Six days until Christmas. While you let that sink in, allow me to whisper one word in your ear: Re-gifting.
The act of re-gifting—passing on as new a gift someone else gave you—is controversial but only because of those who do a noticeably bad job of it. After all, if every act of regifting were carried out flawlessly, no one would find it distasteful, or even consider it a thing.
Speaking of what not to do, consider what happened in front of all my friends at a bridal shower—for me, the next bride-to-be in our circle of friends.
I opened the gift of lovely Pyrex mixing bowls, pulled them out of the box to admire the cool colors, only to have a gift card fall into my lap, lovingly addressed to someone who was not me.
With the original giftee sitting not five feet away, I did some really bad version of sleight-of-hand, hoping no one would notice.
All these years later, it doesn’t matter—honestly, it never did. I loved the bowls. Still, that awkward moment re-plays in my mind every time I see her. Which brings me to my Official Rules of Re-gifting:
1. Never admit to re-gifting
If your friends know you’re a re-gifter, you’ll find yourself in the unpleasant situation of explaining why re-gifting is different from not caring. Worse, they will be suspicious of the gifts you give them. It’s best to keep re-gifting completely to yourself.
2. Designate a location
Keep re-gifts in a convenient, albeit secret, place in a special box or cupboard with extra wrapping paper and ribbon. Some people shop for gifts in department stores. Never underestimate the utility of a gift stash that allows you to shop at home.
Yes, another Holiday Gift Guide, and not so much because I love creating these guides for you (I do!) but due to popular request. And if it wouldn’t have appeared to be overly self-serving, for sure I would have titled this Guide something like my favorite Best Inexpensive really awesome kitchen things that foodies of all levels are sure to love as much as I do.
1. Pizza Stone for Grill and Oven
Finally, a pizza stone that is not so fragile I have to worry about it cracking under extreme conditions (I must be super hard on pizza stones because I have broken more than a few).
First, it is extra thick at 3/4-inch. And heavy (thank you Amazon for Prime shipping). But here is the most amazing thing—guaranteed to withstand up to a whopping 1000 degrees F. Culinary Couture Pizza Stone for Grill and Oven will not crack! I leave mine on the bottom shelf of my oven at all times, which makes for easy storage, but also makes it convenient for baking bread as well as chicken, shrimp, and cookies, too. About $40.
Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, that feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can’t fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. Shopper’s high is no joke. It’s real, it’s palpable, and it’s addictive.
Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years I ran up more than $100,000 in consumer debt—most of it on credit cards. Eventually, all of it came crashing down and nearly took me with it. Thankfully, that crisis became the catalyst to turn my life around.
It took 13 years to repay all of the debt. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mostly that the satisfaction I got from shopping was short-lived. It was fake because it vanished in less time than it took me to get the stuff to the car. But that just set me up to do it again and again because the small bursts of joy I got from shopping were worth the pain that always followed.
Crazy I know, but absolutely true. I could so easily go back to my old ways, and that’s scary.
So, what keeps me on the straight and narrow? It’s you! You’re my shopping addiction rehab program. Paying off that monstrous debt and these past 28 years of writing, researching, and communicating with you on a daily basis have become the best maintenance program I could hope for.
And the best part? I get to use my shopping skills nearly every day, but now in a constructive way.
Take the email I got from Jeannine who asked simply, “What is the best inexpensive Bluetooth speaker?” Just like that, I flew into shopping mode—that thing I love to do because it brings me uncanny satisfaction.
But here’s the deal: I’m not shopping for myself. I’m not spending my money or creating a bit of debt. I’m researching for Jeannine and that frees me from all of the personal negative stuff. I get to experience the joys of shopping that I love so much without any of the remorse or regret, guilt or shame. That’s authentic, lasting satisfaction. I love my job.
I did go shopping for Jeannine and a few other readers whose requests showed up at about the same time.
Bluetooth and wireless speakers let you bring your favorite music, podcasts and audiobooks with you wherever you go, whether you’re out on a hike or in the kitchen doing dishes—without the need to use headphones or depend on the phone’s or iPad’s microscopic built-in speaker. My pick for the best inexpensive Bluetooth speaker is Anker SoundCore. This thing is amazing with 24-hour playtime, low distortion and superior sound.
Coffee lovers are discriminating when it comes to both quantity and temperature of their favorite brew. Zojirushi Silky Black Stainless Steel 16-ounce Mug represents the gold standard. There is no finer. Retains heat so well it comes with a 5-year warranty on heat retention! And did I mention 16-ounces? No wonder this coffee mug has earned so many 5-star reviews. It’s that lovely!
These days children start very young with electronic devices. The problem though is that kids are kids and most smartphones and tablets are too delicate to handle toddler abuse. With that in mind, my pick for your favorite little ones is Kids Amazon Fire Edition Tablet. This is the real deal—not a toy, but built like one because it is all but indestructible.
This tablet has a 7-inch screen, 16 GB, Wi-Fi and all of it surrounded by a kid-proof case then wrapped up in a 2-year worry-free guarantee. If it breaks for any reason, return it and you’ll get a free replacement no questions asked. Complete with front and rear cameras, best-in-class parental controls.
One year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited gives access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney and more. Wow. I want one.
