Holiday Shopping – Unwrapped

Holiday Shopping – Unwrapped

I can’t believe there are less than two months until Christmas.  I’ve been trying to come up with ways to save some money this holiday season, so I’ve been doing a little research online. I ran across an article yesterday that listed 19 gift ideas that would save you money. It sounds like your typical holiday shopping guide, but it’s not quite that simple. Each gift on the list will supposedly save the receiver money as well.

As I went through the list of ideas I had to laugh. In my opinion, several items on the list would make terrible gifts! So, in order to be fair, I polled my coworkers and we decided which items would actually be good gifts to give to friends and family. Here’s what we came up with:

  • CFL Light Bulbs or LED Light Bulbs – good for the environment, and they last forever!
  • Newspaper Subscription – coupons and news about great deals!
  • A Coupon Book – I hope the reasoning behind this one is obvious.
  • Candles – can be used for light during late-night storms and smell great.
  • Gas Card – probably the best idea ever… I will say no more.
  • Metal Water Bottle – use, reuse, repeat.
  • Water Filter – paired with a metal water bottle you could save someone hundreds of dollars!
  • Crockpot & Recipes – yum, yum and yum. I had Crockpot roast just yesterday.
  • Smart-Power Strip – doesn’t feed on electricity, even when your electronics are turned off!
  • A Day Planner – not sure I agree that this will save you money, but it’s a great gift and one I always appreciate.
  • Stamps and Envelopes – I’m forever running out of stamps and thank you notes, this idea gets an A++.
  • A Finance Book – learn to manage your finances from a book… OR just log into our handy-dandy website for FREE!
  • Gift Cards/Certificates – one of the best inventions known to man. I LOVE getting these.
  • A Favorite Indulgence – my second, favorite gift idea. It probably doesn’t make sense, so here’s an example. My friend loves Bath and Body Works lotions, but doesn’t buy them much because of the expense. For Christmas, I could buy her a favorite scent. That will save her money – and is guaranteed to make her day!

Here’s a few gifts on the list that we thought weren’t such good ideas:

  • Rechargeable Batteries & Recharger – the batteries always seem to be running out of juice.
  • Reuseable Shopping Bags – they may help save the environment, but we couldn’t think of a store that gives a significant discount if you use them.
  • Wind-up Flashlight – these things are awesome, but the ones I’ve received as gifts are already dead and won’t recharge. Plus, some of them take a lot more work than a simple twist of a handle.
  • Canning Kit – it sounds like a good idea, but anyone who’s ever canned before knows how much work goes into this project. Buy yourself a kit, and then make homemade pickles, jam, salsa, etc to give away as gifts instead. You’ll get a great sense of satisfaction, having done the work yourself, and your friends won’t think you’ve gone off the deep end!
  • Subscription to Finance Magazine – it’s the same theory as the book, but essentially we kicked this one off the list because it just seemed boring. If I’m going to continually read information about finance I’d rather do it in a way that doesn’t kill trees and take up coffee table space. Seriously… did we mention that we’re here to help with your finances?

To see the complete list and reasons these 19 items were picked visit the actual blog at,

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