Tag Archives: good gifting

Ask Thriftfulness: Show Me Love

9 Feb

Q: Dear Annie, what’s a sentimental crafty little gift I can give my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?

Smitten in the Mitten,


A: Hiya Jordan. Ain’t love grand? You’re probably so twitterpated you can’t stop staring into Mr. Wonderful’s eyes (aka: SOUL) long enough to get out to the store and buy tokens of affection. This is a good thing for two reasons: 1. You shouldn’t drive and stare at your lover at the same time, it’s dangerous. 2. Who needs storebought crappy pap like M&Ms with pictures of your face on them (creepy) and pink bubble bath (that in the words of my sister, “will make your butt itch”) when you’ve got ME to come up with swell homespun ideas for you?

So here’s some gift advice for all you lovers out there:


 A cute n’easy way to say “I love you” or “I really like you” or “You’re ok” is to personalize a children’s book that is about love or Valentine’s Day– just a short little cute one that relates to you guys as a couple. Purchase it (this step is important because you’re going to vandalize it) and then write personal notes on some of the pages. I’ve done this with several boyfriends, and only most of them ended up dumping me. And almost none of them hated the gift because it revealed them to be illiterate.

2. Another take on this is to make a  Have You Seen My Heart Valentine. Take a kid’s/coloring/sticker book (preferably one that is Valentine’s themed) and “hide” heart stickers in different places on the pages: like under a table, in a tree, etc. Throughout the book, you can write “Have you seen my heart?” “Is it inside the stove?” “Is it…” and on the last page, “Oh! YOU have my heart!”  It’s cheesy, but, c’mon, it’s Valentines Day. And it’s a great way to let someone in a new relationship know you’ve fallen for them without actually working up the nerve to tell them you’ve fallen for them.


What about DIY scratch-off lottery tickets? You can make them with silver paint and dish soap (I’ve never done it but I want to) and write little love notes that your lovah can scratch off. Dollar Store Crafts has a great tutorial. Make the notes he/she/he-she reveals sweet (“You’ve won 5 million KISSES Schmoopy!”) or saucy (“I’m wearing scratch off underwear too”) or political (“Stop buying lottery tickets, it’s a ploy by the government to get you to believe in false hopes, ask Kanye”).


 If you want to go more on the naughty side of Valentine’s Day, you could make a Do Not Disturb doorknob sign…You could even set your house up like a hotel and make your sweetheart leave money on the dresser. Just for kicks.


 Chocolates have “been done” on Valentine’s Day, but I found a post on Nifty Thrifty Things for how to make your own Baileys, which would be delicious! Find a roaring fireplace or television that’s warm from being on so long and cuddle up with your homemade brew and your sweetheart. Sounds delightful.

Well, Jordan, I wish you and yours a lovely V-day. Let me know what you end up doing, unless it’s dirty.

Here’s a video for those of you who read the title of this post and got excited about seeing the “Show Me Love” video by Robyn and just scrolled to the end. I don’t dissappoint.


Care Enough to Give the Very Cheapest: DIY Gift Tags

22 Dec

I hope by this day you’ve got all your gifts made or bought because if you have a JoAnn’s Fabrics trip to make yet, Lord help you. You don’t want to see the coupon hoarding and dented ornament grabbing that’s going on there. JoAnn would not be be pleased.

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Thriftfulness Turns 2!!!

14 Apr

Happy birthday again blog! Thriftfulness turns two today! By this age, my blog should have a longer attention span, begin learning new words rapidly, and start hiding behind the couch when it poops.

To celebrate, I’m going to eat macaroni and cheese and apply for jobs, but as a special birthday gift for YOU, dear reader, I’m posting a little book excerpt from the would-be-a-book-if-I-could-manage-to-not-get-rejected version of Thriftfulness. Not interested? Scroll down to the bottom of the post anyway for a list of what’s to come in year 3 of the blog. Will she have a thrifty wedding? Find new treasures in the Free Box? Finally make that damn diorama? Learn to jump rope?

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Ask Thriftfulness: Minimalist BF Maximizes Frustration

8 Feb

Angie from Detroit wrote in with this little quandry:

Q: Dear Thriftfulness,
I am a crafty, thrifty, saves everything chica like yourself and like to give handmade gifts. But my boyfriend is a total minimalist. He doesn’t like accumulating “stuff” and pretty much considers everything but the clothes on his back and his iPhone clutter. The only thing he really collects is gadgets, but I can’t afford any of the stuff he likes. Boys have such expensive taste! Now his birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to get him. Help!

Dumbfounded in Detroit

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The 12 Relatives of Christmas (and what to give them)

22 Dec

Robert Downey Jr. described families best in one of my favorite movies, Home For The Holidays:

“You’re a pain in my ass. You have bad hair. But I like you a lot.”

Our relatives are “eccentric”, but we love them and we’d like to make them happy this holiday season. Here’s a list of quick and cheap (and last minute!)  gift ideas for that bat s@%! crazy group of people we call family:

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Special Delivery! Book Excerpt: Thrifty Gifting

27 Feb

Eesh. What a couple of weeks it’s been. Been drivin’, baby showerin’, workin’, writin’ and doin’ just about everything else besides updating this blog. Have I made awesome crafts? Yes, but I also lost my camera charger and haven’t been able to take pictures of any of the awesomeness. Wah waaaaah.

After about a week of procrastinating or, as I’ve taken to calling it, brewin’, I decided to give my readers (AKA: Mom and Boyfriend) a preview of a chapter that I plan to put in the Thriftfulness book, should I ever talk one of those publishing folks into putting out such a thing.

So here it is, an excerpt from my word processing file, behold the rules of Thrifty Gifting (Shifty Gifting to be Revealed at a later date)!!! Hope you enjoy!

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From the Tip of Your Tongue to at Your Fingertips: Keeping a Gift Journal

29 Sep

Scenario: It’s Grandma’s birthday again and you haven’t purchased a gift yet. Scratch that, you haven’t even thought about what to your going to give her. Scratch that, you’re not even aware that it is Grandma’s birthday because when your mom called to remind you, you wrote it down on a paper napkin from the taco place you were at and then got distracted by the guacamole and ended up leaving it on the table where the bus-boy picked it up and thought it was a note to him and, because he reads a lot of sci-fi and believes you’ve led him to some sort of code, is still trying to figure out what “gma SEP 9” means. So now you’ve got two people to get presents for (Grandma and the bus-boy because you left a crappy tip and cryptic note).

Save Grandma and yourself from the silent treatment she’s going to give you by keeping a gift journal: a little notebook or stapled pile of scrap paper or a space in the back of your dayplanner where you keep all notes gift-related.

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