Frugal Gifts For Neighbors?

Neighbors bringing cookies as a gift.
It is very thoughtful to give homemade or thoughtful purchased gifts to your neighbors during the holidays. This tradition can include those that have lived there a long time and the new family on the block. This is a page about frugal gifts for neighbors.


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 16, 2008

I am looking for some good ideas for frugal neighbor gifts this year. I figure if anyone can help me, the thrifyfunners can! Thanks.

Kristie from Cleafield, UT


October 16, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you crochet you can make some crafts using plastic bags as yarn. I just made my dear neighbor a clothes pin bag. You can find the free pattern here > Dishcloths are really fun and quick projects too. I gave one neighbor a dishcloth last year with a jar of jam.


I used the dishcloth as a "cover" over the top of the jar and secured it with a ribbon. Anyway that's a few ideas and I have many free patterns for other projects if you want to check out my blog site. Good luck!

October 16, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

My small drive has 7 families that have all lived here over 20 years, I think of all as family but when times are hard still felt the need to give. I purchased some inexpensive baskets and cookie tins at the thrift store. Since I bake and cook for days and days for my family I made several kinds of cookies and fudge, and also made apple butter from apples I picked in the wild and put in half pint jars or leftover {saved} jelly jars.


With each family a sampler of cookies and a jar of apple butter tied with colorful saran and a bow. Everyone {especially the single men} really appreciates the surprise hanging on their door Christmas morning. Bless my husband for trudging through the snow to deliver!

October 16, 20080 found this helpful

Sometimes I get a $5 gift card to Blockbuster and tie it to a bag of microwave popcorn with raffia and put a nice handmade note that says - Have a Family Movie Night On Us! My neighbors seem to love it. Also, I have gotten the Dollar Tree big plastic bucket that looks like a popcorn bag and put microwave popcorn, candy and a movie rental coupon in it to make it a gift basket.


These were a real hit.

Also, one year I did not give the adults anything. I gave all the kids at the beginning of the month a chocolate Advent calendar from Trader Joe's that were around $1.00. The kids loved it!

October 16, 20080 found this helpful

I always say cute crazy CHEAP! Banana Nut Bread Baked in a jar.

I made this last year, for $25 I made 12 gifts! The mason jars are $8-$10 for 12 jars (or more sometimes) Bake it let it cool. Place some holiday fabric on the top, tie with a ribbon, and BOOM Cheap cute and they think you spent a lot of time making them a beautiful gift!

October 16, 20080 found this helpful

Something I like to do is save up dried flowers and fruits and make simple holiday wreaths. You can make the ring for it out of an old wire coat hanger, and use evergreen branches as the bulk, then embellish it with fruits, berries, pine cones, and dried flowers.


You can make them all the same, or tailor them to each neighbor, like if you have someone who loves birds, make it a a bird treat wreath. The best part is that you can usually find everything you need for it in your back yard!

October 18, 20080 found this helpful

Last year I made trays and trays of candied almonds, pecans and walnuts and put them in pretty bags for the neighbors. They all seemed to enjoy them. has recipes for them as well as anywhere on the net.


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October 20, 20080 found this helpful

This week I found little ring boxes with different Nativity scenes on them at the Dollar Tree. I bought some to give to the people who help me at the various city offices where I go every couple of weeks to collect data for the newspaper. I think I'll put some Hershey's kisses inside.


For gift wrap, I use corsage bags that I bought cheaply from a florist many years ago. I have some great ribbon bought the day after Christmas last year. The corsage bags have saved my gift-wrapping bacon many a time.

By Frugal Freida (Guest Post)
October 20, 20080 found this helpful

We give bread to our neighbors as we can make up a huge batch and then braid it for a fancy look. Also I have made dips and given an assortment of crackers alongside on a styrofoam plate. My biggest yet not quite frugalest(is there such a word?) tip is to buy a roll of the clear plastic cellophane wrap that you get at Party type stores and anything you give will look like a million dollars. Just set your plate, bread, or other food item in the center and gather up the sides to a bunch and tie w/ a ribbon. I like the look of clear with a white ribbon. The roll was huge and cost me 13 dollars, but lasted me for several seasons of gifts. I think it was worth every penny for the presentation it gave. Frugal Freida

By Barbara J Snyder (Guest Post)
October 20, 20080 found this helpful

When I went to the craft fair not to long ago I saw these cute wooden tweezers that had magnets on them that you could use to get hot toast and stuff out of your toaster and they were only one dollar. When I go back to the craft fair I am going to get a couple and give for small gifts. I was looking for something like that for a long time.


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October 20, 20080 found this helpful

The jar gift idea is what I was going to mention but Maghan beat me to it!
How about jar mixes for biscuits,brownies,cookies,soup? Hand made coupons : good for one free carwash or dog bath or lawn mow?

October 27, 20080 found this helpful

If I have a lot of colleages to give to one year, I do the "Cake in a Mug" Gift. You can find a recipe online for those! You can find inexpensive mugs at the thrift store and can probably make each gift for less than 50cents.

If your neighbours already bake a lot as it is, homemade bath salts are always welcome! Buy some sea salt & epsom salts. Use one cup of each and 1/2 cup baking soda. Then add some food colouring and 1 tsp of essential oils or special body safe scents which you can find at a craft store. You can also add 1 tbsp dried herbs or petals (lavender, calendula, roses). Mix, then spread on wax paper to dry a little. Store in nice glass jars and label. Use 1/3 cup of salts per bath. If you want fizzing bath salts, add 1/2 cup citric acid.

By Brenda (Guest Post)
December 15, 20080 found this helpful

I made one up one year. I gave a small can of pineapple and a spoon or fork. The saying goes: "May your Christmas be "Paradise" and your New Year "Fruitful>"

October 29, 20090 found this helpful

Some friends invited us over a couple weekends ago and we had a blast, which gave me a great frugal gift idea: Dice Games. I'm buying packets of dice and printing out what I found at: They have games, tricks and interesting history
You could package it up with a bag of pretzels or some other snack and you've got a gift that gives hours of fun for a teeny tiny price!

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