Friday, July 14, 2017

The Perfect Gift For Under $20

You need a gift for a family member or friend, and you keep putting it off because you have absolutely no idea what to give them. A gift card is always an option, but that just seems so impersonal. Has anyone been in that situation? I know I have.

I was at my aunt and uncle's house recently, and my cousins were saying that they have stopped exchanging gifts with their siblings and siblings-in-law because they felt like there was an invisible $50 bill changing hands in the form of a different type of gift card at every birthday.

Now don't get me wrong, gift cards make great gifts (if someone gives me a gift card, I certainly won't turn it down), but sometimes it's nice to spice things up a bit and give an actual object.

I know you're probably wondering where I'm going with this. Well, if you're searching for a gift for a female friend or family member, I have the perfect suggestion. Treat her to a spa gift basket!


Pick up a cute basket at a thrift store, and head to a beauty store (or Walmart) to fill it with girly stuff. My gift basket contains the following:

2 Miss Spa face masks ($2.50)
1 lavender candle ($2)
1 Tree Hut Shea sugar scrub ($5)
1 Bodycology cherry blossom body lotion ($4)
1 Yardley Oatmeal & Almond soap bar ($1)
1 bath sponge ($1)
1 Bodycology cherry blossom bath fizzies ($4)



If you need additional suggestions, feel free to add nail polish and remover, a nail file, a pumice stone, a bar of chocolate, a book to read in the bath, bubble bath, or shower gel.

Now I want to hear from you--what are your gift suggestions?

56 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Anonymous7/14/2017

    Your gift idea was lovely, I would be happy to get that too! Thinking ahead is a good plan. One reason for this is that the mind has different gears and when we are in motion it is not likely we will also be able to think in detail. Hence pacing on our feet unable to decide what to get and just making a rash grab feeling unconfident but hopeful.To answer your question I think people appreciate having some of the finer things in life replenished. Like organic olive oil, herbs, spices, real vanilla, maple syrup, jams n jellies, cheeses, organic whole grains, nut butter, coffees, teas, real cream, honey, chips n dips, etc. If someone knew my tastes the right movie might delight me.

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  3. I love the idea of a gift basket. Also Dollar Tree has basket size containers and toiletries.

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  4. Anonymous7/14/2017

    I prefer gift cards. A lot of things I receive as gifts are donated to the Salvation Army

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    1. Anonymous7/15/2017

      I'd rather send gift cards, since it's so expensive to ship packages in the mail from Hawaii.

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    2. Anonymous7/15/2017

      I think it is more appropriate to give a gift back to the giver than to the S. A. Don't people deserve a chance to please you, or do you think you are just getting their unwanted gifts as regifts? Why should people have to accept a gift if it is not something they want? Why can't people simply say this is cheap perfume and I would be embarrassed to wear it and asnnoy people. And politely return it to the sender. Then say if you want to know what I like ask me first please.

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    3. Anonymous7/16/2017

      Because that would be rude and hurtful?
      Bee

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    4. Anonymous7/16/2017

      It is complicated. As I read these comments I feel bad for the people who give the gifts. Neither seems very gracious a response to the gifts they get from some probably well meaning givers.

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    5. Anonymous7/16/2017

      You can't "politely" return a gift to the giver because you don't happen to like it!

      Well, on second thought, maybe you can, if you want to do away with the problem AND the friend/relative permanently!

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  5. Anonymous7/14/2017

    Really good salt like a quality Himalayan pink sea salt.
    Nice organic pepper too.

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    1. Anonymous7/15/2017

      I love Himalayan pink salt! Until you experience the other salts of the world, you can't understand how bad that "blue box with the umbrella girl" salt really is.

      My favorites are the crunchy British Maldon flakes, the moist and gritty Fleur de Sel from France, and the crisp-tasting Antarctic Sea salt, which is harvested on the west coast of Africa. Each have a unique taste, the way Himalayan salt does. To me, that one is a "warm" mineral-y salt.

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    2. Anonymous7/15/2017

      Where do you find these things? Do you have to go that far to find them?

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    3. Anonymous7/16/2017

      You can find them at Whole Foods, any "gourmet" grocer, or online.

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    4. Anonymous7/17/2017

      My "chain" supermarket (American) has the Maldon salt. It's in a small box.

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    5. Anonymous7/17/2017

      If someone gave me salt and pepper as a gift I would think that to be the oddest gift I've ever received. Of course I would smile and say thank you but ...what???? That's like giving someone a bottle of ketchup for their birthday, what the heck?

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    6. Anonymous7/17/2017

      Not the imported salts and the different colored peppercorns. They are no ordinary "ketchup."