This must be the gift of the year given all the people I know who are dying to get one. Worn, Fitbit Charge 3 continuously monitors heart pulse, calorie burn, and heart rate. 7-Day battery life. Automatically tracks how long and how well you sleep and even wakes you up with a silent vibrating alarm. Fitbit Charge 3 comes complete with GPS that allows you to see real-time stats when you run—things like pace and distance, all while on your wrist. It even displays the time, just like something from the olden days called a wristwatch. For sure, Fitbit is stylish, hip and cool.
Don’t you hate it when your phone or other device dies and you’re nowhere near an outlet? So did the creators of this amazing little RAVPower Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank. Just plug your device into it and you’ll get a super quick charge. About the size of an index card, this thing has a huge capacity. Colossal battery: 22000mAh capacity, a single charge powers an iPhone X 4.9 times, a Galaxy S8 4.4 times, or an iPad mini 4, 2.6 times. Two USB ports allow you to charge two devices at a time. 5.8A Output 3-Port (iSmart 2.0 USB Ports). Compatible with iPhone 11/Pro/Max/ 8/ X/XS, Samsung S10.
Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.
As gifting opportunities go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my readers are feeling somewhat stressed, even panicked. Last-minute shopping has a way of doing that, especially when you have zero gift ideas when it comes to the grandparents and seniors on your list.
Gifts for grandparents don’t always require a trip down memory lane. Today’s grandparent is more likely to be tapping out e-mail than pounding away on a typewriter (a whaaat!?).
So with that in mind, here are some of my best gift ideas with affiliate links for grandparents that are sure to delight Nanas and Papas everywhere whether this is their first year on the job or old pros by now (even those who are hard-to-buy-for!) And don’t worry—if you don’t dawdle, all arrive before Christmas.
1. Grandparents’ house rules
This decorative wall art is as adorable as it is charming, lists the rules grandkids are to follow while at their grandparents’ home. Designed to either stand or be hung on the wall. Grandparents’ House Rules is priced right and made in the USA!
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/2019_Xmas_Gift_Guide_Grandparents_350.jpg233350Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-12-15 07:37:282019-12-16 23:42:252019 Holiday Gift Guide — Best Ideas for Grandparents
Long on Christmas lists but short on cash this year? What you need are tips, tricks, and Gift Guides to help you save money, right?
“Save money?!” you sneer. “What if we don’t have any money?”
That, my friend, is a reliable signal that it’s time to get creative. Often the most meaningful gifts and most difficult ones to give are those that cost no money at all.
A gift from the heart is a gift of time and talent. It’s going to require some (all?) of your free time over the next week or so, but it sure beats going into debt to buy a bunch of gifts for others—or missing out altogether because you refuse to show up empty-handed.
No one was more creative than my mother-in-law one Christmas years ago. I’d always admired her beautiful crystal, a wedding gift from her parents in 1942. Imagine how stunned I was when she gave it—all of it—to me. My favorite pieces are the water pitcher and cordials. Her gift, which cost nothing in terms of money, was and continues to be priceless to me.
Are you getting the picture? Great. Consider these idea starters to show someone you care that won’t require spending any cash at all. And please, add your own ideas in the comments!
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/IMG_6833-1.jpg7501000Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-12-11 00:10:032019-12-12 13:52:51Gifts That Don't Cost a Dime
Need a last-minute gift for an office party, your trusty mail carrier, a neighbor, co-worker or anyone else on your Christmas gift list? Here are nine great ideas that won’t take much time, and certainly won’t break the bank.
Give a treasure
Consider passing on an heirloom or family treasure to the next generation as a Christmas gift. Write a paragraph or two explaining the history or significance of the heirloom to go along with the gift. You will be preserving family history but not spending a dime. But here is the tricky part: Unless a person has expressed a particular love or desire for said heirloom and special treasure, do not assume your gesture will be appreciated.Read more
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/50646104_s.jpg565847Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-12-10 00:52:482019-12-11 05:23:327 Fabulous Last-Minute Gift Ideas
Whether it’s something from your kitchen, craft room, woodworking shop, or computer, there’s nothing like a homemade gift. A tree ornament, a plate of cookies, box of fudge, note cards—just a few of the many homemade gift ideas with universal appeal.
I love homemade gifts both to give and receive. No wonder I have so many favorites!
Hand and Body Lotion
A jar of your own signature luxury hand and body lotion will definitely put you on the map. It’s that good. Not particularly crafty? No worries.
If you can assemble, empty, stir and mix well, you’ve got what it takes to make dozens of these gifts start to finish in a single evening.
And the best part? About $3.50 per gift, depending on where you buy the ingredients and containers.
I’ve never been a school teacher, but I’ve been a parent. I wish I’d known years ago what I know now about what teachers really want for Christmas. I would have skipped the “Teachers Have Class!” coffee mugs and gone more for the classroom supplies.
Recently, I contacted teachers I know, asking them how they really feel about gifts from parents and students—at Christmas and other times of the year, too. Each one of them hesitated. I could tell they didn’t want to come across as ungrateful.
Make no mistake—teachers are very grateful for the thoughts behind all of the stuff they get during the year, but particularly at Christmas.
But the stuff itself? Not so much. In fact, most gifts become a problem for that teacher. What would you do with 27 random coffee mugs or 16 bottles of cologne or aftershave of dubious origin?
This year you can make sure that your gifts for teachers will be exactly what they really want. So listen up on these ideas for teacher gifts. And take notes. There may be a quiz.
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