it in tissue paper and put it in a gift bag.  Sure, a fancy digital camera is better, but this is the 20 under 20 list, remember?

7) An attractive bottle of  olive oil w/loaf of crusty French bread. 

8) Feng shui candle set. These look great and they are under 20 at Target

9) My vintage jewelry. I have to have  my website in here, most items are around the $20 mark. From vintage, hand crafted jewelry to handbags to pottery and pieces that are eco friendly. Here is my vintage Breakfast at Tiffany’s bracelet set and the Pretty in  Pink pearl necklace and earring set. Available on Etsy. http://www.etsy.com/shop/Studio50

10) Pumpkin Spice pancake and waffle mix by Dancing Deer Baking Co. Google the name. All you need is a nice bottle of maple syrup and a wooden spoon, tie it all together and place it in a basket or gift bag. Viola. www.dancingdeer.com

11) Itunes gift card. For the music lover (aren’t we all?) let them choose their own music from itunes. Perfect! Teens and adults would love it. Choose the dollar amount you want. Rock on. These gift cards sell at major grocery store chains and many retail outlets.

12) Dog or cat gift set. Google Pampered Paws gifts, Three Dog Bakery or even Target. All different prices ranges, some start below 20.  WOOF

13) Godiva ~ Milk Chocolate Gift Box (15 pc.)
Godiva 15 pc. Milk Chocolate Gift Box. Perfect for anyone who loves milk chocolate. This one includes Cinnamon Blush, Coffee Feather, Almond, PralinĂ© Raindrop, Pecan Caramel Duet . Yes please…sells for less than 20 at department stores or godiva.com

14) Graphic tote bag by American Eagle. Teen in mind and budget friendly to boot.

15) Waffle bath towel set by Williams-Sonoma.com Couldn’t believe it was under 20

16) Soaps. Sets of them. Smells good, we all use them and why not? Throw in some nice bath salts and a fragrant lotion and they’ll love you forever.

17) Starbucks gift set, for the coffee lover OR tea drinker OR hot chocolate drinker. My favorite. Pour me a warm mug and tell me a story. You have my full attention. www.starbucks.com

18) Cookbook. Think Rachael Ray or Barefoot Contessa. Also, Katie Lee Joel has beautiful pictures in her cookbooks. Yes, if you look on amazon.com you can find a nice little cookbook for a steal. Bookstores are going to be a little more expensive. At least that’s what I have found. For the closet cook we all know! Then force them to make you something good to eat. It’s a win-win.  Or try overstock.com

19) “Stirrings” Margarita kit . Tis the season for elegant entertaining. Surprise  someone with an all inclusive Margarita Vacation. This set includes one bottle of our all natural Margarita Mixer and original Margarita Rimmer. I know they sell these at the Stirrings website and at Target.

20) Cloth covered journal – this one found on Etsy.com Yes, Etsy. Trust me. Do a search on “cloth covered journal” and target the $15-$20 range ones. Or a local bookstore chain will carry them, just look for the best priced ones, they overprice these things like crazy.

I had to add a number 21. It was too good to pass up, even though it is over $20, this is so cute, it makes me want to me a kid again. For the little kids...

21) Books-to-Bed - kid’s pajama and matching book set. Between $40-$45 Look on amazom (again with the amazon kim?)  Or a bookstore.  Literature -themed pajamas are the perfect Christmas gift for budding lit-fiends. Now, all I need is a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy negligee and I'll be set.

Have a good gift idea in the $20 range? Let me know.

Happy Shopping & Happy Holidays.

Love, kim


  1. These are all terrific ideas! Thanks so much. Just want you two to know I enjoy this blog a lot. You both put a lot into it and it shows.

  2. AJ says: Kim, dear, in case you're undecided which to give me, I'd be happy with the wine, the soaps and salts, Starbucks anything, and one of those cool journals. All of them. You don't even have to wrap them. I'll be just as surprised with or without shiny paper.
    Nicely done!

  3. Kim says: Thank you Deb! Er...ok AJ...um...i sent your big box of gifts to the Taylor Avenue address, this IS the correct address right? oh darn. my bad ;)

  4. All are great ideas! I'm thinking I'd have to add possibly something homemade... if you knit or crochet a ball of yarn is just a few bucks. Home baked goods cost little. Even fun "coupons" for someone you love - free babysitting or a backrub. Imagination is free!!!

  5. Kim says: yes, yes Suzie Q...we are making Neiman Marcus cookies this weekend and packing them in pretty designer tins (that don't cost much) for Emily's teachers and other people. all great ideas. gracias!