      What if someone gave you a basket of herbs and spices, including fancy salts and peppers? What if the giver knew you liked to cook and experiment with flavors? Anyone who cooks like that would be thrilled with some new products to try.

      Have you ever seen the Penzey Spices site? They have all sorts of gift collections there. There's even a chain of stores that specialize in oils and vinegars (Vom Fass).

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  6. Anonymous7/14/2017

    We donate to each others' favorite charities. For example, each year on my birthday and Christmas, my siblings make a donation to the local animal shelter, which is my favorite charity.

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  7. Anonymous7/15/2017

    I love this idea and I've often done something similar. Just last month I changed my job, so I gave each of my team a pretty little gift bag, and inside nestled in tissue paper was a miniature bottle of rose wine, a pretty scented candle and a few chocolate truffles...a mini treat evening in a bag!
    Bee :)

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  8. Anonymous7/15/2017

    I love this idea. If you are like my family where all the adults are so blessed already, it is a lovely idea to give rather than receive more. Eileen

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    1. Anonymous7/15/2017

      Oops! I meant this as a response to Anon re charities. Eileen

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    2. Anonymous7/15/2017

      Charities are obviously needy but what is so badabout taking part in the economy and paying someone for the work and product they produce, that is helping people earn a living.

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  9. Anonymous7/15/2017

    I don't have a problem with gift giving because I sew. I can always make something unique and personal for the recipient. I use fabrics and embellishments that relate to something in their lives (hobby, pet, etc.). I can stitch their name or initials on things. I usually make useful things for the kitchen or "accessories" for the ladies. Think of anything Vera Bradley makes in their line of products. I can make those things too, only more personal. I also make some things Vera hasn't thought of yet. And at a fraction of her cost!

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    1. Anonymous7/15/2017

      Whoever gets one of your gifts is truly blessed. A homemade gift like that would be awesome!

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    2. Anonymous7/16/2017

      I wish we could add pictures, I'd love to see some of your crafts, they sound wonderful!
      Bee :)

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    3. Anonymous7/16/2017

      Look online on crafters' blogs or look on Etsy for an idea of what people are sewing and making these days. It's incredible! Sewing is very much alive and well, and not a lost art. In fact, when your friends find out you can sew, you can be deluged with requests for things to make. Just like knitters or crocheters are never at a loss for something to make next.

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    4. Anonymous7/16/2017

      Ask Ellie if that could go on her Facebook page.

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    5. Yep, you can post pictures to my Facebook page.
      Facebook.com/nashvillewife

      Blessings,
      Ellie

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  10. Anonymous7/15/2017

    For 'foodies', especially men, we have often put together a selection of nice cheeses, chutney, crackers and either wine or cider.
    Bee

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  11. Anonymous7/15/2017

    You'd have to really know the person to give a basket like that with scented everything. Some people are sensitive to different smells, some have their preferences, and some just can't stand smelly bath and body stuff, period. (I don't think I'd want to go around smelling like cherries; thanks anyway.)

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    1. Anonymous7/15/2017

      I live where there are more mosquitoes, wasps, and bees than there are people. If I went outside smelling like fruit, I'd be in a heap of trouble!

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    2. Anonymous7/15/2017

      The basket looks nice, but I don't use all that smelly bath and body stuff. I use a few things, and that's all I buy. But I would gladly accept a fruit basket....Jane

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    3. Anonymous7/16/2017

      I agree. You'd also have to know their skin type or hair type (dry, oily, combination, etc) for a lot of items. Personally I'm really picky about the ingredients in skin products. Every Christmas I get gifted so many bath products that I end up throwing away.

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    4. Anonymous7/16/2017

      I agree about the scented gifts. I'd be more likely to do a basket of tea, coffee, candy, cookies, and things like that (for non-diabetics) than I would personal products with scents. At least the food items, you can serve to company or take to work to pass around, if they're not to your liking. Harder to do that with bath products. (But for the right person you know well, OK.)

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    5. Anonymous7/16/2017

      One person's trash is another person's treasure. If you don't even open the containers, and maybe even if you do, there are places and people to donate those items to, who will be happy and blessed to get them! Donating would be more respectful than tossing, without doubt.

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    6. Anonymous7/16/2017

      My unwanted scent gifts and travel sizes go to a women's shelter.

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  12. For my besties personal wedding gift I filled a bride bag with all of her favorite hair products and bath gel and things I knew she used.

