Over the past couple of years, I've written a little gift guide of the products that I like most on the market. I usually look for products that are going to make the recipient's lives more efficient. There are some exceptions (like Blu-Ray players). I mention these products, because there's something usually unique about them (like a big drop in price from previous years.) It gets harder and harder to find products that can truly help someone's life, and most of my previous picks are still some of the best ones today. So I invite you to read 15 Products that Save Time, Money, and Space, and Lazy Man's Gift Guide 2008 as well.
I won't go into a lot of frugal gift ideas... A number of other bloggers have already written about that topic. However, I couldn't resist posting my favorite frgual gift idea from one of my favorites on Twitter. I'm going to use the word "poop" here instead of the real name because this is a family blog:
"Everybody's broke, so here's the rule for Christmas this year; if you still [poop] your pants, you get a present. Otherwise tough [poop]." - [Poop] My Dad Says
Before I get started on the few products that I endorse this year, I would like to recognize that gift cards seem to be getting more and more popular each year. With that in mind, here are three gift card ideas:
- Amazon Gift Card - Ever get a gift card to some store that you'd never use? I have. While any gift is better than nothing, it's better to give a gift that nearly anyone can use. Amazon seems to have everything under the Sun, so it's a safe bet as a gift.
- Ebay gift cards - It's the same theory as Amazon... if someone can't find something they want on Ebay, well they are truly the person who has everything. The added plus with Ebay is that people can choose to exercise their frugal muscles and buy used items... effectinvely stretching their own gift dollar further.
- Store Gift Cards on Ebay - If you know someone loves Victoria Secret, you can save some money by buying a Victoria Secret gift card on Ebay. It's usually not a huge savings, but a couple of bucks adds up and it's easier than actually going to the store.
And finally my extremely over-hyped gift guide. (I warned you it's getting harder and harder to find good products).
- Palm Pixi - This is the most frugal smartphone on the market. It's one of the lowest cost smartphones on the lowest cost network. Don't believe me? Read what Bloomberg has to say. One could even make a claim that in some ways the Palm Pixi is better than an Apple Iphone. If you have a bigger budget, it's worth upgrading to the Palm Pre which won a slew of awards this year.
- BAGGU Reusable Shopping Tote - 6-Pack - It's compact, sturdy, fashionable, and environmentally conscious... and it's reviews are amazing on Amazon. What more could you want?
- Blu-ray Disc Player - I know I included a Blu-Ray player last year, but you really had to hit just the right bargain to find one for $200. Now, that bargain price point to look for is $99 and I've seen them as low as $80. Blu-Ray seems like product of high status, but it's not priced like that. That's typically when I start to look to buy a tech gadget.
- Aroma X-Press Water Kettle - I don't know how this didn't make the list in previous years. We love our water kettle. It's one of the few things that get me excited to drink tea. It seems to heat up the water in seconds and keeps it hot as long as I want.
- Plano Shelving from WalMart - For the first time in my life, I've had access to a whole garage. It makes such a difference in storage space. I've bought four of these to line the back of my garage. I loved them so much, I went and got a couple more to complete the back. The key features here are: minutes to set-up, a height of 74 inches, and 5 shelves. It creates a ton of vertical space storing all sorts of stuff. If my wife doesn't stop me soon, I might buy another set for the side of the garage.
- A Puppy - Okay, seriously don't give someone a puppy, but I had to close out with a mention of the best new addition to my life in the last year. We do have some occasional disagreements over the nutritrional benefits of the furniture. However, at the end of night, when he's cuddling up to you, it makes any of the stress of the day melt away.
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