5 gift ideas for the frugal and financially minded

Christmas gifts for the frugal are challenging

14 shopping days left until Christmas... If you are frugal in nature and/or see the value of $100 ten years from now, you may be really hard to shop for because you (like me) probably don't value material items as much as others.

Now, I bet many of you are very good at smiling and saying "thank-you" when you receive a gift that has no real purpose - "stuff" - or doesn't align with what you value. Every year, I get many gifts like this and it pains me to know that some of these were expensive items that I will never enjoy using. So I think a different approach is in order for this year, and I've started compiling a list of starter ideas. I thought I'd share them here in case some of them are items you could appreciate, or maybe you are trying to shop for someone like me.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/queenbeeofbeverlyhills

Photo courtesy of Flickr/queenbeeofbeverlyhills

5 gift ideas to get you started

  1. High quality edibles - do you really enjoy a particular food item but don't buy much of it because it is pricey? High-quality chocolates, coffee, tea, cheese, wine, and beer are just a few ideas that come to mind, like these Leonidas Belgian Chocolates.
  2. Money-saving DIY - I have a SodaStream and have drastically cut down on the amount of soda that I buy in the store. I've also found ways to make my own soda mix, rather than buy the pre-made mixes. You can do a little googling for recipes, or buy a book on homemade soda syrup. Other DIY money-saving gadgets could be composters (if they garden), a nice coffeemaker, or even supplies to make homemade laundry soap (tread carefully with that one).
  3. Stock shares - This may not be a good gift to request, but if you are shopping for someone else who is frugal and financially minded, then stock shares might be a fun thing to buy for them. Think about the products or services they may like from a particular company - that would be a good starting point on selecting what to buy.
  4. Classes - A life of frugality is often a conscious choice to avoid materialism in favor of pursuing experiences. Classes to advance skills in hobbies, or to inspire a new hobby or develop a skill, can create memorable experiences that aren't easily forgotten like another tie or dangly necklace. Check out your local Groupon or deals site as many classes are often promoted there.
  5. A streaming subscription - Which gift keeps on giving? A $25 DVD or a 3-month subscription to Netflix for the same amount. I prefer Amazon Prime over Netflix and Hulu due to the included 2-day shipping, but any of these are great money savers if they replace purchasing or renting movies and shows (or even cable!).

What other gift ideas do you have? Please share them below in the comments.