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The Ultimate Gift Guide – The Thrifty Issue

Gift Guide - Babies


I found gift giving was one of the biggest items in our budget, so I’ve collated a list of useful gift giving tips and ideas for you so we can bring that budget down together!

The most effective gifts are the ones where thought is involved. Consider your recipient, what they like, currently have and use, their hobbies and interests. If they like art, you probably won’t be able to afford an easel, but you could find a mini coffee table book with black and white photos or popular artworks. A little thought goes a long way.

Value for Money! Buy the best product you can for the money you have. For example, don’t buy gardening clippers for ten dollars, as the quality won’t be there and they’ll probably rust or fall apart within a few months. You’re better off buying the best pair of gardening gloves you can for ten dollars. You can get most gloves for about five dollars, so you know that a ten dollar pair will more likely be a quality product.

Another method is to find the best brand you can for quality and value for money, and wait until the item is on sale. Planning your gifts in advance can really assist in ensuring you have the right gift for the right price.

Presentation! The way a gift is presented can also make up for size and budget. A small gift like a pair of set of gardening gloves, will look beautiful presented in a cheap pot wrapped in tissue paper and twine, garden vine or lavender. Get creative and invest a little time. It doesn’t have to cost anything to wrap a gift, just use what you can find around the home.

Here are some of our gift ideas for under ten dollars:


Gift Guide - Babies

  • Muslin wraps
  • A sentimental toy or rattle from when you were a baby, attach a crafty tag with an explanation to tie on with a ribbon
  • A nursery rhyme book
  • Bathtime accessories: bath wash with yellow rubber duck. A bath toy bag filled with a few toys. Baby face washers.
  • Hat or hand-made beanie / booties, mittens
  • Hooded towel and mitt set
  • Mirror for the car – reversible so baby can see Mum when in reverse facing capsule
  • Cute wooden clothes hangers
  • Picture frame. Try to include a baby photo of the parents.
  • Suction bowl and spoon. Try to get a bowl with divided sections in it.
  • Plastic baby links to hang toys, teething rings etc (available from department stores)
  • Paint a timber frame
  • Sew a pillowcase with the babies name
  • Make a nappy hanger
  • Sew a teddy bear
  • Removable wall decor / stickers
  • Growth chart. Try making one from a strip of timber and paint baby bears on it.
  • Make some pretty bunting




Gift Guide - Children

  • Small lego kit (ie singular, truck, car)
  • Toy medical kit
  • Maracas and other musical instruments
  • Wooden puzzle
  • Crayola Mess Free drawing kit
  • Ball game
  • Pool kit: water pistol, hat, water balloons etc
  • Print a picture of their favourite character, and frame it. If you’re handy with the computer, include a picture of the child with the character
  • Books, books and books
  • Magnet and felt sets
  • Stacking and nesting cups


Gift Guide - Teenagers

  • iTunes gift card
  • Poster of favourite singer, actor, sporting activity
  • T-shirt
  • Cover a shoe-box with pictures of favourite item and enclose trading cards, socks, key chain or other knick-nacks.
  • Make-up or hair supplies
  • Fishing rod or tackle box
  • Singlet with retro picture
  • Second-hand video games, or gift certificate to rental shop
  • Hand-made gift certificate with a promise (i.e. late night pickup, dinner of choice, day off chores etc)
  • CD or DVD either on special or second-hand
  • A food pack including their favourite snacks




Gift Guide - Him

  • A novelty beer
  • A wine rack made from cans
  • Golf balls
  • Leather wristband
  • A stubbie holder with a picture representing a favourite place or slogan
  • Box of small jams and honeys, or hot roasted macadamia nuts
  • Men love other men’s home-brewed beer
  • Vintage frames, signs or workers tools


Gift Guide - Her

  • Patchwork fat quarters
  • Grow your own flowers in pots from seed, decorate with ribbon and cellophane. Use some chalkboard paint around the pot and write a special message.
  • Costume jewellery or funky hair clips
  • Pretty purse
  • Hand-made handbag, coat-hanger, purse, sunglasses holder
  • Hand cream, body lotion, soaps
  • Hand-made pillow case or cushion cover
  • Thongs (the shoe or knicker variety!)
  • Candles, incense, candle or incense holder
  • Vintage teacup set or spoons


Gift Guide - Anyone

• Hand-made pen holder (glue painted popsicle sticks on outside of jar or cup)
• Movie ticket
• Movie kit: 2nd hand DVD, packet popcorn/lollies
• Home-made dinner presented in gift wrapped container with pretty label and printed recipe
• Bottle of wine
• Hand-made chocolates
• A photo book that you made yourself
• Bunnings sell pre-packaged tins with dirt and seeds for herbs or plants.
• Gardening gloves
• Book or mini-coffee-table book specialising in something the recipient is interested in
• Box of fruit or snacks
• Dinner kit: ingredients and recipe for the recipient to cook a meal
• Box of teabags or coffee
• Hand-made picture frame
• A framed poem or story that you wrote yourself


I’m Alison and I created THE THRIFTY ISSUE because I enjoy sharing ideas and creating things with my family and friends, on a budget. The Thrifty Issue is a place to visit for stylish, funky and fun ideas on saving time, money and stress. A place to meet and greet, to share and explore




Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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