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Another birthday invitation… I know I’m supposed to be excited for my child. And on one hand I’m glad my daughter is getting invited to her classmates parties, but on the other hand, attending to a birthday party, is not cheap. Between the gift, the card, the wrapping paper, the cost quickly adds up. Then when I think about the number of classmates my daughter has, and the fact that every birthday child is inviting the whole class, I can expect another 5-10 birthdays before the school year is out. And in a year or two, I’ll have two children going to birthday parties. This can easily add up to hundreds of dollars a year.
With so many birthdays, I felt like we have two choices, (1) decline birthday invitations or (2) spend time instead of money and make homemade gifts. I didn’t want to decline birthday parties, just because we couldn’t afford to buy expensive birthday gifts, so I really like the idea of spending time rather than just money. Of course, I realize that even the gifts that I am giving this year, take some money, but I’m spending much less than if than if I drove to my local toy store to pick up a gift.
Here are four gifts ideas that are thoughtful, serve a purpose, and don’t break the bank, that I am giving this year.
- A special outing or trip – If you have a membership to a park, museum, etc, you often also get a free or discounted admission ticket for friends and family. Use these to take the birthday child to the venue as your guest. It will be a special outing for the recipient, but a frugal choice for you.
- Heating pad animals – Cut out the silhouette of an animal of your choice, sew together, and fill with rice or lentils. See how I have been doing it here. Save money by utilizing fabrics you already have in your home, consider pillow cases, blankets, or even outgrown baby clothing. If you don’t want to make one you can always buy one here, and still have a cute, useful gift.
- A hooded towel – Make a simple, but comfy hooded towel using a hand towel and a bath towel. This is a very customizable gift as you can incorporate the recipient’s favorite colors or animals. I’ve been using Amber’s tutorial at CrazyLittleProjects.com with great success. I tend to go to my local Marshal’s or TJ Maxx to find a good deal on towels, but here are some cute towels you can order on amazon.
What are some other ideas for frugal, yet thoughtful gifts, that you have given? Let me know if the comments.