Five UNDER $10

This Friday over at Life as MOM, Jessica will be hosting a link up for frugal gift ideas. I love giving gifts, but with the various things going on in our life right now, I'm also all over finding ways to do it cheaply (without giving "cheap" gifts). So in preparation for Friday, I give you my Five UNDER $10...

1. Relaxing Tea Gift - DollarTree is your friend. You can pick up a mug (they have solid colors, Christmas designs and more) for $1! Now add a box of tea bags (either from DollarTree or the grocery - use coupons/sales to get a nicer box for cheap), and a $5 gift card to Amazon (perhaps using a FREE code a la Swagbucks and writing the code in a cute card) for them to use on a book or a relaxing music download. Cute gift #1 for as little as $2 (+ tax) if you buy the mug and tea at DollarTree and get your Amazon code for FREE by searching through Swagbucks! (NOTE: Swagbucks is an affiliated link)

2. Italian Dinner Basket - This could not be easier, especially if you coupon! You'll need pasta and spaghetti sauce (both of which can be found for super cheap with coupons or sales), a jar of Parmesan cheese (store brand works!), and some sort of bread. You can plan ahead and bake your own, you can pick up a loaf of french bread at the grocery, or you can give them canned bread sticks (again, using coupons/sales). Add in a jar of Italian seasoning (coupons/sales/DollarTree), and put the whole thing in a colander tied up with a ribbon. If you have a couple of dollars left, add in a bag mix of Caesar salad and voila - you have just provided dinner for someone in cute gift form for around $10. In fact, I just whipped up the stuff in this picture from things in my own pantry and fridge - easy peasy!

3. Home Theater - I've actually done this type of gift several times and it's always a hit. I start with popcorn tubs (Plastic popcorn tubs are $1/each at Target or for 2/$1 at DollarTree) for each person. I've also found large family-sized popcorn-themed tubs at DollarTree for $1 - so you could do that as well. Add some bags of movie-theater butter microwave popcorn and a couple of packages of movie-theater candy (Whoppers, Twizzlers, etc.) which can be purchased on sale or at DollarTree (I found Twizzlers marked down for $0.25/bag!). I usually toss in a 2-liter (store brand), and top it off with a $3-5 DVD, a gift card to Blockbuster, or just a note with the closest Redbox location for a $1 rental (you could even include a dollar bill in the card). Let's tally up: One large tub ($1), Popcorn ($1.50), candy ($2), 2-liter ($1), DVD ($5) = $10.50 (or less with sales). Such a cute family gift! The gift pictured in the photo would cost around $9.50 if you get a used or $3 movie. NOTE: if you get a used movie (our copy of "Elf" was used), check it out to make sure it works before you give it away.

4. Pizza Night - This is one of my favorite gifts to give! I know there are others who could make this work without a Papa Murphy's Pizza, but that's what I base it on (so if you have one in your area, take note!). I buy a $5 gift card to Papa Murphy's because you can actually get a pizza for $5 and it's loaded with yummy goodness! {happy dance} And then add a $1 pizza cutter from DollarTree and some super cute pizza-shaped plates I found for $1 (actually $1/2 because they were on sale) at Michael's. You could also find some cute red paper plates at DollarTree if you're giving this to a family. I add a bottle of red pepper flakes and you could also add a 2-liter. So let's see: Pizza ($5), cutter ($1), paper plates ($1), pepper flakes ($1), 2-liter ($1) + tax = $10! The picture is a slight variation on this gift because I picked up a pizza cookbook on clearance a couple of years ago and it's just begging to go in a Pizza Night gift!

5. Spiced Tea or Hot Chocolate Mix - I have done this multiple times and the cost is quite low when you make a large batch. I get a box of jars with lids and then make my mom's recipe for "Spiced Tea" (or her hot chocolate recipe) - fill the jars, cut out a circle of Christmas fabric and place it over the bottom lid, then screw on the top lid and tie a ribbon with directions around it. So easy and Peter's co-workers love them!

Recipe: Spiced Tea
1 - 18oz. jar Tang
4 scoops instant pre-sweetened lemonade
4 scoops instant pre-sweetened tea
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves

Mix all together and store in tight container. Use 2 - 4 t. per cup of hot water or per glass of ice water. If using scoop, use a little less than a scoopful per cup.
Recipe: Hot Chocolate
1 lb. box Nestle's Quick
8 qt. box powdered milk (Carnation or store brand)
6 oz. jar powdered cream (store brand works great)
1 box powdered sugar

Mix in large bowl very well. Store in large container with tight lid. To serve, fill each cup one-half full with mix, and add hot water. Stir. It's fun to add miniature marshmallows (which you could also add with the jar).
Make sure you check out the other links this Friday over at Life as MOM for more great gift ideas under $10. *And come back next Wednesday to see my list of stocking stuffer ideas (or "Stuff For Stockings").


  1. There are too cute! You are so creative, I would have never thought to make something like this as a gift! I definitely know people who would love any of these as a present!

  2. These ideas are brilliant!!! How much fun to put them together OR to receive them.
    You are quite the little Elf.


  3. What a fantastic variety of fun ideas! I love that included photos. Always nice to get a visual. :) So glad I popped over from Life as MOM.


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