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  13. Anonymous7/15/2017

    I love giving gifts, and have made gift baskets a few times. One of my favorite ones was a dinner. I put together all of the dry ingredients and spices for a soup, dry ingredients for salad dressing, a bottle of really good quality olive oil, a bottle of cider vinegar, a quick bread mix (which I did not make), and a brownie mix (that I did make)

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  14. Anonymous7/15/2017

    I have two good friends, and the three of us know each other from kindergarten. Now that we're all married and busy with kids and all, we've decided to do our gifts a bit differently. We've all made 10 cards and put them in closed eveloppes. We've wrote on each card an activity. Going out for lunch, go to a museum, an amusementpark, to the pedicure etc. I've put my 10 cards in a box and so did my friends with theirs. Now when someone is celebrating her birthday she can pick an enveloppe and we'll do that activity that comes out of the enveloppe. It is always a surprise what we will be doing and it is really as fun to give as to receive! We spent qualitytime together and for the next ten years you don't have to think about a present anymore. You only have to bring 'The Box'!

    Ps Im a loyal reader from the Netherlands. Don't you think it is so special that the world is so 'small' nowadays? I can have a peek in your life although you're on another continent! It always amazes me and I think it is really cool! I really like your blog!!

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    1. I think this is a fantastic idea! Please let me be your friend!

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    2. Anonymous7/16/2017

      Haha, whenever you're in the neighbourhood you're welcome for coffee and a stroopwafel (google it, THE best dutch cookie in the world) ;) Mieke Jansen

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  15. Anonymous7/15/2017

    Things like leather gloves, knit gloves, cute socks, slippers, candles, matches, candies, home made fudge, loaded prepaid visa cards, trips to Cuban hotels, are all things I would like. Some more so than others. But its all good!

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    1. Anonymous7/17/2017

      everything sounded normal until i read "trips to cuban hotels" why that? lol

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  16. Shela G7/15/2017

    I did something similar for a Christmas gift it was a woman I was buying for I put together a bath related goodie box. I put in candles,bubble bath, and a soft piano CD. They seemed thrilled with it.

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  17. Anonymous7/16/2017

    I like to surprise a sick friend with a box of assorted teas, a bottle of ginger ale, some good-tasting cough drops, beeswax lip balm, a pair of fuzzy socks, a magazine pertaining to their interests, and a book of "pencil puzzles." Any or all of those will work. Throw in a quart of homemade chicken soup and some Saltines, and I guarantee you that box will be VERY welcome!!

    I've even assembled a box like that for myself, if I know I need to have a medical procedure and will be laid up for awhile afterwards. It's my treat to myself when I come home to recover. A little self-pampering can go a long way.

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    1. Anonymous7/16/2017

      Even the lotion-infused tissues are good to give when someone is sick. You can blow (literally) through a box of those a day when sick.

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  18. Anonymous7/16/2017

    Maybe this could be a party game, compiling gift preference profiles. Then keeping the data for reference!

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  19. Anonymous7/16/2017

    A plant is something some people might like. If a person gathered together the equipment they could start plants to give as gifts. That would be less expensive.

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    1. Anonymous7/16/2017

      I wouldn't give a plant to a household with small children or pets. Many plants are toxic if eaten!

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  20. Anonymous7/16/2017

    I never heard plants being toxic. Small children don't eat plants where did you get that idea from.


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    1. Anonymous7/17/2017

      Obviously you've never had a toddler in the house... Anything and everything within reach is fair game to pull apart and put right in your mouth! Same with pets. They'll chew anything.

      The list of plants (indoors and out) that are toxic to people or animals is a mile long - look it up.

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  21. Anonymous7/16/2017

    A lot of people don't take baths so I would want anything with bubble bath in mine.
    Shower gel,lotiin, body spray,chapstick.

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  22. Anonymous7/17/2017

    Ellie I think its a thoughtful idea to fill a gift basket as you mentioned. However, I agree with some of the others that it would be best to know the receiver's favorite scents ahead of time and also best to know if they prefer showers over baths. I personally don't take baths at all, so bath things wouldn't be something I would care for. I think filling the basket with foodie items and drinks would be far better because most people aren't too picky when it comes to food or drink things. Just make sure you know if they are a coffee or tea drinker before putting that stuff in there! ( I don't drink either one)

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  23. Anonymous7/17/2017

    We would add a bottle of nail polish and a paperback to read. Thanks for the suggestions, they are great.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  24. Gift baskets are a perfect way to give practical items in a decorative way. I love the way you have yours arranged so nicely. Tucking in some shred from the dollar store and adding a bow would be a nice touch as well.

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  25. Anonymous8/19/2017

    That's a great Ideal! Thanks!!!! Ellie!!!!!

    Godbless!

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  26. decision made My dads side of the family does a small gift exchange game and each female has to bring a $25 gift and each male has to bring a $25 gift. it gets so hard to find something good for that amount and i always end up going over my limit. this year i'm gonna do a spa basket.like this i think.easy to fill a satisfying gift and easy to get!

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